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.