Expectations and False Dawns

Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,

By Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan of Stealers Wheel

Stuck in the middle of Jurien Bay with MTC. Not a bad place really and she is a great companion. We have our tiffs but she urges me on to do things and keeps it all lively. I like to think I do the same with her. Although I did refuse to join in the swim this morning. Too bloody cold. We have been parked here for over six weeks now and had hoped that Western Australia would open up internal state travel soon. Well, they have from 18th May. But guess what. They have restricted travel within four regions in the state and we can only go south. Who wants to go south in winter for crying out loud. And we can go to the pub from the 18th as well. Well 20 of us can if we sit in groups of bugger all and get and pay for our drinks with a broom handle. All in the public good I suppose.

The Pinnacles – overlooking the Indian Ocean, W.A.

We have been able to travel in our region – the Wheatfields – for a week now so took a little trip to the Pinnacles. This natural wonder in the Nambung National Park covers some 190 hectares in its desert like setting. The Pinnacles, which are exactly that, were formed from limestone deposits produced from seashells broken down to lime filled sands about 25,000 years ago. Like skeletal fingers pointing skyward these deposits have been exposed and covered again over the years through wind and water erosion. These rock formations some standing over 3 metres were last exposed about 600 years ago. We walked the track through the thousands of sandy coloured pinnacles for some four kms although it is possible to drive around the park. The natural beauty is a stark reminder of the power of nature with the wind blown desert sands shifting around us as we looked down over the cobalt blue of the vast Indian Ocean. Some 800,000 visitors enjoy this place each year. We were effusively greeted in a modern visitor centre by the two centre staff who informed us that we were the first visitors in ten days. Beforehand the park ranger had driven by during our walk to “check” that we were ok. We thought wanting something to do was more likely. The park is also home to a diversity of flora and fauna including West Australian grey kangaroos, emus, black cockatoos, sand goannas, pythons and a great variety of insects including the desert cockroach. Candlestick banksia, coastal wattle (low lying), fanflower and cockies tongue are just some of the plants found here. If you are ever near here a visit is highly recommended.

Mt Lesueur National Park – 20 kms inland from Jurien Bay

We also took a walk in Mt Leseuer National Park some 20 kms inland. We walked the four kms return bush walk to the top of Mt Lesueur itself, 313 metres at its highest point. The trail through low scrub and bush is periodically marked with boards noting the bush and flower species. The park is famous for its wildflowers. Unfortunately the season starts around June so we missed what is apparently an outrageous show of colour and scent. Nevertheless, the walk was spectacular in itself with views over the native bush and towards the coast. The park is effectively vast areas of shrubland and smaller woodland pockets and is home to over 900 indigenous plant species, many quite rare. These include the Forest wattle, Mt Lesueur grevillea and laterite malee. Named after the French natural history artist Charles Lesueur it was also mapped in 1839 by George Grey – twice Governer of New Zealand.

We have set our sights on Kalbarri when the travel restrictions lift. We made the short journey from Jurien to Greenhead. A lovely little beachside caravan park in a town of 300 locals which becomes 3,000 in the summer. Not unlike the original Hahei before the Auckland elite discovered it. A general store/petrol station, takeaways (closed), a boutique hotel (guesthouse) with restaurant (closed other than takeaway coffee) and many holiday homes. Most of the holiday houses are empty as it is not possible to travel north from Perth. The bonus though is Simon (Seemon) and Lucy. They work in the “boutique hotel” cheffing (takeaway meals) and maintaining the rooms. Originally from Bretagne, northern France they are on travel visas and decided to stay on in Australia after the lockdown. The highlight of our day is a flat white (espresso for MTC of course) and a demi-heure of French. Obviously. How lucky can you be.

7 thoughts on “Expectations and False Dawns

    1. Thanks Judy Hope you and Alan are keeping safe. Funny times. Regards Mike and Margaret

      On Mon, 18 May 2020, 2:25 pm Travels With Mr Gato Downunder, wrote:



  1. Ode to Mr Gato

    Oh Mr Gato how you’ve erred

    Your reputation is now slurred

    From authorities you’ve been hounded

    Caught you could’ve been impounded

    Destined for the Old Perth Gaol

    Family contributing to put up bail

    Your crime not a stolen crust

    Your loss of freedom seemed unjust

    A tricky plan, a secret slip

    Not the average roading trip

    But once you’d made it safe and sound

    Felt the warmth of new land found

    Quietly parked beyond reproach

    A silent solemn camping coach

    A four the usual boundary score

    But on the Western Front it is much more.



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