Ningaloo Reef

Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
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Trip End May 27, 2008


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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friday we drove to Exmouth, another long journey in scorching heat while trying to avoid using the air con to save on fuel.  On the way we stopped at a roadhouse and were told it had been 50 degres C in the shade the previous day; no wonder we were sweating like pigs then. 

We arrived in Exmouth quite late and managed to book ourselves onto a dive trip before the tourist office closed and went to find a campsite.  Unfortunately the one we wanted to stay at had just closed and refused to let us in even though it was only 6:10pm.  The girl I was travelling with said some choice words to the lady (which were unjustified given the severity of her language!) and blew our chances of staying the following night so we checked into a Big 5 site (Aspen Park) which was nice and again full of Western Exposure tour bus groups.  Around the campsite we had a lot of Emus hanging aound which was pretty cool and they were walking all around town so driving was a bit dangerous.   

The following day we headed off to the Bundegi beach in town for a snorkel where me met Anatol and thomas, the two Swiss guys.  The water was slightly cold for my liking but some nice snorkelling.  Played around on the beach and then took a drive up to the lighthouse where we saw an old couple traveling in a bus they'd named Skidro which stood for something like spending the kids inheritance during our retirement.  That night we got chatting to Carla, an Italian girl about to work in the dive industry in Borneo.  We swapped e-mails as I was heading there to dive after Australia and would appreciate some local info on where to go.  We went to bed in the hope that we would dive the next day since the copany we booked with had cancelled due to bad weather however we may be able to transfer to another. 

Fortunately we got to go diving with Exmouth Dive Centre and headed out to the Murion Islands which is part of the Ningaloo reef.  On the boat I met Thomas, an English lad from Portsmouth who'd been working in Coral bay, our next destination so it was good to get some info from him.  The diving was quite nice although the sea was very rough.  We had a great lunch next to one of the islands, stuffed ourseves silly (beats our camping food) and swam over to the beach  and had a great snorkel with a ton of turtles.

After diving we headed off to Cape Range national park, just south of town along the coast.  It was a slow drive since it was dusk and so many kangaroos and emus seemed to have a deathwish, constantly running out in front of us but we finally made it and set up camp in a very windy Lakeside campsite (well it is windy season we're told).

In the morning we went snorkelling aroud lthe Lakeside beach which was amazing then headed to Turqouise Bay which was just as spectacular - we saw eagle rays, lagoon rays, turtles and some beautiful fish and corals.  The only downside was the cold water and the strong current there.

After that was another couple of hours driving to Coral Bay where we set up camp and started cooking dinner.  For some strange reason a couple in the cooking aea seemed familiar and we realised it was Jane and Burt, the couple myself and Suzy had met during our 4WD trip through the Kimberleys.  The last time we saw them their car was in trouble and they weren't sure if they'd make it to the next town so it was great to see they were OK. 
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