May 8 – I’m in Geraldton, where I’ve sort of wasted away for a week. It’s a pleasant little town, but there’s very little to do or see here. The local council in every town I’ve visited seems to have done its best to compile a list of interesting things to do and see, but they’re often over-rated, just a tad. One of the sights here is Allendale Pool, located about 30k’s inland from Geraldton. An advertisement describes it “as a stunning water hole naturally formed along the picturesque Greenough River … surrounded by magnificent Gum trees and a rocky gorge. Take a dip in the refreshing water then sit back and soak up the striking beauty Mother Nature has to offer. If you are feeling energetic climb the rocky peak from the creek that flows from Ellendale Pool. Stop for a picnic lunch or stay the night at the camp site.” Well, when you get there, yes there’s a pool in the creek, but its surrounded by signs warning you to stay away from the water or you might catch something – definitely don’t even think about jumping in for a swim and don’t climb the cliffs because people have fallen from the crumbling cliff face. Well OK, I ate my picnic lunch, but it was fly country, so I had to be very careful about opening my mouth to bite a sandwich. One guy was wearing one of those bee-keeper net hats – I think he may have been wearing black socks with his sandals too. I wasted a good photo-op here.
Here’s one of those controlled burns that farmers set, I think to prevent unexpected fires, but it may also help the next crop in some way and/or deal with unwanted critters?
(click on photos once to open, click again over an area to enlarge for a better view)
Today for an outing, I’m heading into town to the laundromat for some excitement. Tomorrow I’ll leave the coast and head inland to Mount Magnate and drive through the interior country on the way north to Karijini National Park. I’m looking forward to this and want to see the dry, rugged interior.
This guy’s living at this camp, making a living catching snakes. I didn’t ask how much he charges, but he says there’s lots of work. He gave me too much detail when he started talking about how Brown Snakes come into our houses and drink water from the dog’s bowl – another good reason not to have a dog. He catches snakes at a fee and releases them, he says, at least 2k’s away from a house. I think he said 2 (or was it 4?), as that’s the distance that they typically roam. If you see this car stop anywhere near your house unannounced, you may want to get your .303 out!
Geraldton is known for its sunshine – less than 80 cloudy days a year. The camp manager told me he’s only seen a couple of light showers in the last 6 months. Well, it POURED last night and heavy downfalls continue on and off today, combined with strong winds that rock the van back and forth. Lying in the caravan last night was like being stuck into a sardine tin and placed under Niagara Falls for the night!
3:30 PM, the rain is back, hammering down on my little roof, here in sunny Geraldton … laundry done though. I wonder if this thing floats?
Geraldton made the news recently when a boat carrying 66 Sri Lankan asylum seekers arrived unexpectedly in town. Their boat was flying the New Zealand flag (as if the Kiwis don’t already have enough trouble in Aussie). Seeing the town and its waterfront 1st hand helps you to visualize what a shock it must have been for the residents – thinking the bloody Kiwis had arrived! (photo courtesy of news.com.au and Graeme Gibbons)
The beach below is a stone’s through from Geraldton’s main street. On a fine day it’s a lovely little spot to lie in the sun or go for a swim. You can’t see it in this shot, given the conditions, but there’s a bathing platform anchored about 150 metres straight out there. I watched people swim out. I asked a local if they had shark nets in the bay? They gave me a look of shock, because they couldn’t countenance killing a shark that way! So, no shark nets and Great White sightings have been reported, so ….
7:30 PM – Darn, I missed out on fish and chips at a neat looking place on Fisherman’s wharf – maybe in Coral Bay? The rain hammers down and the wind has returned – rock and roll! Farewell Geraldton in the morning!