Tag Archive | BigLAP2015WA

Big Lap WA 2015— Done, dusted and wrapped up..

So we have been home for 4 nights and 5 days, and it feels like forever.

I’ve finally gotten everything put back away, I’ve scrubbed the house, all that is left to do is my Art Studio (Starting that tomorrow) I want to de-clutter and reorganise. The thing about living in a tent with one bag of clothes for 50 plus days is you appreciate not needing “Stuff” so I come home and this all seems like clutter! A LOT of it is being phased out and moved on.

The Bloke suggested we start work on the “Back deck” which has been on our “to do list” for a few years and we keep putting it off, well, we got home Wednesday and Thursday he went down and brought the new timber the fernery is part one of phase one, we removed all the broken timbers and replaced them all bright and new and all new shade cloth. During the week I’ll begin the weeding and the clearing up of the fernery in tome for some new plants for summer.. definitely some mints because the mozzie and spiders hate it. There are 4 phases of the back deck, it’s a huge task and huger still because we have put it off too long.

Phase one was this weekend, replacing the fernery roof and shade cloth.

Phase two will be the replacement of the fernery walls and the soil and tan bark and general tidying. De spider webbing.

Phase three is the top and bottom garden beds, huge job, all need to dug over, pruned, replanted and refreshed, Phase four is the lower deck, there’s an old cubby house which needs dismantling and an old worn out BBQ that is ear marked to be replaced along with the mis-matched outdoor furnishings.

Phase four is the back deck itself, it all needs to be washed with the pressure cleaner and then re-oiled.

These things take time and the Bloke works long hours so I will endeavour to do as much as I can by myself… but ultimately he’s a control freak and so nothing I do will be good enough, he’ll re-do it all! Ideally the time frame would be between now and Christmas so we could enjoy Christmas day out there but don’t anyone hold me to that!!

Being back home, I’ve re-established my morning routine of daily bible study and reading at least one chapter or my current book, yesterday I finished “Holy Cow” by Sarah MacDonald


Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure from Good Reads

Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure
After backpacking her way around India, 21-year-old Sarah Macdonald decided that she hated this land of chaos and contradiction with a passion, and when an airport beggar read her palm and insisted she would come back one day – and for love – she vowed never to return.
But twelve years later the prophecy comes true when her partner, ABC’s South Asia correspondent, is posted
After backpacking her way around India, 21-year-old Sarah Macdonald decided that she hated this land of chaos and contradiction with a passion, and when an airport beggar read her palm and insisted she would come back one day – and for love – she vowed never to return.
But twelve years later the prophecy comes true when her partner, ABC’s South Asia correspondent, is posted to New Delhi, the most polluted city on earth. Having given up a blossoming radio career in Sydney to follow her new boyfriend to India, it seems like the ultimate sacrifice and it almost kills Sarah – literally. After being cursed by a sadhu smeared in human ashes, she nearly dies from double pheumonia. It’s enough to send a rapidly balding atheist on a wild rollercoaster ride through India’s many religions in search of the meaning of life and death.
From the ‘brain enema’ of a meditation retreat in Dharamsala to the biggest Hindu festival on earth on the steps of the Ganges in Varanasi, and with the help of the Dalai Lama, a goddess of healing hugs and a couple of Bollywood stars – among many, many others – Sarah discovers a hell of a lot more



Sarah is An Aussie and so she writes like an Aussie so I laughed with her I cried with her and I wished I was travelling with her. I enjoyed this book and will give it 4* out of 5*

Now I have started reading Ruth Park’s “Harp in the South”

Being at home feels like we never left other than I had Star Son under my feet constantly.. so in a way I am looking forward to tomorrow when he returns to school and the Bloke returns to work, and I have that little bot of “me time” that’s when I will spent my time doing to art studio and starting to get back into my art which I am missing A LOT. Having said that, it’s going to be busy the rest of this month, we have stuff to do The Bloke had our soon to be son-in-law’s Bucks Night this coming weekend and then the following weekend is my Daughter’s “Hens Night” which I have to attend, that’s on Sweetpea’s 2nd Birthday so we will celebrate that on the Sunday, maybe just cake and coffee for the close family. Then the following weekend is the Wedding it’s all come along really quickly, and between now and then I am detoxing to lose a little bit of weight, and I need to get my hair restyle and nails and my eye brows done, it’s going to be full on! So the “holiday that was” seems like so far away!

Looking back at our trip and people asking (not that many people have! ok actually my sister-in-law only!!) “What was your favourite bit?” without a doubt I answer “the desert” because we spent a lot of time driving through it. I kind of wish we had stayed there in the desert a little longer. I liked Esperance, that was probably my favourite little town to camp in.

My favourite wild place was “Coffin Bay” The Bloke says “Whistlers Camp” which was at Cape Leewuin Naturaliste Park.

My least favourite place was “Lake Lascelles” it was pretty enough and maybe another time when I was less fed up with the whole trip I might have enjoyed it but right then I did not. Followed closely by the Grampians (only for the size of the camp sites)

Places NOT to miss: Ok so you might not know this about me ( I say with tongue in cheek!) But I love Rocks! So for me the places NOT to miss were… “Bunda Cliffs”, “Pildappa Rock”, and “Wave Rock”. Bunda Rock and Pildappa rock are free entry and free to camp there..(suggested donation for Pildappa, we gave $20 for the night for the three of us, because we used their bbq and their drop pit toilet) The Bloke said “Head of the Bight” which was where we saw our only whales. Hahndorf– I loved the German village.

Places I could NEVER go to again and not miss: The Star Son and the Bloke said “Fowlers Bay” they said unless they were Certain that there were whales there. I think I wouldn’t go to “Kingston on Murray” again although at the time I needed that break because I was really sick, so it helped. “Margaret River” was a disappointment and I wouldn’t bother with that again!

All time favourite thing: Star son replied straight away: food! which is funny since he ate chicken nuggets and chips most of the time.  The Bloke said: The Whales.. I agree they were special, when we did the last Big Lap, I wanted to see turtle and we did and I got really emotional about them.. less so with the whales but they are not something we are likely to see in the wild too often! I really enjoyed all our contact with the wild life, we saw wild camels and a fox, and snakes and lizards and kangaroos and possums and a bilby, things like that I think are special.

Anything to do differently: Me: stop pandering to spoilt children and giving up the things I wanted to do and see to keep the peace. I missed out going to see Rottnest Island, I missed the Anzac Memorial in Albany and the Whaling station, I missed out on seeing the Jarrah trees in the while, and I missed out on a lot of shopping, I kept thinking I’ll get it later” and then came home with no goodies for anyone. In the end I kept convincing myself that I’ll come back one day when I don’t have the kid” but in reality I doubt I would repeat this trip. I also felt that we were rushing even when at the end we had spare time before we had to meet our friends, but we got lost, we went off our plan and tried to fit into the weather pattern instead and then it all started going pear-shaped for me. We will be going to Western Australia again, but then it won’t be the southern portion again, I think I can say “we’ve been there and done that and got the sticker to prove it

I MUCH preferred the first Big Lap in the desert and Up to Darwin and across to QLD, to me Western Australia was a major let down.





Big Lap WA 2015- Day 54… Home Sweet Home..

Back about I guess a week or more ago, I mentioned I’ve had enough.. I was getting closer to home and the closer I got the more I kept thinking of the things at home I could be doing, or should be doing or just the fact that it’s been 50 odd days since I’ve seen the Grand babies… so when we woke up this morning in Bel Far Niente in St. Leonards I just wanted to go home.

The Bloke had been talking a few days earlier about some projects around the house he wanted to get done, preferably before summer or Christmas and I am having withdrawals from Art and my Art Studio and my Grand babies and even the dogs I am missing them too. Plus while we’ve been away, Sasha, who is Sweet Pea’s Kitty, had kittens under the back deck and after getting a tearful phone call from Amber and sorting them out on how to get the kittens out to safety, I feel like it’s time to go home, Star Son said “What are we doing, we’re wasting time just sitting here” and yes he was right and for once I didn’t want to smack him and tell him to shut up! So we packed up and hitched Matilda to Heidi for the last time this trip and prepared to go home.

In the Caravan Park there are speed humps which stop you from hooning around too fast you should drive only at walking pace 8 kms an hour.. it’s impossible but that’s what the sign says.. as we got to the first speed hump, after travelling almost 11,000 kilometres this trip, we heard an almighty bang and the car went “weird” and I swore.. “What the F%$#@ was that?!” it scared me!!

Of all the shitty roads, all the pot holes and the dirty, dusty, sandy roads we’ve been on the trailer Matilda decides this is the time she will choose to “jump off the coupling” and go solo… and give me a heart attack! We were horrified that the trailer had fallen off the car, so we went through all the steps again, had we been too hasty, not connected her correctly, forgot the locking pin? what had we done wrong? and would this happen again? we knew that some of the roads on the way home are fairly lumpy so do we need to drive really slowly? So close to home and yet it felt like a thousand miles.

We reconnected her, and then took her off and then reconnected her again, triple checking all the steps, and then very gingerly set off again, we had two more speed humps to get over and each little noise had me looking worriedly in the side mirror waiting for her to “jump off” again. When we stopped for lunch at the local KFC, we checked her again and all the way home we listened for any weird noises. Then when we got home we checked her again, we cannot for the life of us figure out what happened there. But isn’t it ironic the day we say we’re going home she “jumps off” almost in protest, I wonder if Tilly knows her touring days after starting to wind down and she’s objecting.

Grand baby was excited to see us home, the animals were excited to see us home, the daughter less excited because she was supposed to have a date night that night and us coming home had ruined her plans, of course it didn’t we looked after our Sweetpea as though we’d never left!

My house is looking worse for wear, there were knee-high weeds in the garden and the wisteria has gone beserk, there are countless dirty hand prints on my walls and things are just not up to scratch but you know what? somehow just now I can’t care too much, I’m home and although part of me is happy, part of me is also thinking… “When can we go again?”

In the meantime I’ll work my way back into being Mum/ Grandma and Wife while I de-clutter, sort, discard and thoroughly scrub the house and dream about the Next Big Lap…

Wrap up coming tomorrow… but so far…

Kilometres done- 11,236

Average fuel used- 8 litres per 100 kilometres.

Yeah! I’m a nerd I like keeping track of stuff like that!





Big Lap WA 2015- Albany days 23 and 24

Catching up… sorry about that.. internet has been sketchy and I hate it when I have to struggle with internet.. so I just don’t, which means now I have days to catch up on and that’s why I am doing all the Albany ones here together.

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University of  Albany… I just loved the building.

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Sculpture at the local park

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Same park different sculpture

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Organic Food Market and another nice building.

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Street Scape

Albany started off wonderfully and I loved it until the winds started. I cannot stress enough the value of a Southern Cross tent. I am talking about winds that were 40 kilometres an hour and it was bitterly cold.. we went to bed at 8.00pm with our books/ipads and just snuggled and read or the boys played with their ipad to keep warm. I must confess I am having some serious caravan longings. So we went to the Caravan show and walked through them all and played the game “If I had the money I’d buy this one..” but in the end we decided we’d wait and get our Ursula Ultimate. After the caravan show we went to the Boat sheds to a craft market and then noticed a second market this one was all about organic foods and then we found a third which was more of a handy craft bric a brac kind of market and we commented on how many markets there were on a Sunday, soon we were to realise why… NOTHING else is open bar the fast food places an a small IGA supermarket on a Sunday, hello, did I just go back in time to the 80’s when shops shut on Sundays?! very bizarre feeling.

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Before the weather turned bad, I was able to enjoy the sand.

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We stopped at the ANZAC memorial (so we thought) but in fact we had taken the wrong turn and instead just saw the memorial garden and look out, which we thought was pretty impressive the Star Son on the other hand bitched and moaned about how boring it all was and wanted to go back to camp and hang out with his new friend Alex, they spent most of their time in the heated spa and the games room. But while he was there he wasn’t annoying us too much and I got some serious reading done.

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One of the local Churches there were about 4 different congregations in the one street.

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Memorial to the WW1 Soldiers

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Gallipoli Look out

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Overlooking the Bay of Albany

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More from the look out.

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Look out views

 We had something my home-made spaghetti  for dinner and to avoid the winds we washed the dishes in the camp kitchen and then sat around playing a dice game called Zilch to keep ourselves entertained.

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our little hire car and the pouring rain, we have already taken down Star Son’s tent!!

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This is my “not happy Jan” face. Because we have limited space I stupidly thought it would be warmer in this part of Australia so I brought ONE jumper.. this is it.. it was wet, I was wet, it was raining hard, it was windy and I was VERY miserable. On a positive note I could have kissed Jasmin for picking this sweater for me it’s so warm and thick!

Monday ( Day 24) The Bloke had Heidi booked in for her 150,000 kilometre service and so the car would be gone most of the day and the Bloke checked the weather report and it wasn’t looking good, so he hired us a little car to go and do some trips and sight-seeing. When he came back to camp I was making breakfast in the camp kitchen because the wind was so strong I couldn’t light the gas camping stove and a man in there told us the weather was going to get “really bad, with hail and thunderstorms” so I suggested to the Bloke since he had already paid another night for us to stay over, why don’t we see if we can upgrade to a cabin and pack up camp before the weather got too bad… no sooner had we locked in the cabin for that night.. the rain started and it took us the rest of the day in between rain and hail, to get our camp site packed up and moved over to the cabin.  It was horrible weather.

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The Whaling Station.. our sight-seeing consisted of driving past and clicking photos

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The bay was NOT a happy place to be..

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Grain Silos that load grains onto huge cargo ships.

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The Brig Amity

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The Gates to the Anzac Memorial


I did manage to get to the shops and get my swim suit which was what I’d been trying to do on Sunday before we realised that nothing opens on Sunday! So we spent the night in a tiny little cabin, but it had a TV and it had a heater and a decent shower.

I wanted to give this caravan park a 5 star rating but the water pressure in the ablutions block was horrible and only luke warm it’s what stopped me from giving it a 5 star rating. But oh boy, a hot shower, dinner and a decent bed for the night put the smile back on my face and that was a good start for the next leg of the trip to Hyden and Wave Rock..




BIG LAP 2015… 36 days to go…

36 glorious days till we up and run away! (Ohh I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!) so in honor of tat I brought myself a t-shirt.. hopefully the weather will be warmer over that way and I’ll get to wear it.. but here’s a sneak peek!


Because YES!! we are heading pver to WA!! (Western Australia)

apparently Perth which is the capital city in Western AUstralia is the fourth largest city in Australia.. well who knew? not me.. until I started researching for Star Son’s Journal.

So it’s creeping ever closer and it’s time to start thinking (for the boys, I’ve got mine totally worked out) what clothes they might take and whats on the menu!! When we travel we take one small bag each, it’s actually a bag that goes inside a Motorcycle’s panniers boxes… so it’s THAT SMALL… when we went the first time I was like “I’m a GIRl I can NOT be expected to only take that much” but my DB (Darling Bloke) insisted that was ALL we had room for. So I made it work and work it did.. I went half way around Australia with four pairs of shoes!! A Pair of hiking boots, a pair of sandals, a pair of dressy thongs and a pair of wedges..Nicer slip on shoes in case we went out for dinner. Now I have heard women say that it’s NOT POSSIBLE to only take that few pairs of shoes, BUT I DID IT!! This time I am not even taking the wedges, if they don’t let me in with my dressy thongs then I’m not going in.

I am a HUGE fan of mix and match, so the rest of the outfits are easy, 3/4’s leggings, shorts, long pants for night when it’s cold, a pair of jeans, four t-shirts and four long-sleeved tops and a cardigan and a jacket in case it’s chilly it’s waterproof and lives in the car. I am taking a swimsuit, but I doubt it’ll be arm enough to swim, unless we o to some hot springs along the way. And the one thing I refuse to travel without is my “witchy shawl” it’s big and long and black, but on a cold night you can totally immerse yourself in it and not feel the cold.. it comes everywhere camping with me. I am also very guilty of and DB (Darling Bloke) will attest I LOVE SARONGS!! So remembering I have limited space in MY bag, last time I snuck some into Star Son’s bag and also a few into DB’s bag, and quickly took them out before he saw them (Shhh.. he’s going to read this and kill me!) BUT they are so handy! Let me tell you why...

  • they dry super quickly,
  • they hide your chubby bits when you get out of the pool,
  • they don’t cling to you on a hot day,
  • you can wear them for a dress
  • you can wear then as a skirt.
  • you can wear them as shorts
  • you can wear them as a top
  • you can wear them as a head wrap (to hide bad hair days)
  • you can wear the as a little wrap if the wind comes up
  • they keep your shoulders covered to avoid sunburn
  • They layer nicely under the “witchy shawl” if it’s really cold.
  • they make good table cloths
  • they make good dish towels to dry the dshes
  • excellent picnic rugs
  • windscreen shades in hot cars
  • sunshade on the tent when DB faces the tent the wrong way.
  • they keep the bugs outta your food on the table while you are preparing things
  • when Star Son was sick he used only a silk sarong for his bedding for a solid week.
  • folded up right they make a pillow
  • folded up right they make a quick shopping bag

I’m sure there’s more that’s about all I can think of so far! As you can see I LOVE sarongs.. I took 11 last time.. the Bloke will tell you “we would have had more room except the Sheila brought 34,000 sarongs” HA HA! this time I am taking less shoes so I think MORE sarongs are in order!!

What else is a must have? drugs.. we have started buying up the chew able Advil that Star Son will eat, because there’s a Murphy’s law kinda thing that says whenever you go away someone will get sick… last time I got my first ever cold sore.. never had one in my life, I think I was so nervous about being out o my comfort zone for so long I developed a cold sore, got rid of that then got a cold, which turned into a chest infection, I Lived on Panadol the first two weeks… so Drugs are being packed and cold sore cream and lip balm, we ALL had trouble with cracked lips in the desert. The Bloke keeps a fully stocked first aid kit on the car at all times along with out hats and rain coats.. so they are covered.

Then there’s the food bucket, with the essentials like Coffee, sugar and milo, a bottle opener,salt and pepper, eggs, matches/lighter for the gas stove and mozzie coils, We also have some snacky things in there for handy reaching for bored Star Sons who eat when they are bored. Then we will add things like canned foods, tomato sauce, most of this stuff can be brought along the way anyways.

In the Fridge– fondly named “Goldie” we have butter, cheese, our meat and cold drinks, beer for the Bloke and soft drinks/water for star son and I.

We also carry a collapsible picnic basket/chiller bag in the car with us, and that has our days food , so mixed sandwiches for lunch, and snacks, usually fruit and chips for the Star Son easily able to access. If we have a long drive, I will make the lunches before we got and they are nice and cold put them in the picnic basket which is a chiller bag and  they stay cold most of the day if they are not in the direct sun. So when we go on things like day tripping to Rottnest Island we will take our own foods and save money there, maybe just buy ice creams and cold drinks there.

Everything else goes into “Tilly trailer”

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Matilda or “Tilly” for short.

So maybe I’ll introduce you to the crew…

Heidi in the desert

Heidi in the desert- she tows Tilly.

This bloke always makes his Sheila happy, he spoils and indulges me, I am a very lucky Wife,

This bloke always makes his Sheila happy, he spoils and indulges me, I am a very lucky Wife,

Will was keen to slide down he dune!

Star Son- Will was keen to slide down he dune!

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So this is a typical camp scene.. left to right 

Jimmy “thunderbox” (toilet)

Middle with the kitchen is our tent “Tamara” the kitchen is “Donna Drifter” and right is Will’s tent “Tyler

So that is us.. and 36 more days to go and then we will share the next camp set up!