We got up a few minutes earlier than the day before, so that we could eat breakfast and store everything away, before 8.45am, when the pelican feeding would take place at the beach, right across the street of our campsite. When we arrived there, already a big tourist group had formed around 5 pelicans that were carefully coming closer to receive some fish. A lady explained a few things about the animal and then she threw the first fish into one of their mouths. The rest of the fish the tourists could throw to them. Afterwards, we watched how they walked or flew back to the water and watched them swim around for a while.
Then, I thought that I wouldn’t have a lot more to say about that day, since we just spent it driving towards Monkey Mia, looking at the exact same nature for hooooooours. At least this makes driving easy when the road is just a straight line with perhaps a few ups and downs once a while. We should have topped up our fuel at the last gas station at the turn off to Denham, although we had still more than half. But it was the cheapest of everything we saw afterwards. So, for another 25km, nothing happened until 5km before the Hamelin Pools, the heat barometer of Hero suddenly started climbing and we had to stop at the side of the road, open the hood and wait for all the hot air to get out. At least there were cars coming down the road and most of them were stopping and asking whether we were fine.
When a French guy (who couldn’t speak any English and once I told him I could speak French, he seemed like he couldn’t talk at all anymore..) wanted to help us, the police pulled over too. They told us to wait there for 15min and they would come back then to check on us again. So we waited some more and when they finally came back, the police officer told me to just use water from now on to cool the engine and not to spend money on cooling liquid anymore, since in this weather, my car would use up way too much. Then, he wanted to see my driver’s license. I handed him my Swiss one and he didn’t even ask for the international one. Then, off they were and we continued the last few kms to the Stromatolites.
It was basically just a jetty that led over these weird rocks in beautiful turquoise water. It would be a nice stop to walk around a little after a long drive but we were so hot and hungry, that we were glad when we made it back to the car and then just ate our lunch in the shade of the info sign 🙂 With some food in our stomachs, we took off again and when we reached Shell Beach, we took a short stroll over the beach that is entirely made out of small shells. The water was such an intense clear blue, really inviting for swimming. Unfortunately, you can’t see the true colors on these pictures. There, we also properly baptized the car, finishing the ceremony with a delicious cider at the resort in the evening 🙂
After that, our goal was to have an ice cream and wifi at McDonalds in Denham, since we haven’t found wifi that was strong enough to upload pictures on my blog or the Dropbox since we left Perth. However, when we reached Denham, we realized that there wouldn’t be a McDonalds, it was such a small place and pretty much consisted of one street along the ocean. We just quickly got some more gas for the last 30km to Monkey Mia. Upon arrival we were greeted by another sign that told us that we had to pay a fee to enter the Monkey Mia park. We filled in the form and dropped the money in the box and then proceeded to the reception to pay for our campsite.
Monkey Mia is a resort with rooms, cabins, dorms, a pool, two restaurants and a green patch where campers could put up their tents. We had nice neighbors around us and also some intruders in form of emus. They’re freely walking around on the premises and if you don’t always close all the openings of your car or van, they will steal anything edible out of it. We saw this happen to the guys next to us, so we were extremely careful and therefore the emus didn’t bother us. The showers were beautiful and the water good and the kitchen at the dormitory site was really nice too. When we cooked dinner after our evening swim in the shallow ocean, we met Simon and Inga from Germany. Inga actually worked as a volunteer with the
Dolphins but she said that even she had never touched one of them and only was there to prepare the fish which the few tourists that would get picked could feed them.
I slept really well that night since we finally had the right amount of air in our mattress and the temperature was agreeably cold, so that I could actually use my sleeping bag as a blanket.
The next morning, we got up for the first dolphin feeding. First, we had to just stand there for about 45min and wait until the dolphins were comfortable enough or ready to accept fish from us. Throughout the whole time, a ranger was explaining things about the dolphins. That part was interesting and it was really nice to watch the dolphins swim up close and then disappear again but it was quite a long time to stand in the sun without really having eaten breakfast. At least, when it finally came down to feeding them, I got chosen (thanks to Inga :)) to feed one a fish. That was really awesome!!! But it passed by so quickly and since Miriam didn’t get picked, we stayed close to the beach to be around for the second feeding that would take place, when the dolphins came back.
Finally, just two of them returned and the same procedure with standing in the water took place again. This time, the rangers had even less fish, since there were only two dolphins there and so we just watched. Most of the tourists just stay one night at the resort and then leave after the dolphin feeding. That was our luck, because there were hardly any people at the beach then and after a while, the dolphins came back and swam within really close distances to us in the water. The temptation to touch them was really big but since the rangers repeatedly told us not to do that because we could transmit diseases, I resisted the urge and was just happy to be so close to them in the water. So, this was quite a cool experience. However, I probably wouldn’t really recommend anyone coming here, since the dolphins are really all there is up here. And to drive 170km one way just for this (we have to drive back the exact same road tomorrow) might not be worth the gas you waste. It is a pretty place up here and I loved swimming with the dolphins but so far if you only have a short amount of time for the west coast, I’d cut that out and rather visit some park with dolphins where you pay more but actually get to interact with them.
On that note, I will crawl into my tent now. It looks like it will be another nice cool night