Day 3-5 Monkey Mia to Exmouth via Coral Bay
31.10.2011 - 02.11.2011 30 °C
Monkey Mia: Rise at 5am for sunrise on Monday to see the sunrise over the ocean and to catch a glimpse of the dolphins that come into the shore every morning. The 9 of us from the trip sit on an otherwise deserted beach and wait patiently and we are not disappointed. It's amazing how close these creatures will come. We were spoiled really as one of the dolphins had brought her 5 day old calf with her! We watched the official feeding about an hour later from the beach as the researchers did their work. Not a tacky souvenir or show in sight! We hit the road again stopping at the ocean park aquarium to see sharks, stingrays, turtles and lots of fish! Eagles's bluff is next in search of dugons, kinda like a large sea cow! Stop in Carnarvon for fuel - this place is so vast you fill up with fuel at every opportunity! One pump we saw had $900 clocked on the display! Rare opportunity for cellphone reception here which is great. Will be a few days before we have it again and there's birthday phonecalls to make!We arrive into Coral Bay after dark and have dinner and drinks, its a pity we didn't think of fancy dress for Halloween!
Melbourne Cup day means some places are closed in Coral Bay on Tuesday so we just hire snorkelling gear for $10 and head to the beach while some go on a glass bottomed boat trip. Fiona and I head out to sea and are amazed at the amount of coral so close to the shore. Getting used to the snorkelling now, especially the breathing, after a dodgy start in New Zealand. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours and as we've been to the aquarium we can identify some of the fish! Not that I can remember all the names now! I'm amazed at the abundance of colour on the ocean floor - this coral is part of the Ningaloo Reef.
Exmouth is our next stop which is only 90 minutes away. A small town built up only in the 60s principally due to NASA's telecommunications site just outside the town. Have an Italian night in honour of Viviana who's been feeling homesick lately. Meet some more Irish here who are heading south to do their regional work. We visit Yaride Creek on Wednesday to see if we can spot any black-footed wallabies and the Milyering Visitor Centre where I encounter my first Oz bush loo! An interesting concept - think long drop! Turquoise Bay is next for some snorkelling and to just relax before our big drive to Karanjini on Thursday. Don't spend as long in the beautiful crystal clear water today as I got kinda scorched the day before (Joanne I know you warned me!). Edel and Viviana aren't so confident in the water so its great they get in on the action today as the coral is very close to the shore here. Fiona went seeking shade from the sun and ended up babysitting a 2year old German girl while her parents went snorkelling for half an hour........they didn't show up for 2 hours despite our attempts to get their attention! Now I know things can be lost in translation but she actually came back telling us about the turtles she was swimming with, not bothered that her kid had been left with a complete stranger for all that time! Not even a thank you! The race was now on to get to the lighthouse for sunset as we were delayed here. Brendo sped off down the road and we were just pulling up in time, well almost. As we tore down to the viewing point the sun set! The people there thought we were crazy but it was some laugh even though we were disappointed to miss it - worse still it was only by a couple of seconds! Don't think the Kangaroo we hit en route would have found it funny but I think he was lucky to come off with just a headache! These things can jump out at you anywhere! It's really dangerous!