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October 12th 2008
Published: October 12th 2008
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Oct 3
Spent the morning doing the washing, working on the internet and all the fun things.
Walked around the CBD. Not much there.
Then went up to Bundegi Beach where we walked a bunch and Linda picked up a number of nice shells.
Went out to the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse. Pretty spectacular. A few sailboarders taking advantage of the really strong winds.
Supper at Whalers. Good food, relaxed atmosphere. If you didn’t make a reservation, you might not get in. Very popular place.

Oct 4
Finally got into the 21st century. Put Skype on the laptop and talked to Jennifer & Rob. Kathryn wasn’t home. Really, really nice to talk to them from such a distance. And at hardly any cost.
Walked to the Home Hardware (yep!!) and picked up a small tarp to use at the entrances to the van when we are parked. Keeps a lot of sand out of the van.
Spent the afternoon on a glass bottom boat tour. Out, not very far, to the area where there is a lot of coral. Not a whole lot of colour to the coral, but really interesting. Went looking for whales, but didn’t get close to any. Saw a couple of blows, but that was all. Saw a couple of Emus and an Echidna on the way back to Exmouth.

Oct 5
Exmouth to Carnarvon.
On the road again. Hopefully we will out drive the wind (NOT).
Drove into Coral Bay. Beautiful sheltered beach. We called ahead to one caravan park, but they were full. School vacation and lots of families go camping.
Crossed the Tropic of Capricorn again.
Stopped by the Blowholes. Since it was windy, they were performing pretty well. Check the picture.
Cows & goats on the road. Had to stop once to avoid wrecking the van.
Turned the corner just before Carnarvon and what a shock. AGRICULTURE. Lots and lots of bananas, tomatoes, melons, etc, etc. All because of the Gascoyne River. Which right now is sand!. But apparently there is a whole lot of water underneath the sand. Between the sand and a big hard clay base. Really spectacular
Settled into the Marloo Retiree/Senior Tourist Park. Very nice, quite park with really nice amenities (music included)
Saw 4 Tawny Frogmouth birds in a tree just above our camp site. Learned about them in Alice Springs. Sort of look like owls, but aren’t.

Oct 6.
Went on a plantation visit. Bumbaks Plantation. They used to grow bananas, but they don’t make much money any more. So they are into table grapes, mangos. They have a shop that does really well selling their own homemade jams, marmalades, banana/mango ice creams. Very good tour and worth the time and $5.50.
The jetty was closed because of high winds. Toured the museum, trains & wool shed. Saw a short video on the sinking of the HMAS Sydney II, in WWII. All 645 officers and sailors lost, not one single trace was found. Apparently the wreckage of it and the German vessel that sunk her ( also sunk) was found not to very long ago.

Oct 7.
Carnarvon to Kalbarri
Same old scenery.
Stopped at the Overlander Roadhouse for petrol and was it ever busy. Lots of people getting takeway lunch.
Carnarvon radio 666am is an oldies station that plays great music. And we heard it for a couple hundred kilometres.
A lot more colours on the side of the road
Kalbarri had at least one caravan park full. The second one we went to had only one site left after ours.
School holidays again.
Big 4 park seems to have turned into a Family Parks park!!
FINDLAYS seafood BBQ. GREAT, GREAT place. Good food, great atmosphere. I joined AOOB and you will have to do some research to find out what that might mean.
INSECTS, all over the place. Apparently bush flies being blown in by the East wind. Very, very irritating. The windscreen turned many colours from the insides of these beasties.

Oct 8.
Kalbarri to Geraldton
Red Bluffs, just after Kalbarri has a great view of the ocean around. On the ocean road to Northhampton, not the main highway.
PINK LAKE. Yep pink. Just a little cove, but the algae makes it look pink. Apparently being mined for beta carotene.
Stopped at Lyton Station. Buildings from early convict days. Also visited Sandford House/Mill/Stable. Had to use the fly nets over our faces to keep the flies away.

Into Geraldton and got a camping spot right close to the ocean. And close to the harbour. In fact you drive right through the harbour area to get to the CBD.
Went to the memorial to HMAS Sydney II. Could be one of my (Gary) most memorable sites in Australia. A very well done memorial.

Oct 9
Geraldton to Regan’s Ford !!
Hah! Linda got her breathalyser today.
Drove the Indian Ocean Scenic Route, Dongara to Cervantes. WINDY
Quick tour through the Pinnacles. Amazing formations. Got a couple of pictures before the battery in the camera died. Bad Gary!!
Won’t make Perth tonight, so will have to find an ‘unrated’ caravan park. Boy did we ever find a great one. Regan’s Ford Caravan Park. A few km south of Cataby. Very small, but nicely done. Nice people running/owning the park, too. Great for a stopover or for some quiet relaxation. No pool, but we don’t care about that.
We were down past the half way mark on the petrol gauge, so time for a stop. Used the GPS to find one, an Ampol. What a bust. Only one pump working, that one high octane and the petrol shop closed. So off to the restaurant and the girl says just to get the petrol and pay her. When I went to pay, she didn’t even have an idea of what I put in the tank. I paid the proper amount, being the honest/nice guy that I am.
So about 500m down the road is a Caltex WITH PETROL. Bummer!!

Oct 10
Regan’s Ford to Guildford (Swan Valley) just outside of Perth - WINE Country!!
Beautiful country side from farmland to horse ranches to vineyards.
Finally got the van set up for a servicing in Perth but not until Monday, so we are spending a couple days in the Swan Valley and it just happens to be their Spring in the Valley Festival . Staying at the Perth Vineyards Holiday Park for 2 nights (Big 4), nice place mostly Park Model Homes with a few caravan spots.
Started at the Info Centre in Guildford and planned out Saturday (11th) - what else but join the crazies wine/food/beer tasting. For the rest of Friday (10th) we spent wondering around Guildford, it has a very old rich heritage with lots of old buildings and an area that is full of antique stores. There are 3 self guided walking tours that you can - we did our own thing but used the map as a guide. Very enjoyable.

11,500km so far

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14th October 2008

Great trip reporting
The pictures and narratives are outstanding. We really do enjoy seeing and reading all about your adventures. By your appearances, you're both relaxing and enjoying the trip. Keep up the great work on the blog, looking forward to the next update. Have you found any relatives yet? Take care and continue to enjoy. Talk to you soon.
15th October 2008

What's the story behind linda's breathalizer???

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