Jul 14, Carnarvon to Exmouth

I always wondered how to pronounce Carnarvon. Apparently, the stress goes on the second syllable, and the second 'r' is very faint. The 'o' is barely pronounced (like a short "schwa"). So it's something like "CarNAHv-n". At least, that's my understanding.

Exmouth, on the other hand, is very easy. As in "my ex has a big mouth". And not like Plymouth, where (as someone once told me) you put ply with mouth and the result sounds very different.

Like Geraldton, Carnarvon is also on the coast. Carnarvon is the center of a fruit-growing area, and the fruits and vegetables in the store were very good and fresh, except for the cherries imported from the U.S. The area devoted to orchards near the road was not very much, but I think there is more along the Gascoyne river, which the road only follows for a short while.

At the edge of town is a radio astronomy complex that was used, among other things, to track the Apollo missions. I guess this is not the dish featured in the movie "The Dish", but it sure looks like it.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, was here less than a month ago to officially open their museum.

Because it is so new, the museum still has a few things to figure out. This must be some kind of radio (some of the labels say "HF" and "VHF"), but beyond that I don't know.

The road North from Carnarvon crosses many rivers, but in this season at least, none of them are flowing. Some have puddles, and others are completely dry.

As usual, I am seeing many birds, including one that looked like an eagle, several that I thought were hawks, and this one that seems to me to resemble a vulture.

Perth, where I started, is about 32 degrees South. As I am driving North, the temperature is getting warmer, and a little before 23 degrees South I found something.

I am now officially in the tropics!!! The tropical part of the planet is the part between the Tropic of Cancer in the North, and the Tropic of Capricorn in the South.

I was very pleased to see along the road these termite mounds.

In my experience, termites eat wood, but as you can see, there is not much wood around. In any case, the mounds are very impressive. Apparently the termites live inside, but the mounds include tunnels for ventilation and other purposes.

I saw one mound that was partly broken, and it was made of hardened mud. The reddish color of the mound is the same as the color of the ground. In that mound, some of the space that I saw inside was empty, so the mound may be much less than solid. I did not see any termites, but often they dig tunnels through the ground, so they may not be visible even if they are there.

Eventually, I made it to the tiny village of Coral Bay. As the name suggests, it is on a beautiful bay, and good for snorkeling. Here I took a short swim in the Indian Ocean.

As in Pattaya (Thailand), the tourist boats here pull right up to the beach.

It also seems to be OK to use motorized vehicles on the beach.

In spite of the motorboats and vehicle, overall, the beach is very beautiful and quiet. In very shallow water near the beach, I saw some big silvery fish that reminded me of the Ulua in Hawaii.