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Trip Start May 31, 2005
Trip End Aug 31, 2007

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

3rd June - Sat - Happy Birthday Jonathan!!!!!!
Left Broome. Stayed at free campsite for the night on the way to Karijini.

4th June - Happy 2nd Anniversary Amber & Andy
Arrived at the National park and went to the visitors centre to get some maps. Set up camp and went off to explore. Did the walks, or rather, scrambles to Circular pool and Fortescue Falls. It was quite an impressive gorge walk to get down to the pool, which was hidden at the bottom with waterfalls rushing down into it. Despite it being a little chilly, we jumped on in. You could swim over to the shelf, climb up and stand under the falls, which was lovely cos the falling water was actually hot. It was like taking a shower. We hung around for an hour or so, then hiked back up to the top in our wet clothes.

5th June
Full day spent exploring gorges and swimming. Did Kalamina Gorge, Hammersley falls, Joffre falls, Kermits pool and knox gorge. Knox gorge was excellent. We went as far as we could down the gorge, but at the end, it narrowed to the 'Knox slide'. The only way to get through here was to bridge the walls but then the water simply spilled over into another gorge below and it was 'one way'. So we went for a swim instead in one of the pools and started the climb back up. Mike and Aran went and did Kermits Pool which is where the warning signs start for the 'Miracle mile'. We really wanted to do the miracle mile as Mike saw it in FHM as one of the top things a bloke should do. However, you weren't allowed to do it without a guide and proper abseiling and climbing equipment. It basically involves swimming through pools, sliding down rockslides, climbinhg, abseiling, jumping off cliffs and all the fun stuff associated. Might have to go back one day and do it with a proper guide. There's also a swimming track that goes around all the gorges. Rather than walking, you can swim around. Sounds pretty cool. Mike said kermits pool was the best gorge.
Utterly exhausted that afternoon, we drove to Tom price and stayed the night.

8th June
We left for Exmouth on the 6th. Went straight to Tourist Information to get info on the whale sharks. This is what we've been waiting for since we got to Oz. We were determined to snorkel with the sharks and do some diving. The Information Office tried to flog us a package deal for the sharks and some dives but we went to the dive centre ourselves to try and strike a deal. We got lucky and got a great price for the whale sharks, 2 dives on Ningaloo Reef and a dive on the Navy Pier. We do the sharks tomorrow and then the diving each day after that. SOOOO excited.

7th June
The day we've all been waiting for.....
We met at the dive centre at 0715 and got on a mini bus with another 15 people, including a research team from the states who track the sharks migration patterns. As we set off on the boat, we geared up with wetsuits, snorkels and fins. Went through how we were to go about swimming with the sharks and warned not to get too close as they could swipe you with their tail. Before the spotter planes even went up, we tracked some on the radar and before we knew it, the crew were shouting to go. Divided into 2 groups, we sat at the back of the boat, and the boat dropped us in the path of the shark. Then we would slide in the water and hover until we saw it. And what a sight it was. To see this massive 30ft giant fish, effortlessly gliding in the water towards you is absolutely amazing. Swimming with its big mouth open to feed on planktum, this one just minded his own and swam along with us lot trying to swim along side it. It didn't take much for it to get ahead of us though and that's when we stopped and the second group got dropped in its path again. It was bloody hard work trying to keep up with it. You're so amazed at the size and elegance of it that you don't realise how hard you are swimming to keep up. We had a few snorkels with the first shark. Then, the spotter plane spotted another one, so we darted off for that one. Did another few snorkels with this one, then it dived down. Finally, we spotted another one. It was only a baby at about 4 metres long. This one was really playful though, and kept changing direction, so us lot were having quite a laugh barging into each other whilst still trying to watch the shark as he nodded his head up and down as if to laugh at us. He was really cute. We had 2 snorkels with him and called it a day. It was so fantastic. And how chuffed were we to see 3 different sharks, especially as the past few times the trip had gone out, the crew hadn't seen any. We were on a high for the rest of the day and couldn't stop talking about it. Visit for more info on the research team that were out for the day with us.

8th June
We were supposed to do our 2 reef dives today, however they got cancelled due to the windy weather and strong currents. Instead we did buggar all.

9th June
Our dive on the navy pier also got cancelled today, so rather than try to re-schedule them, we decided to get a refund and head off to Coral Bay as it wouldn't take long to get there. We arrived in Coral Bay. A tiny little resort, with beautiful beaches and the bluest, clearest water. It's picture perfect. There's just a few little shops, 2 campsites, a hotel and few cafes and restaurants, all along one road. No houses or residential areas. Basically built for tourism. We went straight to a dive centre and booked in for some tours. Mike and Aran are doing 2 dives on the reef, whilst me and Lauz are going quad biking into the sand dunes. Then Sunday, we are all going snorkelling g with manta rays, which is the same concept as the whale sharks. After that, we get to do a shallow reef dive.

11th June.
On Saturday, the boys did their dives. They saw lots of fish and a lovely turtle, but were gutted that they didn't see any sharks. Lauz and me went off in a group of 5, which was nice, and bombed around the dunes. We stopped at some remote beaches, that noone else was at and did some snorkelling. Infact, one of the stops was at Oyster bridge and it was probably the best snorkelling I've done. There were giant clams, dozens of different hard coral, loads of fish. It was so colourful. We went full throttle along the beach, and back up into the dunes. It was a fab 3 hours. Watched England beat Paraguay. A perfect end to a really cool day.
On Sunday, we went out to see the rays. Again, the company uses spotter planes and we had only just got out past the reef, when a mating chain had been spotted. It was 4 rays. Again in 2 groups, we took it in turns to get in and swim alongside the manta's, some being as big as 4 metres wide. They were extremely graceful creatures and kept heir beady little eyes on you whilst you swam beside them. We saw several different rays and again had a full on day of in and out the water with different ones. We were following a chain of 3 rays, when out of nowhere, another one came swimming along and joined the back of the chain. They glided along one after the other and soon out swam us. We were totally knackered, but had gotten lucky again to see so many different ones. We then did a shallow dive to 12 metres. We saw 2 turtles, which I was totally chuffed with, then buggar me, we saw 2 grey reef sharks at a 'cleaning station' being cleaned by shrimps and fish. It was like a scene out of 'A sharks tale'. All We needed was Christina Aguilera singing car wash in the background!
We had another exhilarating day and were knackered. We got in the car and drove straight to Carnarvon for the night, so that we would make it to Monkey Mia tomorrow. In Carnarvon, we raided Woolworths. They had a sale on fleece blankets, pyjamas and big fluffy socks. Considering the temps were now dropping down as low as 3 degrees at night, me and Lauz found the need to stock up on blankets and chunky socks. That night in the tent was a tad bit warmer.

12th June
Got to Monkey Mia. A totally random secluded resort, basically in the middle of nowhere on the coast. Got a tent site. Mike, me and Lauz booked a boat tour for this afternoon and went out on the 'Shotover' for a couple of hours in the glorious sunshine. It was a bloody huge catamaran. We saw turtles, loads of dolphins, several reef sharks and 3 shovelhead rays.

13th June
Monkey Mia is famous for its tame dolphins, that come in for feeding twice a day. They swim right up onto the beach to be hand fed. They linger around for an hour or so, checking you out. There's only about 4 that come in almost every day, but it's quite a photo opportunity to get within steps of them. So we got up early and went down to the beach, where sure enough, the 4 of them were being fed. Monkey Mia was one of those places that you don't know whether to go to. With it being 130km off the main road to Perth, you have to consider whether it's worth going. I would now say, not, although I'm glad we did go. Having swam with dolphins in Forster, it wasn't anywhere near as good as that, and obviously, there's always a big crowd of people stood down at the beach staring at these 4 dolphins whilst one of the eco friendly volunteers talks into a speaker phone, about how they started to come in for feeding and interaction with people many years ago. It was all a bit over rated for my liking. Today we left for Geraldton where we are staying the night and tomorrow we will get to perth.

9th July
Well, here we are in Perth. We got here on the 14th after stopping at the Pinnacles and Kalbarri national park, which didn't have too much to offer.
We are staying in Northbridge, where the best nightlife is in perth. In a room with Mike and lauz in a nice homely backpackers called the 'Shiralee'. It's like a giant house and much nicer than the massive, hundred dorm room ones on offer elsewhere. It's cheap too, so will probably stay here until we leave.
We've met a ton of friends here, most of which we are meeting with in new Zealand. Sam from Exeter and Jon from Portsmouth way. They were a total laugh and our world cup buddies. We are meeting with them in a few months time. Loads of crazy irish folk, a bunch of nurses from Nottingham, the girls at work, Ben from Mevagissey and Christian from the midlands who Mike works with . Yes, work. We are working. Mike started work the day after we got here. He's doing removals again. Lauz and me are working for a cleaning agency. It's total shite, but it's easy money and we get paid daily. We get to drive around perth and clean rich people's homes.
We've been into Fremantle a few times. It's a nice break from the city, but we actually like Perth quite a lot as it's reasonably small. We've been to Kings park and the Botanic gardens. And we went to the top of the Swan Bell Tower. So we are currently working to get some muller together for the south coast. We will be leaving perth in roughly 3 weeks. Lauz flies home on 27th August and we have to leave by September 30th. It's crazy to think that a year in Oz has almost finished. It's gone so fast. And yet, there's still a long way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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