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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   154     Monday    9th   September

We had an early start this morning as the Prado was due into the Toyota agent for a service.  After our breakfast and van tidy, we arrived at the Service Department and booked in.  The reception girl could not do enough for us, service the car, wash and vacuum the car, ring when finished, where are you going now, hop in that car over there we will drop you in the city, when I call we will come pick you up.  She just could not do enough for us.

So as she had arranged, we were dropped in the main drag of Albany and set about looking for exciting places to look into.  Suzannegrae was first and the card won, but the top did suit Kay so it was in the bag.  This was followed by a walk around which took us to an ANZAC Memorial Park where lots of town folk just came and sat, a lovely spot.  Next walk took us to the museum where a two masted brig called AMITY that is a replica of the original that sank during a storm off Flinders Island in early 1800s.  The connection of this brig to the town goes back to a man being sent to the area to start a town as the harbour was perfect for this.  This boat standing out on the waters edge was the main attention grabber.  We started with the Indigenous (the original land owners) centre and worked through to the rest and finished with the boat.  How those poor sailors managed to walk around their sleeping deck without bumping their head into unconscious I will never know, they had about 4 to 5 feet to stand and sleep in. 

While at the museum Derek Hale rang to tell us he was just leaving Norseman to cross the Nullarbor and home, so we will not see him again till Mudgee in October.

With the boat finished we headed for the Information Centre to seek some local info and while there the Toyota people rang to advise car finished and where were we that they could send a car for us. There is that service again.  If anybody reading this intends to come through Albany and own a Toyota that requires service, well just call Albany Toyota, they are wonderful.

We waited at the Info centre and were picked up as advised and taken back to Toyota.  There we paid (yes we did need to pay) and headed back to the shops for some lunch, this done and a visit to the bank then saw us at the lookout at Mt Melville where a very high tower with lookout at the top was great for some long photos. 

Leaving this area, we headed out toward Emu Point area as we had been advised to do.  First stop was to Princess Royal Fortress Museum.  This area is, and always has been, used as a fortress to protect the Albany Harbour from invasion by any country who saw fit.  We spent quite a lot of time here looking at old gun emplacements and underground ammunition storage and first and second world war guns from ships and torpedoes from submarines and ground to air missiles.  The list just goes on.  There was, of course, lots of stories regarding people of this area who were involved or just plain dragged into the war effort in some way.

We eventually left the fortress and found our way, at last, to Emu Point for a quick drive through as we had spent too much time at the previous place, it was by now becoming dark.  Returning to the camp in the almost dark and returning a call to Jim Tuck to confirm our timetable for a meeting in Streaky Bay in South Australia in about two weeks.  We had happy hour before tea and then this typing needed to be done of course.  Then bed.

 

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MM

Murray River Ramblers had our 7th Muster at Deniliquin last weekend 19 attended which included 2 new members from Tocumwal & 2 guests. As Deni is home base to some members not all used their vans. Happy hour on Friday was followed by tea at the Sporties Hotel. Sat morning there was time for 2 games of Klop before we headed out for lunch At Clancy's Winery & Museum. A bit of wine tasting before a light luncheon & a guided tour of the museum which has the largest display of number plates in Australia.It was well worth a visit if you are going past it's 20kmls from Deni on the Conargo Rd. We returned  to C/P for our meeting & then Happy hour, raffle & then a BBQ tea together followed by some games & fellowship. Sunday  breakfast was bacon & eggs together in the camp kitchen & then a game of golf fling & then it was time to pack up for those who were leaving & so ended our muster. The weather was fine & sunny which is a nice change from what we usual get. Our next muster is at Finley on Nov. 8,9&10 which will be our Xmas party

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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   153      Sunday      8th   September

As mentioned yesterday we were to move camp today, so early rise and breakfast before beginning the pack up.  This was nearly finished when the camp manager went by and asked if we were coming to the kitchen for pancakes at 9.00am.  Wellllll I mean pancakes for breakfast, just too much to resist, so after a couple of lovely pancakes we left the Coalmine Beach Caravan Park and first stop was at Denmark for a town walk and a sausage roll for smoko.  I can feel the weight going on!

On our return to the car we watched a pack of bikies start up and leave the town after they had had their own morning tea. They were just a normal bunch of fellas and ladies out for a ride on a Sunday morning.  We then continued our trip to Albany and have booked into the Big 4 Albany Gardens Holiday Resort and set up the van before we had lunch.  (Who can tell me how many times I have set up the van over the last 153 days?)  Well I can, 84 times.  

Lunch finished, we jumped into the car and headed for Frenchman’s Bay, part of the Torndirrup National Park, which is a landmark location recommended by the Van park receptionist.  We spent the entire afternoon on this peninsula investigating places such as Whaling Cove, Fisherman Beach, Mistaken Island, Salmon Holes, Blowholes, Jimmy Newells Harbour, The Gap, Natural Bridge.  The last two locations were just terrific, the Gap was a huge cavity in the rock where the sea just boomed in and left spray and foam everywhere, very exciting stuff.  The Natural Bridge is a rock formation with a huge hole under in the shape of a bridge with the waves once again booming through the tunnel.  The aforementioned Blowhole was bit of a flop in that there was no swell coming in, so no big waves to make the blowhole boom however, we did watch a whale do some fancy tail flapping which went on for several minutes.  We did have lots of other great stuff though.

With the sun setting it was time to head back the 25 Kms to the camp site for tea and bed.       

 

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DAY    152    Saturday     7th    September

We had lazy morning with a bit of a sleep in before a laid back breakfast.  After this we headed out for the “Tree Top Walk” in the Valley of the Giants in the Tingle Forest. This is a brilliantly designed steel structure that was designed to disappear into the canopy of the forest from the ground, but put the observer 40 metres into the canopy with the birds and the tree tops.  What a great sight, a little frightening at first, if not happy with heights or suffer from vertigo.

 We had a wonderful morning up amongst the clouds, almost, before returning to earth just in time to do a guided walk around the bottom of the giant trees in the Ancient Empire Walk. The guide was amazing with her knowledge on all the tree species in the park.  She told us that we were in the only area in the Southern Hemisphere that is able to sustain the giant trees that are, and some have been, growing for up to 500 years.  They also can grow to enormous heights and diameters.

We headed away from the centre looking for a picnic spot to have a bite of lunch.  Unfortunately the dreaded rain caught up with us before we stopped, so we needed to bring the ACC basket with lunch into the car and eat in some comfort out of the rain.

This rain then continued to haunt us for the rest of the afternoon as we looked for somewhere to see some sights without the rain interrupting our view.  As we were passing the caravan on our way through we called in to remove the washing from where it had been hung.  It was not bad really, so Kay was a little happier about that.  Next, and last stop, was to the Information Centre for some hints on van parks and their locations for the next few days travel.  We are heading for Albany tomorrow.

Happy hour spent in the van with the pitta patta on the roof.  I needed to use the camp barby in the kitchen again tonight to keep a little bit warm and dry. With tea over and dishes finished, we had an early night, as the TV is almost non-existent here at Walpole.  But I am sure without the rain it would be a lovely place to spend a few days.  

 

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Still enjoying the read Neil, Safe Travels.
Sunday, 08 September 2013 16:52
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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   151        Friday    6th     September

As we were intending to ride on the Pemberton Tramway Tram we were up early and packed up and left the camp by 8.30am as we were due in Pemberton by 10.00am.  We had a very good trip, doing the required 40 odd Km from Fonty’s Pool Van Park at Manjimup, into the station to book a couple of tickets.  We then did a town walk for just under an hour before returning to the tram for the trip.

Our driver for the trip, Brian, told us the rules and regs and off we set.  What a great trip meandering between some huge Marri and Karri trees.  These trees are all from the eucalyptus family and were much sought after in the early days of logging.  The forest we went through in the tram had been flattened twice last century by the loggers, so none of the huge stuff still exists here.  Still the big trees we saw were still mighty large, tall and straight.  They have been known to grow for 500 years and be up to 120 metres high with a base of around 12 to 15 metre diameter.

The trip eventually came to an end on our return to the station, after stopping at the Warren River Bridge as the half way mark, and having the driver walk to the other end and drive us back.  As lunch time was with us Kay made some sandwiches and we ate in the car park.

Next destination was to Walpole and this took the majority of the afternoon to reach.  Booked into the Coalmine Beach Holiday Park, set up and took a quick walk down a few steps to the beach.  It appears that the area has had bad winds come through in the last week or so as there were trees down all along the Highway and the beach is in a mess.  This included the Yacht Club House which seems to have been condemned, judging by the “Unsafe Notices” at each end.

Quiet Happy Hour before tea on the camp barby and bed. 

Spoke to Derek Hale just after tea.  He is heading homeward, at present at Hyden (Wave Rock) while the Clarks and Castles are at Kalbarri on their way South.  Safe driving to them all.  Kollmorgens are aiming for Albany on Sunday, their car is due for service on Monday and then they will be aiming for Esperance before Norseman   

 

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DAY   150      Thursday   5th     September

Ah; Day 150, we voted ourselves a break.   Up fairly early and left the Bunbury Glade Caravan Park by a little before nine and went to local Coles for last minute top up. Left shops by 9.30am and headed south toward Manjimup for the night.  On the way our first stop was at Donnybrook where we did a town walk. Lovely biggish town with friendly folk, especially the ladies at the old train station come Information Centre where they were also helpful, but it seems all those ladies are. 

Minds all topped up with useful info we continued our way and next stop was Bridgetown, parked in van parking area on a hill behind old station buildings that are a little bit worn.  (Read very worn)  Did a second town walk for the day and actually enjoyed some of the older buildings. A very nice town all round apart from that railway lot, but with no railway working in the town, there is no one to attend to the maintenance. Kay went into a shop dedicated to Christmas decorations and came out with a small package.  I guess I will see the results on the Christmas Tree in December.

Moving on we arrived in Manjimup and drove straight through intending to set up the van at the Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park about 8Km west of Manjimup but out in the farm lands.  Booked into camp and selected a site, reversed van and did normal setup expecting to remove car. Suddenly with a brain wave it was decided to have “that break” I spoke of earlier.  So we had a casual lunch before a slow walk down to the gate to get a photo of” where we are” just to keep the records straight and then returned back to the van area to look into the name.   Fontys’ Pool, it is derived from an Italian immigrant  Archimede Fontanini  entering Australia around 1902 with 12 Quid in his pocket and as all Italians, worked hard and long, and eventually took up a land grant and with his brother they converted a dam to a  swimming pool for the locals to use for a small donation. This pool was built entirely by hand and built over a natural spring, water therefor is no problem.  His ideas became bigger and better and the property became a park land complete with kiosk selling cold and hot drinks etc, etc, and when the need arose he saw the opening for, and built, a Caravan Park. Hence we are here now, having a “Break Day” afternoon.

Kay spent some time at the food preparation and I typed.  Happy hour was quiet except for a sheep and a kookaburra. 

Tea will be along soon and then bed. 

 

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DAY   149    Wednesday     4th     September

We were up and ready to leave in the car for places south of the van park here at Bunbury.  Headed down on the Bussell Highway at around 9.45am toward Busselton, but ended up continuing on to Margaret River first for just a quick look.  First stop on the way was at Ludlow Tuart Forest.  The trees in this area are some of the tallest and oldest in the country are Eucalyptus and can grow to 30 metre X 10Metre girth and live up to 500 years.  They were very popular with timber hunters for boats and wheels during the early years of Australian settlement.

Further on we drove into a couple of beaches for a look and then arrived at Cowaramup.  This town is devoted to cows, plastic models all around the town and decorating most of the shops, on most shelves there are cows of tin, plastic, glass, money boxes, vases, cows, cows, and then cows.  Most of the shops had somehow managed to have the word cow in their company name.  We did a town walk and had some good laughs.

Moving on, we arrived into Margaret River and also did a town walk up and down the main drag and one of the first things seen was an orange cow.  Next chore was finding a nice sunny picnic table for some lunch.  Kate the steam train was also in this park along with a couple of friendly ducks.  Well they were friendly until all the lunch was gone, and so were the ducks, not so friendly.  Kate carried timber from the forests into the mills of Margaret River and also Busselton.  Moving on from Margaret River to Prevelly, which is almost a part of MR, and watched some Kite Skiers do their thing, boy do they move down the windward leg and their cornering was great to watch.

Next stop is Gracetown where we found the worst road in WA to investigate a beach with a view.  A short walk from the car park to cliff tops and a terrific view of the coast was had.  The road was not that bad really, just a little pot holed.  Continuing, and next stop is Dunsborough, but as it was becoming late and the wind was becoming cold again, we sat at a car park on the town beach for a while after we had done a town drive.

Eventually we head for our original early morning destination at Busselton where a town drive and an extra jacket saw us walk the length of the Musselton Jetty.  The longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere at 1.8 Km in length and with the wind blowing almost into our faces it was hard work walking out.  However, of course, when we turned to return to dry land we found the wind at our backs was so much easier. 

Back to the car and back to Bunbury Glade C/P and some tea before this typing and the dishes before bed.    Tomorrow we move on.

 

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DAY      148         Tuesday         3rd       September

Fairly early rise as we were set to move on again.  Heavy dew made the job a wet job, but still managed alright and left the Fremantle Village C/P, just after 9.00am and made good time down the Rockingham Road and stopped for smoko at a pull in around 10.30am.  As we continued we could see the sky had become very black and almost immediately after joining the Kwinana Highway, the sky opened up.  There was I, not used at all to traffic, not used to semis, or road trains, and certainly not used to heavy and I mean HEAVY rain for about 10 minutes.  We did survive and managed to arrive at the Bunbury Glade Caravan Park all in one wet piece and after booking in proceeded to set up before the next front arrived.

We set up OK and then had a sandwich and cuppa for lunch before heading out in the car to travel the Ocean View Drive and looked into a few of the more interesting bays and parks along the way. One place we did go to of interest was an environmental history of the area with lots of reading and photos to be looked at.  We would have spent some more time there if the wind off the water had been just a little kinder to our tender selves.

Australind, which is a nearby suburb, was our next destination.  This is where the Collie River terminates in the Leschenault Estuary which along with the “Gap” has been modified to allow the tidal and river flows to work better and avoid flooding during heavy rainfall.

Next stop was to the black and white lighthouse on the bluff and then to the Rotary donated Marlston Hill Lookout, a circular stair case with about 60 steps which led to a magnificent view of the city, river and the ocean.  This certainly was a photographers dream view.  We certainly would have stayed up there longer, only the wind had not become any more social.

We then returned to the C/P for our own little Happy Hour before tea and bed.   Did I mention that it is no longer hot.

 

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DAY     147      Monday   2nd     September

Nice morning, no rain, no wind.   After breakfast we drove to a local car park and waited for a Blue bus to take us into Fremantle proper where we walked to the pier to purchase tickets to board the Captain Cook ferry for another visit to Perth.  A short walk around the Fremantle pier precinct to fill in a little time before the ferry sails, and also took a look at the ‘Sun Princess’ a cruise ship that was in port for the day, and does she tower over everything.

It turned out to be a great trip on the Swan River to Perth learning quite a lot of information from the Skipper/Guide on the suburbs we were passing and also the mansion owners along the river edge and cliffs.  Some of these “houses” are amazing in their size and designs.  We arrived at the wharf in Perth and alighted and headed for the Bell Tower at the pier area.  Pay the money (of course) and then proceeded to check the tower floor by floor.  It was certainly an entertaining place with12 of the 18 bells coming  from St Martin –In-The-Field, Britain, when they were due for melting and re-casting as is the normal.  The WA Government convinced the English that they would supply new material to produce new bells and take the old bells back to Australia.  It was a good win I think!

After seeing most of the tower, including the room where the ropes are to make the bells noisy, and on the 4th floor is the open view of the bells in their frames which we were told the 18 cast bells weigh almost 10 ton (old measure), which makes the tower rock a little bit when they are rolling in their frames.  On our way back down at lunch time we were ushered into a room on the 1st floor and asked if we would like to pull a rope to make some noise in the tower.  Well did I want to pull a rope, did I want to pull a rope, I couldn’t get in there fast enough.  The lady (Laura) an experienced bell ringer of 60 years, first explained how the bells were made to play notes and how the ropes worked and then had half of the folks in the room try out before swapping the people over.  Kay went first and Neil followed in a half hour of good fun and laughter.

As it had gotten late we decided to visit Mc Donalds as they are quick and easy.  That finished we headed for the Yellow bus and did a rather large circle of Perth stopping at some 36 stops. These buses, Red, Blue, Yellow and Green offer free travel on the Cat Bus as they are known around the city proper, and also at Fremantle.  The bus ride was interesting and on return to the bus depot we went to the Perth train station and purchased tickets to return to Fremantle by train.  This made for another enjoyable experience we were to have today.

With our train tickets in hand we headed down the escalator to our required platform and needed to rush the last few metres to make the departure, just about 1 minute.  Thoroughly enjoyed the train ride back to Fremantle Station and walked out on to the road and were met with the sight of a Blue Cat bus just sitting there waiting for us to casually walk aboard and sit, however, we did need to run as the driver had sighted us and was waiting patiently.  He dropped us back at our car and after unsuccessfully trying to purchase fuel, we returned to the camp.  We then did a small amount of pack up to the van as we are moving on tomorrow.

Tea and bed as usual.

 

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 DAY      146       Sunday    1st   September

We were met with a much nicer day this morning.  The rain had gone, the wind had gone, but some mist or fog was about.  Breakfast and dishes finished, we set off in the car and headed south about 30 Kms towards Rockingham.  First stop was at Woodman Point Regional Park to try to get a better look at some ships we could see from the road.  We found our way to the rear of a boat club and also a great view of a huge three hulled ship having some work done at a ship builder’s yard.  In order to get a better photo, Kay and I walked out on a breakwater about ½ Km before finding a spot,  but we did find some lovely views out into the Indian Ocean and also inland.

We continued to Henderson Cliffs in Cockburn Sound, at the other side of the builder’s area and there we sighted two Navy ships in dry dock having work done and also paint jobs.  Henderson Cliffs are a mixture of the funniest looking rocks I have seen on this trip, and we have seen just a few rocks, and a beautiful sea rolling in from a look out which fits into the cliffs.

We then drove through Rockingham and ended up at Point Peron where another look out is available to see the coast and sea.  A beautiful bay stretches out in front of the camera where a lot of the locals were collecting.  Strange how the weather has a bearing on peoples outings.

Left Rockingham and drove back to the caravan for lunch, after a detour to Woolies for supplies. Lunch finished we again headed out.  This time we headed North, aiming for Sorrento Beach, around the same Kms away as the trip this morning.  We stopped at City Beach for a few pics before eventually arriving at Hillarys Boat Harbour.  This marina is choka-block full of very expensive boats,  boats of all sizes and shapes, but all expensive.  We did have a White Chocolate and Raspberry and Boysenberry ice cream and enjoyed them.  Found that time had caught up with us, so back to the car and set Tom to take us back to Fremantle Village for tea and bed.

 

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DAY   145       Saturday       31st     August

As we are staying in a seaside town we decided to have a seaside day.  First stop this morning was to the Western Australian Shipwreck Galleries.  This turned out very interesting to see.  There have been so many ships gone to the bottom along this coast from about 1600 to the almost present time.  This included a lot of ships of the East India Trading Company and ships well known to all, the Batavia, the Roebuck, the Zuytdorp and, of course, the HMAS Sydney during the war.

We managed to pull ourselves out of the building and headed for the Round House, just in time to hear the 1 o’clock cannon from the gun placement area at the rear.  This round house was originally built as a prison and later became a distillery.  While we were at this display we kept hearing marching music and sirens and with a short walk we were at the wharf area and found that the town was having an Open day for all services to tell the people how to become soldiers, or sailors, or flyers, or fireman, or cops.  There was a sailing ship in from Indonesia and their sailors were marching to band and drum with the baton being thrown around with lots of enthusiasm. 

Also in port for the open day was an Australian Naval Guided Missile Frigate, the HMAS Sydney.  Not the one previously mentioned, but the present one.  We joined the queue and walked aboard for a look.  Not a great amount was open to general public, though they did have a missile doing acrobatics on its launching pad to the amusement of the crowd, however, it was very interesting all the same. 

Next stop was to the Western Australian Maritime Museum, just a short step up the pier and we had a quick bite for lunch before beginning to investigate the boats of WA waters.  There were boats of all sizes, shapes, materials and types including, of course, the most famous of all AUSTRALIA 11 the cup winner.  Also seen was Indonesian boats and Chinese Junks, Submarines, Yachts of endurance race fame and so it went on.  We certainly filled the day in and wondered on leaving if we would not be too late to catch the Blue Cat Bus back to our car.  We made it OK and returned to the camp for some tea and bed.     

 

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DAY     144         Friday     30th     August

Slow and easy pack up this morning as not far to travel, just 33Kms to the Fremantle Village Caravan Park and booked in for 4 nights while we see the sights.   After booking in (we had previously phoned and booked) we were given a great long drive through site, that watching others arrive, we appear to be the envy of the camp.  I think I could fit another van the same length as ours again.  This site set up and some shopping at the local shop for bread for lunch, we ate and then set off for Fremantle town for a look around.  We again caught the blue cat bus for our free trip and alighted where the crowds seem to be thicker.

There are a great many old buildings in Fremantle so the camera was kept clicking.  An indoor market place caught our eye and was a great place to fill in a couple of hours and also a couple of dollars.  Followed was a walk around the town which we enjoyed, apart from a very fresh breeze that had blown up and brought a couple of light showers with it.  We re-found the blue cat bus and continued the circuit we had been on.  We eventually arrived back at the car park, as we thought, but found we were one stop short and needed to walk another ½ Km to the car before heading back to the camp for happy hour.  Just we two in the van out of that wind, with Kay on the phone and Neil on the keyboard.  Never mind the beer was good and the chips even better. 

Tea will be along soon.  Then bed.

 

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DAY     143    Thursday       29th    August

As we had only planned a lunch appointment today with one of Kay’s ex workmates, we had a slow morning which included a walk to the Swan River bank and a left turn toward the city before a return trip back around the Great Eastern Highway to the camp.

Waited till the pickup time and walked out to the gate just as our ride arrived.  Greeting and introductions and off we went.  Mark took Kay around the companies that she was dealing with at work before we arrived at the Belmont Hotel.  Lovely meal and a couple of ales, all supplied by Kay’s old firm and much chin wagging and swapping of information was had before we had to head back to camp as Mark had another appointment to attend to.

We then changed shoes and heading back to the river this time turning right and following the river about 2 Kms before finding the highway again and heading back to the van.  All in all a nice quiet day 

No happy hour tonight as my quota was reached at lunch, also very small tea for the same reason. However bed time will be eagerly waited for.

 

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DAY      142       Wednesday      28th    August

We woke to bright sunshine, although still some dark cloud it was good to see the sun again,  especially as it is not 35c sun anymore.  Had breakfast and walked to the bus stop to again go into the city.  The bus dropped us right outside our desired destination for this morning, the Perth Mint.  First thing was to, of course, pay, second was to dodge all the conmen and ladies attempting to sell us something that was gold in colour and had a price tag in the thousands, it was nice though.  Beg as I may, they did not offer me any samples, so I just went and watched a piece of gold melted and repoured into a bar mould for the 40,000 time.  No joke, it had been melted and reset 7 times a day for 18 years, work it out.

Leaving the Mint empty handed but with plastic card intact, we walked up to a Red CAT bus which gave us a free trip around the city and left us at the American Embassy (McDonalds for the uninitiated) for some lunch.  We then walked back to the bus depot and waited for a blue CAT bus which deposited us at the foot of the Kokoda Track.  Not the one in New Guinea but the one in Kings Park in Perth, WA.   After having to stop a couple of times on the way up, we came to the Perth War Memorial with what can only be described as the best city, river and mountain scene in the world, well almost.  The board walk in the Botanical Gardens followed and a short talk to a couple who were to travel where we had over the last couple of months.  So they were seeking advice on all sorts of areas.  Continuing back to the Information Centre to seek advice on the bus stop location and times of departure, this fixed, we headed off walking to the bus stop to wait.  This bus was a free trip back into the town where we again waited for a bus to return us to the Central Caravan Park and a rest and Cuppa.

 Happy hour was had with Derek Hale on Skype, before tea and bed. 

 

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DAY    141     Tuesday   27th   August.

As forecast we had more rain this morning, however, as we have had none over the last 3 months we really can’t complain.  We packed a picnic lunch and thermos and headed out to Guildford just east of Perth and spent some time with the ladies at the Info Centre who sent us out on a circuit of the area aiming at wineries and eateries and also chocolate factories.  What a morning we had.

On our return we stopped at Midland for a late lunch then tried to do a town walk while dodging showers which came and went all morning until about 3.00pm.  Following the walk we headed for a shopping mall at Belmont where we topped up the larder with milk and bread before coming back to the van to prepare dinner.    

A lovely roast and vegies and an ice cream, the dishes all finished, so to bed. 

 

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DAY    140      Monday   26th    August

We woke to a wet morning and as we had planned to visit Perth and what it has to offer, we took time over breakfast in an attempt to have the rain let up a little.  This ploy worked to some extent, as by the time we walked over to catch the transit bus and arrived in the city, most rain had stopped.

We started with the umbrella up (the ACC one of course) and decided to head for the Western Australian Museum for a look.  Although interesting we did not think the museum was as good as most we have seen previously on our tripping.  A sandwich and a sausage roll filled the tummy at lunch time before we continued with our “city walk” in trying to see as much as possible in a short time.  We eventually climbed aboard a free circuit (blue) bus for a trip around most of the points of interest in the city.  This will help us to know where, and what, we might like to have a better look on a later day, possibly Wednesday.  After alighting from the bus we headed up town to the transit bus stop in order to catch a bus back to the van park.

We had carried a few of Fred from Caravan and Motorhome’s free DVD’s and one was on Perth and surrounds.  We watched this before tea and it has helped us arrange a trip we intend to do tomorrow.  

 

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DAY   139     Sunday     25th    August

Woke this morning to that pitty- patter sound on the roof of the van.  This was followed by an enormous clap of thunder, all before 6.00am.  Not much rain so stayed in bed till a decent get up time.  Breakfast finished and a visit to the loo and on the way back I noticed that the sky had turned from light grey to very black out to the west.  We ripped into the pack up with the stabilizers stowed and only the water and waste hoses, plus the lead to do, when we ran out of time.  All ahead stop for about 10 minutes while the dark grey became very wet down here.  Stood under awning and waited until it was OK to resume and the car was then connected and away we went at about 9.30.  Not complaining about the rain, just the timing!

Not a bad trip considering the wet conditions of the road, but did one stop at a small village called Lancelin about 100 Kms from Jurien Bay.  Still raining slightly, so just had a cuppa and continued.  Kay then set up Tom -Tom to take us to the Central Caravan Park in Perth.  This was reached by about 12.30 and after booking in we set up the van again and spent some time with the wet stuff from this morning, shorts, coats, shoes, sox, and this finished and washing done we drove into Perth, or rather past Perth and had a quick look around Fremantle and asked a few questions of the girls in the tour sales office, then brochures in hand, returned to the caravan.  Finished setting up and thought about happy hour.  It was just the two of us tonight, so a bit quiet.   Tea and bed.

Tomorrow will begin our look around Perth.   As I type this there is that pitty- patter noise again.

 

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DAY      138               Saturday     24th    August

This morning after breakfast we set out driving south toward the Pinnacles.  First stop was to the Molah Lookout about half way to the Nanbung National Park, which gave us some great views of the coast and coastal bush area along the highway.  Continuing our way and next stop was Cervantes, a coastal town named after an American whale boat that missed the whale but founded on the rocks, a very tidy village with beautiful white sand and lots of it.  We took a walk out on the pier and watched a little activity before driving to the other end of town and found another lookout, Thirsty Point, which gave us some mighty views of this town and about 3 islands not far offshore.

Our next stop was to another lookout, Hansen Bay, and this one excelled in its vision.  Better than all the rest I thought.  From here we sighted a lake and headed for it as soon as driving again.  It was called Lake Thetis and had some more of the Stromatolites and Strombalites, the rocks that contain a growth that is formed when the water they are in has a very large amount of salt and is reported to be one of the oldest living forms on the Earth.   There is a boardwalk around the lake and this affords a very good look at the rocks in very clear water.  The total distance around the lake was about 1.5 Kms so off we went.

Next stop was to the Pinnacles National Park, where we had lunch in the car park and then had a look in the Discovery Centre before first driving around the 4 od Km track and then walking the 1.5 walk track for a closer look at these amazing rocks.  They just appear to have popped up out of the yellow sand which is surrounded by extremely white sand.  Some of the formations tend to look like ruins, which was supported by Dutch sailors many years ago, that from a long way out to sea the place looked like an abandoned city, that was until they landed to investigate.

Retuning to camp we did some house work on the van and generally had a rest.  We have walked a few k’s in the last week.   Tea followed happy hour and bed.

 

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DAY    137    Friday    23   August

Well, another day, another pack up, another caravan park.  Today we pack up and continue south toward Perth.  We had left by 9.30am and with not a great amount of traffic made good time. Stopped at a small village called Leeman for smoko before arriving at Jurien Bay Caravan Park, as we had previously called and booked a site we were directed in to a spot.  Staying for two nights here as there is a fair bit to see.  This started as soon as the van was set and lunch was finished, we took off walking out on the new jetty which only opened in 2011.  Nice views of the town and as it was a little warm today it was nice and cool on the jetty with the breeze.

Off the Jetty and turned right for about 1.5 Kms along a newly constructed walking track to a point with a terrific beach.  The return trip was done inland past some very nice (read expensive) homes built on the strip almost on the sand of the Indian Ocean.  Life is grand for some.  This walk took us past the shops in town so I guess we did a town walk before returning to camp and a cooling drink before heading back out in the car to the north side of the town to have a look at a Sandy Cove.  On arriving at the turn off, the road was signed as carrying large vehicles and on inspection we decided to not do this trip.  We then returned to the camp and as we had walked a fair amount, had a rest before our very own happy hour and then tea before bed.

 

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DAY   136    Thursday    22nd   August

Separation Day is here.  Kollmorgens are to go south to Perth and Hales are heading east to search for wild flowers.  The Clarks and Castles are still in the North taking time.

Kollmorgens, who from now will be “we”, packed up and departed from the Belair Gardens C/P at Geraldton and turned south toward Perth.  A stop at Greenough Historic Town originally set up to support the wheat belt, but flood and drought eventually beat the place.  The town has been restored to original condition by the National Trust.  We had a quick walk through before continuing to the Dongara Caravan Park and setting up for the night.  A town walk including the breakwater for the marina, the lookout, and pier, was had before buying a roll for lunch.

Lunch finished we then headed out to South Beach, then we drove to the Lime Kiln before a walk on the beach on the town beach.  Next was a drive through Dongara where several photos were taken of some churches.  Returning to the camp, the car was washed, as it certainly was in desperate need of it.  I did not realise that we owned a silver 4x4 and not a pink one.  Looks like new. 

Used the camp barby to do a few sausages for tea and then did this blog while Kay watched a murder mystery before bed.

 

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