Running short of my blood pressure medication was one thing we didn’t take into account as we happily booked an extra week here in Coral Bay. It’s not a big deal-I can cross the road, hand my prescription to someone in the dive shop and have the pills the next day. But, rather than do that, we decided to drive the 152ks each way (so a total of 304ks) into Exmouth, do some shopping, have some lunch, get the pills and come home.
A long way to shop you say? Well, spare a thought for the kids of Coral Bay whose parents choose to work here long term. School starters are home schooled until they reach year three, then they travel the 152ks to and from school every day until they reach the end of year 7 and go off to boarding school.
I have a fair tolerance to boring landscapes, but even I find this particular trip mind-numbing for all but about the last 25ks when you start to see glimpses of the Gulf of Exmouth on one side and the Cape Ranges National Park on the other. But tell that to a kid who does it 5 days a week 42 weeks a year.
I saw the bus arrive home one afternoon and that got me wondering about the poor lady driver. At least the kids could sleep to and from school but (hopefully) not her. And what did she do with the 6 or 7 hours in Exmouth (hardly a town you could wander around window shopping for more than 30 minutes).
A meeting with the skipper of the Eco Tours boat on the jetty the other day answered that question. The bus driver-who just happens to be his mum! has a job cleaning at a resort in Exmouth that she does while the kids are at school, then it’s back in the bus and off home until they all do it, all again tomorrow.
The skipper of the boat said he and his wife didn’t think they’d stay around to have to see their kids go off to school on the bus. Good move I say.
We didn’t have to sit in school and listen to a teacher-we shopped for groceries, had a nice counter lunch, I got a new fishing rod and most importantly we got the pills. I fell asleep on the way home.
Last night we went to Maud’s Landing (one of our favourite spots) for a sunset drink. It’s lovely watching the beach fisherpeople and the kids playing as the sun goes down. I’ve included a few photos.