the weather forecast for the last few days was alarming. heavy rains and damaging winds across most of the western australian coast, from kalbarri all the way to the south. perth was going to get a good drenching which was ok because they had a dry autumn so far. probably because of that the people around albany were battling a bushfire which was fanned by the strong winds rather than quashed by the rain.
up in geraldton the rain wasn’t particularly heavy but the wind was rattling our caravan quite a bit; we almost got seasick. maybe this once a beachfront park wasn’t the best idea.
nevertheless the scenery was impressive. it’s always amazing what a few clouds will do to any ocean scene. we were lucky it didn’t rain as we were packing up. even the wind was taking it easy on us which was good or we would have been chasing our belongings across the park. we had to swap a few things between the car and the van and gave both a bit of a clean.
kris really wanted to get to kalbarri and we’d tried twice before. once we turned back to get the gearbox issues resolved and once we passed it to get to denham and monkey mia.
the pink lake on the way there (near port gregory) is … very pink. it would be even more so in the sunshine. the only thing that made us wonder was that on the other side of the lake we found a basf (chemical) factory. apparently they harvest naturally occurring beta-carotine which is used as a food dye. hm. but the smell?
the coast near kalbarri has seen it’s fair share of tragedy. the cliffs to the north of kalbarri are called the zuytdorp cliffs, after a dutch trading vessel that was lost here 300 years ago. the wreck was only discovered in the 20th century, although aborigial people in the area had known about the wreck and even pointed it out to settlers on some occasions. it is unknown if anyone survived that particular wreck but there is evidence that some dutch sailors have survived and been adopted by local aboriginals.
the second well-known wreck is the batavia, another dutch trading vessel. the ship sunk but most passengers survived – at least initially. when the senior officers left in a smaller boat to get help from batavia (jakarta) one of the junior officers, a religious fanatic, established a reign of terror. as a consequence more than 100 fellow survivers died at the hands of the mutineers, who were in turn executed when the captain returned from indonesia. karma?
even until fairly recently this coast claimed many victims and it’s not difficult to see how that would happed. there are no ‘soft’ landing spots … at least not many.
we really enjoyed the interplay of clouds and the sun. the wind was still pretty strong, although not as bad as the last few days, and unfortunately the sunset wasn’t as good as we hoped.
we’ll check the gorges of the murchison river tomorrow. hopefully we’ll have a bit more sun.
red, white and red. where have i seen that before?