I have been away from my computer for several days. For reasons I will not go into although the story would be a best seller, I am travelling south. Away from the desert and down the west coast of Australia.
I had to stop after a couple of days driving and a humungous thunderstorm. The rain drops were about an inch in diameter and, when I stopped because I couldn’t see the road, within five minutes there were five lightning strikes within a couple of hundred metres of me! That was scary and I kept telling myself I would not feel the one that hit me! I did not have to find out.
So I stopped the next day at the nearest available settlement. A small place called Coral Bay. I spent much of the day reading Terry Pratchett’s “Thud”. I also took a few snapshots.
This is my little blue tent beside my battered and nearly lightning struck Land Cruiser.
Anyway, this is why there is a campsite, and why the odd person drops in to visit. At the exorbitant cost of $25 per night for a powered camp-site!
There is a reef about a kilometre offshore which destroys the waves and gives the lagoon an almost glassy surface when there is no wind. As a wave crashes onto the reef, it fills the lagoon and at the shore all that is noticed is that the water’s edge moves in and out a few feet.
There are large, almost tame snapper (Pink Emperor) to hand feed, turtles and manta rays to visit, canoes and glass bottomed boats to view the underwater world. There are large coral “Bombes” which almost break the surface, populated with thousands of colourful reef fish (think “Finding Nemo”) and harmless reef sharks. What there isn’t are big nasty sharks, sea snakes or the legendary “Stingers”.
You can take tours outside the reef and, in season, swim with the world’s largest fish, the gentle giant, the Whale Shark which can reach 12-15 metres in length. The one I swam with four years ago was only 8 metres long.
Coral Bay is a small bit of heaven on Earth and has visitors from all over the world. Just today I have heard British, American, German, Dutch and Italian accents. I have seen Africans, Orientals and Caucasians wandering the beach. Further along the beach dress codes are quite relaxed. Why waste this beautiful sunshine by not getting an all-over tan? Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton would never visit. They would be simple also-rans in the beauty stakes on the beach at Coral Bay.
I will drag myself away from here tomorrow morning and continue my trip south. Then I may post some more pictures of the sights here.