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Travellers Tales - Western Australia - Perth to Coral Bay

Tales of travels from Perth to Coral Bay in Western Australia, highlighting places of interest such as the Pinnacles, Monkey Mia, Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Nigaloo Reef, and others found along the way.

My travelling companions and I left Perth in a depleted convoy of my campervan and one car, heading north along the coast to the Pinnacles. Anyone see Billy Connolly doing his naturist dance around them in his Tour of Australia TV series? Not quite so funny in real life (Billy not being there at the time) but spectacular none the less.

We reached Monkey Mia in time for yet another amazing sunset over the Indian Ocean. It's got to the stage where I'm becoming complacent about sunsets / sunrises, not being much of a romantic. The next morning involved an early rise, particularly for the girls who got up around 06.30 to see the feeding of the dolphins. I fell out of bed around 07.50 having been told the feeding occurred at 08.00. Not sure whether I forgot tell the girls ...

Having left Monkey Mia we drove to Shell Beach where instead of sand there were ... shells. Millions if not billions of tiny little white ones. We waded out into the bay and walked for hundreds of metres and never got to the edge of them. Quite an incredible occurence, blighted slightly by the ever-present fly. I used to watch docos on TV where people would be talking away quite happily with 2 or 3 flies sitting on their nose and squirm in my seat thinking don't they feel them crawling on their skin? I'm now well past that level of naivete. It takes dozens of them swarming around my face to make me exhale in their direction these days.

Following Shell Beach's sunbathing / swatting we stopped off to see an area of some of the oldest living creatures in the world; stromatolites in Shark Bay. They have apparently existed since prehistoric times and basically look like large mushroom shaped rocks but are actually living beings located in the tidal area of the beach.

We spent an interesting night at Wooramel Roadhouse where we were invited to join two station hands around their camp fire. They described how they spent two thirds of the year farming 500,000 acres along with two other hands; chasing sheep on motorbikes, killing snakes with wire whips, avoiding flash floods which reach 2m deep, having fun at backpackers' expense during harvest seasons ... apparently during the other third of the year it is too hot to work.

Having heard so much about the Nigaloo Reef we were disappointed to reach Coral Bay on only one of the three coral spawning days of the year. The spawn somehow depletes the water of any oxygen thereby killing all the fish in near proximity, resulting in a bay full of smelly dead fish. AnywayFeature Articles, more travellers tales another time.

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