Saturday, 22nd September – Exmouth

Quiet day. Drove into the centre of the teeming metropolis that is Exmouth and had a look round the information centre.
The way this place grew is interesting. It started in 1963 at the height of the Cold War as the Americans needed a base on the southern hemisphere to keep in contact with their entire fleet of submarines in the area using Very Low Frequency (VLF) transmitters. Once they started bringing Aussie staff in, it began to grow into a town, and was finally gazetteered as such in 1967. The town celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. It was substantially damaged in a cyclone in 1999, but is now a thriving little town in the middle of nowhere, spread out over a large area as Australian small towns seem to be. The American barracks are now disused, but the huge masts they used to transmit to the submarine fleet are very much in evidence. The town makes its income from tourists visiting for whale watching and the nearby Ningaloo Reef, which we are planning to visit tomorrow.
Got in a few essential supplies (i.e. beer and wine) to take back to the room, and enjoyed a lazy afternoon on our balcony in the gorgeous weather, partaking of said beer and wine.
What I didn’t realise was that this is the spring break for schools in Western Australia, so there were a lot of kids around, frolicking in the swimming pool. Screaming kids are a nightmare as far as I’m concerned and my heart always sinks when I see young families nearby. However, the place is actually remarkably quiet and the kids haven’t been too intrusive. The muzak at the bar has actually been a lot more irritating.
As previously mentioned, this room has a jacuzzi bath ensuite, so of course Jean had to give it a go. It seems incongruous in an area which is so insistent on conserving water supplies that one should have such a thing, but oh, well…..
What happened next would have made a great comedy sketch. Neither of us knew how it all worked, so a button was pressed and a motor started. OK – this must be the main switch. Partially filled the huge bath with water and switched on again. Nothing really happened apart from the noise of the motor. Hmmmmm. Filled it with more water – this was taking quite a time – and switched on again. All of a sudden, the holes at each end of the bath threw out high-pressure jets of water which hit the walls with terrific force. Within seconds, the floor of the bathroom was running with water. Managed to switch it off and thought we now had it sussed. Nope. Filled it with yet more water and switched on again. If anything, the problem got worse – we were very glad that the bathroom floor had a drainhole. Mopping up with towels made them absolutely saturated.
Happyish ending. Once the water had got to a certain level – far more than I would have thought necessary – switching the motor on at least rendered the jets manageable and Jean was able to have her bath. However, it was in no way a relaxing experience, but I suppose was entertaining at some level. Neither of us will be using it again, though.
Equilibrium restored, we had another very nice meal in the resort restaurant, but resolved to go elsewhere for tomorrow night’s dinner, as the resort offers a shuttle service into town.

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