Francois Peron National Park

by Konrad Bucheli

Saturday late morning 20th August - Sunday 21st August, 2016

Four years ago Petra visited already the Francois Peron National Park. And still has much respect about it then the two ladies were stuck with the car in the sand back then.

They managed to not to see all the hints and signs about lowering the pressure of the tyres to 1.4 bar. With less pressure the tyre has more grip in the sand. Petra first wants only to drive to the Big Lagoon which is close to the entry and where camping is allowed. I think if we are here we go for the full. Petra says we have the better car than back then and we will lower the tyre pressure. And we even have a compressor which was actually not required as there is all necessary infrastructure ready at the entrance.

We have to skip the Big Lagoon anyway as it is closed. We drive 44 km to the north up to Peron Point. The road is depending on the base hard as rock (the salty plains), normal Australian dirt road, sandy or very sandy (20 cm deep grooves). I have some respect of the last with all the stories of getting stuck in mind (do not stop!), but it goes quite well. Once I have to do an emergency stop. There is a thorny devil on the road. Good luck it does not move so I can take it between the wheels and Petra can take some pictures. We met already one nearby the blowholes, but I forgot to remark that skuril animal in the blog. At the end do we have our lunch with beautiful view to the cliffs and the sea. We hike a bit on top of the cliffs to another view point. There are very few visitors and even less hikers. The road is quite selective. We wander through light bush with nice view to the sea. Jann does not really want to walk. Petra bribes him with gummy bears which he will get if she does not need to carry him. With further motivations "there is a bank", "see the view point there, we go only until there" he manages to walk all the three kilometres quite well.

We drive a bit back and stop at Herald Bight. There it is allowed to camp and the sand is even deeper (it is a beach), but it went well. We are nearly alone. The night sky with the stars is wonderful without light emissions, with a really milky milky way. The night itself was not so nice as Kiara has diarrhoea and the nappies have to be changed every two hours. The temperatures are close to 10°C. The temperatures are during the day at 20°C, but with a lot of wind. Properly wrapped it is OK, but if you have to get up it is quite fresh. We decide not to camp anymore.

On a small beach stroll the next morning I discover something strange: a kind of shell with the diameter of a litre bottle looks is half in the sand. Looks like a snail shell. And indeed, there is a snail foot below. After the breakfast the snail is now deeper in the sand, the foot is not visible anymore. But also the tide is coming in.

We then leave the National Park. In Denham we fill our provisions and stop at the view points along the road back to the highway. At Eagle Bay we can see from the cliffs to a shallow sandy bay, so the swimming animals can be seen from above. According to Petra there have been many sharks the last time. First we see nothing, but as we walk along the short path we count four sharks. After lunch we continue. The kids sleep. So only one of us at the time gets out and takes a short look at the Shell Beach which consists of many small shells. At 2 o'clock we reach Nanga and take a room. As I want to park in front of it Petra says something about "you are now only secondary" and sprints to her new flame: a skink. It looks like a fat lizard with a very short tail in the size of a liter bottle. The poor animal gets shyly from so much admiration and just stands stull. After we go with the kids to the beach, but the wind limits the pleasure.