Jul 22, 2006
|We finally made it to Perth, but not without a bit of fun along the way.
Once we left Carnarvon and the beach paradise, we headed out to Monkey Mia, a dolphin resort where dolphine visit the beach everyday. It's technically also a conservation reserve place, but oddly enough our parks pass didn't cover the netry! Anyway, we saw some dolphins way up close and it was really cool. We also went to the Ocean PArk near MOnkey Mia, where two marine biologista are trying to make conservation and science discovery a sustainable practice and it was really great! We saw a 2 meter long cod ( which was also extra fat), some sharks, some baby sea turtles, lemon sharks, and stone fish, which are extra grumpy looking fish, as they have a built tin cartoonish frown.
We went to the fasmous shell beach which is a pristine beach made up entirely of frillions of little shells, up to 10 meters deep in places! It was definitely cool, but not quite as comfy as sand to sit on :)
Then, we made it to a highly anticipated location: Australia's second largest country. Yes, you heard us. Here's alittle backstory.
Around 20 years ago a guy clled Leonard got ticked off with Austrlia's wheat quota system and found a legal loophole in the constitution that allowed him to legally secede fro Australia and declare his own Principality (he can't be a kingtom due to some thing about British rules or something). Australia didn't take his letters seriously and didn't respond even though they are required to by law, which was the opening he neeced to seceed. So now, he is Prince Leonard of the Hutt River Province Principality, which has its own constitution, army (stricly ceremonial) passports, church, post office, currency, the lot. And it's all totally legal. We heard abou ti from MArianne's brother in law (thanks, Murray!!) and once we eard baout it, we had to go.
We arrived and go the tour from Prince Leonard himself and it turns out that he is a genious (the slightly eccentric kind, obviously) and holds many honorary doctorates and awards, some of which have only been presented to the Queen and Perince Leonard. It's really very cool. We camped out and eventually met his wife, Princess Shirley as well. It's still a farm but the place is all set up and the Prince is in the process of building a camp kitchen. We highly recommend a visit, especially while the guided tous are by th royalty themselves.
While Rob was playing his didge in the evening, we later found out that the Prince thought his generator was giving him trouble! It all worked out mind out, but it would have been a royal pain if anything had broken, since the Hutt River Principality generates all its own energy.
Upon leaving, we presented the principality with a really big sea urchin shell to go with the royal sea shell collection, and the Prince told us not only will it be included in the collection, but our names will be added (along with Canada) as contributors! Our name is finaly in lights!!
We then left for Perth, where we arrived just in time to get charged $30/night to pitch a tent in a caravan park, so we are moving along from there as soon as possible.
Oh yeah, we have lso decided to keep the car rather than sell it, since we really like having a car, and the four days it'll take us to drive over to Sydney and start our east coast section is less than we'd use to sell and buy a new ride once we got to Cairns...so we shall be continuing the road journey, and possible replaceing the shocks as a treat to us since going 20 km/h on gravel roads put s a dent in the fun oart of driving!
That's it for now, we will check in at our next biggish stop/ After Perth we will go to Margaret river on a winery tour (if possible) and then the gian't tree top walk, which is a walkway suspended 40 meters above a giant tingle tree forest canopy. Should be cool, if a little vertigo inducing. But what's a holiday without a little vertigo?!
Take care all
rob and marianne