This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2000 Travels November 5

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SUNDAY 5 NOVEMBER      DENHAM

I was able to walk down the street and buy the Weekend Australian.

The day was sunny but not hot.

Got ourselves organized with a packed lunch and drove a short way out the road towards Monkey Mia, then turned north to go to the Peron National Park.

The Francois Peron National Park, to give it the full title, extends across the top part of the peninsula. It was a sheep property until 1990, and became a National Park in 1993.

11-05-2000 peron np.JPG

The road went to the old homestead. Beyond that point, the tracks through the Park are very much 4WD, so we let air out of the tyres before going any further.

Today’s mission was to explore more of the Park than we’d had the chance to do in ’93. So we followed the track towards the tip of the peninsula. It was varied going that Truck handled well. In parts, we churned through sand. The only part that we had any concern about was where the track skirts the edges of birridas – salt pans that look dry but have major mud bogs under them – the sort that bury vehicles! They are to be treated with great caution and the tracks are not to be deviated from. We hoped the tracks of others, that edged these, were on reliable ground.

11-05-2000 12 birrida peron np

Birrida – claypan. The track skirted this.

Towards the end of the Cape, we deviated to the left on a track that took us to Bottle Bay. Had our lunch there and walked around, exploring and admiring the place.

11-05-2000 02 bottle bay.jpg

Bottle Bay

The landscapes at Bottle Bay were typical of those out on the Cape. Red sand dunes and cliffs, in places contrasting with yellow sandy beaches. Brilliant aqua coloured sea. Greens and greys of bushes and wildflowers against the red sands. Really beautiful.

11-05-2000 03 wildflowers Peron NP.jpg

Then we continued on to Cape Peron itself.

11-05-2000 08 at cape peron.jpg

The contrasts of Cape Peron

Walked around the beach, on the Shark Bay side, for a little way, and found a colony of several hundred cormorants. We did not go too close, not wanting to disturb them, but enjoyed looking at them from a distance. Have never seen so many in one place.

11-05-2000 07 cormorants.jpg

Cormorants

The contrasting sea colours, off the Cape, were interesting, changing from the light aqua to dark blue, really abruptly. There was also great contrast between the yellow sand of the beaches and the red cliffs abutting them.

11-05-2000 06 erosion Cape Peron

The contrast between the eroding cliffs and the white beach sand

Visited the light structure on the Cape, part of which hosted an osprey’s nest.

11-05-2000 10 Cape Peron light & osprey nest.jpg

Cape Peron light, with osprey’s nest

There was very much more vegetation on the Cape than in ’93, when it was only three years on from having sheep grazing. It looked wonderful now.

11-05-2000 11 At Cape Peron.jpg

The wildflowers were quite special.

11-06-2000 09 big lagoon vegetation.jpg

We saw very few other people out there.

We drove back the way we’d come this morning – no choice! Stopped at the old homestead to pump up the tyres again – the joys of having the inbuilt air compressor!

It had turned out to be a long day, but a great one. Drove 122kms.

Tea was gazpacho – very nice, then Greek salad with avocado.

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