Wednesday, 25 November 2020

SOUTH WEST : Part 3



Monday, 23rd November, 2020.

We stayed for 3 nights at Cosy Corner, would have happily stayed there a little longer but our water supply was in danger of running out and there is none available at the camp.  The camp is free for self-contained vehicles and it is possible to stay for up to 7 nights.  There are two separate areas - one for small/medium caravans and a tent area which is a little closer to the beach. To receive a telephone signal it was necessary to climb the hill behind our camp, which overlooked dense bush between the hill and the ocean, and find the exact 'spot' so I was stunned when a call came through from our friend Marion in England, while I stood on a large rock on the beach, watching Mike fishing.  I was afraid to move in case the signal was lost but we managed to chat for several minutes.


Albany was extremely busy on FRIDAY when we ventured into the town.  We did some shopping, did a drive through tour, had an excellent cafe lunch at Kate's Cafe on Stirling Tce followed by a stroll through the indoor markets and a nearby gallery.

Clockwise from left : Queen's Park Gazebo, St John the Evangelist Church (1st church consecrated in WA - 1848), UWA Building, Marina.  In centre : Interesting decoration on shop roof.

On SATURDAY we went first to Frenchman Bay, 

visiting Goode Beach, Jimmy Newell's Harbour, Misery Beach and the Blowholes which sadly, were not blowing.  I found some more flowers

and then we drove into town which was very, very quiet, walked up and down York Street where very few shops were open and stopped at Cosi's Cafe for coffee/cake before heading back to camp.  On the reutrn journey we called in to Torbay Inlet

 On SUNDAY morning we once again drove into Albany


to fill the water tank (there is a tap available, as well as a dump point, at the park opposite the "Amity" replica) before heading to the Stirling Ranges where we intended to stay overnight at a bush camp located on a farm near Mt Trio.  Unfortunately, on arrival there we were a little disappointed with the camp and decided to check out the other caravan park near Bluff Knoll.  That too was a disappointment as it is not actually in the national park, as we had thought and caravans are verboten there so over coffee at the Bluff Knoll cafe, we decided to continue on to Gnowangerup for an overnighter.  Being well aware of our limitations, neither of us was going to try to climb either Mt Trio or Bluff Knoll so it really wasn't a difficult decision.


During a lazy afternoon yesterday at the excellent Gnowangerup caravan park, when checking out the predicted temperatures for the next few days and finding that high 30 degree temperatures are expected in the inland region, we decided to head to the coast where it could be about 10 degrees cooler and spend a couple of days there BUT....this morning when Mike discovered that this week is school leavers' week and the coastal parks from Dunsborough to Bunbury are all booked out so will be full of teenagers, home was the obvious destination choice.  

We left Gnowangerup shortly after 8a.m., stopping in Katanning as we'd not been there before, although we had bypassed the turn off a couple of times, liking what we saw after a walk around and a coffee at the Daily Grind coffee lounge



before continuing on to Wagin, where we bought and ate icecreams



with a final stop at Bannister where we found a shady tree, made sandwiches for our lunch and arrived home shortly after 2pm and so avoided the after school traffic. With Christmas on the horizon followed by the summer school holidays, we will more than likely stay close to home for a while.






Friday, 20 November 2020

South West Part 2

 Tuesday, 17th November, 2020.

                                                              The view from our front door this morning.

We drove into Augusta with a visit on the way to Hamelin Bay.

Last time we were here, in 2006 with Marion & Sally from Somerset, ,the weather was perfect and we all went swimming.  There was no swimming today, the wind ripped right through us and the sea was too choppy for us wimps!

In Augusta we bought excellent fish and chips for lunch and ate them in the park down by the town jetty.  

After a wander along the main street, we drove to the ferry wharf thinking we'd be able to go across to Molloy Island but found that the ferry is for use by island residents only, so drove to the nearby boat ramp and went fishing instead.  Sadly, the fish hooked were all illegal so went back into the river but the hour or so spent by the river's edge was very relaxing.

On our return journey, we called in at the Karridale Tavern for a quiet beer and cider in the sunshine, then decided to drive along the Boranup Drive on the way back to the camp.  We  must have taken a wrong turn or two because we didn't end up where we thought we would but the drive was interesting.

PEMBERTON.

Wednesday, 18th November, 2020.

It rained throughout the night and briefly this morning but we set off in sunshine for the drive to Pemberton.  

Our first stop was at Alexandra Bridge on the Blackwood River to check out a camp site for possible future use but we gave it the thumbs down, though it is in a pretty location.

Further on, we stopped at a rest area and boiled the billy for our morning tea, then stopped again before reaching Pemberton, to visit the Beedelup Falls.  In the car park we managed to photograph a kookaburra which was obviously used to people, he'd just taken a bite out of a young lady's lunch and was sitting in his tree looking very smug.  

Unfortunately, some of the walk trails are currently closed due to damage and are awaiting repair but I think we were able to see the best part of the falls.

After arriving and checking into the Pemberton Caravan Park at 1.00pm, we have had a relaxing, lazy afternoon and have watched the third and deciding match in the NRL State of Origin series (the reason for our being here as we are able to get a TV signal) which Qld won, much to our disappointment!

Here are some of today's flower photos.


COSY CORNER (EAST)

Thursday, 19th November, 2020.

We didn't plan to travel far today but here we are at Cosy Corner Beach, about 30kms west of Albany.  The original destination was to have been near Walpole but after perusing the camperstop book and wikicamps, decided on this free, bush camp and are booked in for three nights.  It's close to a lovely, unspoiled beach 


            

and within easy distance to both Albany and Denmark so we'll be able to visit one or both while we're camped here.  




Monday, 16 November 2020

SouthWest Caravan Trip

 As anxious as we are to see our family in the east, we decided not to rush over there now that our state border is open, as there are still too many restrictions which involve too many uncertainties regarding interstate travel and so, for the time being we will stay in W.A.

MARGARET RIVER 

Friday, 13th - Sunday, 15th November, 2020.

This (Sunday) is our third night at the Olive Hill Farm in Bramley, a few kilometres north of Margaret River - as the name suggests it is an olive farm, run by Helen and Benji from the Scottish Borders, who have provided hard stand sites among the olive trees for about 16 caravans.  It is very peaceful and has sheep wandering about munching on the grass and/or the lower olive tree leaves, now and then stopping to gaze in wonder at the humans, probably wondering why we aren't munching along with them!

                         

We arrived here on Friday afternoon after an uneventful drive from home, stopping at the services on the Forrest Highway for a pastie and a sausage roll from the Miami Bakehouse.  The pastie was pronounced delicious, the sausage roll was very average.  There was much traffic along the freeway but everyone behaved well and there were no holdups.  Between Bunbury and Busselton there was a light shower and some drizzle further on but by the time we'd settled in at our chosen site, the sun was shining and the sky was blue.  We visited the nearby brewery for a beer and a cider before returning to cook hamburgers on the bbq.  At about 9pm the rain came down.

On Saturday morning we drove into Margaret River to visit the farmers' markets and on recommendation from Helen, bought a couple of cheeses from Sonya who has a goat farm in the area.  Due to roadworks in the town, the main street was closed to traffic when we were here in February and is still closed to traffic nine months later!  Understandably, the locals are not particularly happy and businesses have suffered - I don't know when it will be reopened.   We had coffee in town, stopped at the supermarket for a few things and went back to the farm for an hour or so, then drove to nearby Berry Farm to meet Steph and Paul, down here for the weekend, and had lunch with them at the cottage cafe.                                                                    

On the way back to the farm, we stopped at Darnells General Store in Rosa Brook  

                

and bought a jar of pumpkin chutney which we have yet to try.  The countryside around here, east of Bussell Highway, is quite lovely, some vineyards 

           

but more general farming than in the area between Bussell Highway and Caves Road. 

 

It rained heavily through the night and was very cool this morning when we followed the sometimes boggy walk trail to the river at the back of the property.

then Mike cooked breakfast on the bbq 

after which we drove along back roads to Cowaramup

treated ourselves to coffee and cake, wandered in and out of most of the little shops in town, stopped at Miller's IceCreamery for excellent ice creams, visited Ellensbrook Beach,

called in briefly to Margaret River but as almost everything was closed, came back to the farm.  It has been a very relaxing, enjoyable couple of days.

JARRAHDENE CAMPGROUND

Monday, 16th November, 2020.

On Monday and Friday mornings before she leaves for school, 11 year old Emma, daughter of Helen and Benji, bakes a batch of scones which her mother then offers to campers, served with jam and cream and for a gold coin donation.  Emma wants a trumpet and all the money she makes on the sale of the scones goes towards the purchase of the trumpet.  We were  happy to contribute, especially as the scones were lovely, light and some of the best we've eaten.  We drove into Cowaramup to the post office but they did not have what we needed.... the trip wasn't completely wasted though as it was a very pleasant drive.  Back at the farm, we hitched up, filled the water tank and left, stopping shortly after in Witchcliffe where we wandered into the second hand shop for a rummage around, would have done the same at the Red Cross Op Shop but it was closed, bought pies and coffee at the pie and coffee shop and drove on to Jarrahdene Campground which is in the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.  We'd selected our site when we booked and are very happy with it....there's plenty of room, just two other campers in our 'loop', we've been for a walk through the bush to check out the history of the timber industry which thrived here in the late 1800s and early 1900s and been delighted with the flowers we've found here.  We're here for two nights and look forward to a quiet time.                     

 



       


Thursday, 22 October 2020

Wheatbelt Way October 2020

 NARROGIN 

Thursday, 22nd October, 2020.  

Our first stop after leaving home on Thursday, 15th October was at Bakers Hill Pie Shop 


where we consumed an excellent pie each, followed by hot coffee.  It was an overcast, cool day but by the tine we reached our overnight stop in Goomalling, the sun had made an appearance...and so had the flies!

A walk along the track behind the caravan park, and then into the town to sample the beer on tap at the Goomalling Tavern

 before returning to cook dinner, after which we happily settled in for a quiet night.

In the ensuing week we have visited Dowerin, 



calling in for coffee and cake at the combined Bakery/Cafe/Post Office, 


stopped at the old Bakers' Oven at Minnievale

found a small selection of wildflowers along the way, through Wyalkatchem to Trayning where we refuelled,


then on to Nungarin for a refreshing beverage in the Woolshed Hotel,
                                                    


before heading to Mangowine Homestead where we camped overnight.  Our neighbours were a lady with a motorhome and a couple who were tenting.



In the morning we were taken on a tour of the National Trust homestead by Bob the caretaker.



Mukinbudin was the next stop where we visited the dinky little tourist info 'shed'.

The road to Bonnie Rock was a good, sealed road but from there to Beringbooding Rock was a bumpy, unsealed one....we climbed over and around the rock




which has a reservoir which stores the rainwater run-off


then it was more bouncing around on the bumpy road to Elachbutting Rock


where we camped overnight


and explored the next morning






finding Elachbutting much more interesting than the better known Wave Rock in Hyden!

Luckily for us, although there was thunder and lightning along with a few heavy drops of rain while we were at the rock, we managed to escape before the serious weather set in


and had a reasonably comfortable drive along the unsealed but graded Elachbutting Road,
 

back to the sealed road which led us into Mukinbudin where we bought take away coffee from the cafe, planning to sit at a pinic table to drink it but had to take refuge in the caravan as the rains came down, and stayed with us for most of the way into Westonia, where we stayed for two nights.  




While in Westonia we visited the Edna May mine site, Sandford Rocks, 



Baladjie Rock


and Lake Baladjie, and in Southern Cross we visited the museum where the very helpful volunteer ladies showed us a book about Koolyanobbing which we found very interesting as we lived there for four years in the early 1970s....the book contained some references to us from those years so we bought a copy.

On leaving Westonia, we travelled to Narembeen, stopping for coffee and cake at the Co-op Cafe


followed by a stroll up and down the main street before continuing on to Kulin


where we drove along a section of the Tin Horse Highway (In 1995, to promote the annual Bush Races  held 15kms east of the town, local farmers built tin horses from bits and pieces found on their                farms and scrap heaps and placed them in paddocks en route to the race track...and the idea took off).
This is just a small selection of the 'sculptures' on display.


We stayed overnight in Kulin and before leaving drove to nearby Gorge Rock & Pool


and on to Narrogin with brief stops in Dudinin and Harrismith.  


In Narrogin we visited the Shire Office where another lovely, helpful lady was able to tell us exactlywhere my great grandfather is buried so we'll visit his grave before we leave the town.


After breakfast this morning we strolled into town, visited the library, the supermarket and bread shop, returned to the RV stop to collect the caravan and drove to the cemetery, where we easily found my great grandfather's grave, thanks to Wendy at the Shire Office. 


Leaving Narrogin, we drove just 14 kilometres to Cuballing, 


where said great grandfather had lived for four years before his death in 1905.  We stopped there for a while, made lunch and ate at a picnic table (without flies, yay!) drove around the small town, found the street where he lived and hope that the form I filled in at the Narrogin library, requesting more information if  available, produces results.


YORK. Friday 23rd October, 2020.

Having decided not to travel any further south at this time, owing to the cold and wet weather happening there, after leaving Cuballing we headed to Pingelly, stopping for a stroll up and down the main street and a lemonade icy pole each from IGA.

Next stop, albeit a brief one was in Beverley where we thought we'd stay overnight but after making coffee, we changed our minds again and headed to York.


The RV site here is relatively new,  it was originally situated on the town side of the river but is still only a short walk into the town across the swing bridge which Mike took great delight in shaking as much as he possibly could when we strolled in after dinner last night.  We ambled in again after breakfast this morning, the shops were busy, the cafes crowded so we made our way back to the caravan and set off for home.


A few factors contributed to our decision to go home from York : we were accosted by flies nearly every time we ventured outside : the weather in the south was too cold and wet for us : a very hot weekend was predicted in the north : the AFL and NRL Grand Finals are to be held on the weekend and as York is just a short distance from home, home was the obvious place to be to watch both games in airconditioned comfort!

The flies and the sometimes iffy weather, though annoying, did not stop us from thoroughly enjoying our mini trip and in a couple of weeks, we plan to head south on our next trip.