Posts Tagged With: Cape Range National Park

A surprise visit

Amanda’s parents had hatched a plan for a surprise visit in Exmouth and had booked the accommodation. We had managed to keep it secret from the kids, despite a couple of times when the cat was almost let out of the bag.

Unfortunately, flying in on the day that cyclone Quang was sweeping through the region meant they were stopped in their tracks in Perth, with the following day’s flight fully booked. When they finally arrived we were cutting a deliberately belated birthday cake for Hannah, and as they walked in the kids were a little confused at first. When the penny dropped big grins filled their faces and a round of Happy Birthday got things going again.

The PotShot Hotel over the road was our dinner venue and Grandpa Geoff went for a stone-grilled steak, where they provide the raw steak and an extremely hot volcanic rock on which to cook it to your specification. Those having fish and chips were impressed too, despite the apologetic barmaid who said it was a red-mouth emperor, rather than spangled emperor. It was so delicious we returned a couple of days later to try a variation on the stone-grill menu.

Geoff and Leonie joined us on the whale shark trip they were amazing and despite the rough conditions it was all smiles on the boat at the end of the day.

We took a trip down to Yardie Creek where they took two of the kids on a boat cruise, and whilst visiting Cape Range we swam at Turquoise Bay, Oyster Stacks again and visited the Turtle sanctuary. Despite the turtle egg-laying season having finished it was great to find a turtle had dug two holes the previous night and we could clearly see the laboriously made flipper prints emerging from, and then returning to the ocean.

The week that was shrunk to 5 days passed all too quickly and we farewelled Grandma and Grandpa as they left for the airport, and we repacked the trailer and set off for Ningaloo Station. Amanda had been so pleased to see her parents and a few tears were shed when they left.

We will look forward to perhaps meeting them on Heron island towards the end of the year (hint hint)

Categories: Beach, Big Lap, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Natural World, West Australia | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Cyclone Quang – Exmouth

Our new friends, Helen and Matt the “Drought Breakers”, as they had quietly confessed, decided they would head out the next day seeking refuge inland. We suggested that they might seek government funding to tour some of the inland farming regions that are in dire need of rainfall. Another family, from Perth, the “Grismacs” that we had shared dinner with also decided it was a better option to get out and seek drier conditions, despite having paid for five nights. The next morning the campsite evacuated leaving us with only a couple of other neighbours prepared to wait and see, monitoring the conditions. This was pretty hard without any mobile phone reception, so we were relying very much on updates from our camp hosts.

Later that day “Roving Reeves” arrived, having pre-booked five nights at Osprey Bay. We had met Natasha and Steve at Francois Peron national park and the kids had got on really well. We had evening drinks in their luxurious caravan, after a late afternoon snorkel in perfectly calm conditions.

We could see rain and lots of weather to the west and east, but it looked like we were going to dodge it. Before going to bed it was supposed to be heading south crossing the coast at Coral Bay.

The rain started at 2am, with the wind strength gradually rising constantly shortly after. By 5am I was up in the driving rain hammering pegs in harder to keep the awning up. Ironically, I had bent three pegs driving them in as the ground was so hard when we had arrived but now, with a bit of rain, the ground softened very quickly.

At 5.30am Dennis the camp host was driving around in the dark telling us all to get out at daybreak as Cyclone Quang had changed direction and was now going to touch down at Cape Range and Exmouth.

De-camping was ridiculous! Driving horizontal rain soaked everything, and packing down the awning was like wrestling with an angry dragon as canvas flapped and whipped in all directions. Steve “Roving Reeves” very kindly emerged to help us complete the task, stating that they would probably sit it out, but by the time we left, 30 minutes later they had been told they had to go.

We headed out of Cape Range, hoping the roads hadn’t flooded yet, towards Exmouth, hoping to find refuge there. The wind and rain got worse and worse, and we slowed down to 60km/h. In Exmouth we had a unit booked to spend a week with the in-laws and we were lucky to get early access. Like drowned rats we all poured out of the car and into our new luxury home.

It got worse and worse, the unit started leaking then all power went. We waited and watched through the windows, then suddenly by early afternoon I heard corellas squawking and flying around. Thinking it might be the eye of the storm we stayed put but by 4pm we had glorious sunshine again, enough to open up the trailer to start the drying out.

Without power in the unit we had to transfer all our new shopping into our super reliant and trustworthy Eva Cool fridge-freezer in the Camprite. Some eight hours later it resumed, though half the town still had no power the next day.

Luckily the cyclone was diffused quickly by another weather system that collided with it, resulting in it passing with minimal damage. An interesting experience indeed for Fifty Toes.

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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