19 10 / 2012

Unofficial distance (taking into account random stop offs, road swerve and going the wrong way for short distances) = 2050km!

19 10 / 2012

Mission: Betty - Day 9 (19/10/12)

Exmouth - Mandu Mandu Gorge - Turquise Bay - Highway roadside (275km)

18 10 / 2012

Mission: Betty - Day 8 (18/10/12)

Coral Bay - Exmouth (160km)

18 10 / 2012

We were on a mission. Today would be the day. Fun will happen today. We felt as if this trip needed a big day, a big event and oh it delivered… Big-ly!

BAM. Coral Bay hellllloooooo. A trip to see Manta Rays, two snorkel dives and lunch at a turtle sanctuary? Yes please lady! Here’s your wetsuits Honeys, you want flippers? YEAH WE DO. Get on the bus with all these other people, it’ll take you to the boat where exciting fun things will happen ok? YEAH LADY.

Oh wow this coastline is stunning, the sea is a constant blue dream, the sky is a constant blue dream, my wetsuit fit like a blue dream, Blue da ba dee dabba di dabba dee dabba di. On the boat getting ruddy excited!! / I just remembered that I don’t like the sea, cold or fish. Shit. Luke snapped me out of it and we got going.

Briefing - if you are in trouble raise your hand and we’ll fish you out. Use the snorkel to breathe. Bye! Boom!!!…. in the sea. WETSUITS DON’T STOP THE COLD. Luke was loving life, I was shivering and splashing about and then VOOM you look down and OH MY LIFE… There it is. Beautiful fish swimming around beautiful Coral looking at beautiful people in wetsuits. It was literally beautiful, it took the cold away and you were transported to another world, a sea-scape of true wonder. Fit. We even did a friendship and met two lovely ladies from Essex! We were truly achieving.

Then WAM. On the boat and on the hunt for Manta Rays. Now, I hadn’t realised the epicness of Manta Rays, as many of you will not, well basically they are incredible. Up to 5m in diameter and ruddy heavy, they also have huge brains and are allegedly very clever, the Stephen Fry of the oceans.

The boat raced around the bay, excited voices exclaimed a sighting had been made, our Captain flung us in their direction. The drop off was coming. QUICK!! FRICKING JUMP IN GROUP 1! Voom, peeps plopped in and manically swam after these gigantic creatures. BAM GROUP 2 YOU’RE UP GO GO GO! Some reason it felt a bit like war. BA! Wait a sec, Luke, we didn’t pay for this bit (cheap-skates), do you reckon they remember?… GROUP 3 GET READY!! … Errr no? We tagged in with Group 3 all stealth-like and VOOOOM we are part the chase (and for free, ziiiiing). Gazing down upon a female manta ray gracefully teasing 5 (stupid) males was incredible. She moved so smoothly swimming along literally right underneath us. It was magical… and then VROOOOOM she decides she’s had enough of the wetsuit-weirdos and disappears at 60mph! We tried our best to catch up but oh my she was totes off.

A belly-pleasing lunch at the turtle sanctuary followed. Buffet too helllloooooo.

Another awesome snorkel dive later and we are headed back to shore. Success. Fun found. Fish seen. Wetsuit worn. Backpacker win.

Back at the tour base they started to put photos up on the screens from the day. Luke and I realised that we soon might get busted for our cheeky free Manta Ray swim so we jumped in Betty and scarpered off to Exmouth, ruddy chuffed with ourselves!!

17 10 / 2012

Mission: Betty - Day 7 (17/10/12)

Eagles Bluff - Carnarvon - Coral Bay (540km)

17 10 / 2012

WOAH BLACK BETTY

17 10 / 2012

Learning the Ukulele whilst driving a hippie campervan up the coast of Australia is undeniably a pretty damn good way to do things! But when you have no music books, internet or reference material and your tutor is driving the van, its not an easy task. Anyone who decided to sit in the back would have heard a lot of C F G chords repeated over and over….

We blitzed it up the coastal highway to Carnarvon (we wont mention what the racist lady in the shop in Exmouth called it). We met a mechanic called Phil (who invited us into his epic mega -panorama house he was building on the beach), got a new fridge and chugged on. We passed dozens of kangaroo skeletons along the unchanging highway. 

CORAL BAY _ KANGAROO STEAKS.

This was dinner and dinner was GOOD. Barbecued with corn on the cob dripping in butter, the joy!

We got chatting to a couple of Aussies (a few years older than us) who turned out to be a pilot who knows the tractor joke (If you don’t know this joke, you should, and be sure to book in half an hour to hear it from one of the Luc/kes) and his tired sister. Pretty sure the pilot (let’s call him Fabien) was friends with a fake Aussie version of Brice. (dont give up, some of these references will only make sense to a few people!) Their version of the joke must have been the southern hemisphere version - not as good.

We wimped out of gatecrashing the one and only  backpacker hostel, and Fabien slithered into his green slug. 

16 10 / 2012

Mission: Betty - Day 6 (16/10/12)

Eagles Bluff! (more photos!)

16 10 / 2012

Mission: Betty - Day 6 (16/10/12)

Eagles Bluff!

16 10 / 2012

After collecting a camping permit from the ranger in Denham (we didnt want a repeat of Geraldton!), we headed to the south of Shark Bay, where a dusty, bumpy 2km track led us to a SMASHING clifftop view of the orange sun melting into a shimmering ocean.

A small island smothered with marine birds claimed its home in the colourchart of blues. Powerful wind warriors forced the sheer liquid wonderment at us double time!

By this point Luc and I were a bit giddy and excited and marveled in dance and uninteligable noise format, all over the cliff top.

This place is in out top places ever list.

We calmed down a bit and read a few signs telling us there should be lots of sealife down in the bay, like whale sharks, sea cows and fish, but i think it was the wrong time of year/day? We weren’t too fussed. 

Eating an on-par stroganoff (someone tell me how to spell this) just along the cliff a little further is where we settled Betty, and then i scrambled down to the beach with my camera. If there were no stars out, this would have been the darkest of all dark. So the photos weren’t sublime. 

Back in the van we sat and watched cosily as a huge lightening storm rolled in over the sea. Blinding forks and flashes all across our “windows vista” yes!