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.
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.
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.
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.
Then we continued on to Cape Peron itself.
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.
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.
Visited the light structure on the Cape, part of which hosted an 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.
The wildflowers were quite special.
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.