Coast road return to Perth
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After 2 weeks at Yardie Homestead we started our return journey to Perth. First we returned to Coral Bay and stayed 3 nights so we would have plenty of time to snorkel off the beach on the reef.
We did go out on a boat snorkelling excursion which was good. The morning snorkel was very pleasant with good coral and lots of turtles. After a sausage sizzle lunch, ( a little disappointing, one sausage in a bread roll ), we moored on the outer reef and could snorkel as close to where the breakers came over the edge of the reef as we were able. The skipper warned us that the currents didn't make sense as the wind was strong, and the high tide was coming in over the reef in the opposite direction to the wind. It was a fascinating snorkel as the underwater topography was unusual for us
During the sail back we were offered the chance to “boomnet”, which I had never heard of. It is holding on to a cargo net being towed along at the back of the catamaran. It was fun but unsettling when my swimsuit stated to rotate around my body.
This is the time of year to ride out and snorkel or watch the whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean, which can grow up to 7 or 8 metres. We would have loved to do that trip but for both of us to go would have cost us approximately £600. It is overpriced for a few hours boat ride, partly because of the current exchange rate but more importantly it is inflated by the oil company which is active to the north of Exmouth and which is (so we were told) paying huge retainers to boat owners so distorting the local economy and allowing boat owners to ask what they want for the boat trips
From Coral Bay it was an interesting drive to Kalbarri, where the Murchison River enters the sea. The very small town is pretty and has lots to see. Unfortunately the flies were such a nuisance that even with fly nets it was unpleasant being outside. So we booked a short flight on a 8 seat Cessna to see the river gorges and the sea cliffs. There were only 4 passengers. It seemed amazingly good value after the expensive trips further north. However, the plane was a little ramshackle, with a dodgy door, and the young pilot appeared very nervous and inexperienced, sweating profusely even though we did not think it was hot. His scrappy checklist pinned above his seat did nothing to increase our confidence but it was a good flight, apart from the flies that even managed to get in the plane.
Our last night travelling bck to Perth was in Cervantes, adjacent to the Pinnacles Desert, a weird landscape. The following day we stopped at the Yanchep National Park. It has surprised us that, unlike in New Zealand, there is no evidence of Aborigine culture or language in the tourist information or at different sites
A note about language differences: The word Manchester is used in NZ and here too in a very unexpected way. I first noticed in NZ when I saw a sign, “Manchester Half Price”. As an almost Mancunian I was worried, until Beverley explained that Manchester refers to bedding and household linens. It still surprises me to see Manchester being offered for sale.
Tomorrow we start our trek to the Red Centre.