Friday, 17 October 2014

Red Bluff on Quobba Station

Red Bluff. Whales swam right into the corner everyday before turning back out to sea.
The greeting at Quobba.
So it was the eve of my birthday on this long year of travel we had embarked upon. I had sweated out the first few months, spent untold hours getting red dust out of every single thing we owned and had babysat my darling children while my husband attempted to catch the Whatever was the Big One at the myriad of places we had camped. And so whilst I certainly didn't expect a degustation dinner or a night of non camping sophistication at some Hilton-esque establishment,  starting at a Caravan Park in Carnarvon,  suffering from a mild gastro thing and watching as the weather turned from sunny and windy to cold and windy... Well things didn't much improve on my birthday except for the location which was exceptional.
Blowholes at Quobba, just north of Carnarvon. 
Quobba Station is another part of the West Australian coast famous amongst travellers. It's at the very Southern end of the Ningaloo Reef system, and is where the swell of the Indian Ocean can finally bang its way right into the beach. We drove up through goat and sheep country to a spot called Red Bluff, where "Big Waves Kill" and stressed out surfers come to iron out their corporate creases.
The bluff at dawn.

Red Bluff is serious surfer country, and we managed to bag a top spot overlooking all the action. If the surf wasn’t pumping (which it was, all the time), the whales were breaching or the goats were bleating. It was all happening at Red Bluff along with a surfer vibe in overdrive.
Awesome campsite at Red Bluff.
Long drop toilets- a few cupfuls of sawdust at the end of every use kept these smelling sweet

Fiela was in heaven; he managed to finally catch some threadfin salmon out the front of our campsite and it's a beautiful table fish. He then managed to catch some waves out at the point at 4-6 foot. The waves became pretty intense over the week we stayed here,  getting up to 15 foot at times, and we watched in awe as guys (and the odd girl) tackled them with ease, it actually being a slow swell week for the locals!
Waves at the point.
Looking at the lines from the top of Red Bluff.

Our campsite came with a cool firepit, but the Doves trumped us with their own personal bar positioned to make the most of the fiery over-water sunsets.
Sunset Bar.

Looking back at the campsite.
It wasn’t all ‘Hang Ten’ and ‘Cool Dude’  though. Fiela backed the camper into the back of the car managing to dent almost every panel. The shorebreak was so large and loud it rattled the camper trailer, woke us all up at intervals and gave me an awesome headache. We bumped our way over seemingly endless corrugations (about 40kms) to check out Gnaraloo, another famous surf spot, only to snorkel for half an hour and bump and rattle our way back. The wind became fierce during the week and the beach was unswimmable except for crazy kids and Fiela, such were the dumpers. I went for a walk up the actual bluff, and realised about half way that perhaps the track I was following was actually for goats. The views at the top were pretty amazing, even more amazing was the fact I made it back down without seriously injuring myself. And in a moment of God I Can’t Stand Having Dirty Hair Because We Have Such Limited Water And I Can’t Wash It… that is to say, complete madness, I mistook Fiela for a hairdresser and allowed him to cut all of my hair off until it was around about 3 centimetres long all over. I didn’t cry, but I was a little annoyed at his blatant attempts to fob off dodgy cutting with bluster that he “cut things for a living you know” and that he “knows what I’m doing” because “I know what looks good.” It was a complete hack job but really, it doesn’t look that bad. However, the old adage that there are two weeks between a bad haircut and a good one will need to be extended to two months.

The last known sighting of my hair.

In other, much more serious news, we had a death in our little camper trailing family. He was smelly and perennially dirty, but ‘Puppy Dog’, a source of great comfort, was much loved by Caesar. Our beautiful boy mourned his treasured toy with plaintive cries of “Puh-ie! Puh-ie!” over the Red Bluff dunes, but he was naught to be found. Puppy Dog now lies somewhere near the Indian Ocean, perhaps buried, perhaps thrown down a drop toilet, but either way he has passed into another world beyond that of the Uyshuis.
The last known sighting of Puppy Dog.

Thankfully kids forget pretty easily and we all moved on within a week or two.

Emus along the road at Quobba.
Surfer goat.

1 comment:

  1. "It wasn’t all ‘Hang Ten’ and ‘Cool Dude’ though." Haha. Best line of all. Also, that photo of your pre-cut hair is lovely. Miss you, but love your stories xx