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December 20th 2014
Published: December 21st 2014
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Morning at Cape Leshenault
I woke up early this morning, my head was pounding, nothing to do with sleeping in the new trailer, we were both dog tired as it had been a busy week getting Roobie prepared for her inaugural journey, ideally we would have preferred to have had a short weekend trip to help shake things down but time was not on our side, so we loaded the best way we could and the shake down will happen, one way or another.

Andy had the day off from work as he finished up on Thursday night and dropped me off at a colleagues house at 06.30 in the morning, she was taking me to work early so that I could leave early and thus she could drop me at home so I did not have to worry about messing around with the trains. Andy had a medical appointment at 09.30 and he had to go across town for it so he was up early as usual and whilst watching the news the weatherman said it was going to be 39 degree’s today lovely.

My day could not go quick enough, it was fairly relaxed, lunch with colleagues only a few key things that I needed to get done and would be happy for being in place before the holidays. I got home to South Fremantle at 4.15 and Roobie was all ready to go, everything had a place (sort of) and was packed away as required.

We got the trailer hitched up and we were on the road by 5pm and fortunately the traffic was not too bad, despite a bush fire and earlier traffic build up, we only encountered a reasonable amount of rush hour traffic and before we knew it the city was a speck in the rear view mirror.

We had to drive South first because we needed to pick up our mail from our PO Box in Mandurah, an easy job that just had to be done and on the way out of Mandurah I noticed a car with a couple of people waving frantically at us, only to find that it was our friends Leigh and Peter driving in the opposite direction, they are sadly (for us) not joining us for our Christmas break as they were flying back to New South Wales to spend Christmas with their family.

Our plan was to
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Roobie, yes this is not the usual spelling, but we have had to change the spelling and we will tell you why at another time
get to Cape Leschenault tonight, all we wanted to do was get out of town and breathe the fresh country air and start clearing our heads from work and the past four months, it suddenly felt like we were in a getaway vehicle and getting away at all costs we had both been excited about this trip and we both really need the relaxation. My Mum reminded me a while ago that she thought we came over here for a quieter life, ha, no chance of that, there is so much to see and do, not to mention we still have to work for a living but this year has been extra crazy, what with both working fulltime and what with Andy’s little medical adventure it has been full on.

By 7pm we were pulling off the bitumen and on the dirt road that took us around the peninsula on to Belvedere Beach camp ground at Cape Leschenault Conservation Reserve, a quick drive round reveals a couple of empty places, some campers look pretty well set up and no doubt in for the Christmas break. The obvious choice out of the few remaining was site number one, it was
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From the viewing platform at Lake Grace
the biggest available bay and did not impinge on the roof of the trailer being raised.

Roobie is only slightly longer than Gypsy when she is packed down for travelling, but is a bit like the Tardis when the roof is elevated you have over 2 Mtrs head height , but also the bed module slides out making it 6ft longer.

Setting up was easy, finding everything was not, we had to remember where we put things, the one easy thing was dinner, Andy had prepared a chilli earlier in the day, easy. Actually not so easy, we could not get the diesel cooktop working so eventually had to open the outside kitchen and use gas. How our camping has changed since the first time 6 years ago when we first arrived on these shores.

I mentioned to Andy that this is the first place that we have taken all three of our Camper trailers, the first trailer when we were on our circumnavigation of Australia when we were here with the Truman Family, then we were here last year with Gypsy when we were “Passing Through” whilst on route from New South Wales and again today
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Our Dirty Girl, only 5 days old and its this dirty, still there will be more to come.
with Roobie whilst on route down to Cape Arid.

We collapsed into bed by 9pm, it was a humid evening, after a very hot day of 39 Degree’s, all windows, roof vents and doors were left open but it was still hot we were nothing short of exhausted and I wish I could say that sleep came easy, it did not for me, a mixture of the heat and being overtired.

We woke to a beautiful morning, warm and just beautiful sounds of nature at its best, Andy was up and about as usual and for some strange reason I was wide awake before 6am, but that was ok as we were both keen to get going as we had a long way to go, about 700 Kilometres as we wanted to be in Esperance tonight.

We had a quick cup of tea and a bowl of cereal packed away and was heading out of the great little camp spot by 07.20.

The morning in Bunbury could not start any other way apart from a coffee from Macca’s, so it was in to the McCafe, a couple of essential phone calls later, we managed to hit
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Roobie, packed away for travel
the road by 8.00am, heading East, me navigating and Andy taking the first stint at driving.

The day was warm and dry well you would expect that being right in Australian Summer Time, the weather people said it is expected to be 32 on Christmas Eve and 35 on Christmas Day.

We headed across country through Collie, and noticed a couple of times that there had been people with large lens waiting on the side of the road, waiting for something and we didn’t know what it was and when we got in to Collie there were 100’s of Motor bikes who were all part of a charitable event.

We stopped for a quick bite in Wagin Home of the giant Ram, smaller than the giant Ram in Goulburn, New South Wales, so at the servo we grabbed a pie and filled with diesel as it was the cheapest we have seen for ages at $1.36 Litre.

Just driving out of town we noticed a field that had some unusual sculptures in so as Caroline was driving she turned around and drove back for another photo opportunity. Caroline knew that it was ok for her to

Caroline at Lake Grace
drive for the next stint without needing a navigator as it was some 300 kilometres before we needed to make a turn in the road. So I fell asleep and was in blissful slumber until I dropped the iPad, previously on my lap, on my foot and as I only had thongs on, it hurt and thus I was now wide awake.

Onwards the road was completely empty, no traffic at all, except the odd road-train carting grain, we were surprised that they were still stripping the crops over here as Helen had said they were all done and dusted at our favourite farm (Woodstock) in Nangus. Just as a note this has nothing to do with the efficiency of the farm but purely down to the weather and environment.

We stopped at Lake Grace to take some photo’s of the huge lake that was just a massive salt pan a little viewing platform had been built which was really nice and served the purpose well.

Flash and dash was the motto of the day a quick photo then off, things to do and all that, we pulled in to Lake grace and grabbed a coffee at
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Roobie, with the bed section pulled out and the outside Kitchen open.
this great little Café, Saturday afternoon just before 2.00pm in a country town in rural Australia, Nowhere is usually open, but this café was.

A quick scan of the newspaper whilst waiting for our coffee and as soon as it was handed over we were off again and in the distance a great big band of black cloud was on the horizon. The wind was up and the dust from the dry ground was being whipped into a frenzy before our eyes.

Onwards we drove eventually hitting this band of bad weather and was it raining hard, you know, cats and dogs, or Wombats and Kangaroo’s or even Black Bears and Racoon’s for our Canadian friends, it was coming down in stair rods, still all that dust we had collected at Cape Leschenault was soon washed away.

We got to the slightly larger town of Ravensthorpe, still hurling it down and both tired we wondered whether to pull in for the night and drive to Esperance in the morning we still had about 200 K’s to go, we looked at our options and worked out that at our current rate of travel we would pull in to
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Motorcycles doing a charity
Esperance at just after 6.00pm.

Caroline found a camp site on her iPad, made a phone call, we wanted a caravan park tonight as we wanted to charge everything, fill up with water and get ready for the wilderness, as our final destination (Cape Arid) which has no phone reception, no internet service available and which is why we are happy to have the HF radio.

We drove the last couple of hours, still pouring with rain, and as we were driving along I said to Caroline that I really fancied a curry tonight and that we could get a take away, go back and eat our dinner whilst watching a movie, as we have some 500 Movies on a hard drive that just plugs in to the TV and the TV reads the hard drive and so on.

The more I thought about this, the more the idea appealed, so with Caroline and her iPad on her lap, she looked for Indian Restaurants in Esperance and only 1 came up, The Curry Palace.The thing I love about the internet is you can see forums and peoples comments on certain things, and there was no shortage of
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This header was massive and we pulled of the road to let it go by, hey I loved this as the driver had possibly his son in the cab with him,
comments on the Curry Palace, from awesome to bad, so we forged a plan based on, no other scientific statistics other than let’s give it a go.

We pulled in to the Caravan site in Esperance at 6.06pm, spot on in terms of the eta from the Hema GPS, it was still raining and raining really hard, we were given site 21 and were directed where to go, we parked and I got the Umbrella out and Caroline said, “would you like me to hold the umbrella for you” and I said “don’t worry I will do it on my own” because if Caroline holds the brolly I would get wetter than if I do it myself.

Roobie can be up and open in about 4 minutes and that’s it, once the door was open Caroline came out of the truck and inside the shelter of Roobie, at last we were here and we could relax again.

Caroline just wanted to put long trousers on and run a brush through her hair then we would be off, the truck was already disconnected and we were on the search of a curry, good or bad.

We drove around the town and found the place without any fuss, one of the “comments” that had been posted on line was ring in my ears when we went on inside and were seated at a table, we had placed our order and waited sort of patiently, I was eying the table cloth as I was that hungry.

When our arrived (and the wait) was not too long I have to say the only word to describe our food was “WOWSER” what awesome curries, yes I would have eaten a curried shoe box if that was all they had, but this was better than expected, so well done the Curry Palace.

We got back to Roobie and Caroline wanted to Skype her mum and dad before Christmas, they were on Skype for a good hour and half.

As we will soon be out of range for communications, we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2015, may your journey be full of adventure.


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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Good Buy cruel world,
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The Giant Ram in Wagin, a pretty little town
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Lake Grace, not much of a lake more of a dead salt pan
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A quaint shop in the town of Lake Grace

21st December 2014

drivin tha gettaway....
Lovely story, guys, hope you had a great Chrissy. Now I know how to wake up Andy at work; just drop an ipad on 'is foot.... great to hear the Kimberley is working out. Have a hankering to get one, will love to chat about it some time, all the best to you both
1st January 2015

Flash and Dash
Hi Al, Happy new year to you both, we hope this year will be filled with Good health, prosperity and fun. How is the travelling going are you still having an amazing time, by the way did you get that e-,mail I sent you. Our fondest regards Andy & Caroline

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