A Travellerspoint blog

Road Trip Part 1

Pinnacles Desert Here We Come

sunny 40 °C

After the city trips to Perth and Sydney it was time to discover the Western coast by car. Our Mission was to get to the most Western part of Australia!

My first experience of driving was very uncomfortable. The steering wheel is on the wrong side, therefore my turning left and right calculations were a bit disordered. After several close encounters with pavements I got the idea on how to make a good turn. Next step was to keep left, this took me a bit more time. Luckily my companion was there to remind me each time I was aiming for the right and not the left!

We drove from the Airport of Perth up North about 200km to Cervantes, our first stop on our Road Trip. Cervantes is a small town which has a lot of Spanish street names, maybe because it bears the same name as the famous Spanish author Don Quixote. I have to admit I did not really know that. And apparently many people in Cervantes do not either!

In the evening we did some sightseeing around the Pinnacles Desert, an amazing desert about 25 km from Cervantes.
We drove there and we did get to see the sunset, the moment for taking hundreds op pictures of these alienated rocks in the middle of the desert.
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What are these Pinnacles doing here?

They were formed from wind-blown sand and by rain cementing the lower levels of the dune into a soft limestone. This soft limestone of the Pinnacles came from seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. These shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were blown inland to form high mobile dunes. Vegetation formed a layer of soil and humus around the dunes. A hard cap developed above the softer limestone.

Cracks in the dunes' layers were exploited by plant roots. Vegetation died and winds blew away the sand covering the eroded limestone, thus revealing the Pinnacles. It is a process that is still going on. You can see the Pinnacles breaking and eroding slowly. Maybe one day they might be gone.
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Posted by Busy Brabander 05:12 Archived in Australia Tagged dessert pinnacle

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