Did someone say sand surfing?

Trip Start Dec 30, 2006
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Trip End Jul 27, 2007


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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gotta watch out for wild dingos.  This one was very aggressive and made a strange "purring" sound.  I found the only way to fend it off was to 'pet' it.

Other than being a small fishing village, Lancelin is known by those in the know as a beacon for para-sailing.  About a hundred kilometers south of Cervantes, it is supposed to be one of the best places in the world for it because of the good winds it gets during the summer.  Since I arrived near the beginning of the Australian winter - not the summer - there were only a few people at the hostel and they mostly where working full-time in the area - not too many para-sailers kicking around.

One of the guys I met at the hostel was from Sweden, living there for a couple months practicing his motocross skills on the nearby sand dunes.  The dunes start at the outskirts of town and go on for a couple hundred miles in the desert.  It was one of the reasons I had stopped in Lancelin, to rent a quad and spend some time on the sand dunes.

I got in Thursday afternoon and headed to the dunes on Friday but soon found out that the one guy who rents out quads in the town was in Perth and usually only is there to rent equipment on Saturday and Sunday during the off-season anyways.  No worries.  The village of Lancelin is great - easy to get around with some good shops and a great fish & chips place.  I ended up spending most of Thursday drinking Toohey's Extra Dry and chatting a guy from Paris who was staying at the hostel.

When I got up on Saturday it was pouring.  Torrential downpour.  Pretty much everyone who didn't have to work just stuck around the hostel for the day.  No sand dunes as the rain didn't ease until the late afternoon and according to the Swedish guy, whose name I have forgotten, it's not very safe to go on the dunes right after a heavy rainfall without giving them time to dry a bit.

With an average of two people killed on the dunes every year and many more than that injured I thought it would be best not to chance it.  I waited for Sunday.

Sunday = rain too.  Although it had eased up by just after 11am I had decided once it stopped (the rain, that is) I was going to head to Freo, since I knew it was going to take a few hours and the scooter was due back the next day.  So, unfortunately, I went to Lancelin for some sand dunes but didn't actually get a quad to explore them outside the small part I saw on Thursday on the scooter.

By about noon it felt warm enough to head out and try to make the 140km trip back to Fremantle.  All was good on the trip - save for about an hour stretch when I passed through a brutal rain storm.  Rain can really really hurt when you are driving through it at 50km / hour on a scooter.  It was like a constant barrage of stings on my face.
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