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21: Where Will I Park My Van Tonight

November concludes...

A diary of 12 months SOLO travel around Australia

Before beginning the next part of the blog I just want to thank all those are following my journey with me and those who also write me lovely notes. It makes me feel very connected and although I am travelling alone, I never feel lonely. Many of the driving hours I travel with either a fabulous audio book or play loud music and sing😃...as you do!!! When I'm in a campsite somewhere I meet lots of people and some have become wonderful friends. The people I meet all have a story to tell and they are almost always happy...who wouldn't be travelling??The scenery is stunning, the culture and history I am experiencing is amazing and fascinating. I feel very blessed to be having this opportunity of living my dream and I am delighted to be able to share the journey with you all.

It's November 22nd and I'm on my way to Kalbarri...a picturesque small beachside tourist town with stunning gorges and coastal cliffs. It's only drawback is the intense blustery wind that seemed to be fairly constant. At times around 50 km so putting out the caravan awning was NOT an option. The locals say it's normal for this time of the year. Luckily mornings are often not so bad 😀

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I parked my van at Tudor Caravan Park. It has a fabulous swimming pool, large individual bathrooms and is about 500 metres away from the beautiful Kalbarri foreshore beach😀

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While in Kalbarri I explored quite a lot of the gorges and coastal areas with a couple who I had spent the day with on the Dirk Hartog Island tour in Denham. Trish and Lyle were staying at a different CP in Kalbarri, but we caught up most days to explore the area, have dinner or drinks, watch sunsets and even play ukulele.

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That's Trish in the middle with Sheryn, who belongs to the local Uke group, on the left. We also had another Uke session later in the week.

Essentially wildflower season is over for this year, but there were still some exquisite flowers to be seen if you stopped by the side of the road and walked into the roadside scrub. The following is a short video for anyone interested...

This spectacular bush was along the roadsides everywhere ranging in colour from soft pink to hot pink😍

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I caught a few spectacular sunsets...as you do!!

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Blue Holes, where Trish and I did a snorkel a few days later when the tide was lower . The area is protected from the waves coming over the reef. We saw a very large blue parrot fish, loads of whiting and lots of other colourful fish in the shallows.

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Another sunset, this time from Meanarra Lookout overlooking the Murchison River inlet at Kalbarri

At Kalbarri the pelicans are fed every morning around 8.45am. The pelicans fight with seagulls over the fish and quite often the pelican will grab a seagull by its wing as it goes in for the fish and then run with to the beach before letting it go. It was quite comical to see.

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The following photos are taken on the day we explored the Kalbarri Gorges on the Z-Bend Road entrance. The "Sky Walk" is not yet open, but on the top of the escarpment on the left you can see the two skywalk platforms almost completed. They were due to open this month!! We missed it 😞

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At Natures Window there was a crowd of international tourists. This is an extremely picturesque location with stunning colour in the rocks and amazing views and it's one of Australia's most photographed places by international visitors. You can see why!!!

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Natures Window...I haven't put the photo of me sitting in the window as the beauty of this photo would be spoilt by my inclusion😜 The colour of the rock is so intense...💛

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The above was taken with a wide angle lens so it looks a little more difficult than what it really was to climb up for the photo. That said, we climbed onto the rock over a sign that said, "no climbing past this point....which we saw after we got up there😜 We had to wait our turn to get up as other tourists were doing the same thing!!!

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From the Z-Bend lookout point

We walked down to the Murchison River below the Ross Graham lookout and caught saw wild goats on the cliff ledges and some black swans on the river.

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We thought we may have had an opportunity to swim, but the water was a little murky on the edges in this location and there was quite a walk over rocks to get to the better swimming spot. We gave it a miss!! It was also very hot!!

Another section of the gorge was a lookout at "Hawks Head".

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On another day we visited most of the coastal lookouts and walks and saw superb coastal views. Both Lyle and Trish, who I was with, are bird and plant enthusiasts and were able to identify many of the birds we saw. Lyle's vision was amazing as he often saw and named birds before I could even see them. He also saw a pod of dolphins, which both Trish and I missed seeing.

We checked out most of the lookouts and did a few of the walks down to the beaches.

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Island Rock

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Lyle, who was walking ahead, as we walked through Pot Alley to the beach.

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Pot Alley beach from above

We also walked down to Eagle Gorge to another beach and walked around the point until a large wave sent us scurrying back to safety 😨

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The colour and forms in the rock walls were like a painting...just stunning. I took this photo standing underneath the overhanging rock looking straight up.

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Here's another piece of natures art...Trish found this very delicate and fragile plant skeleton on the beach!!

Kalbarri has a fascinating aviary called Rainbow Jungle. Almost all the birds were from the parrot family, but there was a small collection of other birds as well. Trish and I spent a couple of hours there. The caged birds were in large aviaries and there was also large walk through open areas where birds were free to live in a more natural environment.

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One inquisitive little dove took a liking to the both of us 😍

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This little parrot is called a Princess Parrot and is only found in central Australia. It's a near threatened species and not often seen in the wild.

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This little one is checking us out from a safe distance😀 I'm not sure what parrot variety it is??

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Don't know this variety either, but they were very cute!!

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A Rainbow lorikeet came over to check out if we had any tucker for it!!!

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This one is the Yellow Tailed Black Cuckatoo. These were quite large birds with beautiful yellow tail that fans as it flies.

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There were a few varieties of Macaws.

There has been many ships wrecked on the coastal waters of WA and the Zuytdorp was a dutch ship that hit reef and sank about 40kms north of Kalbarri in 1711 on its way to South East India. The rugged coastline where the ship went down is now named Zuytdorp Cliffs and the following photo is taken from the memorial lookout.

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Kalbarri pano from the Zuytdorp lookout.

Overall, I loved Kalbarri. They have a fabulous restaurant called "Findlay's Fish and Microbrewery", which Trish, Lyle and I went to twice. The Sunday night had live music, the food was excellent and the atmosphere of the place was great. They also have an Indonesian food truck that parks in the Wharf area and sells superb meals at a very reasonable price, so dinner was sorted a few times👍

I ended up staying a few days longer than planned as I went kayaking and hurt my back so had to visit the physio and spend a couple of quiet days recuperating 😎

On Monday 30th December I drove about 65kms south and parked my van out of the wind (finally) at "Linga Longa at Lynton" farm stay 😎 Lynton Station is a working farm with some historic significance as it was a convict hiring depot from 1853 to 1857. The buildings are all being restored and the local historical society look after the convict site on the farm. When I arrived I was the only van, but by evening there were three vans booked in for the night. It's a quiet time of the year.

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The old Sanford homestead , currently being restored as a historic site by the Northampton historical society.

The caretakers of the caravan park, Roy and Ollie, were from England and came for one night 3 years ago and never left. The owners of the station, Jenny and Greg bought the property 8 years ago and are very passionate about restoring the buildings and preserving the convict history on the farm.

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This is the view from the verandah of the homestead looking south west towards the ocean. You can just see my van, parked mid right in the photo, between the building and a row of leaning trees. Some indiction of the winds in this area. Some trees grow completely horizontal!!! The current owners live in a house hidden by the large trees on the right and caretakers of the caravan park live in the buildings on the left.

I was close to Hutt River Province so decided to do a day trip. I'm not sure it was worth it, but I guess it was interesting to see the place and get an understanding of the reasons why it became an independent Sovereign state in April 1970. I met and spoke with Prince Graham and spent about an hour or more looking through and reading the history. And...I got my passport stamped!!!

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A selfie with Prince Graham who took over the running of the province two years ago from his father, Prince Leonard, who has since passed away. 

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The Princess Shirley Chapel, named after and dedicated to Prince Leonard's wife who passed away in 2013 

Lynton Station is very close to Port Gregory and Hutt Lagoon so I finished my sightseeing for the day with a run into Port Gregory past the Pink Lake...Why is it Pink you may ask?? Google tells me there is a presence of Carotenoid producing algae Dunaliella salina, a source of B-Carotene, which is a food colouring agent and source of Vitamin A. The lake can change from a soft pink to deep pink, purple and red, depending on the water depth, cloud cover, time of day, season etc. It was quite a spectacular sight!!

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The pink lake sign has been built from the salt crystals 

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My kilometre rate has dropped significantly this month. There are such beautiful places to visit along the west coast of WA, distances between my campgrounds have been less, and I have tended to stay longer in some places, so the overall kilometre tally is less.

Total Distance travelled to date 23,995 kms

March....764km

April .....1225km

May......3435km

June....2800km

July.....2606km

August....3908km

September.... 4190km

October....3034km

November....1656km

This edition of the blog takes my trip to November 30th and tomorrow I'll be moving on to Geraldton where I'm hoping to spend about a week.

In reality I am posting this blog on 5th December..woohoo!!! less than 3 weeks to Christmas. I will get one or maybe two more instalments written before Christmas then the blog may take a back seat for a few weeks!!

I'll be spending a week in Perth with a friend mid December before meeting Sara, John and the girls for Christmas in Yanchep, camping in the National Park. Then we are all heading to the southern suburbs of Perth to spend time with more of my family for a few weeks.

Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. I hope your Christmas is filled with joy😃 your heart with love 💛and your life with laughter😀🎅🎄

🥂Anne

Until the next episode...