Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chillin in Perth-Brunei:Day4

3rd April 2001

In our tour program, today we can roam around Perth at our own leisure. My dad and I plus another three person from my group decided to join a short tour to the Nambung National Parl aka the Pinnacles. Early in the morning, a 4WD came to pick us up and we traveled up north about 245km to our destination. Our first stop was the Yanchep National Park. We saw some koalas and for the first time I saw an awake koala! We took turns taking pictures with the cute koalas. We continued our journey. Halfway, we stopped at the rock lobster fishing town of Cervantes where we drove on the beach. We enjoyed a scenic view of the Indian Ocean. Sea gulls and white birds where spotted across the beach line. The water was crystal clear and there was not even a spot of pollution detected. We drove 5 minutes to the place where we will have our lunch. We enjoyed a picnic lunch at a store featuring a variety of dried wild flowers. I bought some aromatic oils. They where called Desert Pea and Wattle.

After lunch, we took off to the Pinnacles Desert, which was the highlight of the day. Halfway through the journey, we stopped to freshen ourselves. Outside the toilet, there was a huge sign indicating which toilet each gender should go. The girls’ is called the “Sheilas” as for the guys’, it was called the “Blokes”

When we are almost at the Pinnacles, the tour guide asked all of us to have our safety belt fasten. There we were engaged in a thrilling 4-Wheel Drive over the bumpy path. It tok us about hald an hour or more to reach the entrance of the Pinnacles.

There was a strange combination of the weather. The sun was shining hard like the ones we saw in deserts and the wind, which kept on blowing was cold and strong. I hat to hold my hat really tight or else it will fly off again. I had to shiled my eyes from the wind and sand. Luckily I brought my sunglass. The desert was a sight to behold. Thousands of limestones pillars rise out of the 17 491 ha of yellow sand. Some are jagged, sharp-edged and other resembles a tombstone. Some raised up to 4 meters in height. There was one particular one that was shaped like a kangaroo. I took a picture with that!

We get to know how pinnacles are formed. The raw material for these limestones are seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life, these shells were broken in soft sand and these sands, cementing grains of sand together in the lower levels of the dunes. Vegetation became established and stabilized the dunes. They form an acidic later of soil and humus, which accelerated the leaching proves. A hard cap of calcrete develops above the software limestome. Plant roots exploit cracks in the the calcrete. The software limestone continues to dissolve. Vegetation dies and wind bow the sand covering the eroded limestone. Voila! The pinnacles appear.
From there, the tour guide gave us permission to walk around the place while he flatten the tires. He did this so that the 4WD will be able to move on the soft sand in the desert. I took off my shoes and felt the sand. Unlike the idea that we get when we heard about deserts, this desert is cold. The sand was so soft and felt like ice under your feet. The driver called us back to the 4WD and then we had an experience of our lifetime when suddenly without any warning, the whole 4WD plunged about 30m down the massive sand dunes. Everybody started screaming like it the end of our lives. When he finally landed on the bottom of the dunes, everyone cheered and clapped. Everyone wants to do it again!

We went sand boarding. I end up having sand in my mouth, ears, eyes, nose and all over my body. It was amazing and I could never forget the experience as I slid down the sand dunes. I have to go back to the bus and gurgle out the sand from my mouth. It was pretty late when we get back.
We had dinner in a shop nearby while the driver inflates back the tires. We reached back to our hotel at around 8 thirty. Abby, Sau Wei and Daniel were at the lobby talking. They were waiting for us to join dinner. I was unsure whether to follow my dad and his friend or with them. In the end, I decided to join them as I think it would be much more exciting. Besides, tonight will be the last night I’ll be seeing them, they will be going back to KL the next day, I waited for Leela to get ready and we walked to meet up with the other folks in the bar nearby. As I was pretty full, I just ordered an apple and peach mix juice. Later, we went to a night club nearby. That was the only club with live music. We ordered a bottle of red wine and divide within ourselves.

We chatted a while and we left at aound 11:30pm. Some of them haven’t start with their packing so we have to leave early. Back at the hotel, insomnia started to hit me. They said a glass of wine will make you sleep like a baby. But that doesn’t work for me. Instead, I couldn’t sleep until around almost two in the morning. I’ll give today a 10/10!

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