Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cool Stuff around Denham - Day 9 (by Glenda)

Kelly dazzled me with his ‘man-skills’ before leaving Carnarvon, as the gas stove needed a new regulator and the lifters for the pop top on the van were also in need of repair. Then it was an easy few hours down the coast and along the peninsular to Denham. Kelly had read in one of his favourite travel guides, ‘A Sunburnt Country’ by Bill Bryson, about the stromatalites to be found on this coast, so we turned off at the appropriate sign to Hamelin Pool. Sure enough, the very chatty Carmel and cheerful Jeff working at the historic Telegraph Station there pointed us in the direction of the aforementioned stromata-thingies, which are apparently the point in evolution where something decided to produce oxygen and be a living being. Lucky for us, these rocky little blobs in the ocean kept doing their thing for a few billion years, and hey presto, here we are in all our evolutionary glory ... driving greenhouse gas emitting, fuel guzzling vans all over the place to marvel at them. I digress. We also checked out an historic shell quarry which provided the coolest white building blocks for the first homes and church in the area.

Denham, aka Shark Bay, was undeniably beautiful. A teensy little fishing & holiday village lined with the most beautiful beach and ideal weather, pretty much all year round. We stayed at the beach from 4 till 8, swimming, walking, and then cooking our dinner on one of the beachfront public bbqs which we shared with Sven and Mrs Sven from Holland. We were a little humbled to struggle through our scotch fillet and fresh salad doused in vinaigrette while they made a perfectly satisfactory meal from a tin of potatoes and a tin of peas.

With no claim to originality, we both think that there is something deeply healing and invigorating about being right by the ocean especially in unspoilt little places. The evening at the van park was so relaxing. It’s the ions, it’s Mabo, it’s the vibe. (reference to Aussie comedy movie, ‘The Castle’)

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