Lord of the flies in Cervantes

The stay in the backpacker lodge in Cervantes was a very quiet one. After having been to so many party hostels in Australia, this was definitely a welcomed change. I stayed there for two nights and had the dorm room to myself. We were a handful of guests in this beautiful environment.

The reason to visit the town of Cervantes is a visit to the nearby Pinnacles Desert, located within the Nambung National Park. The Pinnacles are in fact limestone peaks that were created through time by sea, sand and various layers of vegetation. Formed underneath some sand dunes, they are exposed by the fact that the dunes “wander” by wind relocating the sand cover.

Visitors museum Cervantes

Upon arrival at the National Park, we learned that the information center in the park just had opened this very day and we were the first visitors to see the in-depth information presented there. And there was more luck in store that day: Although it was raining throughout the day, the clouds cleared as the sunset was about to happen. Which gave us a spectacular array of colours and light. Even our tour guide would take out his camera and sit with us to make loads of pictures.

Back in the hostel, we went to visit the beach of Cervantes. Still being on West Australia’s Coral Coast, the views were obviously magnificent and I decided to bum at the beach next day (a first). Next day, I strolled the few meters from the breakfast table to the sandy beach and discovered, that once again, the Australian bush flies pestered me. Once in the water, the problem is gone as the flies don’t like it out there. However, it was simply impossible to lay down in the sand and relax in the sun.

Most tourists who traveled through Australia – especially the Outback – will remember the flies being quite a nuisance. Since the female flies need protein from tears, saliva, mucus and from blood of fresh cuts, they land on the human skin in dozens. Probably they also think that we would poo like a cow and consequently some of them are in a constant flight holding pattern humming around the body. I found out that smaller bush flies are more frantic and persistent.

Beach road in Cervantes

In one of the hostels, there was a posted note about the reason why Australia hosts so many flies. However, I don’t know whether this is an anecdote or the plain facts: As the first colonists arrived on the continent, they brought cows and bulls with them. As most bush flies breed in cow dung, there is nothing that stopped them from multiplying excessively. Australia has more than 20 million cattle which each drops around twelve “pads” per day. Each cow pad can breed about 2000 flies. Do the math and you see the problem.

However, when I arrived back from the beach that day, a mother Kangaroo would graze with her child in the hostel’s garden. Both were completely unimpressed by me approaching them for taking a couple of pictures. But they left some “dung” after leaving, which again will help breeding even more flies.

Kangaroos in the Hostel garden

Definitely, Cervantes was a very relaxed place and I can recommend this to anyone seeking a bit of relief from all the travel stress in other tourist places.

It was a good place to finish reading my second book on this journey: “Australia’s worst disasters“. A good primer of parts of the Australian recent history and what is considered important to the people in this country, especially since most of these disasters were unknown to me with my European tunnel-vision. Having a considerable aviation background (and being an Antarctica buff), I was especially surprised reading in this book about a fatal flight disaster of a DC-10, which crashed in the Antarctica. This was absolutely new fact for me. Therefore, I highly recommend this book, if you want to learn more about this part of the world.

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