Rest Day, Relatively Speaking

Sun. 19th May 2019

Chilled out just enjoying the viewWe have all day to mooch around Cervantes and the only plan is to be at The Pinnacles by 3:30pm to see the Discovery Centre and stay for sunset. We had a lazy start enjoying the lovely continental breakfast provided and chatting to the only other guests, a couple from Croydon who turned out to be kindred spirits. They have been travelling since September and just understand the travel bug lifestyle. We could have talked for hours but we all had more travelling to do!

Concrete ball for the snorkelling routeOur host suggested we explore up the coast so off we headed and stopped for coffee in Jurien Bay. It was pretty enough walking along the shore and I was intriguing by their snorkelling trail which was in its infancy. Concrete balls with holes in had been dropped on the sea bed to allow plants to grow on them to entice fish to investigate, thus making an interesting trail to follow. An interesting idea but still in its infancy – and no chance of us going in the water to follow the trail!

Dynamite BayFurther north were three bays near the small town of Green Head, so named due to the green landscape around. A path and boardwalk has been built joining the viewpoints. There seems to be a lot of funding for creating tourist infrastructure around this coast. The bays are South Bay, Dynamite Bay and Anchorage Bay, all pretty self explanatory if you believe that the fishermen used to throw sticks of dynamite into the water to stun the fish making them easy prey! We settled in at Dynamite Bay for our picnic lunch pondering how it was named 19th out of 101 Australian beaches as we could almost name 19 other beaches that we preferred and we have lots of beaches yet to see!

An active stromotoliteOnce back in Cervantes, we decided to try our luck away from the coast at Lake Thetis known for its Stromatolites. Strange, almost alien circular rock formations at the edge of the very salty lake. Colonies of cyanobacteria build the Stromatolites over many years and sadly are number of them have fallen apart and are no longer active.

Random tourist at the PinnaclesWhere has the day gone? We just have time to poke our noses into Hangover Bay, no idea why it is so named and nothing special. We now need to turn our attention to the Pinnacles. These Pinnacles are nothing like the ones Dave saw in Borneo, nor the ones in Yunnan Province, China. The world is full of interesting natural phenomena which seem incredible that they ever formed. [Ed. The ones in both Borneo and Yunnan were limestone karsts – where water has dissolved away the surrounding rock. Here, they don’t seem to be sure of the formation mechanism.]

Incredible light on the rocksThere are thousands of small pillars in the sand which may be made from compacted seashells that covered the area. Another theory is that they are calcified (petrified) tree trunks from an ancient forest. This is explained in the Discovery Centre along with details of local flora and fauna. As you walk over the hill and get your first view of all these tiny pillars there is a definite wow factor. However as it is Sunday today the place is packed, down to the group waving helium balloons, why? It is possible to either follow a 1.2km walk or a 4km drive around the stones. It is therefore a bit of a free for all with cars and people everywhere. We retire back to our Land cruiser to wait for most people to leave.

Can't they read the signs??What I had forgotten was that sunset at The Pinnacles was a “thing” so as the day trippers left the minibuses arrived complete with barbecues for the sunset experience at the viewpoint. As the driving route meanders through the stones many photos are ruined by headlights, vehicle roofs or people coming into view. This I found quite frustrating, which was exacerbated by the tourists climbing the massive rock for a better view and good selfies despite the sign saying do not climb. Not to mention the chap flying his drone from the viewing platform above people’s heads breaking every rule of drone flying. In my view this site is ruined by thoughtless tourists taking advantage of the overgenerous access the National Parks allow them. End of rant.

A drone view of the stonesSo by walking a few feet from the crowds and careful positioning of our cameras, and proper drone flying by Dave I think we did a good job of capturing the amazing sunset. Also by looking away from the setting sun the colours on the pillars produced more stunning photos. I did take over 50 photos as we wandered around for a good hour watching the colour of the sky constantly changing. Our decision to be patient and wait for the light at the end of the day was rewarded with one of the most spectacular sunsets we have seen for a good while.

Well deserved seafood platterIt was gone six by the time we returned to our accommodation so a quick shower and out again as we wanted to grab the seafood platter at the local Country Club before they sold out. Lobster is a local speciality and I’m sure that this one is looking at me! We are getting used to the early sunsets and early eating times. This then gives us plenty of time to type away (sometimes beer induced) and rate photos to keep the blogs coming. We know if we get behind it would be hard to catch up. This is travelling and not a holiday after all!!!

As the sunset was so amazing, I’ll just leave these pictures here to speak for themselves.

Amazing sunset over the Pinnacles What colours Yet more colours at sunset

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