Archives: 7th November 2001

Wednesday 7th November 2001, Exmouth Oz.

So – today we spent mainly on the road between Carnavon and Exmouth (about 370km). We stopped briefly after the Minilyn Roadhouse to prepare sandwiches for lunch. Then, a few miles further north, we stopped again for a ‘Kodak moment’ as we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn.

Using a piece of cling-film (… sticky-back plastic, and an empty Fairy Liquid bottle …) in true Blue Peter style (John Noakes would be proud of us!), we secured the digital camera to the mesh windscreen guard, and set the timer …

Right, I’ve got the timer sorted …

After a bit of experimentation, we managed to get quite a good shot of us both beneath the sign.

We arrived in Exmouth about 3pm and immediately tracked down Dive Ventures to organise some scuba diving on Ningaloo Reef. They set us up with two days’ diving and pointed us in the direction of the Exmouth Tourist Village: a holiday campsite, but with whom Dive Ventures share a dive boat.
Thus organised, we had a cup of tea back at the van, and watched a pair of emus scavenging in the campsite dustbins.

Sunday 4th November 2001, Kalbarri Oz.

Kalbarri has few places of interest (not even a museum), and is popular just as a seaside resort – perfect for chilling out. Brigid took some time out to bring the diary up to date, while John read his book. Then we packed a picnic lunch and walked round to the swimming beach.

It was extremely windy, but the water was warm and sheltered from the strong currents of the harbour entrance. As we walked back (lugging two folding chairs from the van, which turned out to be completely unnecessary, but which Brigid had insisted on bringing anyway …), we spotted a young woman attempting to learn to windsurf. The wind must have been gusting 30 knots, and would have tested even quite an experienced boarder, but she was determined not to give up as (under the critical eye of her boyfriend), she fell in over and over again. “That looks fun,” said Brigid. “T’riffic”, said John.

However, somehow we were persuaded that the winds would be lighter in the morning and perfect for beginners …

We ate out at Echoes Café, which also has Internet access. We spent over an hour on the computer before ordering our food – which then took over an hour to arrive at our table. Good though our meal eventually was, we didn’t like the way the owner thrust the credit card receipt under our noses with the total conspicuously missing. Tipping is not generally expected in Australia though, as one would expect, it is normal to reward exceptional service. Grudgingly, John filled at the total leaving a minimal 10%.