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Published: October 27th 2015
From the Stirling Ranges I travelled due north through acres and acres of wheat and canola interspersed with salt lakes many of which were dried up and covered with a startlingly white crisp and crunchy surface of salt. It was a puzzle to me how the ground immediately around and right up to these salt pads could be such good arable land bearing what appeared to be some very good crops coming on ready to harvest.
I was heading for the Tin Horse Highway which leads into the very proud little township of Kulin and of which I had heard many fellow travelers speaking and saying it was worth a drive. It is only a short strip of approximately 15 kms but good for a laugh and a tip of the hat to the ingenuity and sense of humour of the farming community who has put these amazing “junk” or “recyle material” scuptures together to great benefit for their community. Many tourists pass this way to admire their handiwork. And the township obviously appreciates their patronage (our patronage) as they have a unique free RV vehicle camp ground right in the centre of the town which is free. All they
ask is that in return travelers spend some money in the town. There is a lovely amenities block there too, providing hot showers as well as toilets. Good on Kulin I say.
In that campground the night I stayed over there were an amazing number of older single women in a variety of RVs. Once they sussed out that I too was travelling on my own, they made themselves known to me and invited me to join them. They all belonged to the CMCA (Caravan and Motorhome Club of Australia) singles division and were on their way to a weekend rally somewhere in the area. I declined as gracefully and gratefully as I could but the thought really filled me with horror. Good on them though.
In fact I had a minor drama happening at the time. Travelling along the Tin Horse Highway Sally’s breaks had started to fail and I was unwilling to travel on until I had had them checked out. So I was awaiting the arrival of the West Australian NRMA equivalent to arrive. He didn’t make it the same day as I called, but since I was in such a convenient and friendly place
to stay that didn’t bother me. He arrived first thing next morning from the township of Kondinin about 23kms away. A really nice, genuine country mechanic which pleased me enormously. He took Sally for a drive but predictably the breaks were fine. However to be sure he suggested I follow him back to his workshop and he put her on the hoist and had a good look. And while she was there, and even though it was Saturday morning and he was not working, he gave her a service too – changed the oil etc etc, all of which I was planning on getting done in Perth. He thinks that I probably had a stone caught somewhere and/or had accumulated too much dust and grit from all the gravel roads I’ve driven and that had caused the problem with the breaks.
I was very grateful to him, nothing was too much trouble and he was a really nice talkative chap to boot. So I learnt lots about not only himself and his family (his daughter is a farmer of I think he said 20,000 hectares of wheat, and he drives one of the harvesters for her during harvest –
you know one of those enormous fully airconditioned, lounge chair fitted, stereo and tv adorned jobs that is 4 highway lanes wide). She is also on the board of the Grain Corp for the state – so it was a good chat, and I learnt heaps.
As soon as Sally was ready, I continued on my way out to Hyden to have a look at Wave Rock – interesting is all I will say. Whether it was worth the kms or not, I am still undecided. But at least I have the photos, and you too can have a peek. The caravan park was hellishly expensive, but there was nowhere else you were allowed to camp. At least it had a swimming pool and as the weather had decided to get HOT, I took the plunge along with all the other kids and families camped there.
Then with that destination ticked off, done and dusted, I headed west again, this time my destination being Perth. Time to re-enter civilization and get the wagon reconfigured for two as my mate Barb from Quaama was flying in to join me and tour the South West of WA together. Again I
travelled the lesser known roads through some lovely pastoral land, stumbled by accident on a section of the third Rabbit Proof Fence and for my last two night before entering Perth, stayed first at the very cute Avon Valley township of York (where they also have free RV parking in town and where they provide free power), and then at the beautiful Lake Leschnault which is to Perth what the Cotter is to Canberra by my way of thinking. I had the place to myself as it was a Monday night – but apparently it is absolutely chock a block with people on the weekends, so I was just lucky. Again I swam – it was very very hot and the lake was beautiful, although later that night while wandering through the dusk I was somewhat alarmed to find a not very obviously Caution sign that suggested that because the lake waters were untested, it might be possible to contract meningitis from swimming there – if you managed to get water up your nose! Fortunately I am not given to diving or putting my head under.
Anyway … enjoy the pics.
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