Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Going Home

Here we are parked along side our friend's house in Esperance.

And these are our friendly neighbours

These are the views of Esperance from the back yard
We called in to see fellow motorhomers Joyce and Bert at home, they were busy getting ready for the rally which is being held this weekend in Kalgarin, a combine Big Rig Clan and Highway Wanderers, we hope it will be a blast.
We spent yesterday packing the car ready for the trip home.  There is only just enough room for us to sit and view the rear mirrors.

I think I could fit more in but the Boss says no!!!!
All washing and ironing has been done, Jimny’s fuelled up and ready to go.  So one more sleep and we will be on our way.  Tonight we are dining with our friends at the Gibson Hotel, Lorraine is arriving back from Perth this evening.  We hope to catch up with as many of our family and friends as we possibly can.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Esperance revisited

I had forgotten just how beautiful our beaches are, with the waters colour range between aqua and midnight blue to the contrast of the white sand making them truly picturesque.
I am just disappointed that their true colour doesn’t seem to be apparent in the photos.
Maybe when I learn more about Photoshop elements I will be able to capture the brilliance.  Yesterday Ray played tourist guide and drove us on a round trip to Condingup into Cape Le Grand National Park, to Rossiter Bay, Lucky Bay and Cape le Grand Beach and back to Esperance about 200 klms in all. We visited a part of Western Australia that we hadn't been to before and I must say I was so impressed.
 I was amazed with the texture of some of the mountains such as Frenchman’s Peak.
 It was also fascinating to see the huge rock formations meeting the sea in a blaze of colour and texture. 
 Lunch was at a beautiful spot in lucky Bay overlooking the bay.  We had prepared sandwiches earlier for the trip.  It was a very warm day but very windy in spots and I had to hang on to my hat a couple of times to prevent it being blown away.
Lots of people were enjoying themselves swimming and boating on the waters.  We finished the day with an ice-cream, sitting in a park on the foreshore in Esperance.  Esperance is quite a stunning town with its majestic Palms lining the road on the esplanade, its sculptures and town jetty; reminisce of a holiday spot all year round. Lots of cafes, restaurants and even Tea rooms which boasts a clock tower which emits tunes every so often are to be discovered as you walk around the town.  It is a lovely unspoilt town.  Not long before we make the trek home, can’t wait.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nullarbor Journal (long)

Tuesday 16th August 201 - I am rather baffled with the weather we are experiencing at the moment, yesterday was a brilliant day with lots of sun, no wind or rain and today in contrast it is raining with very strong gusty winds, and not very good for travelling.  I must say that sometimes I fail to understand the mentality of some people, now I try and make a habit of reporting mainly the good things that happen and not dwell too much on the negative.  However yesterday we had planned to spend the night at Mundrabilla Roadhouse, and on a positive vibe, the restaurant, facilities and grounds were absolutely meticulously clean.  After spending $400 on fuel we asked if they minded if we camped outside in the huge area available out front which obviously trucks would spend the night out there, their answer was a flat no;  they had a Caravan Park attached and for $15 a night we could stay in a huge paddock with no conveniences.  We of course declined and opted to camp out in a roadside stop further up the road at Boolaboolo Rest Stop (Camps 6 no 7), but of course we were eyeing the menu at the restaurant and would have dined there if we had stayed.  Now as the cheapest meal was $21.95 and with a range of delicious desserts we wouldn’t have left there without spending less than $50 and maybe even had breakfast.  So for the sake of $15 they lost out on more, so my advice would be to purchase your fuel at Eucla if you can last that long and the meals are reported to be very good there also, fuel being the same price as Mundrabilla. 
The Boolaboolo Rest Area was quite expansive with lots of room for big rigs to turn around not a lot of trees as we are on the Nullarbor plains and for those who may not be aware the “Nullarbor” means “treeless”.  Not many stayed the night, although we did enjoy a cuppa with a couple from Mandurah, Terry and Jenny.  We were a little bored so we resorted to playing cards in the evening by ourselves, I think Hav a Chat must be missing the company of others.  We will probably brave the elements and travel on another 138klms to the Observatory Turnoff rest area today.  I also had a first today having logged into the HF Radio sked and talked to Donette.  The winds were very strong and the fuel gauge seemed to be dropping down rapidly, so we stopped at Madura for a coffee break and were joined by Lyn and Jeff, ex dairy farmers from Busselton.  We decided to push on but we didn’t get very far deciding to camp at Olwogin Bluff ( Camps 6 no 10) 26 klms west of Madura and 89km e of Cocklebiddy to sit out the weather.  
Wednesday 17th August 2011.  The winds had dropped considerably overnight so we decided to get away early and travel further although not as far as we did eventually travel.  A quick stop for lunch at Afghan Rock (Camps 6 no 21) which is 177 klms West from Caiguna and 5 klms East of Balladonia and then for a coffee at Balladonia.  We pulled into Fraser Range Station Camp Area (Camps 6 no 26) but the site was rather small and unlevel so carried on to our present stop which is Ten Mile Rocks (Camps 6 No 27) having travelled 420 klms today. 
 This site is quite large with plenty of room for big rigs, but I must pass on the comment that a lot of these road stops need to have their bins emptied more regularly. 
We got out the rake and shovel and tidied up as best as we could, but most of the bins were full and overflowing and I ashamed to say the worst seem to be in WA.   
Thursday 18th  We arrived in Norseman and after refuelling and a few phone calls we decided to carry on to Esperance to visit some dear friends of ours.  It was a great relief to finally have phone and internet connections.  After stopping for lunch at Gibson we finally arrived in Esperance at 3pm, 310 klms of travel today.  We also were able to buy The Western Australian newspaper, first paper to read in about a week and home state news to boot.

Friday 19th August.  Well you will all be relieved that I am able to finally download this journal.  We moved the bus into its resting place and disconnected the trailer and are settled in at Ray and Lorraine’s property.  Caught up with the washing and cleaned the bus of the dust and grime from a week’s travelling on the Nullarbor.  We are leaving the bus here for awhile and travelling by car down to Perth next week, a service and new tyres for Jimny is the order for the week.  We plan to rejoin the bus and continue our trip to the Kalgoorlie Rally in a few week’s time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eucla WA

Upon awaking this morning the weather had done an about face with wild winds predominately the mood of the day.  We made an executive decision to wait another day before venturing on further up the road.  As Jimny was already out and waiting we jumped in and headed to Eucla for a look around. 
The Old Eucla Telegrah Station Ruins
 In the early 1900’s Eucla had a population of 100 and was the busiest telegraph station in Australia beyond the capital cities.  All that remains now of the Eucla telegraph Station is the ruins, originally opened in 1877 it helped link WA with the rest of Australia and the world.  The first message sent to Perth on December 8th 1877 stated “Eucla line opened. Hurrah”. 
Bill teased me a little as to get to Eucla we actually had to pass through the Checkpoint into Western Australia.  Diesel was a little cheaper here at 188 a litre instead of 197 a litre in Border Village.  We tried to find a cave reported to be out on one of the many tracks off the highway but after a few fruitless searches we came out empty.  There was lots of parking and camping spots around however. 
All signs lead to everywhere.  The most important one is Perth 1,462km
These photos were taken outside the Border Village Roadhouse. 
Lots of flowers blooming in the area, with this shrub of yellow bush Boronia featuring a vivid burst of colour in the virgin bush. 
 It smelled divine also. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Great Australian Bite

As our phone and internet coverage will be invariable as we travel from Ceduna and over the Nullarbor I will journal by days.
Day 1 Wed 10th August 2011.  Today we travelled to Mundroo and camped for the night opposite the Motel and Service Station.  We pulled up at lunchtime just 10klms past the turnoff to Fowlers Bay and extracted the Jimny and ventured into Fowler’s Bay.  We actually spotted some whales off shore, but they were not very clear.  Fowlers Bay was a lovely small fishing and holiday village.
The Fowler's Bay Jetty
  Showcasing the usual jetty and with accommodation opposite it also had lots of historical landmarks but the only old building still standing seemed to be the old Post and Telegraph Centre.  
The Post & Telegraph Building
 This Post and Telegraph office opened in 1865 and in 1927 the telegraph equipment was removed and in 1967 the post office part closed.  The last postmistress was Mrs Coral Beattie. 
Coorabbie Hall and old school site
 We took a different track out and did a round trip through Coorabbie and onto Mundroo in fact we very nearly forgot where we had parked the bus.  Lol.  We decided then to travel onto Mundroo and spend the night amongst the trucks in the truck bay.  Luckily the bus is reasonably soundproof so our sleep wasn’t disturbed.
Mundroo Motel and Service Station
Day 2 11th August 2011 We reached the (Camps 6 802) 222klm Peg in time for lunch and again took the jimny out and drove towards the water, we were now in the Great Australian Bite and the coastline reflected this.
  We carried on to (Camps 6 803) 165klms from the border and spent the night. The Coast was steep and rugged and the water was a beautiful aqua colour to a deep navy as it went out further, in places the cliffs had given away and it just looked like big bites had been taken out of the rocks. 
 We still hadn’t espied any whales but there were schools of dolphins just off shore and we did manage to take a couple of photos. 
No Whales but plenty of Dolphins
 I had to crop this photo intensely to show the dolphins in the water.  There were several people camping in the area, one caravaner has spent nearly two weeks in this spot.  An ideal camping spot for big rigs to park and turn around. 

 We also found an old hut (Gilgerabbie)in the middle of nowhere and a tower off the beaten track. 

 There was nothing for miles around in every direction.  It must have been a very lonely spot for the previous inhabitants.
Here we are parked and nothing around for miles in any direction
Day 3 12th August We reached the (Camps 6 805) 133klm peg for lunch and then reached (Camps 6 808) 52klm peg east of the WA border in the rest area.  This was a beautiful big parking spot, with three different areas for camping.  You could even camp out overlooking the water.

  We selected the middle parking near heaps of blue metal and we walked over to the coast to different points looking out to sea.
The rugged coastline
This bottom picture shows some of the erosion of the coast
Thats me up the top
Day 4 13th August.  First stop of the day was to (Camps 6 812) Great Australian Marine park rest area and took photos. 
The Beach at the great Australian Bite Marine Park
 The rest area overlooked the beach and was a very popular spot, the water had been visible from the road for most of the trip.  We parked next at (Camps 6 813) 10klm peg from the border and took the car to nearby Border Village.  We thought we may have been able to purchase a paper but no luck although I did buy a 125 litre of coke and a 100g bar of Chocolate and it set me back $10.  Very expensive!!  I was this close to WA.  Bill had to drag me kicking and screaming to the bus, just joking, but he doesn’t seem to want me to get over that border in a hurry.  It was good to be able to speak to Colin and Beryl today on skype and others on the phone and to have internet access.  We will spend the night here and travel on to Mundrabilla tomorrow. There probably won't be any more phone and internet until we reach Norseman now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Smoky Bay and leaving Ceduna

I spoke too soon!!  We went to pick up the battery for the other computer, and found out that it wasn't due to arrive in Ceduna until the 19th August.  As we are leaving tomorrow this wasn't an option, so we will try again in Kalgoorlie.

 I thought I would share three photos that were taken when we drove over to Smoky Bay on Sunday as nothing much has happened worth mentioning in the last two days.

 I should revise that; there were two very special events that happened but in WA not here, namely two birthdays, Grandson Corey turned 21 on Monday and his mum turned 40 on Tuesday.  Happy Birthday to you both.  Tomorrow we head off for the Nullarbor our estimated first stop will be to Fowlers Bay where we have been told you can watch the whales just off shore.  Our internet and phone reception will vary from now on until we reach Kalgoorlie, so probably won't be blogging for a short while.  Now don't forget to do your census tonight.