At 11:30 a.m. we left Monkey Mia on our way back south. Just 25 miles down the road is a beautiful little town, Denham. We stopped there to walk the main street along Denham Strait. Palm trees, green grass and brilliant green and blue ocean water provided a beautiful setting for this town. Louise was making one last attempt to find just the right pearl jewelry and found a necklace and earrings at a small shop on the waterfront. We enjoyed the walk, a cool breeze and bright sunshine made for perfect weather. Denham marked our western most point on our trip. In fact there was a hotel in town that had a banner saying it was the westernmost hotel in Australia.
From Denham we are retracing our path up the peninsula. We stopped at a narrow point on the peninsula to walk on Shell Beach. Hamlin Pool is a very isolated part of Shark Bay. Sea water does not circulate freely in the Hamlin Pool so the water becomes almost twice as salty as normal sea water. Only a few organisms can live in this very salty water. This is the same body of water that had the stromatolites. Limpets are also able to live here and when they die their shells are left behind. These have accumulated for many thousands of years and form a thick layer at the bottom of the bay. These blow up on land forming dunes of shells. Shells in the water compact and form a kind of limestone called Coquina, the limestone is made almost entirely of shells. The beach here is brilliant white being made entirely of these white shells.
We left Shell Beach about 2:30 and drove the 100 kilometers to the Overland Roadhouse where we fueled up again. Then we drove just another 50 kilometers to the Billabong Homestead and our camp for the night. We’ve been traveling in an area where drinking water is not available. That means that the water available at campsites is not for drinking. Since you can’t wash your car or camper, I don’t know why they have water at the campsites. Indeed, our campground for the night had no water available in the campground. We’re running on our second day of water with a tank that lasts us about three days so that means possibly running out tomorrow. The showers aren’t drinking water but the water was soft, plenty of suds. It isn’t fancy but they have electric and hot showers and we were ready for some rest.