! What a relief to land safe and sound. But it was right up there with the Aer Lingus 'oops' incident in Ireland a few years ago, remember Eoin?!
After getting off the plane we walked out into tremendous heat like walking into an oven. It wasn't humid though so that made it more bearable. The first thing we saw when arriving in Exmouth was a huge Emu just walking across the road, what a novelty! They just walk out in front of you, stop, stare into the car then lose interest and keep walking!
The following day we went for a couple of dives around Ningaloo reef. We saw plenty of reef fish, a couple of reef sharks, cat fish and even a huge manta, what a beauty. He swam around us for ages doing the usual acrobatics they love doing! The viz wasn't bad but we were at the northern end of the reef so the coral wasn't very colourful there. Interesting and enjoyable dive all the same.
We then hired a car the next day and took a spin to Coral Bay, about 150kms away, to do a bit of snorkelling and see the reef there. On the way, a snake just slithered across the road in front of us and vanished off the edge of the road into the bush at the speed of lightning, so no photos of the little bugger I'm afraid
. Passed hundreds of termite mounds also. They weren't as big as the mounds in the Northern Territory but they were in their hundreds all around us. Coral Bay was stunning, the beach was just beautiful and the sea water was as warm as a swimming pool. After Coral Bay we drove back to Exmouth and continued North up to the end of the peninsula and down the other side into Cape Range National Park where we were immediately greeted by two friendly locals upon entering the park (see photos). It was getting late so the kangaroos and wallabies had just started to come out. We drove as far as Yardie Creek Gorge which was stunning and then went for a short stroll on the beach where we saw two huge red kangaroos grazing on the dune grass. We left Yardie Creek well before sunset but unfortunately the sun set quicker than we thought and we ended up driving at about 40km an hour at the fastest so as not to hit the hundreds of kangaroos and wallabies that just hopped and skipped across the road from every direction! Never again will we make that mistake in the outback! It took us hours to get back to Exmouth but it was worth going slow so as not to hit them and we got plenty of shots of our furry friends. Off to Monkey Mia next to see the dolphins :)
Arrived in Exmouth after catching our connection from Perth. The flight was a little bit hairy to say the least! We'd heard from an Aussie guy who used to live in Alice Springs that it can get quite turbulent when the plane is landing in very hot weather due to the heat from the ground pushing upwards against the plane as it descends (apparently). There was bad turbulence when we landed in Alice but we were just thankful that we'd found that out before we flew there. However nothing could have prepared us for the landing in Exmouth. The pilot told us that it was around 42 degrees that day so we were pretty sure it would be a rough landing as we were in a small propellor plane. As it descended, the turbulence was awful with the plane violently jerking from side to side but then all of a sudden it just dropped like it was free-falling resulting in some very distressed shrieks from everyone on the plane. Then it jerked again a few times and the pilot landed it without incident, phew. The crew are just pure used to these flights I suppose but even the air hostesses were a bit shook