Sunday, October 13, 2013
As The World Turns
Oct 14 (the blog automatically gets dated, you can tell we are a day ahead in Australia!)
Exmouth, Western Australia. It’s still a pretty isolated town. I felt that we had left the Outback but people here still calls this the Outback. We really like Exmouth. It feels like a small, laid-back beach town which might become really popular in a few years. It has a small centre with dive shops, a bakery, a grocery store. I have been to towns that boasted being famous for their wine, their cheese, having a giant lobster, or something like that. Exmouth holds the record for strongest mainland wind gust, measuring 267 kph! While we are here, it’s been trying to break that record. Very windy but that’s actually nice when it’s hot.
But Exmouth is also very different from what we expected. I had imagined the west coast to be a different landscape - hills, greener. I guess that’s because I’m a North American west coaster. Here the west coast, at least so far, is simply desert. Red rocks, shrub, even termite mounds right up to the ocean. There literally is only a row of sand dunes in between desert and reef.
Oh, that reef. I’ll let you in on a secret...
We’ve all heard of the Great Barrier Reef. The west coast, has a similar reef. A bit smaller but still some 300 KM long... and this one is RIGHT off the main land. You don’t need to take an expensive cruise. You don’t need to go way out at 50 knots an hour... You simply put on your mask and snorkel, wade out into the turqoise water and voila.... coral bommies all around, red fish, blue fish, yellow fish too. It’s awesome.
Kees has graduated to wearing shorts, flipflops and a tan. We camped in town first where, to our amazement, a huge emu visited us. Then we found THE best spot in the entire Nigaloo Reef National Park - right off the beach with a view of the water and sand. The draw back is that national park campgrounds have no facilities. So we went unplugged and loved it. No TV! Yet we watched As The World Turns and The Blue Lagoon.
We had wine with fellow campers, listened to stories of kite surfing and sailing on the blue corral lagoon. Kangaroos lazed around us in the shade. Then we made dinner and watched the sun set. We watched blues fade to orange, pink, gray-blue. And then we slept, for about 12 hours. But I kept peeking out and saw the moon make a trail across the starry sky, until it was as large and orange as the sun. It slowly sank into the ocean to make way for another day.
At first light, we sipped tea and skinny dipped in the Indian Ocean.
And the best part? It’s Monday morning!