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Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Albany
September 7th 2013
Published: September 10th 2013
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The View from My WindowThe View from My WindowThe View from My Window

Rain rain and more rain
Cape Le Grand to Albany



After a leisurely start to our day we left Cape Le Grand National Park, the sun is shining on another beautifully warm day. Going back out the way we came, we pass "Stonehenge", not really sure what that was all about, but it was a very fake looking stonehenge, there are no stopping signs along the road and there is a barrier which obscures vision to the stones, so it looks like no stopping for photo's either. We didn't want to stop for coffee either as it was too early in our journey so we decided to push on.



Eventually we are back out on the main road, but just as we make the turn the fuel warning light appears on the dashboard, and the only thing we can do is head to a Toyota dealership for resolution, though we both know that it probably means that we have dirty fuel in the system, we could have picked that up anywhere along our journey.



We grab a coffee first and then find the dealership (priorities you know!), fortunately they are able to have a look straightaway and
Bleak Weather TodayBleak Weather TodayBleak Weather Today

Not a day for good photography and the enthusiasm for it!
confirm that it is dirty fuel, he shows us the filter which confirms contamination, they replace it and for now the problem is solved.



Gypsy was still hooked up to Jack when they took him into the workshop and no sooner than they were parked back out front, Gypsy suddenly had a host of admirers again, so we showed people around and then we got back on the road.



We had intended on staying in Esperance, but we thought we would travel a little further up the coast, perhaps to Stokes Inlet, we stopped for lunch at a rest area just north of Stokes National Park, we were almost eaten alive by the mosquitos, they were feeling as relentless as they were at Dalhousie Springs, we moved on. By then I decided that we should perhaps have a couple of days camping down at Fitzgerald River National Park.



At Ravensthorpe we top up with diesel and then head down toward Hopetoun, the afternoon is advancing rapidly so about 30 kilometres north of Hopetoun at a place called Kundip, we find a nice large rest area that puts us a little bit back from the road and out of sight, there is one other camper here, we mooch around to find a suitable spot and set up camp. There is a heritage walking trail here that takes you along the old railway.



Kundip, co-ordinates: 51S 239052E 6268523N



We gather some wood for a fire, boil the billy for a hot water bottle and have some dinner. It is nice to sit by the fire on this cool night, we just sit and enjoy the stars,



Saturday 7 September



We woke up to rain this morning, fortunately not heavy so we still managed to get a cup of tea on the go and with a quick cereal for breakfast, barely anything to pack up, we got on the road to Hopetoun with the intention of either staying a night at Hopetoun or into the Fitzgerald River National Park.



Unfortunately no sooner than we got on the road the rain came down even heavier, by the time we get into Hopetoun it is pouring and a really miserable day. We have a quick drive around and decide not to stay, Andy said we may just as well spend the day driving, so we headed into the Fitzgerald River National Park for a look, it says there are two roads closed and it looks like the main track is open to take us through the other side.



Just on the other side of the Culham Inlet, as always, there is a pay station requesting your $11 entry fee, and information advises the areas that are closed, and also advises no caravans, we both agree that as most of what there is to see is closed and neither of us consider it fair to pay $11 just to use the road to drive through, but rules are rules.



I am not sure that we are going to get $11 worth today, we drive in anyway and stop at the Barren lookout, the sea looks rough and I had hoped to see a whale or two in the bay, but sadly not.



The bitumen road takes you in a fair way and then we hit the dirt again, at the same time we both comment on the beauty of the scenery it reminds us both of Yorkshire, especially considering the rain and the cool temperatures that we are having today, at 12 degrees we are both feeling the cold!



We pass several tracks that are closed, this would mean that you could not get to any of the camp sites anyway, the reason why some of these areas are closed as there is a problem with a weed called Dieback, we had been told about the problem previously and they are trying not to spread the weed as it causes damage to native plants of Western Australia.



After a bit of internet research (Dieback Working Group of Western Australia) I find out that Dieback would seem to be a disease spread by a weed called Phytophthora cinnamomi, although there are over 50 species of Phytophthora, the cinnamomi is the species that causes the most severe and widespread damage to native plants in Western Australia. There is some confusion as the term Dieback is referred to a different type of disease in other parts of Australia, I am not going to get into the complexities of it but it is clearly a problem in this part of Australia.



Eventually we are out of the National Park, the road really was in good condition and not really affected by the rain it was an easy journey through.



We stop at Jerramungup to grab a coffee and maybe some lunch, but of course when we get there we realise it is Saturday and not only does this place close at lunchtime, it does not do food on Saturday so for now we just make do with a coffee, sit and upload a blog and then push off toward Albany, by now the day is filthy wet and it is just set to continue.



One thing that we did notice on the journey today, every field of sheep and cows that we passed they all seemed to be standing facing in the same direction, it looked very odd to see them this way instead of the random dispersal that you usually see when they are munching on grass, I guess that this is their way of limiting their exposure to the weather.



Eventually we drive into Albany, first look of the town appeals, lots of old traditional houses and even the city centre looks quaint. I am directing Andy to a camp site, again we have not booked but hope they are not busy, the route takes us through town and down to Middleton Beach where there is a Big 4.



The camp site was easy to find, Andy pulls in and I jump out into the pouring rain and run into reception, fortunately they have plenty of sites and we are in for the night. That feels like some relief.



We pull up on site and don't even bother unhooking Gypsy, we saw a guy chopping wood by the camp kitchen, we wondered why, who wants a fire in this weather, but we soon found out, inside the camp kitchen there is an additional room with TV and a wood burning stove, we chat to Mervyn who works at the camp site, he has made the fire up so that we can all stay warm in the camp kitchen, lovely.



later on after the rain has died down, a bit, we decide that we will go out for dinner, we really cannot be bothered messing around with cooking in the camp kitchen, so an quick internet search reveals a couple of curry houses in the area so we set off into town for our evening meal, we find a nice place just off York Street, the Origin Indian Tandoori, it is not too busy and we are easily seated, and have a terrific curry. It was a nice place and I would recommend it.



It is still raining but not so heavy, back at camp we head to the lounge above reception where there is a quiet room (with a TV), there are already a couple in there reading, we grab a coffee and sit down in the quiet to shelter for the rest of the evening, well until chucking out time at 9pm anyway.



By then the rain had slowed to a spit so I was hopeful that the morning would bring better weather.

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