Tag Archive | ontheroadagain

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Big Lap WA 2015- Days 45- 49 Bel Far Niente (Italian for Home)

We stopped at Warracknabeal for some breakfast, I needed coffee and then we just kept on going.

The other places we had thought of to go were also getting bad weather and basically the whole of Victoria was stuffed… so we set our sails for St. Leonards because we have been there for about 10 years and we know from experience that whenever the rest of Victoria is having damaging winds and storms they usually miss it.. so I was feeling like we were off to our safe place!

Sure enough as we came into Geelong the sun was shining and the temperature was slowly creeping up and I was feeling much better!

Bel Far Niente (Beautiful doing nothing) … I’ve written about her before like here and here too So you’ll know how special it is to me.. it’s my escape from the real world when it gets too hard I run to my “safe place” there are no hard and fast chores and things everything is laid back and easy.. he hardest thing to think about in St.Leonards is what to eat and when!

So walking in the door I could have cried in happiness.. and the shower.. I reckon it was the best shower ever!!

We said we’d “stay one or two nights” because we were meeting my bestie and her family on the Friday which would be day 49

After a good nights sleep and a lazy day we decided we’ve just staying here till we need to be in the Grampians to meet Deanne. We got caught up on our laundry, and our reading, we sorted and DE cluttered the trailer and on the Thursday my daughter Amber came for the day with my son Jarrah, a friend Reece and my Sweetpea.. oh boy have I ever missed those Grand babies!! We had a few hours of one on one and then waved them all Goodbye until we came home for good.

A real bed made such a difference after all the setting up and breaking down of camps all over Australia, I found myself feeling a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz… “there’s no place like home” even if it was only my second home.

By the time it came to Friday morning, I was excited to go camping again to see my Bestie, I haven’t seen her for ages… even though the weather reports were NOT sounding good, The Bloke even went as far as to call Steve –Mr Bestie and warn him about the weather forecast and they said “Well we are still going”so we said “We will see you there.”… we left St. Leonards at 10.30am and it was a grey overcast day but it was warm.. we’ve been having some high humidity so it’s not so bad!

We got to Halls Gap in the Grampians at 2.30pm and by 4.00pm we were all set up.. just sitting around waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive.

We’ve been to A LOT of caravan parks this trip, and so we’ve had A LOT of different camping sites but this one was the absolute worst!!

Big Lap WA 2015- Day 37- On the Road again… Port Augusta

So last night we snuggle up in bed and the Bloke says.. “Sheila I’ve been thinking…” those are the words we come to dread.. and I said “Uh oh! what now? Where are we going??” So he’s decided that we need a night of pampering, and we should get a cabin in Port Augusta for a night, have a shower, wash our hair, do some laundry. I must admit it didn’t take me long to agree, ” Yes please!” So we are tonight here in Port Augusta, it’s been a hot day 35C and it was a hot dusty drive. The first thing I did was have a shower, wash my hair and do a load of washing, my clothes smelt like fire so I wanted to wash them all.

Once the washing was in the machine we headed off to the shops, we decided to have some luxury for dinner.. Roast chicken with curry chicken pasta and a nice fresh salad, the Bloke added “French Cheese cake” to the luxury. We put the air con on and set about re packing the car, the clothes, talking to the Grand Babies on Face-time and just enjoying being in luxury.

We are staying at Port Augusta an Aspen Park it’s affiliated with Big 4 which we like for a bit of spoiling.

Now we have sat down and had time to think, we have 13 days to ” Kill”before we have to meet some friends in the Grampians in Victoria for the Melbourne Cup weekend, so that’s 30th October till 3rd November. We will still have just under a week before we are due home, so we have been trying to nut out a game plan as to where we will spend this last few weeks.

Tomorrow we are headed for the Hills of Adelaide. Because the weather is about to turn nasty, and so we want to avoid the coast. we are going to Handorf and we will explore the hills of Adelaide maybe do a day trip into Adelaide we will see.. After that we are off to Robe which is on the coast and was on my original list. After Robe, we are across the border into VIctoria our home state and we will stay “” a day or so” this has become a bit of a catch phrase… in Portland, then a few days in Warrnambool and then inland to The Grampians to meet my bestie and her family, we have planned to go to “the Little Desert”after that, but like I said all of this is subject to change…. now the only change I want is a real bed and an air conditioner.. good night peeps..

Big Lap WA 2015- Esperance WA Day 27 and 28

So now we are in Esperance. It’s our fourth week.. which means we are now half way through our trip! Just starting to unwind and relax.

We left Hyden and Wave Rock at 9.00 am and drove back down to the coast, we did things the upside down way really.. it made more sense to come from Albany along the coast to Esperance and then inland to Hyden, but oh well it’s done now. This visit to the coast has been much friendlier than Albany’s visit.

We ate lunch in the car I had made some sandwiches and so we stopped went to the Loo gave our legs a stretch and then just kept on driving we got here at 2.50pm. The sites here are huge and grassed and have matting on them it gives a little  bit of padding for the bottom of the tent. The sites are 30 foot by 30 foot square which means we can stretch out a bit unlike at Hyden/Wave Rock it was a miniscule little site.

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Some of the views of the amazing coast line of Esperance.

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Beautiful sparkling white beaches

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They just kept going on, no wonder the artists enjoy this spot so much!

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All the different shades of blues.

Once camp was set up we did the “Great Ocean Drive” a stretch of road which goes for 38 kilometres and you stop at various out looks and see the different beaches and bays and interesting rock formations, and in the right season whales, we haven’t spotted any yet, I think we’ve missed them! It was amazing to stop and be in awe at the beaches and the amazing colours, we said we’d come back to explore, probably we won’t but it was worth doing the drive. The drive doubled back and went past the “Pink Lake” it’s called the Pink Lake due to some of the algae that grow in it and sometimes it is very bright Pink, like neon pink, sadly it’s not while we are here. So that was disappointing.

We had Chinese food for dinner and Star Son had MacDonald’s because that’s what he does. Early bed night it was too cold to stay up.

Day 28- This morning we woke late.. when I say “late” I mean Late for us it was almost 7.30am a sleep in woo hoo! There was bright sunshine and already you could feel the heat. We had our breakfast and then headed into the Esplanade to see the Diving and fishing charter place, the boys have decided that for my birthday this year we will go on a fishing charter and knock that off my “bucket list” But the Bloke wanted to talk to the guy running the cruises to make sure that some fish would be actually caught, he reassured us that last Sunday 9 people went out and came back with 90 fish! and not little tiny ones either. We have to meet at 6.00am and then get back to shore by 2.30pm and the extravagant cost includes all rods and fishing gear and a full BBQ lunch with drinks and stuff. It’s expensive, but the Bloke says I’m worth it and so we are doing it. We are just waiting to hear back from the company to confirm that it will be Sunday not tomorrow (Saturday) which we would have preferred we were going to leave here on Sunday for Fraser Range Station, so we will stay an extra day and I’ll spend my birthday at Sea with the HUGE fishes. They clean them all for you and keep them in ice until the trip is done. Sadly the cost is the same for 13 yr old Star Son as it is for us and that’s an OUCH.. but we have been frugal with our expenses this trip, to the point where I’ve crossed a LOT of things off my “to do” list. Ok Peter just called it’s all go for Sunday!

After we booked in for the fishing charter, we went for a walk down the jetty and along the beach, into town to the shops, I posted off Star Son’s school work he’s been doing and then did some grocery shopping before coming back to camp for lunch (left over Chinese food)

The Boys decided to go fishing to the nearby jetty and I didn’t feel like fishing but I took my book along to sit in the sun and read, wrong… it was so windy, none of us could wear our hats and the boys gave up after about 35 minutes in the fishing idea. Instead we headed to “Museum Town” a little town which has old buildings now used as little shops. Got our selves an ice cream and now we are back at camp for the afternoon evening. Can’t wait for my shower!

Big Lap WA 2015- Day 25 and 26- Hyden Wave Rock

After leaving Albany, I couldn’t get out of there quick enough! we checked the weather report and jumped for joy when we saw 25C and low over night minimum, I don’t care about overnight,  my Bloke is like a hot water bottle I am never cold.

Our first stop along the way was going to be Porongurup National Park, where we were going to see “Castle Rock” which is a place I had ear marked the whole trip, it has a glass look out and so we got there about an hour after we left and found a park only to realise we had to have a Parks pass, but I refused point-blank to pay $12.00 to go to one look out. If we had more time to spend longer there and do some of the other attractions I would not hesitate to stop and pay, the money does important work but not for that one thing, so I got back in the car and told the Bloke “just keep driving” and on we went.

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Some interesting mountain shapes.. I was once told by an Art teacher “mountains are NEVER pointy” Sorry Rod I beg to differ!

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That is definitely pointy!

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We decided that we would stop somewhere along the way and pick up some lunch so we chose “Pingrup” which was “supposed” to have a 24 hour fuel station and restaurant.. well.. all I can say is “Are they for REAL?”  So first of all wed rove past it because it was like a ghost town and we didn’t think it was a real building, then we went back and got out of the car and it was for real like some horror film, deadly silent except for the squeak of some slow turning windmill somewhere, I couldn’t even see that… we went to the door and it creaked open and a lady was standing there. The Bloke also knows as “Bloke have a chat” started talking to her and asks “What foods do you have for lunch?” we are looking around at this bare, dirty looking one room, with one old creaky table and two chairs and a bain marie which was cold and empty it was only 12.00pm so we hadn’t missed the lunch rush, apparently there isn’t one! So she says

“wellllll.. we don’t have anything but that don’t mean I caint make ya something, depending on what it is…”

Right away I’ve lost my appetite and just wanna get out of here, so Star Son says

“I’ll have hot chips” and I said

“I’m not that hungry I’ll have a few of his chips” (I’m mentally checking out the food box in the car I know I have apples and cheese and some break, I wont starve) The Bloke says

“well we will have some chips and maybe a few dim sims” quick as a flash she says

” I caint cook no dim sims, sorry!” Then she tells us she’s just the baby sitter for the shop the owner is also the post man and he’s on a mail run. So the Bloke says

“Well how far to the next town?” and she sighs in relief ( like yay! they’re going away!) and then she snaps

“Well which way are ya going?” I quickly said

“to Lake Grace”

She said “oh that’s about 50 kilometres or so up the road”

“OH” says the Bloke, “maybe we’ll wait and get something there” and Star Son and I are out the door so fast I swear we left a trail.

Ok, so we watch too much TV I guess but even the Bloke was glad to get outta that town. A little ways down the road there’s a huge black snake sunning himself right across the road and sadly we were going too fast and he was moving too slow so we ran him over, Star Son missed the whole episode so we turned around and went back to see.

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Sorry Mr Snake.. we didn’t mean to hurt you.

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People come from all over the world to enjoy the wildflowers of Western Australia, these are for my “Sweet Pea”‘

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Lake Grace, a Salt Lake dried up.

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Pano of Lake Grace

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I just find these photos haunting, I don’t know why I love the Desert I just do!

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It was a huge Dried Lake bed.

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Heidi and Matilda with Lake Grace

2.50pm= We arrived at Hyden, after stopping at the tiny Town of Lake Grace and found someone who would feed us and was much friendlier about it as well.. b the time we set up camp, let me tell you the sites were tiny and we felt really cramped, but it’s a place to stay and happily for me it was full sun shine and a coolish breeze, yay no evil cyclonic winds.. also though not much internet! Once camp was squished in and set up we went for a walk up the “Rock” meaning of course, “Wave rock” we didn’t actually see the “Wave” until later, we originally thought it was else where and planned to drive to it the next day so as we were heading back to camp after our little explore we rounded the corner and all three gasped..

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This is why it’s called “Wave Rock “

This is the Bloke trying to climb it..

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Wave Rock was the Blokes choice of Sight seeing, although I do love me a good rock.

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He was like a Star Struck teenager, seeing this up close, feeling the warmth of the rock and just looking at its brilliance.

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This rock is at least 60 million years old.. finally something older than the Bloke.

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He’s a Happy Bloke!

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And if that’s all it takes to make him happy, I’m happy too.

So we went to bed smiling that night, because He had seen his rock and in the morning we were going to explore it some more.

Day 25- Warm and Sunny, my fave weather report. We had an early start the three young boys in the tent next to us we awake at 5.45am EEEK!  Our first thing on today’s agenda was to walk around the rock and on it and touch it and do as much “Rock Stuff” as we could stand. Our first walk was a short one to “Hippos Yawn”

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Hippos Yawn… wonder why they called it that?

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Just a short walk to “warm us up”

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The Bloke and the Hippo

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Star Son hiding..

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Hippo yawning..

Once we’d done that walk we decided to go to the Wildlife park just across the road and see what we could find.

Then it was back to camp for lunch before we headed to see “Mulka’s Cave” and the Humps. The story about Mulka’s Cave is that he was an Indigenous man, an illegitimate son of a woman who fell in love with a forbidden man, she bore Mulka who had crossed eyes and believed that it was the curse of her forbidden love. He was extremely tall and strong and fast but his crossed eyes prevented him from throwing the spear straight so out of frustration he began eating local children and was banished to this cave. That’s the short version, maybe google it for the rest but anyways this cave has paintings in it and the Bloke wanted to see those so we travelled 19 kilometres to see it..

After all the rock walking and the Wild life enjoying we decided we needed a rest s we went to the local pub for dinner… plus I really needed some vegetables..

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 WA 2015- Day 13- Merriden

Merriden… a small town in the middle of no where roughly half way between Kalgoorlie and Perth.

I was sorry to leave Kalgoorlie and I’ve added that to my list of possible “when I run away” places. Trouble is I keep telling people If I ever run away you can look for me…. here or here… previously it was always Mission Beach, a warm tropical hideaway about an hour from Cairns in Queensland… now I am adding some desert flavour with Kalgoorlie.. My cousin said to me a few days ago “I don’t get why you like the desert” which got me thinking… why do I like the desert? is it the barren ness, the blood-red earth, the silly stunted little trees  that defy nature and grow out of rocks and that blood-red soil.. I don’t know why I love it I just do.. I think it’s the introvert in me that says “Please leave me here in all this nothing ness and let me be.” I don’t know BUT I love the desert.. the nights are crisp and the stars are so vast, so many and so crystal clear I could just sit here all night and watch them.

We could have theoretically have driven all the way to Perth, we asked the girl working at the caravan park if there was a spot that people aimed for between Kal (see! that’s what the locals call it) and Perth.. she said “Weeeelll.. when I go to Perth I just wanna shop so I drive all the way through it’s only 6 hours” We could have done that but then the previous days before have all been long driving hours so we decided to break it in two.. I kind of wish we kept going now..

We got there quite early and since there’s not much of a town although it was bigger than some we’d been to, we decided to do just a basic camp set up, we were right by the camp kitchen which was fully equipped with a stove, oven, two BBQ’s, microwave, toaster and kettle… we didn’t even unpack our kitchen, we didn’t set up Will’s tent, instead we all slept in one tent so that pack up this morning would be much easier.

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Nearly there..

Then we went for a wander down to the shops to look around. We have noticed that the desert and all its dust/sand dried out your hands and face and lets not forget the hair..lucky mine is nothing special but it’s even less so in the desert.. I wear a hat to keep it hidden! So we went to buy some hand cream you know things are bad when the Bloke asks for some cream for his cuticles!! We are spoilt we prefer Avon’s Hand and Nail cream in the pink jar.. it’s almost gone so we settled for some Sorbelene Cream, and Star Son’s eczema is also flaring up maybe the different water or the heat which normally is a good thing for him, so I don’t know exactly why but he’s scaley we brought his some Dermeeze to sooth him. And we re newed our bottle of Bettadine when we realised that the one we have been using on the Bloke’s sliced open thumb expired in June 2013… OOPS!! So while we were there we told the sales lady Dianne.. that we are passing through her town and only here for one night.. what did she recommend for dinner… and without missing a beat she said “Well we have the BEST Chinese in ALL of Australia” ooh a challenge! Sadly the Kid wasn’t too keen on the idea and I was too hot and bothered to argue, I am falling into the trap of say- nothing -to- avoid- the- arguments habit. So I didn’t get to put her claim to fame to the test but I think we have to go back that way and so then I may have to put down my foot… instead we finally weakened and tried the “Chicken Treat” that is everywhere… it’s the WA version of our Red Rooster.. but gee it was good! Or maybe I was just so tired I didn’t care anymore.

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He’s crazy he’ll swim anywhere

We had a nice relaxing shower.. the amenities block was as good as the camp kitchen and even the Pool was awesome but I am a bit of a sook in the cold water so I haven’t been into a pool yet I dip a toe and then read my book. It was agreat little van park for a one night stop.. except…. the train track was right near our tent and it was obviously bringing iron ore from Kalgoorlie and it ran most of the night.. so just as we settled in to go to sleep… and just where you are in that place where you might be deeply asleep… the bloody train sounded its siren and I almost hit the tent roof!! So I snatched up my watch in the dark to see what god forsaken time it was… Oh shoot… it was only 9.30pm….. that’s our life lately.. early to bed and even earlier to rise..

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Camp Merriden… light version

This morning I was awake at 5.15 am.. I couldn’t even believe that how very dare those blood Grey Nomads.. what WERE they doing awake at that hour? and then the birds started.. Ok like I told the boys, you can’t blame the birds for waking up and announcing to the rest of us that “Hey look it’s daylight the sky is lightning, WAKE UP” the birds have been doing that since creation… but the bloody Grey Nomads.. they need to learn to sleep in!!!

As soon as it was light enough I read my book, no point trying to get back to sleep then. Needless to say we packed up camp and got out of there by 8.35am… a small world record for us.. but then we only did a minor camp set up.

Also time to get to Perth.