Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bustling Busselton (Updated

Sunday, October 1 2006

Okay so I'm really still writing about Saturday night, but we'll get there I promise. When we got to the hotel, I discovered our room had only a double bed and not the promised Twin and Queen combination that I had requested in the email. (Score one for my side because tomorrow's game is a lulu). Anyway, the resourceful clerk switched us with someone who had not yet arrived so that we got our proper room. We splurged on a (to us) expensive restaurant meal of 30$ each - Mom got the fillet which was supposed to by steak and turned out to be Barramundi and I got a Greek salad and Thai butternut soup. We switched and then drowned our sorrows in dessert, a piece of chocolate olive oil cake. (It had fudge sauce, ice cream and "cream" but none of the promised "strawbs" on the blackboard.)

The next morning we got off early and so we went to the markets. There was a little flea market kind of thing down near the jetty - home made jams, trinkets, eggs, and vegetables and also a whole bunch of plants for the garden.



The Busselton jetty is a very very long wooden pier that goes 2 kilometers out into the ocean. At the end is a sunken chamber for observing the ocean floor and fishes.



We were told it would take 25 minutes to walk out there - we reserved 50 minutes and still barely made it in time. It was a long hard walk in the morning sun. On the way we had to traipse past all kinds of fishermen with their lines and gear strewn across our path and although there is a train track right in the middle of the jetty - it seemed to serve as a convenient "room" for junk, so there was no straight path to the end of the pier. I saw a very interesting black headed orange beaked bird as we walked toward our goal and of course there were the prevalent seagulls and cormorants (what they call sea eagles here). I may also have seen a loon but am not sure.



We passed one fisherman who had caught these herrings. (You can also see squid caps on the left and something he called a Gar(r)di closest to the bottom right.



When we got to the end, we learned the train back was not running, so I secured us a wheel chair for the return. Then we went down into the 30 foot chamber. We were given an elevator trip down which means we missed most of the explanations, but it meant we got the best room with all of its windows to ourselves for uninterrupted viewing.

There were several different interesting fishes. This angel fish like thing was much farther south than its natural habitat and the conjecture was that perhaps global warming might have something to do with it.



What follows are images of what we saw. I thought this was a pretty fish with its red-orange stripe.



The coral was especially beautiful with its bright colors and the fishes that swam around it.



When feeding, it sends out the white flowers all over its body and when done the flowers are retracted.



We saw large schools of fish...



...as well as colorful individuals.



There were also barnacles near the surface level and as the water ebbed and flowed they would close up when subjected to the air and open again when the water returned - sticking out fan-like tongues in a graceful swaying motion.



The wheelchair ride back was faster, but also pretty bumpy with time taken out from wheeling in order to switch from the center of the track to one side or the other in order to avoid fish lines and fishing gear.

After the pier we were happy to ride in the car for a while as we headed for the cape. Before we hit Cape Naturaliste though we stopped off at a beach recommended to us by our landlord John Lynch. Meelup is a lovely swilling beach about 8 kilometers away from the point of the cape.



We stopped there for a bathroom break and admired both the beach and the colorfully tiled bathroom.



There is a long park extending from the top of the cape south called Cape Naturaliste Park.



We decided to peek at the light house, but ended up walking a long, long distance (longer than the 1.5 kilometer return promised by the sign) to get to a viewing platform.



The bush was scrubby and low but we enjoyed the different character of this flora.



And speaking of flora, there were wild flowers all over.



The photos don't really do justice to the multiple blossoms and colors all across the viewing field.



You can see some of the bushy flowers...



...and some of the individual flowers



These pink ones were breath taking.



Flowers were visible on all levels from the bushes down.



Of course we did also see the light house that we went to look for.



The sea was an enchanting turquoise blue and I'm pretty sure I saw a (humpback) whale breach way out in the distance. (There were splashes and dark shadows just barely visible 2/3 of the way out to sea.)

1 Comments:

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous min said...

I hope you got to eat seafood that night. All those fish have given me quite an appetite.

 

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