Ningaloo; harsh and beautiful

Ningaloo; harsh and beautiful

This is going to be a long post, for a couple of reasons

  • There is no internet connection here or wifi or even phone reception, so I’ll just keep adding to the post each day then upload in one go
  • The journey in and first night are in direct contrast to the rest of the stay. More detail to follow but a horror journey in and first night wasn’t a great start
  • The place itself is just beautiful, harsh, serene, amazing countryside and crystal clear waters.

The lack of connection was something I really wanted, for a few days. We’re so connected all the time, that it’s really refreshing to unplug completely, warn people you’re out of contact, then just head off. Life slows down a lot, and rewards become worth waiting for, rather than the dopamine hit of likes on Facebook. I’m sitting listening to bird song, while typing this post, then will potter off to make a sandwich and wander down to gaze at the sea.

The journey in, well there’s a story. We turned off the main road thinking that we were 20 minutes from the homestead. An hour later and a severely corrugated road, max speed 40km/hr but more likely 15 km/hr, we limped into the homestead, to be given our keys by a grumpy station owner and told the campsite was another 18km up the still-dodgy road. By this point it was getting dark, so we had to play ‘spot the gate’ in the pitch dark after another 18km of corrugations. Once the campsite was found, we nearly drove into the sea by accident so some reversing in the dark needed before we could finally find our campsite. Said campsite wasn’t the huge, private space I’d been happily imagining, but a reasonable size space with a camper either side of us; not close, but closer than I’d anticipated. It was this point we found the totally broken, unusable, mangled jockey wheel so couldn’t access the back of the car or disconnect the trailer. 

Fast forward to the morning, and a couple of very helpful neighbours helped jerry rig a solution to get the camper disconnected from the car, we’d been assured that the road is always like that, the campsite are reasonable size and well screened with trees, and the sun is shining. The world seems a much better place.

————-

Terrible photo, but not a bad kitchen view

The view from the kitchen …. the world is indeed a good place. It’s hard to describe this place, and the photographs only tell part of the story. All the adjectives I’ve used before come to mind. The peaceful nature and serenity of nothing artificial around you; the amusement of looking at other people’s set ups with aerials, satellite dishes, West Coast Eagles flags; the constant noise of the wind flapping through the tent; crystal clear blue water that’s refreshingly cool ( Andy would say freezing), calm with tiny ripples yesterday and blowing a gale today; mornings calm and cool enough to need a fleece then afternoons where it’s warm enough to welcome plunging into the sea.

We’ve had an incredibly peaceful few days here, swimming at least twice a day, playing on the paddle board, walking along the beach, eating and drinking a few beers. One of the welcomed surprises has been the many conversations with people here, there’s not many people here but a great sense of acceptance from those you do encounter.

Some of the people here at the campsite come up every year for 2, 3 or 4 months, drive out every week or so for food, but are otherwise totally self contained. Until I came up here, I would have said there is no way I could imagine staying that long. Now I’m here, and falling into the slow pace of life, I can imagine two weeks. Two weeks completely unplugged, paddle boarding, reading, taking photographs, doing stretches, sleeping whenever I want.

We leave today, and while I am really looking forward to a shower and laundry, I’ll miss the peace and tranquillity.

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