Driving holidays with no particular itinerary are adventures of a kind. One never knows where the next corner will take one…
We had travelled along a road that became dirt, heading toward what we hoped was the ocean. ‘They’re big sandbanks,’ I said to my husband as we passed hillocks covered in tussocks, boobyalla and teatree. ‘We should stop and walk the dog.’
We knew nothing about this area – Peron Dunes. We thought we’d walk to the top of a little hillock, gaze at the ocean on a brilliantly clear blue day, albeit a howling gale, trot down to the waves and then get back to the car with ease.
Off we loped with the dog on-lead as it’s a conservation area.
Up we scrambled, up and up. Pushing between eau de nil coastal grasses and shrubs. Glad of the cold winter wind chasing at our heels.
We reached the summit and stood breathless.
Not because of the height of the dune we had just scaled, but because of the desert of dunes stretching north and south, even straight ahead due east – to the coast about half a kilometre downhill.
‘Do you want to walk down to the waves?’ (My husband can be so ingenuous.)
‘And then have to walk back up again?’ I replied. ‘On sand?’
I gazed around at the smooth humps and hillocks, at the windblown gauze-like skeins of sand floating from one dune to another. ‘I think we’ve wafted through a geographical veil – this is the Sahara…’
But he didn’t hear me. He’d walked on, he and Dog.
And so I followed.
Easy going down toward the ocean.
And truly, it was worth the cardiac arrest on the way back up…
But how disappointing to learn that Peron Dunes are ripped apart repeatedly by off-road vehicles and ATV’s. That in this spectacular conservation area, such a mindless pursuit is allowed.
Isn’t it bizarre that the powers-that-be require dogs to be on leads for the safety of wild life and yet vehicles can charge through regardless?