We left Exmouth this a morning at around 8.30am. I really enjoyed Exmouth as it was so relaxed and there were lots of things to see and do. But it was time to venture on and we drove only 155km down the road until we reached Coral Bay.
Coral Bay is still part of the Ningaloo Marine Park, so we spent the morning at the beach. The water seemed a lot warmer today, so we didn't mind going in for a dip. We both tucked into a meat pie from the bakery for lunch before heading back down to the beach to watch the fish being fed.
The fish were obviously used to being fed at the same time three times a week as they were already there waiting for their food. The lady running the activity handed out a load of fish pellets so everyone was able to feed the hungry snappers which were swimming between our legs.
The campsite was full when we arrived so we settled for the overflow car park, even though you had to pay the same price but use the amenities across the road. Nonetheless, we needed somewhere to stay so we made camp here for the night.
Treated ourselves to homemade pizzas from the restaurant at the campsite opposite us, which meant we could grab a few drinks too. Then settled for an early night as we had planned to head to Monkey Mia tomorrow and you can't prebook unpowered sites. Hopefully there will be one available when we arrive!
Animal count: We saw a school of snapper fish during the feeding session at the beach.
8216 + 155 = 8,371km completed.
Up and ready by 7am this morning as we had decided we would stop along the way to eat breakfast. It has been very chilly this morning, but hopefully it will brighten up as the day goes on.
Maybe I spoke too soon, as the weather decided to be overcast all day, just our luck. However, we arrived at Monkey Mia by 2.30pm and thankfully there was a campsite available.
We layered up and decided to take a walk around the complex. We strolled along the pier and saw 2 wild dolphins swimming around, it seemed the weather wasn't affecting their moods.
There was a large chess set outside the restaurant so we couldn't pass without having a game. Turns out Leigh used to be on the chess team in Primary School, not that that helped him as he lost twice.
We then cooked some burgers on the bbq before taking shelter from the rain at the backpackers bar. It would be rude not to grab a few drinks as we were on holiday (I'm not an alcoholic I promise), whilst we watched the lightening striking over the sea. I think we are going to be in for a wet night.
Animal count: We saw 2 wild dolphins swimming by the pier. Hopefully we will see some more tomorrow.
8371 + 588 = 8,959km completed.
Another early start today as we had to be on the beach by 7.45am for a briefing about how to interact with the wild dolphins. But before that I had to find my flip flops which had been washed away by the torrential rain last night. So after sludging around in a puddle which completely covered my ankles, I found my flip flops 6 caravans down.
It wasn't soon after the briefing that we were lucky enough to see 6 wild dolphins swimming extremely close to the shore. Leigh was very lucky and was chosen as one of the people who got to feed them. The dolphin he fed was named Surprise. The dolphins hung around all morning, as they could be fed up to 3 times a day. We stayed to watch all three feelings as it's not often you get to be so close to these magnificent creatures.
We got a beer at the bar at lunchtime and chilled by the sea for the rest of the afternoon as the weather improved. We could resist a few more games of chess, still no win for Leigh though. By the time we had finished it was happy hour at the backpackers bar, a perfect time to pick up a few cheap drinks before bed. Please don't rain again tonight!
Animal count: The amazing dolphins which kept swimming close to the shore all day and 3 very large Pelicans.
8959 + 0 = 8,959km completed.
It was time to leave Monkey Mia this morning, there were a few slight showers but it wasn't one before the Sun came out. We started to head towards Perth.
Before we completely left Shark Bay, we stopped at Hamelin Pool to see the worlds best known sight for stromatolites (brown rock like formations made up of microbes almost identical to those that existed 1900 billion years ago). I have to admit they just looked like rocks in the water to me, but never mind.
We then just stopped for fuel and made some driving progress. It has rained on and off all day today, you can tell we are back in the South of Australia!
We stopped at Geraldton for a few supplies and booked up a room to stay in Perth as we both didn't want to spend a few days stuck in the car if it was going to rain.
Found a roadside stop, cooked some soup then watched Shooter on the iPad as yet again it was raining and everyone else was retreating to their cosy caravans. We keep forgetting it is Winter here so it is not going to be sunny all the time, but a little bit of sunshine wouldn't hurt anyone.
Animal count: We saw a family of wild goats.
8959 + 564 = 9,523km completed.
We left by 8am today and and arrived in Perth by lunchtime. After we checked into our room, showered and done 2 loads of washing (Which we ended up having to turn our room into a Chinese Laundry as the tumble dryer didn't dry it all properly), we went exploring around Freemantle. Unfortunately we missed the markets, so we just decided to walk around in the cold, rubbish weather. We stopped for a late lunch and came across Spud Bar, which is now my new favourite fast food outlet.
As the weather wasn't great at all, we trained back to the hostel, picked up a few snacks and then took an early night. We will brave the rest tomorrow.
Animal count: None.
9523 + 391 = 9,912km completed.
We took the train to City West to do a bit of shopping around the discount outlets, before heading back to the city centre. I had heard he Belł Tower was worth a visit, so we took a stroll down to it to find it was closed as work was being completed around it. Typical! We did that to do some tourist things but everything seemed to be against us, so shopping it was. We should have gone to the science museum but we found it a little too late.
Now there is a company in Perth called Sweet Lips which is meant to sell the best fish and chips in Australia. So we thought we would give it a try, turns out it was just like every other chip shop in Australia, rubbish! I'm afraid it just doesn't compare to Aldeburgh.
It hasn't been the most successful day today, but never mind.
Animal count: None.
9912 + 0 = 9,912km completed.