Bob's Big Day
Birdies at the beach.
February 9, 2008
Okay. So today started off as the day from somewhere not quite as hot as hell.
I decided to forgo the day tour around Exmouth and explore the Ningaloo reef via scuba diving. So far, so good. (On a side note,
it’s too bad we weren’t here in a couple months when whaleshark season begins.)
Another girl, Jo, was also going diving. Everything was working out beyond well. We went to the dive shop this morning, got our
gear and went out to the boat.
While on the boat, we didn’t stop at the first dive destination because of the swells. We went out to the next destination – more
swells and no diving. We were now going back and heading to yet another dive spot. At this point, one of the dive masters told
us that the conditions were crap and the dive was being cancelled because there was no visibility. A couple hours of being in a
boat and sweating in our wetsuits had all been for nothing. We headed back to the port and made our way back to the dive
center for a refund.
Now it was time to find something to do in this oh-so-happening city of Exmouth.
For the record, there is nothing to actually do in Exmouth and the one teeny-tiny mini-mall that it basically consists of.
We asked at our hostel if we had any options since Trevor and the rest of the crew had already headed out for their day tour
while we were on the boat. The hostel checked around and came up with nothing. The one option was to go across the street
and see about hiring a car for the day.
We rang the bell (and, yes, it was literally a ‘bell’ as opposed to a doorbell) and a small, overly tanned (think ‘leather’) woman
with only half her teeth left came to greet us. We asked about hiring a car and she pointed to the one car in the driveway (I am
almost certain that she only had this one-car fleet to choose from). We asked if it would be relatively easy for us to find our way
around to the beaches. To this she replied “Well, you might have problems today because they’re shooting goats.”
She told us Exmouth is shooting goats from the sky so that many roads were going to be closed. Hmmm… Have to admit, this
was sounding a bit weird. When she started tacking on all of the extra charges (like a 10% tax from somebody who had a car-
hire operation set up in her living room- puh-lease!) and telling us that it only included 50 km for free (while we were going to
be driving at least 130 km), we decided we would go to the tourist office and see if we had any other options.
We were holding on to any hope the girl at the tourist office could give us good news and tell us we had options for the day.
Sadly, she couldn’t. We asked if she knew of any places to hire a car – and she did. She called and found a car and told them we
would be on our way. We had told her about the last place we had been and how the crazy lady told us something about
shooting goats. The girl confirmed that there was a goat killing going on today – but that we wouldn’t be affected if we were just
heading along the coast.
Off we went to Allen’s Auto Shop to pick up our car. That’s where the little guy (that we named ‘Bob’ – thought it was quite
fitting for him) was waiting for us. Bob would then begin his fun day of driving down the coast through the Cape Range National
Our first stop was a place called ‘Oyster Stacks’. Jo knew about this place from her friends who loved it when they were up
here. Even though it is a weekend…even though this is one of the more popular places on the coast…there was nobody there.
Nobody. The beach didn’t consist of sand as much as it consisted of small flat rocks. This made it a bit challenging making it out
for a snorkel, but once I was in the water it was all good. Some pretty coral and colorful fishies. It took us a while to leave
because it was just way too cool to have this entire place to ourselves. I guess it was inevitable that a few people would
eventually show up. We decided it was probably time anyway to head to our next destination – Turquoise Bay.
I can’t begin to describe how much Turquoise Bay lived up to its name. The water was glowing turquoise. It was so bright. No
picture could ever do this beach/bay justice. It looked unreal every step of the way. There were definitely more people here
than at Oyster Stacks – but there still weren’t many. Maybe twenty? Welcome to Western Australia.
I shifted between snorkeling (well, trying to snorkel in the strong current sans fins), wading and sitting in the shallow water and
then snorkeling again (this time using Jo’s fins which definitely helped matters) and then sitting in the water just a little bit
Next stop was Tulki Beach which was a bit unique with a mass amount of small black rocks in the water – and a ton of birds just
sitting on the beach. Normally I don’t like birds – but these really made for some pretty scenery.
We decided our last coastal stop would be T-Bone Bay. What’s not to like about the name? It actually brought a Seinfeld
reference to mind (when George wanted to be nicknamed ‘T-Bone’ by his co-workers…but was then called Coco instead) which
was the initial appeal. When we got there we realized the bay got its name because of a sand bar that formed a ‘T-Bone’ shape.
But the coolest thing here was that we when got out of the car, we heard a bit of rustling. Then out from a bush came a couple of
kangaroos. Kangaroos…at the beach. What’s not to love about that?
On our drive towards the lighthouse, we passed the Horse Whisperers. We saw them on our drive out to the beaches and we
got a kick out of watching a car pull over and the horses standing right at their window as if they were all having a conversation.
Clearly these horses are main staples around here because we were now doing this. One of the horsies had his nostrils smack in
my face. These guys were too funny. We spent a bit of time chatting them up. But it was time for Bob to take us to the
We went up to the lookout at the lighthouse. Beautiful views of the coast on both sides of us. Even Bob was enjoying the views.
Bob showed us a great day. But it was time for Bob to take us back to the hostel now as the rest of the group was almost for
sure back by then.
All I could think of was that maybe today was working out perfectly, after all. Maybe it’s okay the diving didn’t work out
because I would have most likely missed out on all of this. And sure we had to pay a bit for the car but it seemed more than
worth the cost (about $40 each) to have as much time at places as we wanted. We could do whatever we wanted. What a great
By the time we got back, the rest of the group had been back for a couple hours already. Basically, by the time we were done
getting showered and ready, dinner was just minutes away from being ready. What perfect timing! It was our last full group
dinner since four people will be staying in Exmouth. Then tomorrow it’s time to make the loooong drive back to Perth.
February 10, 2008
We are now eight hours into an extremely boring roadtrip. We still have about 3-4 hours to go. Oy!
We keep passing countless kangaroos whose lives were cut short by cars. Poor little guys are lying all over the highway. And
they are probably beyond cooked as it is roasting hot outside.
The one and only highlight of this drive was driving past the Tropic of Capricorn. I must admit that it was pretty cool seeing the
I am now working on putting questions together so I can host a game of ‘Pop Culture Trivia’ on the bus. I figure this might be
able to make at least 30 minutes go by a bit quicker…
The drive is over! We are now in Northhampton. Turns out we are staying at a convent tonight that is supposed to be haunted
by ghosts. All I know is that I’m so tired, the ghosts can do anything they want and it probably won’t wake me up.
In a bit we are having our last dinner of fish ‘n chips. Tomorrow morning is our last 500 kilometers of driving. At least the good
news is that I was too tired to host my game of ‘Pop Culture Trivia’ on the bus today so I can do that tomorrow.
February 11, 2008
The drive is going by much more quickly today. Only 300 kilometers to go. Going to bust out Pop Culture Trivia shortly.