Ningaloo and Kathmandu (Nepal)


This is the next instalment of my Special Moments, Magic Memories series for the 2022 A to Z Blog Challenge.

NINGALOO, Australia

Twenty odd years ago, this beautiful area on Australia west coast was not as promoted as it is now. There seemed to be more European tourists there when we happened upon it on a Western Australian camping trip. We certainly weren’t in the loop about the migration of the whale sharks each year, coincidentally when we were there. It seemed foolish to let the chance go by so we took one of the boat trips that went out to sea looking for these goliaths of the deep. They coordinated the search using aircraft and when they found one, adventurous souls took off into the fathomless water to get closer to these amazing animals. Despite “shark” in their name, they are not looking for a human snack but rather, like whales, filter plankton through their mouths. Now I’m not a super swimmer and snorkels make me hyperventilate but taking my courage in my hands, I followed the group into the water and made tracks for their whale shark. Head down I didn’t initially see it, but somehow I heard my husband call me – looking up, there was this huge creature sailing past me from within a metre (closer than I should have been). I vividly remember this moment and all those spots going by me at pace. Quite a WOW experience I have to say! While others went back into the ocean multiple times, I was satisfied with my sighting and stayed aboard after that, courage and skill depleted. We have no photos of the swim but we do have a great video of our adventure.

Spanish Mackeral coming up! Mr Cassmob and our campsite at Ningaloo. © Pauleen Cass 1999

For lunch one of the crew caught a Spanish mackeral which was gutted, grilled and on the serving table within 30 minutes. It was delicious! And as Mr Cassmob says, the only time we’ve seen big bowls of fresh prawns languishing from lack of attention.

Ningaloo has a gorgeous beach and snorkelling on the reef close to the shore. Did I mention I really, really hate snorkels! Ironic since I’d hoped to become a marine biologist when I was younger.

NEPAL- KATHMANDU

On our big trip in 1977 with Miss 6 and Miss 4, we took up an offer from a former colleague of mine to visit them on their new posting at Kathmandu. We’d always had something of a virtual fascination with India, Nepal and especially Mount Everest. Despite my reservations about the health risks for the daughters, we took the chance and added Kathmandu via Delhi to our European adventure. You can read about it all in more detail here, here and here.

We were fortunate that although it rained on the first day we hoped to take the Himalaya flight, the next day was fine. © Pauleen Cass 1977

It was an eye-opener every day with our resident guides and a continuous wow. There were so many different sights to see everywhere you turned. I especially remember driving with our host through a mountain village where they were using passing vehicles to thresh their grain. Sadly that film didn’t work so we don’t have a photo which does show that the images in your head do survive.

Seen around Kathmandu. © Pauleen Cass 1977.

I would once again like to thank Robert for his Random Act of Kindness of bringing the colour back to these photos a few years ago – a very welcome, much appreciated surprise.

Have you visited a place that is both entralling and confronting? Where was it?

Do you love the tranquility of being near a beach?


13 thoughts on “Ningaloo and Kathmandu (Nepal)

  1. I live on a small island and have an affinity for water. The beaches here tend to be steep and rocky, and the water is much too cold to swim in (46°F is pretty standard) but the views are beautiful. There are whales that frequent the waters where I live, and I have seen grays, orcas, and minke. They are amazing; I’m not quite sure what a whale shark is but I can’t imagine being so close to such a huge animal while snorkeling! (Like you, though, I’m not a fan of the snorkeling masks. So perhaps if they weren’t such a hyperventilative trigger for me, I’d be more apt?)

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    1. Living on an island sounds heavenly! Rocky beaches not so much – I’m too used to white sand and warmer water. Seeing whales is such a delight and privilege. I’ve not seen the varieties you mention. We are on the whale trail between Antarctica and their winter “nursery” about 50 miles/100kms away. There are whale sightseeing tours here which we’ve enjoyed a few times, incl when the sea is rough.

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    1. It sure was! I can imagine you’d be lost without the sea around you. It must be fun and interesting to live on an island. Australia may be an island but a bit different since it’s so big 🙂

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    2. To see and touch Gods great creations is a life’s epitaph. No creature unseen..no natural beauty un photographed.Your persistence your life and journey Angela is to be mimicked. Your a credit to us …Australians

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  2. Love reading your sea adventures Caasmob, Ma’am! Not many blessed with such a privilege. Hank was given an opportunity to be by the sea long ago. Our College, the Federation Military College (FMC) in Port Dickson (PD) was by the sea. We were teenagers then (1960 – 15 years old) Our College moved inland in 1961 and was later named the Royal Military College (RMC) but the sea was no more. In PD we had our fun. We went boat rowing, catamaran rides and encroached the many coconut plantations by the sea-side to pinch young coconuts when thirsty. Hank also managed to get a Bronze Medallion Life Savings cert within the short period.

    Hank

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