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Published: October 22nd 2010
Here I am in Albany staying with Colleen and Peter. It has been such a wonderful time these last 3 weeks meeting all these lovely people, making new friends. Often when I tell people I meet that I am doing home / hospitality exchange their first reactions are negative ...the usual comment is 'have you ever had any problems - how can you let strangers into your house?' and I have to report that not in 20+ years have I had any negative experiences. There are so many plusses to being with a local family - they know the best places to go that you might never find. You meet their friends , neighbours and family and become part of a social circle and part of the community. And the warmth and kindness and generosityof spirit of my hosts is overwhelming ..I have been treated so well by everyone I have stayed with on this trip. It is always so good to find out about the lives and history of my new friends - there are always stories to tell and it makes travelling all the more interesting and fun!!! Peter and Colleen were farmers north of here and have told
Me and Colleen
me so much about their life on the farm, experience of bushfires, teaching in Jigalong ( Rabbit proof fence notoriety, Bob) and much more.
So I have been here for the last few days and living the aussie life in a beautiful bungalow surrounded by flowering gardens and magnificent trees and bush- 10 acres of it...and yet we are only a 15 min drive from the centre of town. One side of the bunglaow is a selfcontained unit and so I have my own bedroom, bathrm, livrm and kitchen ( amazing).... in the other end are Colleen and Peter , who treat me like one of the family,and I spend most of my time there. There are sheep in the paddock and chooks+very noisy rooster and wild ducks in among the veggie patch when they are not on the dam ( pond). It feels like I am in a country retreat. As always I am very happy to join in whatever is going and so Colleen took me off 2 mornings for an aqua aerobics class ... good fun and Paul makes you work very hard... so ,Susan, I was thinking maybe I could do that in Port Maquarie next
month?? I have been taken to lots of local spots including Whale World which is what was the whaling station ... interesting but also horrible to think about the whale killing that was an industry here....times change. I have met several of their friends and today we were invited for lunch to a town about 60 miles away ( no distance by Aussie standards)...so we included a few other stops along the coastline here which is so beautiful. The fotos will speak for themselves.
Wildlife report :50-60 kangaroos in a paddock yesterday evening - I got up really close and lots of mums with babies...aaaaahhhhh so cute.
I find myself thinking a lot about Michael and how he would have loved it all so much here , particularly chatting to everyone...and it is sad that he couldn't meet all these lovely people....but I know how much he loved the home exchange concept and how he would think it great that I continue to travel this way.
There are only a few days left here in Western Australia and I can think of so many reasons for wanting to return and spend much longer here.
Well thats the news. Hope you
like the photos.
Love L xxx
PS. Marilyn and Terry - got some lovely tawny port at the Winery - Peter and I managing to force oursleves to drink it!!!
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