Coming off a massive wedding weekend; the trip to Monkey Mia, WA which would be long under normal circumstances became almost superhuman. To compound the 7:10am flight was the fact that the clocks changed over night meaning Adrian and I were up frequently through the night to check our watches to make sure we weren't over sleeping.
We made it on time to catch the 5 hour flight, but the flight was bumpy and altogether a rough trip. However, arriving in Perth at 10:30am local time was only the beginning of the trip. See, Monkey Mia is 850+ km north of Perth and we'd elected to rent a car and make a roadie of it. What can I say we like to make it painful for ourselves. That, and we had planned to meet Caity and Becky that evening.
The trip took 9 painstaking hours, including the last two in the dusk of outback Western Australia which as any Aussie can attest means nervously dodging kangaroos, rabbits, and many other strange looking mammals, and after little sleep and many long tedious hours behind the wheel. Yep, brutal!
But, eventually we got there and were relieved to find the girls catching up over a bottle of red. As much as we would loved to have joined them on any other occasion, this time we couldn't even muster the energy to put a sentence together. So we slunk back to our four bed dorm and crashed out for 9 hard, solid, much needed hours of slumber.
In the morning, we did our best to play tourists. We all hopped in Caity's tiny Hyundai, and went to check out the Monkey Mia cultural center, where we learned a bit about the Indigenous living in the area ages ago as well as the more recent (1950's) hellish livelihood of sheep sheering cowboys of the outback. I even took a dip in the extremely hot thermal spring that bubbles up from hundred of meters underground. Why someone would want to sit in a 110 degree "hot tub" when it's nearly that temperature outside, escapes me. Anyway...
On our way back towards our resort, we stopped by the oasis-like "little lagoon" outside of Monkey Mia. This body of water is an incredible blueish-turquoise, with beautiful white sand, which is exceptional given that typically it's red sand that is in abundance in the area.
After taking it in and getting a bit of sun, we packed it up and headed back to Monkey Mia for a long missed Aussie BBQ with ice cold ciders and beers. The rest of the afternoon was spent laughing, playing cards, and sipping frosties.
At around 5 p.m we made our way to the dock where we were to embark on the famous Monkey Mia sunset cruise. The setting was incredible. Beautiful multi-colored coastline bordering blue seas. We had a few more drinks and watched my very first sunset over the Indian Ocean in Australia.
We finished up the night laughing and chatting over evening cocktails in the resort's thermal hot tub. After a long day in the sun, we were ready to get to bed pretty early, which was good as we had another long day and early rise to feed the famous Monkey Mia dolphins and hit up another boat tour, this one to check out the amazing sealife in Australia's WA.
We lined up to see the dolphin feeding around 8am. We watched as the dolphins swam slowly closer to the shore awaiting the fisherman to catch their breakfast.
At last it was time for the feeding, and despite towering no less than two feet taller than children we surrounded, I was some how chosen to feed the dolphin. I reached my hand in the bucket and grabbed the dead raw fish and slowly dropped it into the mouth of the dolphin that was staring at me apprx. 8 inches from me. I was in LOVE!!
After the excitement of the morning, we grabbed some breakfast and went back to our room to pack up for our wildlife tour. We met back on the same pier we disembarked from the previous evening. The tour consisted of 5 hours of cruising the seas, watching as dolphins jump, play, and follow our boat, two large sea turtles, and even the elusive Dugong!
The day was very special and shared with very special friends. Around 1:30pm, they dropped us at the pier. We had lunch and a cold drink, before bidding our friends "see you later", as they were driving northward to Exmouth to swim with whale sharks and we were making our way back south to Perth via several stops down the WA coastline. We would see the girls in just 2 days for an epic weekend in arguably the best wine region in Australia, Margret River.
Monkey Mia, stunning and well worth the long, and in our case grueling, journey!!