Monday, September 18, 2006

Aaaah... Albany

It was very difficult leaving paradise yesterday.

I haven't been to Albany for some 10-odd years and although the town has changed the coastline is evermore so beautiful - I've never seen water so crystal clear, nor beaches so squeaky white.

I can't wait for December... the only problem is that it's sooooo far away!!!

Oh well, at least I took some photos with my mobile that will help satiate any cravings I have between now and then.

So, without further ado, here are some of the photos I took of the weekend away.

The flight down to Albany was unbelievably quick. What would have taken 4-5 hours to drive from Perth to Albany took just over an hour by plane! One minute I'm enjoying a complementary choc-chip cookie and drinking some soft drink, next minute I'm forced to spit out the remainder of my cookie into the rubbish bin as we get ready to land!

The rest of Friday was spent at my uncle's place watching the mighty Freo Dockers whoop the Demons in the AFL prelim finals.

On the Saturday it was my mother's 50th (the reason for our trip down to Albany), here we were celebrating her 50th with breakfast at Monet's - my breakfast wasn't bad, however, when I pulled out a long black hair I began wondering whether I'd find a head in the remainder of my bircher muesli!

Thankfully I didn't.

While my sister and mother then went and celebrated the remainder of the morning doing something completely foreign to most women (they went shopping) my father and I went exploring the coast.

Our first stop was the wind farm which was the most colourful part of the weekend due to the huge array of flowers...

(See if you can spot a bee in that photo above)

We even had a legless lizard join in the festivities (I tried to take a photo with its tongue sticking out as the biggest difference you can tell between a legless lizard and a snake is the shape of the tongue - unfortunately the shutter speed on the mobile camera was always half a second too slow).

And words fail me to describe how beautiful the scenery was from here...

The only problem though was getting down to the beaches! Something which both my father and I would leave for another day.

However, we did go down a different, "smaller" flight of steps...

Giving us a closer shot of the beach... (you'll notice with this photo the different colourations of the water showing depth. Most beach fisherman fish into the darker deeper waters where it's generally notorious for sharks and dolphins to horde schools of fish into those areas. Unfortunately beaches like this are similarly notorious for king waves to wash fisherman into deep waters - hopefully not when sharks are feeding!)

Climbing back up the steps sure proved being a good workout - we had to resort to grunting and sign language to communicate amongst each other.

Nearby we saw part of the Bibbulmun track - I think this was part of the shelter...

The Bibbulmun track is a 1,000km walking track from Perth to Albany! Apart from being on bits and pieces of it (like here) I have never really ventured on it.

Our next stop was Whale World where you pay to see what was done back in the good ol' days when man hunted whales. I remember coming to this place even when I was a kid.

Next was Misery Beach. Strange name, huh? To me that's an oxymoron - how can any beach be a misery?? However, on this beach was part of Isthmus Hill which takes about 6-8 hours to walk. The old man thought we could take a short cut by climbing the steep slopes. He began recounting the last time he was here and how he lost several layers of skin from losing his footing.

Nice. What are we waiting for then?

There were only three ways of getting up this thing: 1) zig-zagging up, 2) going on all fours like a crab, or 3) flying up.

Unfortunately we hit a point where it was too steep and we were both too buggered... and to think that getting down was even harder!

Our next stop was one of the many solitary bays that had a beautiful beach. This particular beach had two surfers taking advantage of the nice waves rolling in.

Another stop, another bay. This one had no track going down to it (it would've been too steep). It was also very deep and probably another catchment for sharks and dolphins when hording salmon or other such fish.

And then there's the natural bridge...

Then the gap...

It's a shame there wasn't much swell, and to think that several people have lost their lives by falling in! Eeek! Your only hope would be to climb as high as you could and cling on for dear life, because you definitely wouldn't be able to swim out!

This next photo didn't turn out too well but on our way back into town we saw a whale with her calf. It was quite funny because the mother waded with her white belly up and the calf was trying to do the same thing. I couldn't believe how close they were to shore! And on the rock to the right was a seal watching it all.

On Sunday I went to Middleton Beach to find out where we'd be staying in December. The place looks quite new and is only a stone's throw away from the beach and the golf course! YES!!

Anyway, those were pretty much all the photos I took during the trip.

I'll detail more when I get time later today/tonight.

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