Part 1 of a Journey South (or Part 4 of a Journey North)

Approximately ninety days ago I finished a blog post about Karjini with the enticing message of

So that's the end of our trip north. Goodbye. Oh, but we were still 1800kms away from home. It wasn't over yet. Stops on the way home included Mt Bruce, Carnarvon, Kalbarri and a Jurien Bay sunset.
To be continued...

Only the tale wasn't continued. Until now.

Yes indeed, I have decided to conclude this story of a journey north with its fourth chapter titled "Part 1 of a Journey South" for a very reasonable reason. The reason is that we were no longer northbound. We were southbound.

Cue dramatic music.

On a sidenote, after posting something like 40 or more photos on my Anzac blog post I have decided to cut down on how many photos I put in a blog. Although I took nearly 300 photos between Karijini and home, I have narrowed the number of photos here to just ten.

Simply click on the images to enlarge them. I hope you enjoy.


Day 1

Instead of going the inland route through Meekatharra like we did on the way North, we went along the coast. Upon leaving Karijini on the 9th of July, a Wednesday, we headed west towards the sea. Our first stop was Western Australia's second highest mountain, Mt Bruce.

If there were any clouds in the sky then it might have been touching them.

Mt Bruce stands at 1.2 kms high and only misses out on being WA's tallest mountain by 15 metres. The Aboriginal name for the mountain is Punurrunha.

The walk takes about three to four hours and after about an hour of walking we turned back to continue the journey home, lest we be driving at night. So although we only made it about a third of the way along the ridge that you follow to climb Punurrunha, the views of the surrounding country were pretty spectacular.


Day 2

The next morning we continued west and reached the coastal town of Carnarvon.

If you have ever been to Carnarvon before then you will know that the list of things to see is reasonable, but the top three go like this.

1) Bananas
2) The Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) Satellite
3) The One-mile jetty

I will present the list in reverse order since that is the order in which we visited them. First, the jetty.

Curiously, Carnarvon's one-mile jetty is closer to 1.6 kilometres in length. It was built quite some time ago to support the town's role as a supplier and exporter for the Gascoyne region. The jetty is now a tourist attraction and has a small tram that travels up and down it regularly. It is definitely one of the sights to see in Carnarvon.

The tourist attraction second only to the region's famous bananas is the OTC satellite which lies a little bit out of town.

It was commisioned in the 1969 and in that same year was made famous by being an integral part in the relaying of broadcast images of the moon landing. And the other thing that makes it really cool is that it's big. Huge even. The diametre of the dish is 29.8 metres. Or 3 lots of 10 metres. Or 0.6 olympic swimming pools.

Even with my 14mm (21mm equivalent) wide-angle lens I struggled to fit the whole of the structure in.

Number one on the list of things to see/do in Carnarvon are bananas. And I'm sorry but I lied. We didn't see or eat any of the town's bananas while we were there. From previous experience though it is worth checking out the plantations around the town and getting some fresh fruit while you are there.

Alas we had to keep on driving.

And driving and driving and driving.

Until we reached our camp for the night.

We have passed through this area a few times on different trips north (and south), and I remember having lunch at the place where the below image was taken. It is a nice spot to stop during the day but is over run at night by hordes of grey nomads. And I mean hordes.

Now a few things about the exact location of our camp site.

Do you see the two buildings behind our camp? Well, they are called toilets. I have learnt from my experiences on this trip to never pitch my swag within 200 metres of toilets. You see, toilets have this distinct and overpowering characteristic about them.

They stink.


Day 3

We didn't realise our mistake until the following morning when we needed to go to them. They smelt fine at first, I mean as good as any other long-drop hybrid toilet. Until the man came with his truck. This truck was not large. It had a moderately sized compartment in its back and out of this a tube appeared. The end of this tube connected to the side of the toilets. A waste compartment. Thanks to the hordes of grey nomads frequenting the area the waste had to be emptied regularly to avoid overfilling.

When you put that into words it sounds so very clean and reasonable. But in practice it was not. In practice the place stunk. I mean it was atrocious. It just reeked.

I simply cannot put into words how bad it really was.

Even writing about it now brings back bad memories. Bad smells. So lets move on quickly before I vomit.

Forward unto Kalbarri.

The above image is of a different view of nature's window, the structure that Kalbarri is most famous for. Which is a bit odd in a sense since there is so much more that the town has to offer. We didn't stay long though and just called in to gaze upon said natural window. We also saw some family (who were holidaying there) for about fifteen minutes. The below image shows the view that you would probably be the most familiar with.

It was approaching the afternoon and we were only at Kalbarri so we had to keep moving. Perth lay 600 kilometres to our south.

We chose to go along the scenic route through Geraldton, a place which Josh and I shall not dwell on due to bad experiences with fuel stations and such. In my defence... Sorry, let's not dwell on all that.

Anyway, the scenic route saw us hugging a coast that was filled with fantastic views of green hills in contrast to blue seas, colonial buildings and, as we reached Jurien Bay, a winding road with beach shacks nestled between the bitumen and the sea.

It was nice country and one that I'd like to spend more time exploring.

Jurien Bay was the last stop before home and as the sunset that day, so too did it on our holiday. Though I don't think it was that romantic.

It really wasn't that romantic. It was a three hour drive home through bushland and we were very aware of the danger of roos.

Yet we made it home safely and that was it. In four parts, that was our journey north.

The end.

JR


If you missed any of the parts of the trip or would like to look at them again, just click on the links below:

Part 1. Meekatharra

Part 2. Gorge-ous Karijini

Part 3. The second chapter of Gorge-ous Karijini



Find out more about Proving Sunshine at:
http://www.provingsunshine.com/about/

Joel Gibson

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Perth, Western Australia

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