Thursday, 27 August 2015

Road Trip Part 4: Broome to Exmouth

Day 15:
We left Broome at 8am this morning and stopped off at Woolworths to pick up some milk before heading further South. The radio didn't sound very positive about the weather that we were heading into. It sounds like it is just constantly raining! So hopefully by the time we get there it might have brightened up a bit.
On route we stopped at the 80 mile beach, where we found lots of pretty shells. My Mother will be so pleased to take them back in her suitcase when she comes to visit in September. 

We then travelled until we were about 100km from Port Headland where we found another road side stop. This meant no shower tonight, just another smelly long drop toilet and more soup for dinner! 
Let's hope we wake up to sunshine tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Animal count: When we stopped for lunch at the Roadhouse there was an albino peacock. It was a truly magnificent bird and obviously quite a rare sight to see. Unfortunately I didn't have my phone on me at the time to take a picture, so you will just have to take my word for it.

6578 + 541 = 7,119km completed.

Day 16:
It was a very foggy start this morning and all the bits we had left outside over night were nice and damp. Oops! Even though it wasn't sunny this morning, we still seemed to get up at 6.30am and had left the site by 7.30am. We headed towards Exmouth where we were hoping to spend a few days and hopefully the weather might be a bit better too.
Our lunch stop was at a lovely modern town called Karratha. You couldn't see the town from the main road and it felt very random having this little spot in the middle of nowhere, but it was a nice little surprise. 
We kept driving throughout the afternoon until we arrived at a rest stop about 50km from Pannawonica. It was a wifi hotspot as well which was perfect as we were told Exmouth is quite small and can be hard to get a site in peak season, so this gave me the opportunity to prebook somewhere online.
We had a nice change of chicken pasta for dinner by the roadside. Obviously it was all washed down nicely with a few beers.

I am really looking forward to going to Exmouth tomorrow as it is a brilliant spot to see some amazing sea creatures. Hopefully luck will be in our favour. 

Animal count: We didn't see anything special today.

7119 + 430 = 7,549km completed.

Day 17:
The plan was to get to Exmouth today, which could easily be completed. I am truly looking forward to a hot shower. So we grabbed some weetabix and set off.
We arrived at Exmouth around 12.30pm and couldn't check in until 2pm, so we stopped at the visitors centre to see what we could do during our stay. There were lots of tours to swim with Whale Sharks, and as much as we both really wanted to do it, it was a bit out of our budget especially if we were hoping to dive the Great Barrier Reef later on in the year. So we picked up a load of leaflets and decided we would have a think about it.
Once we arrived at the campsite, we realised they had given us a gigantic plot which was way too big for our minimal equipment. As it doesn't take us long to set up our table and chairs and the weather was still warm, we took a stroll along the Town Beach. This beach didn't really compare to the eighty mile beach we had visited previously, however it was a nice afternoon stroll.

We then took the car towards the lighthouse as this was meant to be a good spot to view the sunset. We stopped at the car park just before the lighthouse and I am so glad we did. Shooting water from their blowholes and splashing their tails in the water were Humpback Whales. They were a good few kilometres away, but still in the calm waters they were easy to spot. We saw at least 3 different whales, unfortunately iPhones don't quite cut it for this level of photography so we didn't get any decent pictures. But it did help us to make our minds up on which tour we would like to complete whilst we were here.
Let's go whale spotting!

Animal count: 3 beautiful Humpback Whales (the first time I have ever seen whales) cruising through the sea.

7549 + 407 = 7,956km completed.

Day 18:
Nice early start of 6.30am this morning, the perfect time to get some washing done before the mad rush of caravan owners arise. We had our breakfast and set off to book our whale watching tour. We had to book the tour for tomorrow, which meant we also had to book another night Exmouth. Not that we were complaining, there are a lot worse places to stay than here. This also meant it gave us the day to explore the surrounding beaches.
We headed to Turquoise Bay in Ningaloo Marine Park and straight away realised we should have brought some snorkel gear with us as the reef was extremly close to the waters edge. We will have to remember for next time, so instead we soaked up the sun and went for a quick dip.
We then went to Oyster Stacks to see the coral which is even closer to the shoreline and can only be snorkeled during high tide.

Next we drove to the lighthouse on the top of the hill, we weren't sure whether Maggie would make it up such a steep incline but she did. The views were beautiful but we saw no whales today.
The final stop of the day was to Mildura Wreck, where you can see an old cattle ship which is half submerged in the water. We couldn't go the whole day without and ice cream, so stopped off on the way back to camp.
Treated ourselves to steak and cous cous for dinner.
Feeling like a little child again, I can't wait for tomorrow and hopefully we get to see lots of whales.

Animal count: We saw a school of fish in the ocean which came jumping out of the water whilst we were soaking up the sun on the beach.

7956 + 134 = 8,090km completed.

Day 19:
Today we spent the morning at Bundegi Beach. There was a cool breeze but the sun was still shining brightly. We sat watching people trying to sea fish from the shore. There were 3 couples and all 3 couples caught nothing whilst we were there. We stayed at the beach until lunchtime, before heading back to the caravan site to cook some lunch and get ready for the whale watching trip this afternoon.
The whale watching trip was amazing. We took a large boat (there was only 21 people on the tour, so it wasn't cramped at all) out to sea and it wasn't long before the Humpback Whales were popping up all over the place along by the reef. A baby whale even breeched out of the water right in front of us. It was such a brilliant experience and I took so many snaps of just the water where I was too mesmerised by the whales to press the camera button quick enough. Overall I took 147 photos, I deleted 100 before getting back to camp. This is definitely another situation where a decent camera would have been ideal but the trusty iPhone done ok. Nonetheless that is another experience ticked off my bucket list, my mother will be so jealous!

Whilst aboard the boat they stocked us up with loads of canap├ęs, Turkish bread, sticks and dip and delicious locally caught prawns. Leigh still frowns at the idea of having to remove the shell off the prawn before eating it, but they were well worth the mess.
We arrived back at camp by 7.30pm, we had eaten way too much aboard the boat so we skipped dinner and just chilled out for the evening.
It is definitely going to be hard to top this day anytime soon!

Animal count: Humpback Whales galore!

8090 + 126 = 8,216km completed.

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