West Side ! (had to be done…)

12 Oct

So with a brand new super-sized and super-stable van, our team of 5 finally started out up the West Coast. By midday, almost 48 hours after the crash, we were back in Moora, loaded up and up for some fun. Over the next two days I saw cool geological stuff such as the pinnacles and gorges around Kalbarri and lots of nice coastal spots.

Unfortunatly, after a couple of days, it was clear that our French companion, Mags, was not a happy bunny about the speed of the van. Or sleeping rough. Or anything what-so-ever. Ok, we’d had a nasty crash, but we were on our way and in a better van – things had worked out – and we were now trying harder than ever to have a good time. So upon arriving in Monkey Mia (wonderful name, no monkeys though) we gently suggested that she might be better off in a backpackers, taking tour buses up the coast. When she didn’t go with that, we essentially booted her off the bus…

So much guilt all round (and much credit to Kirri for essentially doing the booting) but in the end it was the only way we were going to make it to Exmouth without a homicide on our hands. As some form of extra karmic punishment, we drove our van out of town that evening and promptly got bogged in a sand track we shouldn’t of gone down ! So we gave up trying to get out, sat down for drinks and cards, and had a fun night together – which is exactly the sort of optimism that simply wasn’t there with Mags in the group.

Some ocker blokes released us from our sandy trench the next day with a 4WD and much blokey cunning. Then we continued on to see the dolphins and dugongs in Monkey Mia on a Catermaran tour. Here we saw Mags again (more guilt) but had a great time out at sea, and the girls attracted a small swarm of guys as we lay back sunbathing. Ww then carried on past Shell beach and onto a loverly coastal apot called Gladstone, where we had a great night ruond a campfire, followed by a wonderful morning of wading around the stomatalite covered bay.

This put us in great spirits for the last couple of days of our tour, where we stopped off in Coral bay for snorkelling off a glass bottomed boat (for the guilty two of us without broken arms) and then up to Exmouth for a proper night out of beer, pool and mouhting off the locals. It was one of the best weeks I’ve had out in Oz and it was cool to be off the backpacker circuit.

So onto the last five days, where I have been learning to scuba dive ! I have just finished the course, and I am now a PADI open water certified diver. The course aws three days of theory and pool practice (very nice on a hot day) followed by 4 dives over the last two days. During these dives we praticsed emergency skills underwater, as well as seeing lots of amazingly coloured fish, turtles, rays and even one reef shark (all 2-3 foot of it)! It was really good fun, and I would love to get some underwater photography kit down there sometime and get some nice shots.

As always, photos to come 🙂

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