Jeff and Karen pick us up for the two hour drive north to the Pinnacles Desert, in Nambung National Park, near Cervantes (yay, now we have seen this we won’t have to spend days on an expensive train through the other desert). AU$13 entry fee for the car (up to twelve people, is you can get that many in). It is a day pass, valid at a couple of other sites. The material for these structures can from sea shells at a time when this was under water. The shells broke down into lime rich sand, and the sand was blown inland. Still some debate as to how they actually formed, but they are fascinating all the same. The highest are around 3.5 metres high, but some are quite short (about the right size for a tomb stone, which you will need if you got lost around here).
We listen to a talk by one of the local rangers, and head off out into the desert, going on a short walk before taking a drive around the park. There are plenty of places to pull over and get out for a walk.
The park is fairly busy (school holidays) and it is annoying to see visitors ignore the requests to stay off the pinnacles. We also wonder at the lack of foreign language signs to reinforce the code of conduct.
The only wildlife we saw and heard were the farking crows (unless you count the ants). Boy, are those crows noisy. Tony spotted one ant carting a large bee off to the nest. The strength it showed was incredible. We looked in vain for a python said to be at the lookout for the last couple of days. We reckon some bloody kid poked it with a stick and it buggered off. No sign of the kangaroos and emus that they also said were plentiful.
We spend about an hour and a half looking around before heading off to Cervantes for petrol (hells bells - $1.59 a litre – it is mid week so the price is up, also we are out in the wop wops, so it is a lot dearer here, earlier in the week it was $1.30 in town). We look for food, but many of the places are shut already, so we decide to head to Lancelin where there is more choice. A short stop at Hangover Bay, we have to guess where the road is because the sign keeps getting nicked. Why don’t they use a fake pinnacle to point the way? Anyway, Mr Google Maps has all the answers, so we head off for a quick look.
It is getting late, so we don’t stay long. However we are in awe of the pure white sand dunes here… stunning. After leaving the bay we head off for lunch, even though it is nearly 4pm! But Tony spots a particularly stunning dune on the way, so Jeff offers to turn around for a closer look. Then we see there is a walkway to it, that is even better. A short time later we are in the middle of a pure white sand desert. We doubt that the photos will do it justice. We continue to have a bright blue sky, but the sun shine is weakening. We remember we have not had lunch, and head on to Lancelin.
We try a couple of places, the café is closing soon, only sweet stuff to eat. The seafood place closed a few minutes ago too. We try the pub, but it is too early for the tea menu. They have pizza on the menu, and it is happy hour, $7.50 pints. So we sit outside to watch the sunset, but it is a cold wind, so we don’t stay too much longer. Sunset is not too far off, so we keep an eye out for kangaroos feeding in the paddocks, and hope like hell we don’t meet one on the road!
We are back in town soon after 7pm, it has been a long day, a around 450km for us, but add on another couple of hours for Jeff and Karen as they have come from Rockingham, south of here. We take a wander down Lake street to see what is happening, (also in search of a top up snack). There is a free outdoor movie in the plaza, but we are too tired to stick around for that.