Trucking out of Geraldton rather late, we had a rather large detour planned for the day - out to Kalbarri to see the cliffs.... but first we came across Hutt Lagoon, which is a Pink Lake where the algae in bloom produce beta carotene, which is quite a lucrative aquaculture harvest.
There are two 'Pink Lakes' in Western Australia, one down in Esperance, and this one which is near Point Gregory.
When I saw the water it reminded me of a lake full of Red Creaming Soda, so we had to stop for photos!
After Hutt Lagoon we bundled back into the car, and decided to go the long way - via Kalbarri. N had been to Kalbarri many times before, and she reckoned it was worth the extra kilometres. It wasn't that hot, and the cliffs in Kalbarri are actually part of a national park where dogs were not allowed, so we left the dogs in the car while we went and checked out the view.
Bender was particularly miffed. He loves the ocean. The views were quite spectacular even though the wind was howling. We didn't take much time to appreciate them though, because we were worried the dogs would start eating the car. They were good though!
After Kalbarri it was back on the road. The landscape was getting more arid as we headed North, and the air was notably hotter.
We then came across an area just filled with goats. A lot of them had little babies. We slowed down every time we saw them, but they seemed a little smarter than the other animals on the road and didn't run in front of the car.
After a long drive it just seemed to be getting hotter outside the car, and we stopped at Billabong Roadhouse for a break. As soon as I opened the car door I was hit with very loud roadhouse music, being piped into the area around the petrol bowsers. It was Christmas day and it was dead. There were no trucks on the road, and no other cars at the road house - except for an old Hyundai Excel which was sitting near the air compressor with a shredded and flat rear tyre. I spotted the people who belonged to the car heading to the 'caravan park' which was next to the road house. There didn't seem to be any other guests. There was really a lonely feel to the place.
The woman at the road house took to the puppies, and asked us how they were going in the heat. She said her dog would usually be out in the yard but was curled up under the airconditioning. I told her the aircon in the car was doing OK.
As we headed towards Carnarvon, it got darker. Dawn and dusk are dangerous times to travel on Australian country roads because of the heightened risk of hitting kangaroos. The car does not have a roo bar or any other frontal protection, and the headlights left a bit to be desired.
We decided to stop at a roadside camping area. The ground was hard as rock and we couldn't drive in the tent pegs. I had to unload everything from the car into the tent just to hold it down. N tied the guy ropes of the tent to a tree, and we parked the car in a position to provide the most shelter.
I cooked dinner while the dogs waited. This was only Barbie's second night sleeping in a tent and it was a fitful one. The wind made the tent flap around a lot and Barbie kept waking up. She tried to sleep on my bed.