Ningaloo

8 September 2012

What a day. Its 7:30 in the evening and Im ready for bed! We had a late night last night with our neighbours and a day of sand and saltwater. We have just been to the lighthouse at North West Cape to watch the sun set with our cheese and bickies and a nice cold beer. We are going to throw something together for a light dinner, go to bed and dream about snorkelling.

We arrived in Exmouth yesterday lunch time and after a bite we went into a café to treat ourselves to a mango smoothie. As we were enjoying our smoothie we recognised the couple sitting on the next table, we had a brief but enjoyable chat with them at a car wash in Rainbow Beach (after Fraser Island) in May! We all thought it was pretty incredible to run into each other on the opposite side of a very large country after about 4 months – to be in the same café at the same time is remarkable! Anyway we had a good chat about our respective travels (Peter and Leslie-Ann are a couple from Sydney traveling for a year) and will try to catch up in the next town for a drink. I think things like that are amazing.
Anyway we did some jobs in Exmouth before going to find a caravan park for the night, near the lighthouse on the North West Cape. We went out for a walk over the dunes and straight away started seeing whales all over! A few were breaching, mums showing little ones how to do it- well that’s what I think anyway as the big one does it and then the little one follows straight after that. The humpback whales go up to the Kimberley to breed and come down here to the relatively calm protected waters of the reef system with their young ones before heading back into Antarctic waters.

Last night our neighbors at the caravan park were a German couple we saw on a walk in Karijini a few days ago so we started chatting and ended up over ‘at theirs’ for beers, travel talk and a hot milo. This morning after we had packed up and we were heading around the coast to Ningaloo Reef it started to spit, normally rain isn’t that noteworthy, but it’s been four months since we had our last drop! Not sure how we are going to cope cooking outside when it actually rains, last time we did it is a distant memory now.

Today was fantastic! Ningaloo Reef is one of the places we have both been really looking forward to, as we really enjoy snorkeling. It’s a long reef that hugs the coast and at some points along its length its only  20m off the beach so you can just swim out and you are surrounded by corals and fish.
A big highlight of the day was having the pleasure of swimming along next to a turtle; they have such presence and grace in the water, its great seeing his head popping up out of the water for a breath. We snorkelled at a couple of places, one where a current carries you along the coast. You jump in and get carried slowly across corals, sneak up on fish and then at the end jump out, walk back up along the beach and hop back in again. We saw so many fish, an octopus, but the highlight of the day was the turtle. Tired and a little cold at the end of the day, we came back to camp for our first hot shower for a while. We will do more of the same over the next few days, snorkel, break, snorkel, maybe lunch then snorkel!
L

not a very good photo but its a hiding stingray

the beautiful turtle we swam with

dont know what this guy is called but he puffs up if you swim past him

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