The Pink Lake of Port Gregory

Before I begin this blog post – I would like to print  a retraction as I’ve been advised that my calculations of distance between Mandurah and Broome was grossly overstated.  It is actually 2427kms rather than the “a few clicks under 3000kms”.  So, I stand corrected.

As you were……

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97kms north of Geraldton is the little tiny coastal fishing town of Port Gregory.  When I say tiny, there are approximately 50 houses, a caravan park and a general story.

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It sits snugly between the ocean – a beautiful beach; lined and protected by a long line of reef

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and a massive pink lake

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Why is it pink?  I hear you all ask……

It is pink due to a bacteria trapped in the salt granules which apparently provides a rich sauce of beta carotene….. I’ve had to google this – Thanks medicalnewstoday.com  – (Don’t tell me you don’t learn anything on this blog!)

Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, especially carrots and colorful vegetables.

The name beta-carotene comes from the Greek “beta” and Latin “carota” (carrot). It is the yellow/orange pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their rich colors. H. Wachenroder crystallized beta-carotene from carrot roots in 1831, and came up with the name “carotene”.

Beta-carotene’s chemical formula – C40H56 – was discovered in 1907.

The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol) – beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.

Beta-carotene in itself is not an essential nutrient, but vitamin A is.

Fast facts on beta-carotene

Here are some key points about beta-carotene. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • Beta-carotene is a red/orange pigment found in many fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, an essential vitamin
  • Vitamin A is toxic at high levels
  • Beta-carotene is a carotenoid and an antioxidant
  • Foods rich in vitamin A include onions, carrots, peas, spinach and squash
  • One study showed that smokers with high beta-carotene intake might have an increased risk of lung cancer
  • Some evidence suggests that beta-carotene might slow cognitive decline
  • Beta-carotene supplements interact with certain drugs, including statins and mineral oil
  • Beta-carotene might help older people retain their lung strength as they age.
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We think this is the house that we built….. there has been some debate, but it looks most like it out of the 3 houses on that side of the street – so we’re claiming it!

Anyway….. I digress.  Port Gregory is another place that holds memories for me as a kiddie.  We used to go up there with family friends; go fishing, catch crayfish, dive for abalone, drive along the beach with all the kids sitting (unrestrained) hanging off the back of the 4WD and fang around in beach buggies – this was in the days when fun wasn’t considered dangerous or illegal and you could go off exploring without fear of…. well anything!

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Some places and events I remember straight out, but some I have to rely on old photos to put me back in that place.  As we drove out of Geraldton and headed north, Col and Jen regaled me with many a story of camping and fishing trips that we had taken over the years – most when I was too young to remember. Seriously, how we all survived is quite beyond me!

Now…. On to Kalbarri

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