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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY     178   Thursday    3rd    October

We were up early and breakfast finished and vans all packed up and ready to leave before 9.00am. We left the Shoreline Caravan Park at Port Augusta and headed toward Orroroo.  First stop was at Wilmington where we did a small town walk and then moved on further to a more than five hundred year old Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Giant Red Gum) which is located about 1 km from Orroroo.  This was a marvellous old red gum that has seen so much. The flies did spoil this visit somewhat though.

Arriving into Orroroo we had a cuppa before a town walk where we purchased meat from the local Butcher.  I told the man that his great service would receive an honourable mention in a National Forum which I think suitably impressed him. Not.    

About 70 Kms further saw us arrive at Peterborough in time for another town walk and then had lunch parked beside the train in the centre of town.  Left Peterborough with intensions of staying in a budget camp at Yunta, however as we were not yet ready to stop we continued further.  A little further on we came to the Olary Pub with a budget camp opposite and decided this was it.                         Sites picked and vans driven on and a cup of coffee before we began to explore the place.  This took all of about 4 minutes before we went into the pub for one, intending perhaps to book for a meal.

We did have a drink for Happy Hour, but the ladies had both put meat out to defrost for tea, so the meal at the pub was off.   As the sun was setting the cameras did some work for a few minutes and then the cooking equipment came out and was immediately put to use with tea preparation.  During the evening we had three trains go past, and we wondered how many more before the morning.  Of course, the trucks seem to be non-stop, although abating a little.

The four of us sat counting the stars for a while until it became cool enough to call it a day. We were then all tucked up with diesel heaters warming while dishes were finished.  Just settling in when a truck drove into “our” Caravan Park and parked in the Kollmorgens bedroom.  Well it sounded like it   was in the bedroom, but the driver soon settled down and we were left to wonder at what time the truck was likely to leave our bedroom again.

I did this blog and headed for my favourite spot, however, I found I had to sleep on the front mud guard of the truck.  Goodnight all.

Foot note    The truck fired up at 2.00am, but very quietly left the park and warmed up out on the road.   Very considerate I thought.

 

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DAY   177       Wednesday   2nd    October

A nice late morning was the order for the day to the joy of the Tucks.  Breakfast finished, so we set off once again in the Tucks car as the Kollmorgen back seat is still full of boxes used over the last six months when we were camping out in the tents.  We had noted on our town map that a second lookout was at the opposite end of the town and looked across the water to the power station and the shacks mentioned in yesterdays notes.  We then went into the Railway Station, what a great building it was and must be very busy as the Ghan and the steel trains from Whyalla and also the Indian Pacific trains use these lines into and away from Port Augusta on a regular basis.  Another set of smaller gauge rails are used a couple of times a week by an old steam train known locally as Pichi Richi which is a tourist train between Quorn and Port Augusta a couple of times a week in season. 

 Next stop was the information centre which is also across the bridge near the centre of the town and picked up some info brochures on some of the towns ahead of us.    Leaving the Info centre we returned to the van park for lunch, via the town Bakery.  YUM

Lunch finished we again crossed the bridge and parking near the water did a walk along the town wharfs edge to the original bridge used to cross the Gulf during the early days of the city, and also in the mud at the edge the water the hulk of a barge that was used in the building of the new bridge finished in 1972, that we have been crossing in our trips over the last two days.

As we are moving on tomorrow toward Mudgee and will be away from shops for a few days, we spent some time and money at Woolworths supermarket and also the Service Station on the way back to the Port Augusta Shoreline Caravan Park for happy hour.   Tea was next, dishes and then bed.  

 

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Lynder : v00160
I'm waiting for your blurb as I want to go to bed. Deefers friend.
Friday, 04 October 2013 17:27
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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   176       Tuesday    1st   October.

In the report of yesterday I had hoped that the wind would abate during the night.  We had a short shower just when we were cooking the barby without the awning due to the wind.  This, fortunately, caused the wind to die and stay that way for the day today.  Beauty…

We were away from the Whyalla Caravan Park before nine am and had a fairly good trip up the peninsula to the Shoreline Caravan Park at Port Augusta where we set up and had a cuppa while we waited for lunch time.  Lunch over and we went with the Tucks to, first off, the Australian AridLands Botanical Gardens where we climbed a short distance to the view at the Matthew Flinders Look Out. Quite a view of the Red Cliffs, the rail yards, the Spencer Gulf and the town was had before we proceeded to the Visitors Centre including a display of all plant life from the Arid Regions of South Australia.

We all enjoyed this place before we headed for another lookout at the top of a defunct water tower which has been modified by Rotary and the council into quite a climb up about 60 steps to the old tank with holes cut in the walls for viewing through.

Returning to the ground I had both front thighs cramp as did Kay and Maree.  I think the steps were too close if this makes sense!  Back to the car and off we went to a place we called the Shacks. The shacks were mile after mile of shanty buildings with an occasional two story house that would be very costly.  It was just a very rough track with corrugated iron or cement sheet (possibly asbestos) or whatever material was available.  Buildings with lots of “Good Stuff” stacked outside waiting for that “I will use that one day” heap of junk. There were cars that may have been OK if they had wheels, trailers with flat tyres, washing machines, dryers, etc etc.  One thing I did notice, all the fishing rods were pristine to my eye.

We returned to the caravan park for a coffee and watched the van park fill up before happy hour and tea.  

 

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DAY    175     Monday   30th    September

Lay day called for today and as the wind came up again early this morning it was not nice outside. After our breakfast we left the Whyalla Caravan Park drove to the wetlands that are using land once used for the old Whyalla Airport.  It was a nice neat place that would be great on a warm evening for a barby.

Because the wind was so bad, both Jim and I decided we would feel better if the awnings were rolled in on the vans, so back to the camp to do this chore, then once again headed out to the Flinders and Freycinet Lookout which is on top of a hill on the other side of the city.  Here are some abstract statues of Freycinet, and also of Matthew Flinders, on display at the entrance as they were involved in the discovery of this area.

Next stop was a Teddy Bear Shop where we (read Wives) were entertained for a while before heading off to a camping shop where it was more entertaining for we Blokes.  Further along was the Mount Laura Homestead Museum which uses the original homestead as the main centre of the exhibition surrounded by buildings, some, originally from the property, others found in the area and moved to the site. One of these was the police Lock Up which was, of course, behind the old Police Station.  Another hour plus was spent here before driving toward the shopping area and found a Shopping Mall,  did a walk through,  had some lunch before finishing off with a small food top up in Woolworths.  Spotlight was our next check point where both ladies purchased new sheets for the vans.

Through all this the wind continued to howl and bounce things around.  On our return to the camp the Kollmorgens spent some time searching for their outside mats and shower thongs that had decided to take a small vacation on the other side of the van park.  Our possessions back under lock and key, and with the van still rocking, we battened down the hatches and Kay ironed.  It is hoped that the wind will abate a fair bit overnight as we are due out of Whyalla tomorrow and that wind will be smack on our noses as we head toward Port Augusta.

Just Kay and Neil at Happy Hour as the rain had started, and then tea was next on our list followed by bed.

LATE NEWS   Maree just popped in and it was decided that Phase 10 would be a chance tonight.  

 

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Banjo : v00029
What, pray tell, is Phase 10 ???????????????
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:03
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DAY     174        Sunday       29th    September

Jim commented this morning that we had done ourselves a big favour by rolling our awnings in last night before bed.  Why, do you ask?  Well, during the night the wind that had bothered us all day   Saturday had returned during the night and our foresight saved us from needing to climb out of a warm bed and go roll them in.

 Without intending to, we all were up early and packed up and on the road before 9.00am heading for today’s destination, Whyalla.  Our first interesting stop was to the Yeldulknie Weir and Reservoir,         the dam which is responsible for water supply to Cowell and Arno bay.  The wall was completed in 1912, so is a little short of the Hoover Dam but serves its purpose beautifully.

Moving on our next stop was to Cowell which is back on the Spencer Gulf water.  Parked the vans and did a town walk and then had a cuppa before again heading off walking out onto the Jetty where we did not see any fisherpersons at all.  Seems to say there were no fish, or is it that the locals weren’t trying.  Of course the wind may have had some effect on the thinking.

Leaving Cowell, our next stop was Lucky bay which is where the ferry docks from Wallaroo on the York Peninsula. This town was a bit of a dive so we just did a drive through before we made good time to Whyalla and booked into the Whyalla Caravan Park and set up in quite warm conditions again.  I thought we had left that heat up north;  apparently not.   It was thirty three degrees today and a promise of 38 tomorrow.  Oh well!

Went out driving with the Tucks and looked at a look out at Hummock Hill a terrific look out, that had been a gun emplacement during WW11 with covered viewing areas and also some old guns to investigate. We then drove down the main street before calling into the Information Centre for our usual appetite of brochures. Happy Hour was then taken under Kollmorgen’s awning, still with a fair amount of heat.  Tea was cooked, eaten and then bed.

 

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DAY    173     Saturday    28th      September

Not a great amount of Kms to do today, only about 105, so we did a leisurely pack up and headed out of the Tumby Bay Caravan Park toward Arno Bay a little bit north.  First stop was Port Neill (no relation) a nice little town with a jetty to walk out on and discuss the catches with the folks leaning on the rails. We did a drive around the town to look into caravan park condition before continuing.

A little further up the road saw us at Arno Bay where we intended staying for the night.  After a cuppa and a walk out their town jetty and also a look into their caravan park it was decided to continue a little inland to Cleve which is about 30 Km north-west of Arno Bay.

Nice steady drive through some terrific grain country and eventually arrived at the Cleve Showgrounds budget camp and set up.  Lunch was had and then we had a town walk, plus a little bit extra, before returning to the vans so we could watch/listen to the AFL Grand Final.   Jim was changing some mounting brackets in the rear of his car with a little support from Neil while Kay and Maree did some more walking and then looked into the brochures for some of the towns ahead.

As the sun went down, happy hour was cut short due to the cold coming on.  We did a part of the pack up to make the job a bit quicker in the morning before some tea and bed.  

 

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DAY    172      Friday   27th   September

A 9.30 departure from the Port Lincoln Caravan Park heading north for Tumby Bay saw our first stop into Louth Bay where we investigated a budget camp that has only eight sites with toilet but no shower or power.  Still it was nice and clean and well looked after and would be great after a long days travel.

Continuing, we arrived at Tumby Bay and determine which of the two camps we would use.  The first choice to the left of the town was just a small site with one van on site.  We then went to choice two and found quite a nice camp with a couple of drive through sites just our sizes.

We set up the camps and headed out for a town walk.  We all declared it was a lovely town which was also kept very tidy.   Good variety of shops and services to suit most people.  Back to camp for lunch, although the bakery did provide some early appetisers on the walk, and this finished we all climbed into the Tucks new BT 50 and enjoyed a trip into the centre of the Peninsula to another lovely town called Cummins.

A town walk was done here before we did a drive around the area before returning to Tumby Bay.  Here we did a drive around the outer parts of the town and into the new estates that have been opened out the back.  We also passed the first choice camp again and to our satisfaction found most of the local Football Club sitting around with bottles in hand.  Good choice Jim.

Some of the houses in the viewed estates are huge and almost put the mansions along the Swan River in Perth to shame.  I did say Almost.   After returning to the vans, the Tucks and Kay, once again, headed out walking to the town jetty and then intended to walk the length and back before Happy Hour.  They can’t do it, they will miss it, I am already having one now, so they are late.

As the wind was so cold we cut the Happy Hour down to about half and retired to our vans to prepare dinner and set up the barby.  Dinner finished and dishes washed I guess the next thing is a nice warm shower and bed.

 

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DAY      171     Thursday    26th    September

We had a very heavy rain and wind storm go through during the night so as it worked out luckily I had rolled the awning in.  This was put out again first thing this morning.  Jim said he was annoyed most of the night by the flapping of his awning.

Leisurely morning and after breakfast we headed out in Tucks car to do the tourist trail around the town, lookouts and jetty precinct. Some terrific views were available in all locations.

 At the marina we came across a 40 tonne mobile crane setting up to do a lift, and on questioning the operator, he told us that he was waiting for a semi-trailer to bring a 20 tonne tank filled with fingerlings of Kingfish which are going  to fish farms out in the bay here at Port Lincoln.  After waiting for some time for something to happen, the tank on the trailer eventually arrived and about 9 men crawled all over doing all sorts of chores to assist the crane operator in lifting this 20 tonne tank full of small fish onto the boat and then it headed off into the bay.

We had a girl walk pass and explained that they send three boats loads a day a couple of times a week.  Adding this up, they are growing a very large number of Kingfish on their farms.

Back to the camp for lunch and then Jim and Maree went food shopping and the Kollmorgens went and looked around the town at the end they had missed earlier.

A lovely day was had apart from the cool wind that has plagued us since we left Perth. Fortunately it has been behind us all that way so the saying “an ill wind does no good” is not right all the time.

Happy Hour was had at Kollmorgens van before that wind beat us indoors where tea was prepared and eaten.  Then a bed was calling.

 

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DAY     170       Wednesday     25th   September

A small sleep in for us this morning as we are moving on to Port Lincoln, which is not a great distance. We packed up and left the Coffin Bay C/P at 9.30am and drove a huge 48 Km before booking into the Port Lincoln Tourist Park and setting up on slab sites at the top of the hill. 

Tucks had some business to attend to and set off.  Kolmorgens took the opportunity to have a front end alignment on the new tyres fitted two weeks ago and then did some food shopping. Later at happy hour it was decided that as we were in a fishing port we should have fish and chips for tea. Maree and Kay left to collect the fish and on their return the wind and rain arrived. We needed to move into the van to eat and when the Tucks left for their van the Kolls headed out in slight rain to roll in the awning that had been flapping quite severely.  Of course as soon as the awning was in all the wind went away, but such is life.

The last we heard of the original Gypsybusters was that the Clarks were in Perth, the Castles in Jurien Bay and the Hales were at home.

This blog was then worked on before bed.   By the way,  the fish was great.

 

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DAY     169      Tuesday    24th   September

It was a wonderful morning to awaken to.   Blue sky, gentle breeze and just a little cool.   Breakfast over and picnic lunches packed we headed for Coffin Bay National Park and in particular, Yangie Bay, where we did a couple of Km walk around a loop on some rock strewn tracks.  We then continued to Point Avoid, Golden Island Lookout and then Almonta Beach.  All places had their own beauty for us to see before heading back through Coffin Bay toward Dutton Bay.

 As it was beyond our normal lunch time by now, we had a quick look at Dutton Bay followed by Farm Beach where lunch was taken at the Caravan Park in the wind that had blown up.  Heading back after lunch we drove to Little Douglas where we watched two Oyster boats come ashore and drive straight onto trailers being towed by tractors and disappeared off the beach and up the road.

We then came back through Wangary, where Jim became all excited by his ability to locate an advertised pig farm and said he had never seen so many pigs in one paddock before.  Then, back to Coffin Bay to the Coffin Bay Look out and a quick look around the Golf Club and some of the lovely big homes at the top of the hills overlooking the town and all the sea.  A cuppa was had and a bit of a rest before happy hour and as it was becoming cold, back to the vans for tea.  Of course followed by bed.  

 

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DAY    168      23rd   September

Easy morning with a departure of about 9.30am from the Elliston Waterloo Bay C/P, we first visited the Elliston Bakery for rolls and other nice things and the Info Centre to obtain brochures and info on the places we are expecting to visit over the next few days.  Eventually we get under way and then stopped off at Locks Well Beach.  This attraction was to a lookout which required a walk of about 500 metres downhill to a lookout with an extra stair case leading 120 metres down to the beach, down at least another 280 steps.  Sorry, we all said, with the wind blowing very cold off the water and us in T shirts and shorts with all those steps.  No way.

 We returned to the cars via a different track that we had located near the lookout, which climbed to the car park.  We again set off for our next destination.  This was Leo Cummins Monument that was erected to honour a very popular young and talented sportsman who died in a boating accident after getting into difficulties.  This monument also required a lot of walking as it was necessary to climb a big hill to the monument and also to a lookout with great views of the cliffs and sea.

Back to the vans and further driving saw us arrive at the Coffin Bay Caravan Park and booked in for two nights.  Camps set up and lunch finished, Jim began to comment on the condition of his new car. This, of course, led to the bucket of soapy water.  Neil also caught the cleaning bug and began to wash the front of his van.  Maree did some ironing and Kay watched it all happening.   An hour and a bit later we all decided to do the Town Walk and returned via the Oyster Walk, a track on the waterfront erected by the Shire.  Happy Hour was next on the agenda when we arrived back at the vans.  Tea was next, in the vans tonight due to that cold wind.  It seems funny to me to be complaining about the cold, but after 4 to 5 months of hot, this cold has come as a shock to the system.  Anyway, I think that bed is next, with a nice warm blanket.

 

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DAY    167      Sunday    22nd     September

A 9.30am departure from the Streaky Bay C/P and headed south toward Elliston for tonight’s stay. First stop was at Murphys Haystacks.   This is a paddock full of granite boulders that resemble stacks of hay, so clear that from the road they are hay stacks.   

Next stop was Port Kenny where we had smoko, before heading off for Venus Bay where we did a large walk around South Head and back to the car park.  The cliffs within this area are of very soft rock and are breaking and falling into the ocean.  All along the headlands where we were walking on there were huge pieces of the land, sitting at the bottom of the cliff dissolving back into the ocean. While on this walk and getting toward the outlet to the Ocean we were lucky to have the company of about six dolphins swimming out of the bay.  We considered ourselves very lucky.  

We then drove to the other end of Venus Bay and did a walk out on the jetty to have a look at the fishing boats and talk to the locals as they fished from the jetty rails.  Returning to the vans we had lunch in a small park near the end of the jetty before continuing our trip to Elliston where we booked into the Elliston Waterloo Bay Caravan Park and set up.  We had a quick cuppa before heading out to do the Cliff Top Drive, a loop around some more of the disappearing cliffs that are at the bottom of the drop.  When viewed from an angle sometimes we could see where the rock had dissolved altogether from under where we were standing.

Next place visited was to the Elliston town jetty which was also the home for quite a few fishermen, and fisher ladies, who were catching …Nothing.  This was quite a long jetty, lit at night to help the anglers luck. The walk out and back is a fairly long haul so we were glad to get back to the camp to put our feet up and enjoy happy hour.

Steaks on the camp barby followed for tea and then bed for a well earned rest.

 

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DAY   166     Saturday   20th     September

Leisurely wake up and breakfast before Kay went to the van park office to book the two sites for an extra night as we had arranged last night with the Tucks.  On her return “do you want the good news or the bad”.   Good news was we had sites for the night.  Bad news, “not the sites we were on”.  So a rough pack up and move across the park about 100 metres and set up again.  However, as a consequence, we are getting good at it.

This finished we just sat in the sun and waited till lunch time, then with this finished, we all set out on foot for a Town Walk.  As today was Saturday, of course, most of the shops were all shut up so we had a good chance to just stroll by and have no problems.  We did, however, purchase some bread at the IGA before a walk out on the town jetty and then returning to the camp for another ”rest” before happy hour.  We watched the sun set, but then it started to become cool, so we moved inside and had tea before bed.

 

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DAY     164    Thursday   19th   September

Early rise and breakfast at budget Camp at Yalata West and packed and on the road at 8.30am.  Made good time and first stop was at Penong at the Woolshed/ Museum. It was quite a display to walk through. We had smoko in the car park before driving into Penong for a town walk.

Continuing on the road to Ceduna and as we entered the town Maree Tuck rang and advised they were booked in at Streaky Bay and our site was waiting,. Why not come straight down?  Well we had to do a small shop as the quarantine station had emptied the pantry some and then dad some lunch down by the sea before heading out for Streaky Bay.

On arrival checked into the Foreshore Caravan Park and then were greeted by the Tucks. Set up van (again) and then had a very cold wind blown happy hour under the Tuck awning, until tea where we used the camp barby and tables before a special treat for supper, then bed.   

 

DAY    165     Friday    20th     September

When we woke we found the wind was back.  It was a bitter wind which did not agree with anybody.  However, we (the Tucks and Kollmorgens) packed a picnic lunch and after speaking to the lady at the Streaky Bay Tourist Park reception for directions, headed out toward the North, West, East and South and indeed did a loop around the town and looked at just about all the lookouts and beach car parks and viewed some magnificent cliff faces and whistling rocks and blow holes.

Some of the places visited were Sceale Bay, Point Westall, Carvisat Bay, Cape Bauer, to mention but a few.  Lunch was had at a beach off the Westall Bay Road and then we continued on to finish the loop.  More places visited were The Granites, and Highcliff .   All the visited were great views and well worth the trip.  Thanks Jim.

As the wind had abated and a beautiful day was had, we had Happy Hour on the beach in the warm sun until the sun set and it became cool.  The camp barby was again used for tea before bed.

 

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DAY    161   Monday     16th       September

As is the normal, we had an early rise and began the pack-up to move on further.  Breakfast finished so Kay went to Woolies for those last minute food necessities (Woolies was not open yesterday, Sunday).  Neil continued with packing and when the car returned, just hooked up and departed the Esperance C/P for Norseman.  We saw the wreckage of about 30 Bulk Ore carriages that had de-railed during the week due to the rail sleepers collapsing from all the rain WA has had this month.

Apart from the carriages it was a nice quiet drive up north and we did a town walk before lunch.  This was had behind the Info Centre and then climbed back into car and headed east.  The road was lightly used, although at one stage 12 Motor Bike members from the Rebels who had been in Perth for some sort of protest and were on their way home, passed us and were all well-mannered when given my signal to pass when clear.

We continued about 170 Km from Norseman to Harms Lake budget camp (#21 WA camps 7) and set up for the night.  We are in the camp with three other vans at present, but that may increase with time, as it is only 4.00pm, getting on happy hour though.   Then I suppose its tea and bed. 

Oh         “Happy Birthday Kay”   

 

 

DAY     162        Tuesday     17th    September 

The wind increased during the night and just before daylight the wind died some and we had a short   shower before the wind blew up again.  We packed up and got away earlier than normal with Kay driving with an enormous tail wind pushing us.  This was good.

Today was supposed to be a big day in the saddle, however, the Rebels on their Hayley Davidsons had other ideas.  We managed to dodge them early in the day by keeping just a little in front and stopping where the Police were stationed and leave just as the bikes were arriving. 

Our first road house stop was at Balladonia for a quick look around.  We found Police everywhere in about 5 marked and 7-8 unmarked cars.  They either loved them or just wanted to escort them out of the state, however, we found it necessary to make a hasty retreat back onto the road as the bikes were arriving with, I thought, some with just a little aggression on their faces.

Back on the road, and within 30 Km we were passed by 5 of the unmarked Police cars in a hurry to get to the next road house to be prepared.  This next roadhouse was Caiguna which is on the eastern end of the 90 Mile Road this being the longest straight section of Highway in Australia.  As we were walking back to our car a Policeman advised that should he come up behind us and contact either by radio or flashing lights we were to move off the road and stop.   Fortunately this did not happen as we managed to leave before any sight of the noise arrived and drove onto our third roadhouse for the day.

This last money pit was Cocklebiddy Roadhouse and as is normal practice we had a quick walk and purchased a key ring to add to our collection.  Kay then prepared some lunch and after eating we set off heading toward Eucla.  Next stop was to the Madura Pass Lookout where we had a look and snapped some photos before heading off again.  Next and last stop was to the Moodini Bluff Budget Camp (Camps 7 # 9 WA ) and found a sheltered site and set up.  This was just in time to walk over to the Highway to again watch the almost 100 bikes thunder through, along with their backup crews in their Motor Homes and Wizzbangs and just trailers.  Some even had a couple of spare bikes just in case!

There are 12 or 13 vans in the camp, as we prepare our tea and settle down for the night.

 

 

DAY    163   Wednesday     18th     September    

We were up early as we anticipated a long day.  So as soon as we woke it was up and at ‘em.  Breakfast finished and van packed and away we went to continue our trip over the Nullarbor Plain, headed for the WA/SA Border Village.  Our first stop was at Eucla for a short walk.  We stopped at the border for some photos and key ring purchase, adjusted the time pieces and started looking for the terrific lookout locations all along the coast.  There was lookout 3, followed by lookout 2, and believe it or not, lookout number 1.  This is where we had our lunch, in the car park.

Kay had been driving again this morning and I took over after lunch to take us to Nullarbor Hotel-Motel, and then to the Head of the Bight.  What magnificent views we have had to endure all day today.  They just kept getting better, including the mum and baby Southern Right Whale frolicking in the surf.  What a great day Western Australia and South Australia have turned on just for the Kollmorgens.  The weather was beautiful also.  

Continuing, we decided to call it a day at another Budget Camp (that is about all there is available out here) at Yalata West Rest Area (Camps 7 # 852 SA ).   Very quiet, with only one other camp at present.

Had a quiet happy hour, just the two of us, and then had a lovely tea.  Thanks Kay.  We then had a call from the Quirks to seek our health and whereabouts, lovely to hear from them.  I am having trouble with the Skype on my computer and will be talking with Tucks on Friday (think), so I will see if Maree can help.

It would seem to be time now for bed.   I may have to oblige

 

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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY    160    Sunday     15th    September

Early start this morning as there was a Community Market in the main street and we just had to attend.  Not real bad at all with lots of choice at the stalls.  We had made up sandwiches for a picnic lunch and headed out to the east toward Cape Le Grand and the surrounds.  First stop was to the Cape Le Grand beach and look-out.  We did have a short shower while we were walking through the camp area, but not much.  Leaving the Cape we proceeded to Hellfire Bay, just around the corner.  We did a walk along the beach and then a longer walk across the top of a headland to Little Hellfire which was a lot smaller than the Hellfire Bay but a lot different.

Back into the car and off to Lucky Bay where we had our picnic in a covered table and seat area before taking a walk to a memorial honouring Matthew Flinders and his short stay in the bay while sheltering from a storm in 1802.  We then took a look see through the Lucky Bay Caravan Park before heading off to Rossiter Bay where another walk down a 4X4 track to the beach proved far too cool in the wind to stay there for long.   Kay did take lots of photos on the beach.

The start of the return journey began with a site that we had missed during the morning trip in, it was Thistle Cove.  In this Cove was a sign advising us of the “Whistling Rock”.   We’ll see, I said, but as we approached this huge rock stuck up in the air we could actually hear it whistling or perhaps screaming.  The rock was so formed that the wind, of course, made the noise as it passed a particular point in the edges.

We walked a little further into the rocks above the beach but could not get to the sand as a rather wide tidal river blocked our approach.  We again started our homeward bound trip back to the Esperance Seafront Caravan Park and began to pack up as we are on the move again tomorrow.

Tea followed, dishes finished, then bed.

 

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DAY     59       Saturday   14th      September

Our day began early and after breakfast we presented the car to the Bridgestone dealership for the fitting of two new front tyres.  While this was being done we walked around the area just looking. On returning to the car we found it ready, so we returned to the van to finish the washing and have a cuppa.

Yesterday, the girl at the Info Centre had recommended a tourist drive trip of the bays to the west of the town.  This was next on our agenda, and well worth the time as some of the small car parks with a track leading down to beautiful sand with waves rolling in.  They were terrific, with one exception.  The rain had started, not heavy but a pest all the same.  We did finish the loop and the rain had stopped some by the time we returned to the van for lunch.

Once again working on the Info Centre suggestions, we drove into the dock precinct where we, and about 14 others, were met by a bus that was to take us on a tour of the Wharf and its operations.  This tour is organized by Apex as a money raiser.  Now that was a great ride, learning about the operation of the Iron Ore, Grain (all serial) and Nickle export and being shown the apparatus that is  used to move the material from the train  and road trucks to the conveyer belts and onto the pipe shoots that drop the material into the holds. The iron and grain is handled this way, but the nickel is put into containers and sealed by the mine before delivery to the wharf to maintain the security.

By the way, the jetty where Sammy the Seal is fed is no longer fit for people to walk on and we have been told that it is to be demolished in the near future, and they hope, eventually replaced.

Our next, and last, item on our list was to visit the Esperance Museum.  This was a great place to visit, but we were a little late and did not have anything like enough time to get through all of the available material on display.  It was incredible. It was from the early history of the area up to the present and everything in between.  This town did make its own piece of history when the NASA Space Station “Skylab” was breaking up on its return to Earth and even though being assured by the US that it would drop into the Southern Ocean well off the coast, the thing continued another orbit and came down very close to the Esperance area.  Big pieces and little pieces, huge pieces and hard and soft all hit the ground.  A local was the first to find a piece which was enough to fit into his hand, and hearing of a $15000.00 prize for bringing a piece to America he flew out next day to claim.  

We eventually left the Museum and returned to the caravan for tea and bed.

 

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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY    158      Friday     13th    September

Up nice and early and away from the camp with caravan all attached by 8.30am.  We first headed north to a short cut that heads east again up near the Hopetoun airport that has only been finished about 12 months.  This road brought us back onto the Great Southern Highway about 130Kms from Esperance, leaving us an easy trip to the caravan park here at Esperance Seafront C/P, where we booked in for 3 nights and set up before heading out to the industrial area of town looking for some new tyres.

We managed to book in at Bridgestone Tyres for two new front tyres to be fitted tomorrow morning early so we won’t destroy the rest of the day. Back to the van for lunch and then we did a town walk and found Woolies where Kay bought some bread and milk so we could eat again. Another short walk to a high look out just up the road a little bit showed us that the pier is no longer joined to the land any more. So I guess we can’t walk out on that tomorrow as planned.  But we will find some more to do, once we are finished with the tyre shop. Neil returned to the van to start this blog while Kay took a slightly longer walk along the beach front footpath. On her return we both walked the van park to see who was here that we had noticed had been travelling our way.

Happy hour was next on the list followed by tea and bet you thought I was going to write bed.

Well I just did.

 

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DAY    157      Thursday   12th   September

We had a sleep in this morning, we had decided our days exploring around the Hopetoun area and did not need to leave too early.  Breakfast and picnic lunch finished, dishes done and away we went toward the west and the Fitzgerald River National Park. There were lots of little tracks that lead to such picturesque beaches that we thoroughly enjoyed the lot of them.  Places such as Four Mile Beach, Barrens Beach, Mylies and East Mylies Beaches, West Beach, and the first one Culham Inlet. As there had been some bad weather here recently there was a heap of road and track work being done, so we missed on a couple of features, being Cave Point and Hamersley Inlet.  Never mind, next time!

On our return trip we stopped again at Barrens Beach and ate our lunch, watching all the time as the black clouds began to assemble right above our location.  We managed to beat them and were mobile again before the rain started.  It did not last long and we soon arrived at our next destination which was on the east side of town, this time at Two Mile Beach, followed by 5 Mile Beach and, of course, 12 Mile Beach, 13 Mile Beach and then the tar ran out and the road deteriorated to the point of turning around and returning to camp. 

During this afternoon tripping we continually saw the same two vans and they were in all the spots and eventually we sighted them set up in the 13 Mile Beach park.  Whether legal or not, we didn’t care.

The rain had caught us up, so we decided to call it a day and headed back to the Hopetoun Caravan Park for a well-earned cuppa and a muffin purchased in the town.  For those interested it was terrific, I had chocolate and Kay had carrot cake topped with apricot.  YUM.

Due to the weather happy hour was spent indoors and Kay was making a liquorice slice for future happy hours and I sat and typed.  Tea will be soon.  The showers are very good here just before bed.

 

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DAY   156           Wednesday   11th   September

Sorry Folks.      Of course yesterday, DAY   155,   was Tuesday 10th not 9th as stated in my Blog.

We got up, and breakfast finished, we then finished the van pack up and left the Albany Gardens C/P by 9.15am and then stopped at Woollies to top up the larder.  We then proceeded toward Ravensthorpe intending to have a nights stay there.  We stopped for a cuppa at a free camp on the Pallinup River. It was quite a nice spot but the wind had come up as predicted and this spoilt the stop a bit.

Just before we arrived at Ravensthorpe we noted that we had passed a sign advising that we had gone over the Meridian Time Line. Continuing into the town we were greeted by other signs advertising the “Ravensthorpe Wild Flower Festival”.  Well I could not hold Kay back, boy did she go.  Me, I just walked the town and had a look around. We had a look at the van park and decided to carry on a little further south to Hopetoun.

We fuelled up the car, bowled over a kangaroo, passed another Roma van and arrived at the Hopetoun Caravan Park, booked in and set up the van before taking a walk along the beach.  This was fine until we turned a bend in the shoreline and turned straight into a very strong wind which slowed our progress some, what with the dry sand and all.   I have just noticed that the wind has died so that either means a nice tomorrow or a wet tomorrow.  We will wait and see what we are served up. 

After we returned from the beach walk we decided to do a town walk. This walk included a walk onto the breakwater and the commercial pier before we again walked the section of the beach back to the camp.  Happy hour was upon us before tea and after all that walking….. Bed.

 

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