04 July 2011

The Pinnacles

It seems the further afield you get in Australia, the more interesting - and bizarre - the scenery gets. It's that sense which Bill Bryson described so well when talking about Oz: it's like you've left planet earth in every way - the landscape, the people, the crazy stuff that happens (like the reported detonation of a nuclear bomb by a Japanese fringe cult group 15 years ago that went entirely unnoticed), and the road signs.

We were just 250 miles north of Perth cruising along Indian Ocean Drive (yes, Australia's west coast is on the Indian Ocean) when we came across The Pinnacles. These limestone gems have been formed over literally thousands of years by trees growing then dying then sand flying a round in the wind then tree roots creating casts for shapes the rain then ore sand flying around then tree roots burning in a fire then salt water getting in then ore sand flying around then more rain. Did you get all of that? Basically, there is a lot of sand flying around.

What's left are thousands of little craggy limestone towers poking out of the sand anywhere from 6 inches to 10 feet in the air (with another 20+ feet under the ground). At the end of a 10-mile dirt track there is an amazing brand new museum that talks about their formation and the animals that can kill you - I mean live all around. Following a visit to the museum you take a one-mile walk or a 3-mile drive (we opted for the drive because we have a camper, our fellow walkers would have been weirdo tourists who wanted to chat, and we are incredibly lazy). Good thing we were not in a rush because I tell you what, people like to stop right in the middle of the road for extended periods of time to take pictures, go for a wander through areas marked "do not walk here" and, in one case, take a nap leaning on the steering wheel.

From here it's northward to Kilbarri, whose town slogan is "You'll Love It!". We are fairly certain that yes, we will indeed LOVE IT.

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