After driving all afternoon from Perth, we were delighted to reach Wave Rock before sunset. Our accommodation was located right at the monolith, so we checked in, deposited our luggage and then took a short stroll to the rock.
I felt so excited to finally view Wave Rock. I knew about this amazing structure from first browsing magazines while in Bouaké, Ivory Coast, and here I was — on the other side of the world and standing in front of it.
Here it is! I loved visiting a national landmark and natural treasure. While walking along, we waved at the couple on top of the rock. Further along we were able to talk to them. It quickly became obvious that their English was not very good, so we switched to French. The French couple were holidaying in Australia and had even visited Burkina Faso in the early 80s. (It was really weird discussing Ivoirien politics, in French, on Wave Rock.)
Rather than wind erosion, the shape of Wave Rock is caused by water erosion. Water trickles down through the rock, dissolving the softer rock at the base. A river may have once run alongside the rock, contributing to the erosion.
Surfing the wave.
The Hyden Reservoir is a man-made dam constructed between crevasses of the rock. If David had been with us, I know he wouldn't have been able to resist going for a swim (despite the high fences).
It was fairly easy to climb onto Wave Rock. There are stairs partway up and a chain to assist in the steeper ascent. We walked along the top of the "breaking wave".
Here's how Calista and I were getting around. I had no trouble climbing the rock with the sling on, but felt a bit of trepidation when coming back down.
A small wall is constructed along the lip of the rock. Initially I thought it was to prevent stupid tourists from falling over the 15-metres-high edge, but I later read that it was installed in 1951 to channel water into the dam.
The "wave" part only constitutes a small part of the monolith at the very centre of the picture. You can see the small dam and far to the right is carpark to access Hippo's Yawn. (Yes, the whole rock looks like something else, doesn't it?)
Take small children to a national icon, and they're still more interested in the playground!
Our accommodation was a little transportable cabin, similar to the ones in which David has been installing floorcoverings for years. This room contained a little kitchenette and dining table. Calista slept in the porta-cot, with Manou on the bottom bunk beside her. We didn't need the air conditioner because the temperature dropped to about 12 degrees C in the night.
Brioni slept on the bottom bunk and I shared the double bed with Aisha.
The next morning, I went out to get some more photos of the wave in the early light. I used the timer setting on the camera and just couldn't catch myself in a proper pose.
It was easier to pose with Calista then to leave her alone with the camera.
No matter the location, here comes mischief!
No question why this formation is called Hippo's Yawn.