Perth to Coral Bay

Perth to Coral Bay

Yesterday, in Coral Bay, I swam with the Whale Sharks…a wonderful experience. I’ll put up some photos when I get them, on the next post.

How’s this for a sunset?

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My good friend Wendy Kelly and I have an ongoing photo competition… Unfortunately, though, I have to admit I didn’t take this photo. INichole Oliver did. Merry and I met her in Fremantle and she sent me the photo.

It’s been and interesting few days since my last post. I’ve had my first minor drama…. also I’ve seen some interesting places including a visit to the Hutt River Principality.

I’m now in Coral Bay….CAMPING…impressed?….As you see I’m well set up… and it’s warm here.I reluctantly pitched the tent because a cabin in the camp site costs $280.00 per night.

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Monday 22 May

After saying goodbye to Merry, I picked up Azulo (another $750.00) and spent the day with Gordon and Anne. They very kindly took me to a very nice Japanese restaurant.

The next day, Gordon came with me on his scooter (!!!) It was raining again.

I’ve got some new boots. As you see the old ones had passed their used by date

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Gordon Robertts

Gordon Robertts

After Gordon left I carried on to the Pinnacles Desert some 200 k north of Perth. The sun came out which was lucky as I then found I had a puncture.

A puncture in the middle of nowhere is no fun, especially if it’s the rear wheel. I was doubly annoyed as I had just got new tyres fitted in Perth. They had managed to pinch the inner tube.

First I looked at the Pinnacles which are quite extraordinary

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Back to my puncture!

I tried pumping up the tyre. It was only 20 K to the next town. No luck. It went flat within minutes.

I then thought about trying to fix the puncture. I removed the wheel but I couldn’t remove the new tyre.

A good Samaritan came to my rescue in the form of a young German, Aljoscha Achilles, Alexander Heeg….Al for short.

He kindly drove me to town (it’s not really a town) where, after an hour or so we found a mechanic . The mechanic wasn’t much help but between the three of us we fixed the puncture and Al drove me back to his very bored friends. It took most of the day!

Mechanic and Al (on right)

Mechanic and Al (on right)

Al (right) and friends

Al (right) and friends

I then  headed for the nearest town, found a bed and a Pub and had a few beers!

The next day was much better. I headed to Geraldton via Dongara.

Dongara

Dongara

Geraldton is a nice town…I visited the Memorial to HMAS Sydney 2 and the Shipwreck Museum where they have some relics from the Dutch Ship Batavia that sank off the Abrolhos Islands in 1629

The Memorial to HMAS Sydney 2 is very impressive and beautifully done.. There was a volunteer guide who explained the memorial.

HMAS Sydney intercepted a disguised German raider Kormoran in November 1941. Both ships were destroyed. There were 645 personnel on the Sydney. There were no survivors.

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Seagulls... one for each sailor. Very emotional

Seagulls… one for each sailor. Very emotional

A worried woman looking out to sea. You can feel her anguish

A worried woman looking out to sea. You can feel her anguish

The Batavia

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The shipwreck museum is excellent and I had a guide explain the amazing story of the Batavia. It’s worth reading about it.

Peter Fitzsimons has written and a good novel but for a quick summary, go to Wikipedia Click this link

Briefly… In 1629 Batavia was heading for Batavia (Jakarta) to pick up spices. It hit a reef on the Abrolhos Islands and sank. Most of the 300 or so passengers and crew  managed to escape to a sandy island nearby.

Captain Francisco Pilsner took one of the longboats and sailed for Batavia to get help

Replica of a Batavia Longboat

Replica of a Batavia Longboat

In his absence, Jeronimus Cornelius and a group of misfits went on a killing spree killing over 100 people.

Palseart returned and brought things under control. Joronimus was executed along with some of his cohorts. Two of the gang were dumped onto the mainland. DNA in the local Aboriginal show Dutch DNA so maybe they survived…there were other Dutch shipwrecks though.

It’s truly a gruesome story…but it’s true!

My next stop was the Principality of Hutt River.

The road to the Principality of Hutt River

The road to the Principality of Hutt River

If you don’t know about this you’ll think its April fools day and I’m making it up.

The Principality of Hutt River declared independence from Australia in 1970.

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The issue was about wheat quotas and Leonard Casley thought he had been screwed by the State Government. He dug up various laws and wrote many letters to the Government, Prime Minister and even the Queen. He must have been a serial pest.

HRH Prince Leonard with a letter from the Queen

HRH Prince Leonard with a letter from the Queen

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Anyway, The Hutt River Principality today claims it is independent of Australia. Quite what that means I’m unsure but he doesn’t pay tax and is having all sorts of issues with the Tax department.

The “Principality” is ruled now by HRH Prince Graeme. HRH Prince Leonard, the founder is in his 90’s and still going strong but has abdicated.. I had a long chat with Prince Leonard. He is very sharp and must have been formidable in his day..

I also met HRH Prince Richard. Prince Leonards wife, Princess Shirley died in 2013.

Photo – Prince Richard signed my visa.

HRH Prince Richard...He stamped my visa!

HRH Prince Richard…He stamped my visa!

Azulo has a new sticker…

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Google has more…It’s quite a story!

Next I visited the Pink Lake. It’s pinker than it looks in the photos.

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My last stop before Coral Bay was Carnarvon.

Carnarvon was the location for a tracking station for the Apollo Space Missions. (actually much more but that’s it’s main claim to fame) It has a great space museum.

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The battle between Sydney and Kormoran took place near Carnarvon. Both ships have a memorial

Carnarvon Memorial to HMAS Sydney 2

Carnarvon Memorial to HMAS Sydney 2

Kormoran Memorial... Sydney nearby

Kormoran Memorial… Sydney nearby

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The countryside here is very flat and sparse. These ant hills were near Coral Bay

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Thank you for your messages. I apologise for not answering all of them yet.I will do so when I can. Please keep the messages coming…I love them

I continue to have WiFi problems… I’m having to do this post on my hotspot. The WiFi either doesn’t exist in many places or is very poor so it is making it hard to do the blog this trip. I’ll keep trying though.

I’m now heading for Karunjie National Park near Tom Price. It is very remote and there is no mobile signasl and definitely no wifi! I’ll also have to camp again…ugh!

 

29 thoughts on “Perth to Coral Bay

  1. Hi Geoff,
    A bit behind with this tour! Just catching up and more still to see. Fascinating! My dream is to come to Oz one day — think it may stay a dream as John cannot travel abroad — but hey ho — you never know! Meantime I shall tour in your pocket! Good luck with tent and tyres!
    Love,
    Gill & John

  2. Really enjoy your posts Geoff, so do the rest of the family. Amazing stories you find in all sorts of places, and great photos as always. xx Val and Nev

  3. As usual fantastic photos. Alex is very jealous you swam with whale sharks – he loves them…… A lot!
    The memorial to the HMAS Sydney looks emotional yet beautiful and I’m sure was a sight. The weather looks a lot better now than previously. Phil and I are curious how your foot actually fitted in that boot – it looks a good 4cm shorter than the other one!
    I’m now off to read about the HMAS Sydney, the Batavia and Hutt River province. Azulo’s new stocker looks great! Love us allx

    • Hi Karen
      The Batavia story is amazing isnt it.
      Alex will be green with envy with my next post! You’ll all have to come over?

  4. Fantastic pictures, this is the way to travel, and we are learning about the less known parts of Australia. The memorial with the seagulls was stunning. Most impressed with the tent, and Azulo standing guard outside. Alan wants to know if Hutt River Principality accepts refugees, as I have always wanted to become a Princess! Why is the lake pink? You should take your old boots home and turn them into a garden feature, they would be a fitting souvenir of your travels! I finished the 30 shirts painted in Aboriginal style and the children did a play on Australia, along with playing a didgeridoo and singing about Australian animals. Thirty 6 year olds know you are travelling and are following your progress on a map. Travel safely and avoid punctures! Wendy and Alan

    • HRH Prince Alan and Princess Wendy sounds good!
      Should have thought about my boots as a garden feature….I dont think there are any flowers that could cope with the smell!
      Well done with your shirts…sounds like hard work.
      Give the kids my love. I love the thought that they are riding pillion.

  5. Hi Geoff.
    Lovely commentary of your trip to date. Much of your reporting brings back fond memories of my social studies classes at school – particularly the history surrounding the battle between the Sydney and the Kormoran. The Hutt River province has been a contentious piece of work on Leonard’s part for so many years now that it seem nobody is in a hurry to bring Len to account. Put it down to tourism !!
    Keep up the excellent correspondence and photos, Geoff – first class !
    Cheers and safe travelling – from Steve and Di.

  6. Great reading about your latest episode.
    What a bugger about the puncture. Can you get “run flat” tyres for bikes (my car has them)?
    Your old boots with the gaffer tape are very much more than “past their used by date” – when did you buy them? You must be floating in your new ones.
    I like your panorama shots (in addition to the normal ones). It seems to give a new perspective.
    Also loved the monument that included the seagulls – very apt.
    I have decided to research the local history of our home town, with the aim of establishing the Principality of Crockham Hill. If that is possible, then the net step will be to hold a Formula 1 race to knock spots of the Monaco Grand Prix. The pits would be down our road – Froghole; I would rent out my garage for an extortionate rate. Dream on!

    • Good luck HRH Vic and Princess Gill….Can I get a visa?
      Those old boots have done well. The new ones are great though!

  7. Should have asked the Hutt River Province to bestow a knighthood on you while you were there, Geoff. You’ve certainly earned one! Your magnificent adventures continue….

  8. Your friend, Nicole , is definitely winning the sunset photo comp, Geoff. Beautiful shot.
    Good to see you are getting to know your tent a bit better….looks compact!!!!
    Cold, wet and windy here today….enjoy the sun and warmth in WA.
    Love,
    Wendy and Rod.

    • I was going to cheat and claim the sunset picture was mine…Just to fool you… but she wanted me to acknowledge her copyright! Bugger

  9. Geoff, loved that you went to Hutt River province. Always wondered what it was like.

    And …you swam with whales. How breathtaking.

  10. Yes, Geoof, typical, show us interesting pictures and sunshine whilst we freeze our bits off in Melbourne!

    My armchair is loving it. Sitting by the fire with our old Singaporean ginger puss, looking at the photos. Very interesting.

    The bird memorial is rather sad and sweet at the same time.

    Loved the pic of the Germans. That was kind of them.

    Shirley x.

  11. Hi Geoff. Such adventures you manage to have! It all sounds very interesting – whets my appetite to do that stretch between Perth & Broome. Have fun & stay safe! Beware bounding kangaroos crossing the road!

  12. Great photos and commentary once again. The Hutt River Province sticker is the most impressive of all your worldwide stickers! Happy and safe travels. Enjoy Kurinji NP. I’ve checked out images on Google and it looks stunning.
    Lots of love. Xxx. M

  13. Hi Geoff………..great stuff. You have had your share or more of bad luck. Good to see you are back ‘running”! Loved the pics. and history lessons……….you could be charging for this.
    Keep safe and enjoying it all. Wonderful.

    • Hi Jenny
      Thanks for your comment. I can live without the camping…I’ve done 4 nights now…thats a record for me!

  14. Hello Geoff
    Great to see you are enjoying your Aussie adventure
    looks like you have the essential camping accessory – chateau cardboard!

    Best wishes
    Rob

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