Kalbarri, Western Australia


(Click any picture to enlarge it.)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Leaving Denham
Denham will forever be fixed in our memory for the night the wind defeated us. It was so intense, the shaking of the car so vigorous, and the sound of the whistling wind so harsh and unsettling, that at 9:00 pm, having gone to bed at 8:15 on a cool 15 degree evening, we unzipped our sleeping bags and got dressed. Geoff collapsed the tent and we slept in in the front seats of the car! We had a surprisingly good night in comparison to the previous windy night upstairs.

As compensation, in fact more than compensation, we drove in the early morning to the hot bore tub at the historic sheep station we’d visited the day before only this morning we were the only people in the place. Birds sang, muscles relaxed, and we began the day in great spirits.

Kalbarri National Park
Some days beg for superlatives. This is one of those days.

The sermon at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Kalbarri was theologically grounded, though like all the sermons I have heard in Western Australia it was from the epistles. In only one service has there even been a reading from the gospels which leaves me wanting to hear more about Jesus and less about Paul. The upside was that pastor and I had a really good chat afterwards. I am always seeking to build relationships across the theological divide in the Anglican Church with the Diocese of Toronto and the Diocese of Western Australia on different sides of that divide. So in spite of my early misgivings, our conversation was a good beginning to the day.

This afternoon we followed the park road south along the coast. At one lookout the woman beside me was scanning the ocean with binoculars. “Are you seeing whales?” I asked, which led to another conversation. “Weren’t you on the snorkeling cruise out of Coral Bay?” her husband asked, which led to a longer conversation about my chat on the boat with her husband’s sister who migrated from Scotland to Perth in 1988 and how this woman and her husband have just recently also migrated here from Scotland. To be in a place where we know no one, and then to find a connection however recent and tenuous, feels like a gift.

Then there were whales – many whales far out to sea but still visible as they rose from the water falling back in a spume of white spray. Again and again and again. Watching is sheer delight. Why do they expend all this energy? Is there a scientific reason, or is it, as I like to believe simply joie de vivre?

We walked from the headland down to a beach surrounded by red and gold and sand coloured sandstone shaped into waves by eons of water and wind. Overhangs create sheltered caves where I half expected to find aboriginal art.

At dinner in the local brew pub part covered with a wood stove for warmth in the evening, wasn’t there yet another conversation with a couple at a nearby table that I’d seen in church. They were explaining to the waiter that this was their 1st anniversary. He was 80, she 75. So I introduced myself as having seen them at the morning service. He told me that they and their spouses had been friends for years and had each nursed their spouses through long illnesses. Neither were looking for another relationship but…drives to church led to dinners together and friendship to love. Frieda said that this past year has been the happiest of her life, every day an extended honeymoon. They held hands entering and leaving church and the restaurant. Life is filled with the unexpected Frieda continued, every day is important.

A day of sheer delight and gratitude for Norm and Frieda’s joyous loving.

And did I mention laundry!!! My favorite caravan park activity – hanging sheets on the line in the wind and sun.

October 23, 2018
On the way from Kalbarri to Geraldton, where we are now in the library we passed Pink Lake also known as Hutt Lagoon. Pink as can be with salt crystals ringing the lagoon, it is filled with an algae that makes it the strangest coloured body of water I have seen.

Note to readers
We are on the road for the next few days and then into Perth to exchange the LandCruiser for a car and a quick drive to Margaret River – the land of chocolate, mango yoghurt, wine, Saturday Farmer’s Market, our anniversary on the 28th and one of my favorite churches in Australia.

So no blog entries until the end of October. Keep warm and enjoy Hallowe’en.

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