West Coast Day 122 - Ningaloo Reef

Saturday, Nov 21, 1998 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

We planned to leave Exmouth today and start making our way down along the Ningaloo Reef. There is only one road down the western coast and it runs through the Cape Range National Park. The Adcocks left yesterday and we knew we'd probably find them along the way in a few days.

After packing up our camp in Exmouth we spent a few hours in town. I took the spare set of car keys and did the food shopping whilst David went to the Internet Café to upload our website information. I made it back to the car before David and attempted to deactivate the car alarm with the spare keys only to find the battery was flat! I had some frozen meat and a few dairy products so I wanted to get them into our car fridge as soon as possible. Although I could have unlocked the car and put the things into the fridge I knew that doing so would set off the alarm and it was very loud and annoying and with the remote controller flat I had no idea how to turn it off. I decided to wait in the shade for David, thinking he wouldn't be too much longer.

Whilst waiting, Gigs and Spencer, the couple in the blue E320 Nissan campervan walked past. We chatted for a while and they helped me overcome the alarm as I unlocked our car and put the perishables into the fridge. Then, we all stood around chatting for a while until David came back. Spencer had just got a job - painting an awning, a 2 or 3 day job but the money he would earn from that would have to go toward car repairs. They were still catching fish from Bundegi wharf for food and illegally free camping in the National Park each day. When David came back, we met up and David decided it would be worth fishing again before entering the National Park because of the restricted fishing areas. We needed the fish for food.

David actually caught a Queenfish before I'd even made it to the wharf. He'd rushed ahead while I spent a few minutes splathering on my sunscreen. And so we spent another whole day at the Bundegi wharf catching anchovies with snag hooks and using them as live bait to catch Queenfish.

Around 3pm we left the wharf and finally made our way into the National Park. My maps showed quite a number of established camp sites and we pulled in the very first track to investigate. We were stopped halfway along the road by the ranger who asked if David was "Rob". After saying no he wasn't, we added that we had a friend called "Rob". The ranger then realised he'd goofed and said, "so you must be David". He then told us that our friends Rob and Dorothy wanted us to meet up with them at another camp site which the ranger directed us towards. When we arrived, the camp site was for 3 vehicles although only 2 of the sites had shade. They were well set up under the trees and had left us a great spot too. Before the sun went down a few vehicles came and quickly left and so we had the place to ourselves. The camp site was named T-Bone and was just behind some small sand dunes that faced the Ningaloo Reef. The colour of the water is an incredible turquoise blue and it just looked perfect. Unfortunately, the wind from the south-west just didn't stop howling and we found it difficult to play Mahjong, to cook and to sleep.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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