Cape Arid to Stokes NP

Purple Flag

Purple Flag

Stokes Inlet

Stokes Inlet

Coast walk at Stokes Inlet

Coast walk at Stokes Inlet

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Zamia

Zamia

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More whale watching this morning at Dolphin Cove, before we left Cape Arid NP. A mother and calf were about 50m from the rocks and it was an amazing experience to be able to see them so close.
Lunch at Condingup wasn’t half bad, after all. Garlic bread, fish & chips, date & walnut crumble and a GOOD coffee. We are missing our coffee. Forgot to stock up on fresh coffee for the plunger before we left and, because we have been camping in national parks, there is no power to run our little Nespresso and milk heater. These are the hardships one faces if one chooses a life on the road!
We arrived in Esperance about 4pm to discover that the two supermarkets were closed and the bread shop had no bread! We were directed to a small, 7-day IGA out of town and paid nearly $100 for a paltry collection of groceries. Ever since we left Adelaide, everything has been very expensive.
We arrived at Stokes Bay at about 6pm and hurried to set up the van before the forecast bad weather hit. Perth has had terrible weather, roofs off houses etc., and it is coming to us. It has been raining (not too much), and blowing a gale. We are on a fairly sheltered campsite but we are still being buffeted around.
The sun shone for a while this morning and we were able to do a lovely coastal walk. We can’t believe how many beautiful wildflowers we are seeing already and we wish we had a more sophisticated camera. We saw a lot of zamias – big palm-like trees , actually cycads), which existed hundreds of millions of years ago in Gondwana Land. They bear fruit, which indigenous animals eat without ill-effect but which made Matthew Flinders’ gardener very sick. The aborigines counteracted the high level of alkaloids by putting them through a process of burying, soaking and cooking, to make them edible. You would wonder how anyone would work out such a procedure to neutralise the poison.
I almost stepped on a snake as it wriggled across the path. It was very small – only about a foot long. Glad Mum or Dad wasn’t around!
We will leave here tomorrow and will stay at either Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun.

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