Lancelin to Cervantes

Trip Leader:  Pat O’Dowd

When:  29th June 2008

Location: 10 vehicles

Participants: Ten 



On Sunday the 29th of June 2008, about 10 Forby’s and about twice as many people met up at McDonalds, Joondalup at 8.45 for a pre trip report and were ready to go by 9.05. 
One member got it wrong and went to Wanneroo.. but we picked him up on the way!
We headed north for approx 100 km to Lancelin where we stopped for the obligatory mornos at the local bakery.  
Lancelin faces west into the Indian Ocean and the beaches are protected by several small islands.  Massive sand hills surround the town and are a haven for all sorts of off-road vehicles but unfortunately traffic is a bit like St. Georges Terrace at peak hour. The weather at this time of year is not conducive to beach driving as the sea claims most of it in winter so we planned to use the inland route through the bombing range.
 
At 10:45 we headed north again passing the sand dunes where tyre pressures were reduced.  The track is quite rough being limestone outcrops with sandy patches in between.  Recent rains had filled many of the pot holes and many quite large ones were negotiated until we came to one rather large one which most decided to go through rather than take the “chicken” track but one poor individual, who shall remain nameless, although his vehicle will be recognised, didn’t go quite fast enough and ended up in the middle with water seeping in through the door seals.
Our trusty leader waded into the water and after several attempts managed to connect the snatch strap and then George with the biggest grin I have ever seen on his face pulled the stranded Disco out.  Not to be beaten, after the water had drained out of the cockpit, our previously stranded driver turned round and tried it again…..this time with a bit more speed and was successful.
Then onto Wedge for lunch, stopping at the dunes for a play for 15 mins.  Not many places to stop in Wedge as there were mini lakes everywhere so we ended up adjacent to the helicopter pad on the only patch of dry ground of any appreciable size. 
 A little rain began falling so we upped chairs and carried on towards Cervantes.  As these little lakes had to be negotiated another unfortunate in a SWB Paj, still with distributor and points. managed to spray water up into the engine bay such that it coughed and stopped. WD40 came out in force and eventually signs of life appeared and he was off, only to stop again after the next water crossing 20 metres down the road.  More WD40 and it was off again taking great care to negotiate the rest of the water SLOWLY.
 
A quick trip down to the beach to see Wedge Island through the rain and back on track.  The weather cleared and we made good time although the track was pretty bad in places.
Several km up the track we came onto the beach which was pretty wide with firm sand and we made very good time for 5 or so km.
  

Then back to the rocks and into Grey…which apparently was off to our left but we never saw it.
 After Grey the track deteriorated and it was very slow going up and down some very rocky gullies.  We passed a few other travellers going south and then spied a Ford Laser by the side of the track.  It looked in pretty good nick but how it got through the rough track and filled water holes is a surprise. The day was wearing on and at about 5pm we finally reached the bitumen at the turnoff to either Cervantes or The Pinnacles.  Tyres were reinflated and goodbyes were said as we prepared for the 3+ hr trip home and a nice warm shower.
Cervantes is approx 245 km north of Perth and on the doorstep of the magical Pinnacles.  It is a laid back fishing village with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.  In short a great family getaway, just perfect for kicking back, forgetting your troubles and relaxing with a wonderful parade of wildflowers, in season, at Nambung National Park……but that is for another day.
 
Many thanks to those who came and made it such an enjoyable day and more thanks to Keith for being Tail End Charlie.
 PAT

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