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Published: June 22nd 2016
It seems like we have not had a day without rain or drizzle since we left home. In 2008 we were away for 6 months and had 6 days when it rained; oh, how I yearn for the old days.
Gripe over. We checked into a caravan park in Esperance amongst the tree fellers and branch munchers, and were able to do all the ‘van duties’, i.e washing, water replenishment and something that her in-doors knows nothing about – emptying the cassette. We also tried unsuccessfully to find out how we could lodge an absentee vote in the upcoming election. Geoff washed the van in the fading light (into the dark), but it was to no avail as it rained on and off as we headed westward. The main problem with the wet roads is that the farmers come off their red dirt properties bringing half the farm with them and deposit it on the road. That in turn turns to a red mist as the car goes through the trails left by the farmers and that paints the van a pale shade of what Marg calls blood red – Geoff has another name for it! We did however find
a lovely camp spot at that was perched on top of a rise just out of a place called Burden. We were alone for the whole night which was a bit of a surprise although it is not on a route frequented by a lot of caravanners. It was a very cold night and we were once again thankful for the heater in the morning.
Down in the southwest corner of W.A the towns have names finishing in some form of ‘up’. There are ‘mup’s, ‘rup’s, ‘nup’s, just ‘up’s . We were on our way to visit a friend (Peter) from many years ago (Geoff’s late teen years), and he had given us directions - Jeramungup, Ongerup, Broomhill, Kojonup, Mayanup, Winijup. We had to look at the map to confirm that he was not leading us down the proverbial garden path. We found his home, although there was a 360 degree turn involved when we got into his court as the house numbers seemed to have missed his house ; it was a good thing that he could see us from the house and rang when he saw us turning around! We spent a fabulous 2 days with Pete
and Lyn, and the conversation just started as if the intervening years were just a couple of days. The area in which they live has everything you could want, rolling hills, great scenery, plenty of open space, wineries nearby and country butcher in the nearby town... What more could you want? Thanks Pete and Lyn for a very memorable couple of days.
I think it was an omen that when we left Pete and Lyn, it started to rain almost immediately. We charged on heading towards Perth and it was rain, followed by rain and more rain. By the time we got to Bunbury and refuelled we were definitely on a major highway that just got better as we got closer to Perth. It has been some years since we were last in Perth and there is now a North/South five lane freeway running across the bottom of the CBD. It is really quite amazing. We heard on the news tonight that there are 3 ½ million people in the whole of W.A., and yet they have freeways everywhere and a rail service along the freeway median that really makes Melbourne look like Hicksville. There was no rain as
we went through (literally) Perth, (how do they do that?), but it was back with us after about 35kms. It was a big day’s driving with everyone coming back from wherever they had spent the weekend on the road, a grey sky and road spray everywhere.
We spent the night at a rest area that had signs showing a tent with a red line through it, but seeing as we were not in a tent we took that to mean it did not apply to us. It had a long drop toilet and a South Australian who had arrived and set up his van shortly before us, rushed over to warn us about the ‘condition’ of said toilet. He was highly amused at seeing people head towards it and come rushing away having lost the urge to use it!
We moved on and went into The Pinnacles National Park near Cervantes where there is what they claim is a forest of petrified tree stumps sticking up out of the ground that look for all the world like the headstones in an overcrowded cemetery. It is possible to drive your car through the park and get out at various
places to take a closer look or the obligatory photo, but as we had the caravan attached, we took the walking option instead.
We are now in Sandy Cape recreational park, and have had to retreat into the van for most of the afternoon due to passing showers. If it clears as the caretaker said it would we may stay here for a couple of days. It will help get used to our new red Pajero and the matching red caravan that appeared behind us when we arrived here. The road into sandy cape was very sloppy red mud and it is used by large trucks that go in and out of a lime mine. By the time we parked Marg decided not to pull out the caravan step as it was coated with half an inch of red mud, but to use the plastic step instead.
We did indeed stay another day as it cleared. After a walk along the beach the intrepid fisherman decided to throw a line into the water. All to no avail, as usual. We left today in brilliant sunshine and it continued for the whole day. We are now in Geraldton for three nights at a Caravan Park to do the usual things – washing etc. We are also hoping to do our absentee vote here.
Sorry about the photo’s, but the camera only came out at the Pinnacles, and even then it had a raincoat on!
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