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!

 

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