Edit Blog Post
Published: March 13th 2010
A bit of a slow start this morning as we were up quite late enjoying the celestial spectacular. We took advantage of the facilities and took very long hot showers (I’m ashamed to say that my hair now makes me look like the mad professor out of Back to the Future!) We also had some housekeeping tasks that needed doing - me getting the washing in and John sorting the van: loo, water and grey waste. Unfortunately, there was no sign of the kangaroos this morning which was a little disappointing. However, the wonderful smell of eucalyptus can be guaranteed to lift the spirits.
We set off and visited 2 historic churches. When we say historic, it’s a little lame ... the one at Dingup was built in 1893 and the one at Quinninup was only a little older! Admittedly, to build the Dingup church, the stone had to be quarried nearby and hewn by hand, so it really was a work of love. We spent ages trying to find the church at Quinninup, and in fact we were driving down a narrow dirt track for ages getting very worried when we came across it. Why on earth they built
it in the middle of nowhere is a puzzle! The locals feel very aggrieved - their ancestors built the church, and even though it has an organ and pews, they are no longer allowed to use it as it has been designated as an historic monument - they can’t even use it for special events such as weddings or christenings. There are no signposts or any other indicator that the church is there (which is why we were worrying so much), so they don’t make any money from tourists - BUT the community is expected to pay for the upkeep of the church - recently having to pay for a new roof, and now they are being asked to pay for a new fence. Their argument is that it could pay for itself if they were only allowed to use it! Seems like a lot of trouble over a building that is barely a century old.
We are seeing a lot of red roads (unmade) or tarmac roads bordered
by eucalyptus trees, but on the drive today we saw some spectacular scenery. We’re also seeing some interesting road signs. I was puzzling over an orange diamond with two children on it - in the middle of nowhere why would there be a sign for children crossing? I eventually worked out that it’s the school bus stop sign (took me a while though!) We are constantly amused by the variety of the mail boxes we’re seeing - hopefully the photos of these will amuse you too!
Onward to Bridgetown in the Blackwood River Valley, which (according to our book) is one of the prettiest towns in SW WA. It was lovely to stretch out legs and look in the shops - although I was shocked at the price of books ... I’d been looking for the next in the Millenium trilogy and found it at approx £15 ... in paperback!! We’re not buying a lot!! Incidentally, the radio keeps reporting that Australians spent 35% less on books last year compared to 2008 (not surprising.) Unfortunately, they’re spending 35% more on Sports Equipment - watch out when the school of 2009 feed through to the ashes team!
Nannup, where we visited the visitors’ centre, housed in the old Police Station and complete with cells and exercise yard. I smiled at the sight of the fireplace and said to the ladies manning the desk how I thought it amusing that all these old buildings, including the old churches, had fireplaces whilst it was so hot ... I received a piercing stare from one who stated that they have very long winters, that it gets very cold and she has fires at home until November. Chastened I asked how cold it gets. Sometimes it can get down as low as 15 or 16 degrees. Jolly chilly!
Another lovely lady regaled us about how she’d gone to England several years ago in August/September and had only packed thick woollen clothes - including long johns and spencers (vests) ... but she did admit that she had to go and buy summer shirts when she arrived!
I am just loving these people!!
We have also discovered the hell that is the Australian fly. A couple of days’ ago I was chatting to an Aussie chap when I shrieked and started jumping around saying I’d just been bitten by a
“ah yes, that’ll be a marsh fly” he says “their bites really hurt”
“I noticed” says I, still jumping around, “I must buy some of that Bushmans Repellent my friend Claire recommended”
“ah yes” “Bushmans, that’s really good stuff”... ... “doesn’t work on marsh flies though”
Perhaps you had to be there!! John says the sight of me dancing around fighting off the flies is highly entertaining!
So Mark, despite your warnings, I have to admit that the 100% Deet has come out again and is being used liberally - I don’t care whether its banned in several countries and strips varnish off the floors - it keeps the flies off!! I did manage to spray a fly with it - which begs the question of what happens to a fly when it’s been sprayed with insect repellent ...
We’re now camping near the coast on a camp park area in the Leuwin/Naturaliste National Park - it really is a glorious site ... the only downside being that alcohol is not allowed!! So at the moment we are drinking a dry Reisling Coke and Cab-Sav Shiraz Coke out of teacups (a trick we discovered in India), that we acquired the other morning at the local Fizzy Drink Factory! Unbelievable, we find the only Aussies still in the Temperance movement this close to the Margaret River! And we still haven’t seen a ranger ...
Tot: 1.625s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 12; qc: 62; dbt: 0.0254s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb