We did decide to stay one more night, but almost regretted it when early in the morning gale force winds began to blow. Thankfully, by mid morning the wind had died down completely.
After breakfast we drove a few kms. out of town to see Lake Thetis – which is one of the few places in the world (like Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay) which has stromatolites. This lake had a 1.5km walk around it and we did that. There are supposed t0 be some interesting bird life there as well, but we could just see some ducks right in the distance. Having seen these stromatolites before made this site more interesting so we were glad we had seen the other one first, because this one did not have as much explanatory details on their information boards.
We then drove to one of 2 viewing platforms overlooking this lovely bay. The first one had around 80 or so steps to the top so that really tested our quad muscles – it was worth it though because the view was magnificent. We then drove to the second viewing spot closer to the town – this took just 40 steps to the top. The view from there was lovely too. There is a lot of beachside rehabilitation taking place in all these areas so there are only designated areas to get to the beach, but once on the beach you can walk for quite some distance. There are also designated areas for swimming, boating, jet skiing, driving along the beach and of course, dogs – very regulated but understandably so.
We then drove back into the town and bought some fruit for lunch. This is the first time we have bought poor quality fruit, but seeing as how we are quite a way from a major town we will excuse them. We then drove back to the van to put the food inside, before driving to the local Rock Lobster factory for their daily tour. This was an unusual tour – we were allowed access to the factory via a walkway set above all the lobster cages, but there was no guide. We were all given a hand-held phone and as we passed a certain spot with a sign, had to push the number of that sign on our phone pad and then a commentary came through on our phones. These phones provided different commentary for different needs, e.g. one especially for children, one in English, one in Japanese and one in German. Quite innovative – at least it freed up one of their workers from having to entertain the tourists. It is not lobster season so there was a lot less activity than usual, but it was interesting enough. Lobster and prawn and calamari were all for sale at the shop there but we did not buy any.
We then returned to the Van for lunch, before heading out to the Pinnacles. This is an unsual area just 20kms south of the Cervantes. It is desert area which had these unusual limestone structures throughout. It is part of a National Park so we had to pay a $5 entry and then we were able to drive our car on a set route through these pinnacles. You could park in certain places, and walk around the pinnacles and sand dunes – the only rule was not to climb the rock formations. They were amazing. All shapes and sizes on a sandy desert. The sand was a golden yellow colour and was quite attractive.
However, even though it was a desert it was just so close to the Turquoise Coast so occasionally on the drive through these Pinnacles we could see the ocean in the background, as well as the white sandhills. All the colours were so lovely. There were lots of people doing the drive as well so we were surprised it was so popular when we had only heard about this place last night when talking to the people in the Van behind ours.
During our drive we saw a skink and a small goanna. This is also an area with emu and kangaroo, but we did not see any. In fact, we have been rather disappointed in how few wild life/birds we have actually seen whenever we do enter these Parks, but I guess all the tourist traffic does keep them awy.
After doing the drive we then went to the Info/Interpretive centre which was at the entry to the National Park. This was, once again, a magnificent display centre. Absolutely first class in presentation and information. There were quite a few asian foreign tourists there. This is the first time we have seen some of them during our trip – may have something to do with being so close to a capital City because Perth is just under 200kms away.
We then returned to the Van and had some afternoon tea and went for one last walk along the beach here. This a beach which allows vehicles to drive along it so there were a few people in their 4WD’s giving it a go. Some people were fishing but it was getting towards the end of the day so they were mostly packing up. It was nice and mild with no breeze whatsoever and just the gentle sound of the small waves splashing the shore.
We intend to give Perth and Fremantle a miss this trip so plan to be south of Perth tomorrow. I have a friend who lives not far from Serpentine so we will book in there before travelling to her new home in a suburb called Baldivis. It will be good to catch up with her.
Ian enjoyed watching Hawthorn win the footy last night.
Love to all, Janese and Ian