Friday, September 05, 2008

DAY 316: Yanchep NP to Quinn’s Rocks

Thurs 4th September 2008
38km @ 9.4 km/hr
Sunny, 23 deg C
Elevation of destination 8m
Distance to date 19461 km (12163 miles)

Another perfectly peaceful night in the bush - probably my last, this trip at least. There was a very heavy dew again, but I wasn’t planning a quick departure so there was time to get the tent dried off in the sun before packing up. There were plenty of feathered friends around; most vociferous was the Kookaburra, but very noticeable were unidentified birds with a call just like a telephone ringing US-style i.e. one long ring repeated. At first I thought it was someone passing with a mobile!

I got going around 10, braced for a hard hour getting back to the Yanchep NP ‘centre’. It was just as tough as coming out here with some very hard pushes up steep little boulder-strewn inclines. When dragging the fully-laden bike over a fallen tree I managed to snap off the underside PET bottle cage - good job I don’t really need it any more this trip now I’m just about in urban territory again.

I spent until 1400 exploring more of what’s on offer around the park, and there’s quite a lot to see; flowery walking trails, a wetland walking / cycling trail around Loch MacNess, limestone gorge and caves, some oldish listed buildings, lots of amazing trees and plants, kangaroos, and Koalas, and there’s plenty of interpretive signs explaining all about the flora, fauna and geology. It’s all very nicely done, helped by the relative maturity of this long-established park I guess, and well worth a day’s visit. I saw a lot more of the Black Cockatoos all over the park and by the highway later on, and the park signs call them ‘Carnaby’s Cockatoos’; I think this must be a local name for them since this name is not listed in Simpson and Day, and they look like Short or Long-Beaked Black Cockatoos to me. I’m now not sure which; they’re very similar.

I had a good lunch of Nachos con carne at the Chocolate Box tearooms but resisted buying another bag of Rocky Road which got quickly demolished yesterday; plenty of treats to come in Freo and Perth lol....And apparently the ‘Ghost House’ was so named simply because it was never lived in after being painstakingly built in the 30’s - so no ghosts actually reported then. And Loch MacNess was named after an early benefactor who supported the parks initial development, an immigrant from Scotland of that surname (I’ve never heard of that name before and had thought it was an invention).
After a great morning it was back on the job and facing up to the busy Wanaroo Highway again, but thankfully the authorites have seen fit to provide a bitumen shoulder from Yanchep south, so it was a bit more relaxing to cycle on. NB/ a map of the area showed a coastal road from the coastal town of Yanchep down to Quinn’s Rocks with a note that it would be available from June 2008, however the information centre told me it is not yet complete, but is now expected to be open in October 2008. This would eliminate the highway altogether.
After 16km on the highway I was able to turn off for QR, which is 3 or 4km more. I headed to the only caravan park here ($18/nt) since there’s no bush left any longer to camp in, and managed to find a sheltered place to pitch in the face of a strong SW wind which had quite a cold edge to it. It definitely feels like winter down here now as soon as the sun starts to get low in the sky.
I cycled 2km along a coastal cycle track to have a look around, and noted some amazing houses on a prestige marina / housing complex where some of the (presumably) multi-million dollar homes had huge boats moored at the back - the type of boat that can probably cross all the world’s oceans - and this must be where the rich and famous of Perth / WA shack up. It was very tasteful though and not developed in a vulgar manner as can be the case. From there I headed uphill and around the edge of the town centre and bought some dinner to save cooking out in the cold when I get back.

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