I forgot about this blog draft about Christmas 2012 spent in WA. A few days in Perth / Freo then I headed three hours north to a ranch between Green Head & Eneabba. Didn’t die from an attack by any native species so that was a good result.

Cottesloe Beach
No pictures were really taken in Perth or Fremantle other than a few quick (non-pervy) snaps on Cottesloe Beach. Despite helicopters monitoring the shark situation from above, I gave a skip on going for a dip.

Lesueur National Park
Lesueur National Park southeast of Green Head, WA. Hopped out of the car for 10 minutes to 40°C heat and seeing a head-level web occupied by a spider the size of my hand. Our aborted hike turned into just a leisurely car ride through the hilly region where I finally saw my first live kangaroo (+ joey) after witnessing dozens flattened along Aussie freeways.

This protected area is well known for hundreds of plant species, some of which are unique to only this park. So get around it, botany nerds.

I’ve been in the outback – tick.

chicken coup
Four chicks hatched the day of my arrival.

I could also mention within an hour of getting on the property I was shown a settled Golden Orb spider and someone soon after killed what was likely a venomous dugite snake making its way towards the chicken coop. After discarding the body, the next day it was discovered a fox or other animal had ripped it open to expose snake eggs inside it.

Canada, maybe you should stay up north and indoors.

Snorkeling at Point Louise, Green Head
We went snorkelling three different days at Point Louise in Green Head. Christmas and Boxing Day the water was ridiculously clear for an area that gets so much unrelenting wind. Plenty of zebra fish zipping around. Saw a small yellow pufferfish near the shore. Surely you remember The Simpson S02E11? Yeah, you do.

Then there’s the constant anxiety of being visited by a friendly Indian Ocean shark with your eyes looking solely at the ocean floor. Supposedly they only frequent water over two metres deep. Put a bit of faith in it.

Guess I should mention my first day “goggles malfunction” – friends kept wondering why I stopped to snort water so much. “Do you have the goggles over your nose?” “Have what over my nose?” I’m an idiot.

2012 Christmas Day ranch sunset
Christmas Day sunset on the sheep ranch.
yabby
Yabby? Like a freshwater lobster but much smaller. Cook in butter and garlic.
Jurien Bay Skydive
Boxing Day 8AM appointment in Jurien Bay to go tandem skydiving at 14,000 feet. Unfortunately the sign “SKYDIVE!” should be changed to “SKYDIVE?” as easterly winds over 40km/h cancelled those plans since “with these conditions 99 out of 100 will make it down without breaking a leg but that one person…”

My limbs will stay intact. To the beach? To the beach.

Eneabba Disney clouds
Approaching sunset, what my friend Holly described as “Disney clouds” over the ranch on Boxing Day. Of course if you turn to the right…
Eneabba storm
…I reckon there’s a storm brewin’ on the eastern horizon.
Eneabba dark skies
Got dark fast. I kept attempting intermittent camera snaps in an attempt to capture lightning but an iPhone 4 is just not up to the task. Since the farm has a truck containing a water tank (for filling troughs, etc.), by default they become voluntary firefighters that are on-call when a storm passes through. Lightning strikes in 42°C weather are never a good sign.
The Pinnacles
I was originally supposed to take a bus up from Perth but the single Dec 23rd trip was booked up so I ended up renting a car and driving on the wrong side of the road for the first time. After not driving at all since 2008.

Luckily this affording me the luxury of checking out The Pinnacles just south of Cervantes, WA. Stopped in on my 3+ hour drive back south but wish I had spent a bit longer and checked out the interpretive centre (as I was in a rush to return my rental to West Perth by 5PM – was late anyway!)

The area is a few kilometres square of limestone formations raising out of the sand. It was 41°C out and I was wearing Chuck Taylors. And yes, the formations are rock penises.

quokka
It’s a quokka! Not quite a rat! Not quite a kangaroo! More docile than domestic cats!

They’re native only to Rottnest Island that I ferried over to and spent a day on. Signs clearly state “don’t feed the fauna” but some jackhole tourist gave this one an apple. Do you see apple trees on this island, ya dickhead?

I ended up biking 38km in total around the island and me arse is still sore.