Ride out to Lake Clifton

It’s heating up here at last.  This year the temperatures have been stubbornly slow to get going, with only a fews days so far over 30C. I’d even go as far as saying that a few days last week were actually chilly.

But the last couple of weekends have been just about perfect.  Perfect for a few photos with the new X100T too.

Last weekend, I went out on the motorbike to see the thrombolites at Lake Clifton

It was pretty warm (38C as it turns out) for all my biking gear and my journey was frustrated by an Iron Man competition that closed pretty much all the access roads except the freeway to where I wanted to go.

But I persevered and wound my way around the (really badly signed – come on Mandurah, you need to do better than this!) diversions until I got to Bouvard just south of Mandurah and turned off on one of the delightful roads to the Harvey Estuary for my first stop.

The Harvey Estuary is the southern part of the Peel Inlet and stretches from Dawesville to Clifton.  Screenshot 2014-11-16 18.07.48

There’s a little road that runs along the shore next to all the big posh houses that look out over the blue waters.  It’s quiet, twisty, shaded by gorgeous smelling gum trees and perfect to ride along.

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Just after Estuary Road joins back with the Old Coast Road, there’s a turning for Lake Clifton, which heads off through gum and pine scented forest towards the lake.

Lake Clifton is a a protected nature reserve and home to the very strange thrombolites.  Much like stromatolites (which we saw a few years back when we made the trek up to Shark Bay, they are very primitive cyanobacterial creatures that live in shallow warm waters that have the conditions just right to exclude most nibbling predators that would usually destroy them.  They live in a very narrow ecological niche and as such are very rare.

In Lake Clifton, there’s a boardwalk that has been built out over the lake to ensure that visiting them does not disturb them.

It’s all very quiet as its kinda out of the way (and most people are distracted by the winery that has its entrance just before the carpark) – I had the place to myself and it was awesome.

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The thrombolites are the strange stepping stone rock-like things in the shallows.

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It was baking and I did have to tramp out there in the 38C in my biker boots, kevlar lined jeans and biker jacket, but even so – it was so beautiful and peaceful, and there were loads of birds too – so if you’re into that I highly recommend going.  Just pick a cooler day!

I made my way back and stopped back off at Harvey Estuary when I saw a weird jetty thing poking out into the water.

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I’m not really sure what its purpose was as it’s very shallow not really near anything.  Maybe fishing? Crabbing?

In any case – it made for a few nice photos before I braved the stupid diversions and headed home on the freeway.

Next up – a local ride out.

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