West Coast Day 144 - Kalbarri to Perth

Sunday, Dec 13, 1998 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

We left Cervantes at 9am and drove 17km south to the Nambung National Park to view the Pinnacles. They really were a pretty sight but it only took us about an hour to explore the desert area.

My maps showed a shortcut to our next stop, Lancelin that bypassed the main highway (which we haven't driven on in WA for more than a few hundred kilometres). This track was marked as a 4WD only track and would take us 9km to the township of Grey and then 80km to Lancelin. Just as we started the track a Ford F100 4WD pulled us over and told us the track was rough and the sand was very soft in places. He seemed to think we'd get the trailer through so we continued. The road was certainly rough and slow with hard limestone rocks that couldn't be avoided. We averaged about 20km/hr for the hour. The community of Grey was a surprise - it was a shanty town set on the most beautiful stretch of coastline you could imagine. We read signs that said no more shanties could be built but if you wanted you could live in the "squatters shack" until something turned up. We found the tracks leading south of Grey took us around the cliffs and below we could see other 4WDs on the beaches. We navigated our way through the maze of tracks and had to let down all our tyres to get the car and trailer up some steep, sandy hills. It took us over an hour to prepare the car and complete the obstacles. When we finally made it down to the beach and loved the miles and miles of beautiful beach driving we had along the shoreline. The beach finally brought us to another shanty town, which we hadn't expected but found it was called Wedge Island. The locals here pay C.A.L.M (Conservation and Land Management) $600 per year to live here in tin sheds they build themselves. To get to Lancelin we had another 40km of beach driving to go but the locals who advised that 2 cars had just got into trouble soon stopped us. Apparently, they had slipped into the water at a point where the beach slopes to such an angle that not even a good 4WD could make it through. We had to take an inland track that took us through Royal Australian Navy land used for gunnery practice but we finally made it to Lancelin at 3pm.

We drove straight to the Lancelin sailboard shop and showed them the crack in my mast. They confirmed it was irrepairable but couldn't replace it with the same type of mast, unless we were prepared to wait a few days for it to be sent up from Perth. After having a look at the terrible accommodation on offer at the 2 caravan parks, we decided to drive straight to Perth and sort it out ourselves.

We phoned our friends Nev and Katrina and were invited to Xmas drinks that night. We parked our troopy in the front yard besides Nev and Katrina's troopy and swapped travel stories all night.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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