Despite the slightly shabby nature of the motel (painted-over breeze blocks ‘n’ all), not a bad night’s kip and a nice leisurely start to the day after a reasonable, albeit continental, breakfast. Topped the car up with petrol (paranoid about running out? Moi?) and headed on our merry way northwards on the A1. This was another journey of over 400 km, but it was the usual virtually dead straight roads for most of the time with very little traffic. Stopped at a place called Billabong (yes, really) for a coffee and scones with jam and cream (yes, really).
The scenery changed from rolling greenish moorland to the type of landscape we’d been accustomed to in the Kimberley. Much flatter, warmer, scrubland, red soil and an emu running across the road with two youngsters.
Got to the resort at Monkey Mia – we are booked in for two nights – at around 2.30. We had gotten wind of the fact that it was in the throes of a major renovation. Indeed, in places it was still a building site. Moreover, when we approached Reception, it became obvious that this was all a pretty much brand new setup and nobody really had a handle on what was going on.
Got to our room, which was spacious enough and had kitchenette facilities. Otherwise, it was pretty basic, although not as bad as the Geraldton motel. No WiFi, though! Crazy. Virtually no guidance about anything to see and do. Ludicrous.
This whole place seems to have been built on the premise of seeing a few dolphins being fed by a select few people close inshore. We found out the hard way that you have to queue at 7.45 a.m. to find out when the dolphin feeding sessions are that day. We go to the booking office to find out more – closed. Bonkers. We go to the shop to investigate getting in some provisions for use in the room. It’s only been open since the beginning of the week, and there was nothing of any use to us, as we’re only staying for two nights. Not even any alcohol. Ridiculous.
Happy hour at the main restaurant yielded a beer and a cocktail for which we had to wait half an hour. We decided to go for the more casual approach at the Monkey Bar for eats. Chaos. Queue with families, loads of screaming kids, staff who didn’t know what they were doing. Pretty much open air only, so had to sit outside in a very stiff breeze, although the setting was actually rather nice. In mitigation, the food was available quickly and it was reasonable in quality, quantity and price terms.
Back to the room to discover that the room next door has got a screaming baby. Have you got the impression that this is not going well? I suppose it had to happen at some point…..
I was talking of a small world earlier. We bumped into a couple who had been on the ship earlier in our journey around the north-west coast!
Alarm set for an early getup tomorrow to suss out this dolphin experience. It had better be good……
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