Thursday, October 18, 2018
Final Note from Exmouth
As if one emu in the campground wasn’t enough for the tourists, the next morning a father emu followed by his 3 youngsters strolled past. Once the female has laid the eggs, it is dad who raises the chicks.
Beaches don’t come any more perfect for swimming than Coral Bay. Turquoise blue, fine sand, no rocks and a short walk from the caravan park.
We are still on the Ningaloo Reef here where the coral formations on the inside of the reef are much healthier than the now over-touristed Great Barrier Reef. Fortunately we’d seen it 25 years ago with Erin, Colin and Kate when it was still vibrant and colourful.
The catamaran was mostly under sail with only the occasional use of motor which made our 4 hours on the water wonderfully peaceful. The first snorkeling stop was over mostly brown coral but with schools of darting blue fish, zebra striped fish, large yellow/green/blue fish, what appeared to be long sea cucumbers and countless other sea creatures slipping in between the corals.
Later in the sail the wind, and consequently the swell increased so that snorkeling took more effort especially swimming into the current. But the coral was worth the work. Shapes varied from floral looking blooms to long branches to round mounds rising up from the seabed 10 – 15 feet or more. And the colours! Greens, rose and the most spectacular royal blue. At the end of long white coral spears startling blue tips gave the appearance of a blue Christmas tree light.
It pays to talk to fellow travelers in the camp kitchens. How else would we have come to Wooramel Station? This 365,000 acre or 1,430 square kilometre property raises sheep, goats and cattle. In Canada we would call this a farm or ranch; in Australia it is a station, property or downs and it needs to be large because the land cannot support many animals per acre.
Horses and calves wander the campground grazing and finding shade under the shade kitchen roof. One calf munched meagre grass not 4 feet (1+ metres) from where I was finishing my tea and book, camped under a magnificent river gum beside the dry and dusty riverbed. Whimsical works of art in iron were scattered throughout the camping area. The tip, or dump, housed relics of many decades – cars, truck, motorcycles, old motors, various bits of machinery and then the kitchen appliances. Wringer washing machines gave way to automatic machines, ice boxes sat next to fridges, then fridges with freezer compartment and finally, a computer. Why that should have a been so much fun I’m not sure but we loved the artistry (?) of it.
Come evening campers gathered round the campfire pit, beer/cider/wine in hand. The couple next to us were more “grey nomads,” people who have sold their business, house and only stored family treasures and their bedroom suite. Home now is a caravan pulled by a 4WD vehicle. After 6 months on the road they have no destination.
My treat was the warm artesian bore pool. Minerals in the water are said to be good for the body and that may be so but sitting there among eucalyptus with the smell of smoke from the firepit and the evening sun slanting onto the dry riverbed, oh how it felt good for the soul.