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17 September 2003

If there is a Heaven, and if I'm very good, perhaps I will have the opportunity to live over again a perfect day. I may stop and think for awhile about "perfect" (or almost perfect) days in my life. Perhaps I will not choose today, but I think it will definitely be in the running.

The day began with waking to the sight of the Indian Ocean off in the distance, the smell of coffee from the kitchen, and the promise of glorious weather. It progressed through a journey of indescribable beauty, included wading in the Indian ocean, and ended on a balcony watching the sun go down into a beautiful blue bay.

Can it get any better than that?

We had breakfast in our garden cottage in Geraldton and then made a brief (and far from profitable) stop in a shoe outlet store. Peggy in a shoe store. Only those who have experienced it will understand the significance. I got caught up in the moment and, when we left, had to buy another carry-on bag for the return home, since I can't possibly fit two more pairs of shoes in the suitcase I brought.

We did some sightseeing in Geraldton, specifically a memorial built to honor the H.M.A.S. Sydney and her 645-man crew, sunk by a German ship during WW II, after distinguishing herself in battle with Italy. The memorial overlooks the coastline and that blue-blue water. There is also a statue of a woman looking out to sea waiting for her men to come home. I had to laugh that as I went to take a photo of the status, a woman next to it leaned down to peek under her skirt! (Moments before her son had been feeling the woman's boob.)

Then it was onward and onward and heading north toward the town of Kalbarri, on the edge of the Kalbarri National Park. We had expected wildflowers along the way, and we found them in abundance. We found fields of yellow daisies...

and fields carpeted in purple...

and quiet places which were ablaze with multicolored flowers (and thick with flies)

We finally had to force ourselves to stop stopping to take pictures of flowers or we'd never get to Kalbarri.

We arrived in town in the early afternoon, and looked for a place to stay. We began to get a little nervous when every place we passed had a "no vacancy" sign. We finally saw the Murchison View Apartments, which had no sign, and I went in to inquire. They had one apartment left which was available only for two nights (coincidentally just what we wanted) and they had been about to put out a "no vacancy" sign as well, since they usually rent by the week, apparently. We decided it was meant to be that we be here.

When we opened the door to our unit (which cost significantly less than it would in the States...and in Australian currency to boot!) we could hardly believe our eyes. We have a living room, a huge kitchen (easily twice the size of mine, if not more), two bedrooms, and a huge bathroom which includes laundry facilities. On top of that. the balcony has a view of the bay that is gorgeous--and since it is off the beaten track, we don't get street noise. Can it get better than this?

That done, we went to the Traveller's Center and inquired about accommodations in Monkey Mia, where will be going on Friday. Given the "no vacancy" status here, we wanted to book ahead. The first place was booked, but Gundrun, the helpful agent, was able to reserve a cottage for two nights somewhere else, so that is one worry off our minds. We also checked our various options for Kalbarri itself, and booked a 45 minute flight over the park's scenic attractions for tomorrow afternoon.

With all the "busy work" attended to, we drove out to one of the beaches and I waded in so that Peggy could take my picture standing in the Indian Ocean.

We stopped at a store and bought a cooked chicken, then came home to our huge kitchen, I cooked up some veggies and we ate dinner on the balcony, watching night fall (we can't quite see the sunset). The driver, exhausted from all that stopping and starting, curled up on the couch with a book and was asleep very early. I dozed off myself thinking about what an absolutely almost perfect day it had been.

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