Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Western Australia at the start of our journey

16-Sep-2004

We setoff from Kalbarri at 9:00 this morning and headed North again heading for Denham. This was the longest single trip so far at almost 400km of long straight roads through endless scrubland. Lots of wildflowers to be seen everywhere though.

We stopped at Hamlin Pool at the Southerly end of Shark Bay for a while to see the old Telegraph Station and things called 'Stromatolites'. These are thought to be the oldest living structures on Earth and only occur in a few places. They look like club shaped rocks but are actually formed by micro organisms.
Stromatolites

The ones in the photo are thought to be well over 5000 years old and have been around since the Earth was formed. (Even older than Jeff Gillett! - An archery friend). We had a guided tour of the old telegraph station, which was quite interesting. I recognised some of the equipment they had on display. (Perhaps I am getting old!). The towns along this coast are all about 300 miles apart which was the maximum distance that the old telegraph system would work over. So every 300 miles a repeater station was needed. In those days it was all done with Morse Code so several people were needed to man the stations. As a result small townships grew round the stations. I thought you would like the pictures of 'The Facilities' at the Telegraph Station. On the beach here, we bumped into Maggie again, the lady who we walked 'The Loop' with.
The Facilities

Another stop on the way to Denham was Shell Beach. This is a beach that is made up from little shells (surprising enough), each of which is about 5mm across. Maggie turned up as well so I got a photo of her gassing with Ali. Hi Maggie!
Ali and MAggie on Shell Beach

Ali had a go at driving with the caravan and got on very well. She done so well that I might let her have a go again, this time on a road with a bend in it. If we can find one that is!

We eventually arrived at the campsite in Denham at about 4:30. It's a very nice site, right next to the beach. We were escorted to our pitch by a chap on a quad bike and guided into position. He though the van was not quite level so got me to move forward while he dug a little hole to drop the wheel into. What a service? We have decided to spend a week here, as there is quite a lot to do in the area. The Monkey Mia resort is just 25km away so we can easily drive there to see the dolphins without having to pay the resort prices. The entrance to the Francois Peron National Park is just up the road so we will spend a day or two there.
A nice picnic spot near the campsite

We thought we might get to test the caravans air conditioning system tonight as the temperatures have been around 28deg in the shade but the sea breeze has cooled things down a bit. The sun sets at around 6:30 in this part of the World and it gets dark very quickly. The sky is crystal clear and full of stars that are totally different to the ones in the UK. Some things don't change however; I still get put outside to do the cooking! (Yes I know, its gas but open fires are frowned upon in these parts)
The camp cook