Day 183 – 185: Port Denison
We are heading into Geraldton this morning as there are a few things on the shopping list that we haven’t been able to pick up in the small townships that we have been staying at.
The Port of Geraldton is a major west coast seaport. Geraldton is an important service and logistics centre for regional mining, fishing, wheat, sheep and tourism industries. Their population is just over 32,000. We spend the day shopping, it’s great to have a retail therapy fix. I can’t believe I only took 2 photos for the whole day. I was amused with the rubics cube toilet block on the waterfront though.
The alarm goes off at 6.00am this morning so that I can get organised for my monthly conference call. It’s a shock to the system after sleeping in most days in this cold weather. We’ve started to use the heater in the van of a morning and it is quite effective.
After morning tea we head up to the lookout to walk along the river trail. The trail begins at the top of the hill and we take the staircase down to the river. It’s about a 3.5km walk so it shouldn’t take us long.
There is plenty of flora along the riverbank and the reflections are really putting on a show. I’m busy snapping away on my camera so this walk is going to take a bit longer than expected. There are several boardwalks that go right out to the river and further along the walk the river meets the ocean. The return walk is uphill and not overly challenging. The view from the lookout is very picturesque overlooking where the river and ocean meet.
Heading back into town we decide to have a late lunch at a cute little church that has been converted to a coffee shop. It sits right beside the Anzac Memorial Park. The Memorial Park has a beautiful rose garden, a mosaic mural and a wreath of poppies made from clay. It is such a lovely creative tribute to our soldiers.
We have a lengthy chat with the owner who also owns another small cafe along the beachfront near the caravan park where we are staying. He gives us lots of information about nearby places to stay. Andrew orders a steak and caramelised onion turkish bread and I have the frittata. The owner picks the fresh herbs from the front garden to garnish our lunch. Both meals where absolutely delicious so if you are ever visiting Dongara make sure you visit Poppies for a meal. Cinta was so tired she fell asleep sitting up at the table while she was waiting for us to finish our lunch!
Another cold morning and a late start to the day. We are both reluctant to get up as we are snug and warm in the van enjoying our cuppa in bed. I have a bit of work to catch up on this morning and then it’s time to make a few calls to family and friends.
This afternoon we take a walk along the boardwalk and beachfront where the river meets the ocean. The pelicans are sitting along the riverbank and as I slowly approach one of them throws his head right back and his beak opens wide almost like he is laughing his head off. I zoomed in as much as I could on my iPhone but I really wished that I had bought my camera with me.
We’ve met some nice people here at the park during our four day stay and Dongara is certainly a place that we could see ourselves living at. It is a very picturesque seaside village and the locals have been very welcoming.
Wildlife: cows, sheep, dead fox, alpacas, horses, black cockatoos, swans, pelicans, willy wagtails, wrens
Day 186 – 187: Port Denison to Jurien Bay
It’s 7 degrees this morning, the heater is on again and we are slowly getting ourselves ready for the next leg of the journey. We are heading for Jurien Bay along the Indian Ocean Drive for 3 nights. We are almost ready to go when our neighbours come out for a chat. They are moving onto our site when we leave so that they can get a bit more sunshine.
It’s 9.40 by the time we get on the road and it’s warmed up to 15 degrees. We’ll be travelling 130km today. Every now and then we have a glimpse of the Indian Ocean, it looks amazing. Along the way we call into Green Head to have some morning tea. We find a small cafe at Dynamite Bay and I’m greeted by a young lad with a beautiful smile. The scone menu reads: plain, savoury, fruit, date & walnut, pumpkin. My mouth is already watering. Andrew has plain as he is not very adventurous when it comes to the palette and I have the fruit scone. It was absolutely mouth watering with big pieces of fruit throughout and fresh raspberry jam and cream.
Across the road is the lookout over Dynamite Bay so we take a walk up the hill. Wow, it is very pretty. There are kids swimming in the ocean and we can just imagine how cold that water is as we are all rugged up – they must be locals.
Back in the car and we arrive at Apex Camp Jurien just before lunch. We take a powered site at $20. The welcome is not overly friendly and the place looks very disorganised & run down. I’m taken to one site then told that’s no good there’s no water available there and then taken to another site and told to park across the front of two other vans as they are there for a couple of weeks & wont be going anywhere. I’m a bit miffed and immediately decide two nights will do here instead of three.
Andrew is trying to park the van in a difficult spot and the woman comes over & is trying to tell him what to do so we are both feeling a bit frustrated. It’s very disorganised! We set up, have some lunch and head into town to have a look around. We find the Jetty and head out for a walk – no dogs allowed so Andrew waits near the car while I stroll out for a look. There are some lovely mosaic fish along the pathway and further along a lovely mural painted on the amenities block by the children of Jurien.
This morning we are taking a drive down to the Pinnacles, situated in the Nambung National Park. Cinta is staying at the caravan while we take the 41km drive. It’s 13 degrees at 9.25am when we leave and there is light rain along the way. The entrance fee is $13 per vehicle and there is a 4km one-way drive through thousands of limestone pillars rising out of the yellow sand. Some stand to 3.5m in height and can be jagged, sharp-edged columns and others resemble tombstones. Watch the short video below to take a drive with us through some of the desert.
The Pinnacles are believed to have formed underground, possibly up to 500,000 years ago during the Ice Ages. They may have remained buried for most of this time or have been repeatedly exposed and buried again over the millennia. Evidence suggests that they were exposed around 6000 years ago but were again covered by shifting sands until only a few hundred years ago.
Heading back to Jurien Bay we take a short detour into Cervantes. We considered staying here however the price of the only caravan park in town at $57 per night was a bit pricey for us. We decided to check the small seaside village out anyway and stop in at the cafe on the beachfront for a very late morning tea. The vanilla slice and carrot cake were delicious.
On the road back to the Indian Ocean Drive is an amazing 350kg Dhufish sculpture which was made by the Cervantes Men’s Shed and further along a metal weather vane.
Back at Jurien, Cinta is very excited to see us back home. The wind is blowing a gale and the drizzling rain is setting in. The afternoon is spent inside the van catching up on my blog.
Wildlife: 2 baby emu, magpies, galahs, horses, cattle.
Day 188-189: Jurien Bay to Ledge Point
We are packed up and leaving Jurien Bay by 9.35am. It’s warmed up to 15 degrees and we’ll be travelling 125km today.
Ledge Point is a small seaside village with one caravan park which has very good reviews on Wikicamps. It’s a really large park with beautiful green grassy sites that have plenty of room to put the awning out and park the car on the site as well. The longer you stay the better the discount. We decide to stay 3 nights as I have a bit of work to catch up on. There is only 2 other caravans here so we have the luxury of driving through the site to park. We are set up in no time and Cinta is enjoying rolling around on the grass.
Andrew sets up the TV and there is no reception here. I test the wifi connection and it’s not looking good at all. We are just over 100km from Perth and this would have to be the worst reception we have had in quite some time. It looks like there will be no work being done after all. Thanks heavens we have some Netflix shows downloaded that we can watch of an evening.
We decide to take a drive around the village to see what is on offer and head up to the lookout. The view is really picturesque overlooking the golf course, the Indian Ocean, tracks through the sand dunes and the township. With a population of around 200 people there is not a lot here. The local shop is closing down at the end of the month so locals will need to travel to nearby Lancelin for groceries. There is a country club & cafe which are both open on the weekends.
This morning we’re taking a drive into Lancelin to have a look around. We stop outside the house with the surf board fence so that I can get some photos. Next up is a drive along the beachfront and we stop at the Jetty. It’s blowing an absolute gale and starting to drizzle. Back in the car we head further along to the lookout. There is a lovely boardwalk to the top which overlooks the sand dunes and the township. It is so cold and the wind is so strong. Here’s a short clip of the view; the audio is not very good as the wind was so strong.
There’s a lovely bakery and on a cold winters day it’s time to have a nice hot pie for lunch before heading back to the park.
That’s all for this week, it’s been a relaxing a few days at Ledge Point and during next week we’ll be making our way to our 9 week property sit at Whitby.
Wildlife: dead pig, seagulls, galahs, black cockatoos.
Week 27 total expenses: $873.80 – we’re hoping to keep the expenses down during our property sit!
That’s a wrap for Week 27 of the Lap of the Map.
PS: Don’t forget to leave me a comment!