Moore River, Pinnacles

We left Perth on Matthias's birthday with feelings similar to those when we first set out from Adelaide four and a half months earlier. Heading into the great expanse of the north it felt like we were embarking on the second chapter of our adventure and we were a mix of nervous and excited.

But it wasn't a long drive before we pulled into the Moore River Bridge rest stop just outside of Guilderton. We'd taken a gamble on the 24h free rest stop and I don't think I really felt relaxed about what lay ahead of us until we had bagged a spot and were set up for the night. It was a pretty average camp with stinky bins and a lot of road noise, but it gave us the chance to explore Guilderton and the Moore River the next day which was really fabulous.

It was a scorcher of a day. We spent the morning with a dozy sea lion on the beach. I'm loving the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. I only ever go in the water on the hottest of summer days in Adelaide and then it's just a plunge and out again. Here I could frolic all day.

In the afternoon we took the kayak out on the Moore River estuary. We had the spot almost to ourselves except for a pair of fisher people who confirmed the place had been packed for the long weekend. We watched cormorants chase fish like eels in the shallow water and saw big bream evade the unlucky fisher pair. Hugh took a giant leap forward and went snorkeling for the first time. After months of unsuccessful encouragement, he finally just did it and looked like he'd been doing it all his life.

We risked it again and returned to the same rest stop around 5pm. We were lucky to squeeze into a last spot. The bin smell had improved but the traffic noise had worsened. Locals who must know it's a rest stop apparently find it a lark to blast their truck and car horns as they pass, any hour of the day and night.

We had intended to spend the following day at Lancelin but it was stinking hot and not at all appealing. We braved the sand dunes in the morning, attempting a bit of sand boarding with the boogie board. But with sand blasting our skin and filling our eyes, none of us lasted long. However, viewed from the air-conditioned comfort of the car, the dunes were very impressive.

Moods improved greatly after lunch and cold showers by the foreshore and feeling like we'd seen enough of Lancelin we headed for the Pinnacles.

This was an exciting moment for Hugh as we were stepping into the pages of his "Are We There Yet" book. He was Grace for the afternoon and we were assigned respective characters. I was more impressed by the rock protrusions than I expected to be. The limestone spikes covered an extensive area with walk and drive through options giving plenty of opportunity to explore.

After 5pm we pulled into another council provided free rest area, Tuarts Reserve. This was a much nicer bush camp tucked in amongst beautiful flowering acorn banksia. But here we had to make do with the requirement that campers be fully self contained i.e. no toilets. We managed.

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