Hello, fellow Baffled Ones. In Pt.1 we met Lionel The Sleepy Lion and Gavin Bear. Lionel believed he had long lost fore-lions somewhere (In Part 2). To find them, the intrepid duo hitched a ride north from Perth getting as far as Geraldton, Western Australia, in Part 3 . (Click on pics to see more detail.)
Onward they journeyed to the Shark Bay heritage region (in Part 4 ). They had seen llamas, sheep, cows, goats, emus and a turtle but not one fore-lion. Gavin studied his maps and declared, “We must keep going north, young lion.”
“Is that where we go past the Well of Last Hope and trudge into the Desert of Despair where ferocious fore-lions leap from behind small shrubs upon their prey?” asked Lionel.
“The Dessert of What … ?” asked a confused Gavin. He really did wonder sometimes what books Lionel had been looking at. Gavin studied his maps again, looking for desserts. He wouldn’t have minded one. Raspberry ice cream perhaps, with chocolate topping. “No wells or desserts. But there are hardly any roads or people. Surely we will find your fore-lions where there are no people”.
They drove 130 km from Denham all the way back to reach the North West Highway at the Overlander road house. You can tell where the Overlander is because it is the only place all around. (Also, because the map above says ‘You Are Here’. Click on the pic to make it bigger and see.)
Their chauffeurs turned north for Carnarvon, only another 125km, and drove up a very straight long road.* They saw lots of feral goats and some wandering cattle. Lionel and Gavin played a game called “Spot the Tree”. You had to spot an actual tree somewhere in all that landscape. This was not easy until they got closer to Carnarvon which has lots of trees, mostly with bunches of bananas hanging from them.
They passed the former Space Station, now a museum (OTC Satellite Earth Station Carnarvon was established 1966 to meet the need for more reliable communications for the Apollo program). Gavin wanted to see it but there was still a long way to go to Coral Bay and so they ate a banana and pressed on.
Very few trees and some hours later, the township of Coral Bay finally hove in sight. It’s very small (a resort hotel, two caravan parks and about 50 houses.) To the west of it lies the Indian Ocean and the amazing Ningaloo fringing reef. Behind it lies low, undulating scrubby country (see pics above), and usually a lot of dust.
Lionel and Gavin looked for a spot to camp with a good view of the sea. There were also dunes close behind where their fore-lion hunting could begin in earnest. Here they settled in. It was hard to believe they were no longer moving.
As the sun went down over the bay they watched the seagulls fluttering about and they day-dreamed lovely dreams. Gavin dreamed of raspberry ice cream, perhaps with caramel topping. Lionel imagined what he would say when he met an actual fore-lion. “Hello, you don’t know me but I’m your cousin”, perhaps, or “Gosh, what sharp teeth you have.”
Next day they will search all around for fore-lions. Their chauffeurs, meanwhile, will explore the coral reef and look at sea animals too. Don’t miss the next exciting episode of …. da da da daaah dummmm … Lionel The Lion Seeks His Fore-Lions.
*There are several stretches of 50 km at a time apparently laid out by a reincarnated demented roman road engineer who had never heard of curves.
Gavin and Lionel live with Mawson Bear. Mawson writes little books full of muddles , bafflements, and even some accidental wisdom.
Where to find Mawson’s Books: Our publisher is OdysseyBooks where you can find fun and beautiful books with pictures for grownups.At Amazon everywhere, including at Amazon India, and at Amazon Australia (where Mawson Lives), Amazon UK and Amazon France, among others.