Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gladstone 26 – 27 October 2006

Moved on for a short drive down to Gladstone and set up camp for a few days. This is a spot 6km down a dirt road to the remains of an old village on the shore of Shark Bay. Nothing remains of the old town, however there are numerous camp spots to stay, all within a stones throw of the inlet. About 8 caravans or motor homes dot the shore, well spaced out, as seen on the Four Corners program about Grey Nomads. Apparently we are not grey nomads; we do fit a category quite unsurprisingly called Baby Boomers. On Thursday we went for a row in the boat, however we could not see any signs of the dugongs or dolphins. However this is a peaceful spot, though windy. The afternoon included a 5 km walk along the north shoreline and tomorrow will be the south. Shark Bay includes Monkey Mia on the other side of this bay. It is a World Heritage site because of the special features such as the biggest sea grasses meadows (4,000sq kms) with greatest variety in the world. This also means that unique species can live here such as the dugongs (10,000 – 12,000), turtles and the dolphins. It is also unique due to the high salinity of the water which means only specialised rare fish can live here. This in turn leaves no predators for dugongs. It is also one of two places on earth where the microbes seen in fossils 3,500 million years ago still exist, continuing to make stromatolites, living fossils in the shallow waters. These are considered the earliest recorded life on earth. Whilst they are alive things are not over yet! We will see these living fossils soon at Hamelin Pool. The water is so green we are not sure if this is aquamarine. When seen next to the blue sky it is certainly like the marine commercial colours that never seem real. Keep seeing things that we thought were fake!
Took the boat out again and used the motor to get out further. Travelled over big areas of the dark patches of sea grass but disappointed not to see any dugongs. One vague brown shadow may well have been one but even if it was it was not enough to satisfy us. Hopefully we will be able to see one further around the bay. We will move on in a day or so.
Met up with a rough sort of couple here who have been on the road for 12 years. They hosted the evening drinks outside their motorhome. Fascinating to see yet another way of travelling – he even has home brew outside in its electric blanket! Can’t move on until it is bottled! He collects fossils and wowed us with his finds! A very old, elegant woman on her own came across from her campervan. She looked 80! Another old trendy couple came across, the gentleman sprouting a long grey plait. Looked like late 70’s. Said they had been married 58 years! The road offers lots of interesting meetings though the majority of time is still on your own! Which is fine by us!


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