The turtle the octupus and the mountain
We were a bit bored of sitting around this town so thought whilst we are so close we’d take our snorkelling stuff and go into the Cape Range National park. We saw on our visitors map that Turquoise Bay was a good place to go snorkelling so drove hear first. We parked up, stripped off and went down the white sandy path which opened up onto a beautiful beach with truly turquoise waters. We could see the coral reef not far out from shore so suited up and walked out. The water again shocked us because it was so cold. We started swimming out and came across some amazing fish, all brightly coloured and some even changing coloured. As we were drifting we could see something coming towards us and stopped still. Coming straight for us was a massive green turtle, just swimming along. It was almost within hands reach and we were both excited about managing to see one just out in the wild. We let it pass without following it and cursed ourselves for being too stingy to buy a disposable underwater camera. We carried on snorkelling over the reef when Joe spotted and octopus in amongst the coral. It was amazing and at one point it changed colour to match the coral it was hiding next to Joe wanted to hang around to see if the octopus ate something but we swam on and into a school of tiny fish. There were probably about 50 of them and we swam through them. It was great seeing lots of different types of fish and also seeing sea cucumbers everywhere we looked. We decided that we would head back to the shore and have a rest, when we looked up we had swam quite far away from where we had left our bag but the current was quite strong and we didn’t really have to swim back it was more cruising. We climbed out and dried off. We sat on the beach and read for a while then we thought we would look for somewhere to grab some food. We went back to the visitors centre and had a look through here they had some chocolate and milkshakes so we got a couple of these. Emma said that there was a gorge that she wanted to see that was meant to be a nice walk and very beautiful so we drove over to the car park area for it and had a look at the sign. It said that it was a level 4 walk (they go up to level 6) and we thought back to the climb up the Taman negara mountain. This wouldn’t be a problem as we were now experienced mountain climbers J The sign said that the walk would take around two hours so we grabbed some water and started the walk. It took you through the middle of the gorge and across a lot of tiny stones that were quite hard to walk on, we walked along these for about twenty minutes and were glad that we had changed our flip-flops for trainers. We were passed by a bush walker who said that he was glad that he had put on his hiking shoes. We then came to the first uphill part of the walk, it was very steep and we stopped half way for a rest only to hear the hiking guy shouting from the top ’maybe you should head back!’ we looked up at how high up he was and thought that we weren’t quitters, determined to finish we pressed on. When we got to the top the view was breathtaking (and the climb was as well) we sat at the top and looked over to where we had to go next, the way was marked with white poles that you would only be able to see the tops of and had to work out the best way to get there, sometimes there was an obvious path and other times there was a couple of paths leading to the next section. We did have to walk along a path that had a rather large drop next to it and Joe decided that he was going to take the high ground and make his own path rather than walking along the edge, even Emma was a bit perturbed by this section (especially considering there were signs saying cliff erosion area!). When we had made it pass this we were then met with what looked like a sheer cliff face with a small path made of big rocks through the middle of it and another one of the white poles standing at the top. We stood at the bottom wondering if there was a way around or if we did in fact have to climb up the rocks. We decided that it was the only way up so we started to climb, Emma said that her mother would not have been happy with her doing it but we made it up and looked out on our even higher view point. We looked about for the next pole to walk to and could see the very tip of it on the other side of the cliff face. We thought that this couldn’t be right as we had only two seconds earlier seen a sign saying ‘danger don’t stand near the cliff edge’ now it was telling us to climb down it! We shimmied down through the rocks to the next pole and saw that there was a long section of flat ground, this was exactly what we wanted to see! When we got to the end of this bit we had to climb up yet again through another section of the gorge, Joe went first so that he could help Emma up the steeper bits when her little legs wouldn’t reach. We started making our way across the downward sloping section and was pleased to see a sign that said ‘car park 200metres’. When we got back to the car we checked to see how long it would take us, it took us an hour and 15 minutes and we were quite happy that we’d done it 45 minutes under the time it said on the board. The sun was starting to set and we didn’t want to be driving back too late as this is when the kangaroos’ wander across the road. Also we needed to get to the IGA before it shut to get something for dinner so we drove the 40 mins back to town. We picked up some sausages and rolls to cook on the barbie (and avoid the Western Exposure lot). Soon after we headed over to cook. A film had just started at the outdoor cinema so we grabbed our chairs and food and wandered over to eat watching the film. Neither of us had seen it before and it wasn’t particularly interesting but we were pleased to be doing something different. After the film had finished and we had washed up we went back to the car to sleep.