Saturday 3rd November 2001, Kalbarri Oz.

Before setting off for Kalbarri, we had to stop to see the “stromatolites”. To look at, they are really quite dull – just brown cowpat-like objects visible in the shallow water at the edge of Lake Thetis.

But these ‘living fossils’ are 1,200 years old and are identical to those found in other parts of Australia dating back 3.5 million years! In other words, these simple life forms actually date back to the earliest primeval sludge, from which all other life is said to have descended!

We took a couple of photos and then headed north up the Brand Highway. At lunchtime we stopped at the historical hamlet of Greenough, which our guidebook described as “a rather well restored 19th Century pioneer farming hamlet”.

Brigid took great delight in locking John in one of the gaol’s tiny cells while she took his photo through the ‘wicket gate’. He got his own back by making her pose in the dock of the old court room.

OK, I won’t call you ‘Fatso’ any more. I promise!

There was a wedding due at 2.30pm and we were told that the bride was to arrive in a pony trap. It seemed like a good photo-opportunity, so we hung around until she arrived – typically late, at 2.45pm.

We reached Kalbarri by 5pm, picking easily the best campground and site in the town – just across the road from the beach. “No visit would be complete”, said the guidebook without a visit to Findlays Fresh Fish BBQ in Magee Crescent.”

We located Findlays at about 6.30pm, and it was already busy. Unfortunately the guidebook had neglected to mention that the restaurant was BYO (‘Bring Your Own’ wine, beer, etc.), so we had to go back to the bottle shop. Other than that, the evening was perfect. The BBQ jewfish wings were delicious with honey and chilli sauce, and our table in the courtyard was lit by the glow of an open fire. We stopped at the pub on the way home for a nightcap.