This morning I was up before the dawn and after stretching for a bit went out in what I hoped would be a quiet exit from the van so as not to wake Pam. It was still twenty minutes shy of five after all. Unfortunately the keys fell out of my pants’ pocket as I dressed. She turned over and sighed, but I don’t think she actually woke; just one of those ‘what is he up to now?’ sighs that no longer require consciousness at our age.

The beach was gorgeous at that hour. There was a fellow fishing with his son, but no one else around. There’s nothing quite like doing Tai Chi facing the Southern Ocean watching the sun come up over the headlands. It may be the same old routine I’ve been doing for years, but the view made all the difference.

I had a nice shower and gently woke Pam around six. It rained for about an hour so we had a leisurely cup of coffee or two and just read and chatted for a while. I managed to upload some blogs to our site, but the wifi wasn’t reliable enough to get the pictures up. After the rain stopped we packed up and left the site. It was a good thing we got an early start because by eight thirty when we left the campsite there was no water at all, not even enough to rinse our coffee cups. The later risers will not be pleased!

Albany was only five minutes down the road, and beyond that lay Flinders’ Peninsula, our destination for the morning. This is as far south as you can get in Western Australia, and there were some absolutely fantastic views to be seen. At the Gap we saw the ocean just pummel its way up a narrow channel, while the Bridge had been completely eroded away underneath while maintaining a giant arch of granite. At the Blowholes we listened to the waves pound straight upward through a narrow chute that exploded in sound right at our feet. Apparently on really stormy days the water will shoot up some 30 meters through this chute! All along the coast there rock outcroppings and beaches all pounded by the same magnificent swells. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

For lunch we drove around to Frenchman’s Bay and had a picnic in the van. We would have liked to linger longer but we had 600 clicks to cover back to Perth, and we wanted to get some of it behind us that afternoon. So after a wee kip we hit the road again and drove through the uninspiring Stirling Range on our way. The countryside was rolling wheatfields and sheep but we began to despair of finding a decent campsite before we rolled into Wagin just shortly after five. The campsite was not picturesque, but it was conveniently located and like all the sites we have stayed in, invariably well-equipped and clean. Our fellow campers were chatty and happy to share the only grill. One more site, just outside Perth, is just 250 kilometres away.

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