The red and desolate is encircled by the blue and beautiful. So we decided we needed another view.
We flew over the peninsula taking in the small town of Denham, then the unforgettably named Useless Loop, over the salt mines, before turning into Zuytdorp Point cliffs and then flying over the westernmost tip of Australia on Steep Point and then back into the landing strip of Shark Bay.
I cannot say I was comfortable with going up in a small plane. The pilot was young - I asked him how many hours of flying time he had. It seemed like a fair number. To be honest I have no way of judging it and would it matter? The question is what happens in an emergency and I notice I kept referring to Zyutdrop and not Zyutdorp. Probably similar meaning in Dutch. When we got back and he had piloted the plane beautifully he confessed he had only been in the area for two weeks.
The nerves dissolved as soon as I looked down to see the unparalleled beauty of the reefs, the colour of the sea, in shades of green, turquoise and deep blue,contrasting with the burnt earth, the salt mines and finally the sheer force of the water against those cliffs.
Smiling - just about.
The Coastline from the plane.
Back on firm and red ground once more.