Zali, Mauritzio, Dylan, Naka, Zoe and a leaping Kenny
Day 213 - Coronation Beach to Cervantes It’s my lovely cousin Anna’s birthday today and we’d like to wish her many happy returns for the day. This is our last year in the thriving thirties lovie so have a ball and we’ll hit the fabulous forties together next year! Lots of love to our favourite PIE from both of us! x x
We wake up this morning for our last breath of Coronation Beach fresh air, we’re on the move to somewhere different but nobody has decided on where! The travel group is now 15 strong but only for the next few days as the Palmas and the Elliotts will be staying on in Perth while we continue travelling south towards Melbourne. We consider ourselves very lucky to have met such fabulous people along our journey and most of them we’re planning to catch up with before we fly home but sadly our paths won’t cross again with the Elliotts until we either return to Australia for a holiday or they venture to Europe in the years to come. Either way it will be a reunion to look forward to! *Sigh*
Packing up was the priority this morning
and while the kids sat in our caravan making birthday cards for Bae who turns ten today, the camp spot was dismantled around them. The swings came down from the trees, the hammock was packed away and the various tables, chairs and BBQs put pack in the trucks, cars and vans. It looked very plain and empty as we pulled off but what a great place Coronation Beach is to camp. The beach is beautiful and the facilities are excellent plus at only $10 per vehicle per night it’s terrific value and a place for everyone to consider stopping on future travels.
We’re a bit concerned that we’re starting to get behind with the blogs when we’re travelling in a group, there are just too many distractions and lots of fun happening! It’s great but we’re still committed to keeping our travel diary going so we don’t forget the laughs we’ve had and to keep in touch with everyone back home. It’s a bit of a battle doing uploads on the move and this morning is no exception, it’s a struggle with the network this morning, it’s really slow. Just when I think I’ve got it sussed the thing
throws a wobbly and I have to start again, annoying and it’s hot in the car!
In the convoy we travel into Geraldton and then re-group at the HMAS Sydney memorial high on the hill over looking the town and the ocean. A group of volunteers run tours here every Wednesday to give more of an insight to the story surrounding the Sydney which was lost at sea during the 2nd world war. 645 lives were lost when it encountered the Germain raider Kormoran, only a handful of the German crew survived but neither ship was found until 2008 and much mystery surrounds what happened on the fateful night of the sinking.
The memorial is beautiful and has been carefully thought out over the years. All 645 names are detailed on the memorial wall under a wavy line representing the ocean. When the ship was discovered some 2000 metres under the sea, its bow was missing. Ironic really that without even knowing this the bow was chosen as a subject for one of the memorial pieces along with a statue of the waiting lady.
Our volunteer today is Mary and she talks about the special service held
here on the 19th November this year to mark the anniversary of the loss of the ship. Three sisters came and were taken aback by the likeness of the ‘Waiting Lady’ to their Mother. Their father had been on the Sydney’s last voyage and never returned home but she stood and looked out to sea for him night after night, day after day on the shores of Freemantle. It’s an interesting story and one which is documented in a huge book on sale in Target, of all places, but it’s so heavy that we’d never be able to take it home with us so will have to find a library and see if we can read it very quickly while we’re in Perth.
Once the tour is over Sean sets up the tripod for a group photo to remember Bae’s birthday and then its back to the cars and over to the water park for some good old fashion fun! First though we have to get past the rather snazzy public toilet which is very whizzo, it’s got an electronic door, speaks to you about how long you can stay in there for and then sings while you’re doing
The birthday pyramid
From the top left to right:
Zali (Elliott) and Dylan (Palma)
Bae, Beth (Reeves), Lachie (Elliott)
Cody, Naka (Palma), Zoe & Kenny (Reeves)
your thing! It’s like the Dr Who tardis and the kids just love it! First time on the whole trip they’ve all been desperate for the loo!
The kids have a great time at the water park playing games and celebrating Bae’s birthday, then it’s time for us to make tracks and start the journey to where ever it is we’re going! Has anyone decided anything yet?! There are plenty of possibilities; Jurien Bay, Cliff Heads, Cervantes, they’re all in with a shot of having 15 extra people there for the night! Lucky them!
Good on Mirella, she’s contacted a caravan park in Cervantes and they have room for all of us and they’re prepared to negotiate on the cost which is good all round! We hit Coles one more time for some shopping to keep us going over the next few days and then we’re off, or are we! Tom Tom is having a hard time because Geraldton has a new road it doesn’t know about, we can’t find our way out! Simone is giving it large over the UHF telling us to switch off ‘Wrong Wrong’ and we’re just falling about laughing! Eventually we happen across
a fuel station where we can get our 4c discount for our Coles shopping voucher and get our bearings to exit Geraldton!
We make one last stop, the bottle shop, then hit the road. It’s a three and a half hour drive to Cervantes which I don’t think any of us realised and the time now is just gone 3pm!! Luckily it’s an easy drive and despite more abuse from the Reeves on the UHF about ‘Wrong Wrong’ we manage to get there in good time!
Mirella and Mauritzio have taken care of dinner tonight so once we’re all set up the kids are dispatched into their caravan to watch a DVD (which is the first time of the whole holiday we’ve been with them that this has happened - they never watch TV and rarely DVDs and none of them have DS games - it’s like a whole other world!) and the adults come into our caravan to eat dinner. A seafood risotto which is just divine, these two are superb cooks (Mauritzio is actually a professional chef) and we are being thoroughly spoiled. Dinner was followed by Italian custard (with a twist) and the night just
took off from there.
Our neighbour joined in the dice game which Mirella insisted we try, bless her heart it was very funny and the gin was clearly going down well because the scoring sheet was randomly being completed to say the least! Simone was on fire with the one liners and with Darryl as her occasional side kick we are soon roaring with laughter. Names are interchangeable with Darryl as most of you will know and calling people “Shag” is taking off out here too. However, Mauritzio made the mistake of calling Darryl “Darren” yesterday, a fate worst than stealing his warm beer to be fair, but like a cat on a mouse the group have taken this to their hearts and are using it to their advantage and as often as possible - it’s very funny!
It was only the four of us (me, Dar, Mark & Simone) left at the end of the night so we had one game of Rummikub which Simone won and then hit the sack.
Apologies for the hit and miss of the blogs lately, we’ll hopefully sort it out in the next week when we’ve stopped being led so
Lots of love
Dar and Sar
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