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January 24th 2015
Published: January 27th 2015
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The sign at Fonty's Pool
The Great Escape 22-23rd January 2015



The Australia day weekend was nearly upon us and as usual we were preparing to go away, with the good times that we had had down in Myalup on Andy (B’s) birthday weekend still ringing in our ears, we were looking forward to another big weekend down in Manjimup with the Toyota Landcruiser Club for Australia Day where 100 of us were gathering at Fonty’s Pool for some fun.

Roobie was packed and ready to go, we only got her back on Tuesday after having a word in Kimberley Kampers ear about the quality of her gas bayonette they installed and after having to do some research and a drawing or two we finally got what we wanted, so she was collected on Tuesday night then it was straight over to Andy and Karen’s for Dinner as it was the official birthday for Andy.

Our week was running away quickly and everything had to be done as we were leaving on Thursday night and I was to pick Caroline up from the train station with Roobie in tow as once I left our accommodation there was no going back.
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Jack and Roobie

Caroline’s train came in at 5.00 pm and as soon as she was off the train, I pulled up and she hopped in and we were off, getting out of the city limits on this beautiful evening heading for Fonty’s Pool At Manjimup just under four hours drive away.

Fonty's Pool is a historic freshwater swimming pool near Manjimup, Western Australia. It is registered with the National Trust of Australia as an area of heritage significance. The pool was officially opened to the public in 1925. On Australia Day, 1947, a log chop was held as part of an Australia Day Sports carnival, this was held annually for eleven years.

Archimede Fontanini closed the pool to the public in 1973, because the management burden was too great, but Community support saw the pool reopened in 1979 with the Australia Day Log Chops and Swimming Carnival, in celebration of Western Australia's 150th anniversary, some 12,000 people attended the carnival and Fontanini was present at the celebration. He died in 1982.

Liability insurance issues led to the closure of Fonty's Pool in 2005, when its insurance policy was revoked. The Fontanini family sold the farm shortly afterwards. The new
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Fonty's Pool
owners, with assistance from the National Trust of Australia, reopened the pool with a 300 metre fence around the perimeter to meet insurance requirements.

The Shire of Manjimup celebrated its centenary on Australia Day 2008 with a "Back to Fonty's" event. The celebration included swimming races, a bathtub race and a log chop competition.

Our journey took us to Bunbury to start with, we figured that as we would not be getting there until about 9.30 we may as well have something to eat on route and that would save time in the long run.

We left Bunbury at around seven thirty and had the last one hundred and ninety K’s to complete we do not usually drive in the dark, well not in the country side as it can be too hazardous, .but we had no choice we had a mission that we had to complete and we wanted the pleasure of waking up there of Friday morning.

We had phoned Fonty’s Pool earlier in the week to advise them that we would be arriving late to which they said it was no problem and they would leave directions/map on the notice board where we would need to park Roobie, which seemed simple enough, so when we arrived we pulled in as quietly as possible, exactly on the stroke of nine thirty and went up to the notice board to look for our instructions.

Nothing had been left for us, so fortunately there was a mobile telephone number available so without hesitation we rang it and explained what had been agreed and the lady said she would be down in about four minutes.

Sure enough she appeared without ado and advised us we would be on site eight, we jumped in and drove the final twenty five meters to our allotted camp spot.

We appeared to have a welcome party; one of our friends came over and said he heard us from about ½ mile away so knew our arrival was imminent.

We reversed Roobie in to position, but that was as much as we were going to do, we were tired, and by then it was nearly 10.00 (quiet time on campsites) so there was no way we were even going to bother to unhook the trailer from the truck, it was just into bed and lets worry about everything
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The great pool at Fonty's pool, which covers 1 acre
in the morning.

I think Caroline struggled to sleep where I started to herd the pigs in straight away much to her disgust, not about herding the pigs in but about her not being able to sleep, she must have been over tired,

We woke to a sunny Friday morning, a little bit fresh but nice to be away, in the day light it was apparent that Fonty’s pool was a busy place.

The first job of the day was a cup of tea, we both sat with the door of Roobie open listening to the sounds of the morning which were rudely interrupted by the shrill squeals of children running around.

We needed to reposition Roobie, then put the awing out to shield us from the sun and as she was still attached to Jack it was a fairly simple job, it should have been quick but as friends from the club are wandering past one by one they stop for a chat. Eventually we were set up, so naturally we had to have another cup of tea to keep our day going.

We decided to drive into the local town of Manjimup as
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The garden's at Fonty's pool
we needed just a few supplies and oh yes, one important job of the day that we appear to have missed so far, have breakfast.Caroline and I decanted in to a little local cafe and ordered breakfast, the service was a bit slow but it was definitely worth the wait, we sat inside and read the paper as we watched the outside world go by the temperature was in the late 20’s and it felt good to be away, ok, it always does feel good to be away from the normal things in life.

Our next stop was Woolworths as we just needed to get a few things that we had left until the last minute so we could buy it freshly made, we had 12 coming for dinner on Saturday night and we just wanted to make sure we had enough food.

Once all the chores were done it was back to Fonty’s pool for some socialising and general r&r, the afternoon was getting really warm and we wanted to have a swim.

Peter and Leigh arrived just after lunch and came down to the pool with us. The swim in the pool was just excellent, the water was not even that cold, Caroline found it relatively easy to get in, and usually it takes her half hour to acclimatise. With such a hot afternoon it was a pleasure to get in a pool that was lovely and cool. The local Tyre Power sponsored Fonty’s Pool and donated lots of large inner tubes for patrons to float around on.

Karen and Andy were not going to be with us until about 7.30, so we had a dinner reservation at the Manjimup hotel where we had heard that it was a really good dinner so we had booked a Table for 14 of us.

Andy and Karen arrived as expected and we all worked out who was sharing which vehicle with who and driving or being driven in to town, Caroline and I went in with John and Linda, but when we arrived and went in we found and exceptionally busy and obviously a very popular restaurant, it was a good job we booked. So rather than delay any further we ordered straight away, though we were told that our food order would probably take an hour before it was served.

It was a
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The bottom nd of the camp.
great meal washed down with a couple of beers for the boys and wines for the girls and a few good laughs of course, we were the last to leave as obviously everyone else had got in at early doors, we had a good time so it was now time to go back to camp.

When we drove in to camp it was as quite as a grave, and as everyone was tired we all took to our respective beds.


Additional photos below
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Some pre dinner guests
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The gardens
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some of our members
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Floretta writing down a joke she wanted to remember on the back of her place mat!!
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Dinner out on Saturday night


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