Travels Downunder – A Reminiscence: Part 13

Having swapped stories round the campfire near The Pinnacles our travellers move on to their next adventure…

Following on from our interesting overnight  bushcamp at Cervantes, we set off again heading north, following the coast as much as possible. The distances between places of any note in Western Australia can be quite large. It is wise to always set out with a full fuel tank and provisions as you can never be certain where you might get the chance to fill up again. Next stop was Geraldton, a moderate size city, (well it calls itself a city but it’s really only a moderate size town, population about 38 thousand) where we stopped for four nights. It is around this area that in spring is a magnet for visitors to see the wildflowers in the countryside. They really are spectacular and can carpet vast areas. Sadly for us it was approaching autumn so we were there at the wrong time of year for that. Some years later we made a subsequent visit in the spring and it was well worth the visit.

From Geraldton our next stop was Kalbarri, a small coastal town where we had an unfortunate adventure. We like to get out into the bush for walks as often as we can and we were recommended a particular walk which follows a river in a circular route and should have taken about four or five hours.

Signs at the start of the waymarked route advised us how much water we should take with us but also warned that recent flooding meant part of the route was not passable. We decided to give it a go even though we didn’t have the recommended amount of water. This almost proved fatal. After a couple of hours of walking we were attempting to follow the river but eventually realised that an awful lot of the waymarkers had been washed away in the floods. Suffice to say we got lost and having eaten our lunch we were now down to insufficient quantity of water. We carried on for another hour or so and eventually found our way back on what we thought was the right track. By this time our water was all gone and it looked like we still had a long way to go. Fortunately for us a young couple of hikers were on the same trail as us and eventually caught us up. By the time they reached us my wife was getting very lightheaded and disoriented,  and declared she couldn’t go on. Luckily this young couple had plenty of water which they shared with us and they stayed with us and guided us back to the start of the trail to where we had left our car. If they had not come along I dread to think what might have happened to us. It was a salutary lesson which we never forgot, and we made sure we never put ourselves in that situation again.

Having frightened ourselves we stayed an extra night and spent the next day recovering and resting before setting out again for the intriguingly named resort of Monkey Mia (there are no monkeys in Australia) which is in Shark Bay (there are lots of sharks in Australia )