As always, I was anxious to check out the town of Geraldton and discover what there was to see and do here. We had decided we'd treat ourselves to a couple of days in the marina just before leaving which would facilitate our check-out procedure, final provisioning, laundry and allow for hot showers. As it turned out, the windlass was making strange noises during anchoring and David's initial observations didn't bode well for a quick, inexpensive recovery. Working on it at the dock made sense, but we'd stay at anchor one more night till we got things sorted out.
We wanted to check out the marina berths before bringing Cups in and since it was such a short distance from the anchorage, we launched the dinghy and headed through the breakwater into the Batavia Coast Marina. We tied up at a convenient dinghy dock and headed into town. My Maps With Me app on the iPad (I love this free app!) provided a good layout of the town and we knew where the Visitor's Centre, Dept of Transport (to arrange for our marina berth) and Customs were all located and set about to visit them in that order.
As it turned out, the Visitor's Centre is almost directly across the street from the marina entrance. It's housed in the historic Victoria District Hospital (c. 1877) facility which was also used as a regional prison for awhile. Glenda and Melanie were the pleasant, most helpful volunteers-on-duty when we visited and offered lots of local information, maps and brochures. There were several sights to see … possibly between chores and windlass repairs. One disappointment was that the wildflowers had already peaked, not as colorfully as had been hoped, due to lack of rain.
We passed by the Old Gaol (jail) which now housed Aboriginal Artists and crafts and then the Old Railroad Station, a sign out front inviting us to “Platform Markets” on the weekend. Both places might require a bit more investigation in the next couple of days. At the Department of Transport, Debra answered all our questions, booked us a berth, gave us our keys in advance to save us another trip and handled all the billing issues. We headed to Customs, but thought we'd have a kebab (we know them as Mideastern shawarmas) for a late lunch along the way. That's when I spotted the sign for “The Camel Bar and Restaurant … World's Largest Collection of Camels”. Now, I know we had places to go and things to do, but really, how can you pass up an opportunity like this? I couldn't. We munched through our kebab in record time and walked on over to the Camel Bar … just for pics. My … what a fine camel collection. Camels playing poker, camels in the desert sands, camels riding motorcycles and driving race cars. Camel cigarettes and Camel Beer and camel signs and then just lots and lots of camels … big, small, tall, fancy, tiny, on mugs, on mirrors. This might be a good place for a beer sometime.
On we trudged to the Custom House which was at the opposite end of the marine foreshore, close to the commercial docks as expected. No one was in attendance at the moment … call or come back later. Later was fine with us.
We headed back along the foreshore to get some pics of Cups at anchor. She looked rather lovely and graceful, bobbing gently in the light swell of blue-green water.
The foreshore area is well done with public art, bits of exercise equipment placed here and there, public art displays, a playground, a cafe, a beach. In general, a nice place for walking along the shore and enjoying the day. One public art work entitled “Wajarri” (The Emu in the Sky) was a grouping of stylized emu eggs decorated in Aboriginal designs with an accompanying story about the native Yamaji people and their tradition of collecting emu eggs in season.
We'd heard somewhere about the Rubik's Cube toilets in Gero and forgotten all about them till we spotted them up ahead. They look pretty much like toilets on the inside (I checked, of course), but they're pretty darned colorful on the outside. Glad you don't need to solve a puzzle before you use them.
We couldn't help but remember the Hundertwasser Toilets we saw in Kawakawa, New Zealand. That's our friend, Fay, in the pic. We seldom take pics of our friends coming from the toilet, but this was an exception.
And then we were back at the dinghy heading back to Cups and thinking about sundowners and windlasses and things we might do in Gero and windlasses and dinner and maybe a movie and windlasses ...