20130815_RCH_102020130815_RCH_1035It was a two-hour drive from our campsite to the start of Kalbarri National Park, and in that time it felt like we’d flown to a completely new area. After weeks and weeks of flat reddish brown semi-barren lands, we were now seeing green. There were proper trees, green grass and most surprisingly, agricultural farms! There were also giant dark clouds on the horizon, which would probably explain the lush greenery. I’m still amazed that there can be such an enormous transition in landscape within such a short distance. Oh, and there were no shortage of windmills!

20130815_RCH_1021 20130815_RCH_1024At the northern entry to the national park there are two easily accessible gorges carved from the Murchison River. On their own they are quite pretty gorges, but when compared the dozen or more that we’d seen prior, it wasn’t all that impressive or new. But, it was totally worth the small detour that we took to see it.

I didn’t notice it, but there was a giant sign as we turned off the highway that the road to the Natural Window and Z Gorge was closed to public. The window is nothing more than a hole in rock that frames a nice view up along the river/gorges below, but it’s one of the signature attractions of Kalbarri (try and find some tourist information that doesn’t include at least one picture of it!

20130815_RCH_1029These little ant hills caught my eye – they were everywhere on the side of the road this morning and the first time that we’d seen them. The roads are also lined with pretty little flowers in all sorts of colours (mostly yellow/white/pink). Surprisingly, I’m actually looking forward to seeing some of the extravagant wildflower areas a little further south.

We spent a little bit of time in town (Risa was trying to find fresh seafood) and we noticed that it really felt like a retirement holiday destination (that and families). There were other young travellers there, but we were definitely in the minority. There are a few nice beaches to have a walk along/picnic where the river meets the sea, but the strong winds today was whipping the sea up in to a frothy mess.

20130815_RCH_1031 20130815_RCH_1036 20130815_RCH_1038 20130815_RCH_1041 20130815_RCH_1044 20130815_RCH_1045The other big drawcard for Kalbarri is the stunning sandstone coastline. Rugged isn’t a strong enough adjective. The sea was an intense blue, the waves were big and violent, and the rocks had extreme weathering. Big bluffs, natural bridges, and pillars – it had it all. I’ve never been, but Risa said that we can skip the Twelve Apostles now, since this is basically the same! Oh, and even though we’re a little humpback whale’d out, it was cool seeing them out there in the Indian Ocean splashing about.

20130815_RCH_1047Continuing south, it was yet more lush green pastures full of sheep grazing away. Not a bad place to be a sheep.

20130815_RCH_1052 20130815_RCH_1051 20130815_RCH_1054Further still, near Port Gregory was this utterly bizarre pinky-red lake. It looks like there has been some sort of disaster, but it’s meant to be naturally occurring beta-carotene. It looked like a watery strawberry milkshake (but smelt nothing like it – and didn’t bother to taste it). Also, I totally love the Adventure Time shirts that I bought back in Darwin – Mathematical!

20130815_RCH_1065 20130815_RCH_1064 20130815_RCH_1060 20130815_RCH_1063Just around the corner was a former convict labour camp. I wasn’t really sure of the details (it was getting late and I didn’t want to read all the available information) other than it housed convicts who were brought to WA in the 1850s to build infrastructure and do hard labour. As before with the sheep, not a bad place to be a convict!

20130815_RCH_1066It was raining for the first time (proper rain, not just a tiny drop or two, like Ayers Rock) the return leg from Cape York, which was at least two months ago. Feels like an eternity. Also, I don’t get sick of windmills. I’m really hoping to find one at night time to do some star photography with it.

We are spending the night in a very special place, the Principality of Hutt River, but it was dark/stormy (which is still a novel treat – rain) when we arrived, so I will save it for tomorrow. Hopefully we get to meet some royalty!

20130815_RCH_1071 20130815_RCH_1072 20130815_RCH_1073 20130815_RCH_1075Dinner: We didn’t pick up any fresh supplies today, so that meant a canned meal for dinner. I had roast chicken soup (surprisingly good) and Risa had Irish stew (also surprisingly good). But, the highlight was the chocolate pudding fruit we’d bought in Carnarvon. Black Sapote. When we bought it we were told that we had to wait for it to be really squishy. I noticed today that it felt like a rotten banana, so I guessed that meant it was ready for consumption. The fruit is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before… and kind of hard to describe. Firstly, the texture – it has an eerily similar texture, colour and mouth feel to chocolate mousse. The taste – It’s sweet, but in a different way to chocolate. It’s sweeter, but at the same time more bitter. Just for giggles I tried it with some of the leftover Fluff (American spreadable marshmallow) – the Fluff was too sweet, overpowering the subtle taste of the fruit. Overall, it’s a surreal fruit and definitely worth trying if the chance ever arises.

8月15日(木)94日目 青、ピンク、みどり!

今日は、1日Kalbarri という町の散策日。


ここも渓谷の国立公園です。 Eagle Head(鷲の頭)と呼ばれる岩が突き出ている赤い渓谷。 遠くからは、周りがみどりに囲まれているので、とつぜん真っ赤なむき出しの岩が見えたときは、とっても意外でした。




このKalbarrieの海は、とても青い!!!  本当に青!という色をしていて感動的な美しさです。  風が強く波が高いので、その波の白さとのコントラストも最高にキレイです。

ここからパースまでは、600kmほどですが、この場所に初めて訪れた白人の船は、この付近で難破し、まる2日小さなボートを漕いでこの地に辿り着き、パースまで歩いたそうです。  今日もそうですが、つねに風が強いようで、昔はよく船が難破したようです。



知識ゼロで来てみたら、あら感動。  ビクトリア州にあるグレートオーシャンロードにある海岸の浸食された岩とそっくりな、トンネル状の大きな岩と崖が海にそびえ立っていました!




本当に湖の色は、ピンク色をしています! 摩訶不思議。とっても奇妙です。

これは、この水中に住む藻の一種によるもので、塩分の濃いこの湖の中で、藻の中のベーターカロチン色素が水に溶け出し、こんなピンク色になっているのだそうです。   これは、本当に生まれて初めて見た〜自然てやっぱ不思議なことがいっぱいですね!


今日のキャンプ予定地は、Principality of Hut River という場所で、この場所はなんと、オーストラリア内にある独立国なのです!!

1970年に新しい麦への税金をめぐって、羊農家で麦農家の Leonard Casleyさんは、政府に独立を訴え、法律の穴があったらしく、みごとに彼とその妻の Shirleyさんの独立国を成立してしまったのです。

かれは、Prince Leonard、奥さんは、Princess Shirleyとしてオーストラリアとは異なる、法律、紙幣、軍隊?などなどを持っているらしい?!  どこまでが本当かは、分からないけど。。。
道に迷ってしまって、到着したのが暗くなる寸前で、オフィスと書かれた場所も、Post Officeと書かれた場所も、お土産やと書かれた場所も閉まっているので、様子がよくわからないけど、お城らしき建物はとりあえず見当たらず、古びた平屋の建物と、古びたキャラバン数台と教会らしき建物があり、あとは、広いキャラバンパークのような場所が奥にあるので、とりあえず明日お金を払って(キャンプ代は、なんと$5と書いてある。激安。) じっくり、見学させてもらいます!

思ったよりかなり全てが古びていて、寂しさがたっぷり漂う場所なのですが、、明日は、陛下に会えるのでしょうか?!  たのしみです笑



もう一つそういえば、3日くらい前にアボガドとかバナナを買った有機野菜の農家さんから買ったナゾの果物がとってもやわらかくなり熟した様子。 見た目は、巨大な青い柿のようだけど、なんとチョコレートムースの味と食感らしいと聞かされ買わずにはいられなかったシロモノ。。
Black Sepoteだかと言う名前の果物、、




一番近いのは、かなり熟しためっちゃ柔らかい干し柿かな! かなり珍しい果物で、もちろん私たちも聞いた事もないので、とってもよい経験でした。