Friday, October 25, 2013

Denham to Galena Bridge

We left Denham, in the Shark Bay World Heritage early as there were a couple of attractions we wanted to check out before we hit the road for our next overnight destination. First stop was somewhere I really wanted to check out - Shell Beach. Shells in their millions make up this white landscape. Masses of these Cardiid Cockle shells have been drifting in for about 4000 years. They are about 5 metres deep and are still piling up today. The length of the beach where these shells are located is some 100km plus long.  When compacted the shell blocks are like concrete and in some locations they are collected and used in buildings in the area. The shells are also used in the poultry industry as shell grit for chickens. It is amazing walking onto the beach and as far as you can see there are tiny white shells framed by a beautiful blue ocean. This is one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen.
Shell Beach

Millions of tiny shells

Shells as far as you can see
Next stop was the Stromatolites. What are Stromatolites you may ask? They are rock like structures built by microbes. Shark Bay's stromatolites are 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Apparently they provide a unique view into what the world was like at the dawn of time.
 
Stromatolites under the water

They sort of just look like weird rocks
Then it was off to our overnight destination, which was a free camp off the side of the highway and beside the Murchison River. It turned out to be a very pretty spot with lots of wildlife. Lots of different types of Birds, Ducks, Swans and one lone Pelican. I sat for ages watching the Black Swans duck for food and keep their four babies safe from the Kite flying overhead. The Pelican also ducked for food for a good hour getting something to swallow down almost every time.


Little ducks checking all was safe before getting back in the water

Beautiful Graceful Black Swan

The Lone Pelican - getting a belly full of food