Monday 7 September 2009 DAY 57
We left our lovely quiet campsite and headed for New Norcia, passing through the small towns of Latham, Maya and Buntine. The wildflowers are on the roadside everywhere around here. These little towns are in the wheat growing area so there are wheat storage sheds and not much else here but they are neat little towns and all have made an effort for tourists with little parks and facilities. We got fuel LPG at Wubin 82.9 cpl, the price is coming down at last! We arrived in New Norcia in time for lunch so Ron got a late Father's Day lunch here. The whole town is run by the Benedictine Monks and the buildings are magnificent. We didn't wait around for the tour but had a quick look for ourselves and headed off for Fremantle. After negotiating the traffic and managing to avoid Perth CBD, we finally arrived at the caravan park in Fremantle and were pleased that we had booked earlier today as it was full. Just as we were unhitching the van the wind blew and the rain pelted down. This is the first rain we have seen since leaving Adelaide but it wasn't good timing. We noted earlier today that we have travelled 12,000 km so far this trip, and we still have a few more to go.
Tuesday 8 September 2009 DAY 58
Today we had a look around Fremantle. It is a great place and quite a lot to see as well as some great places to eat - can recommend the seafood - I think I have had seafood in every seaside town this trip and it has all been really good. The weather is much better than we expected after yesterday's downpour and its really nice today with a bit of sun and although its cool its good weather for walking and we have done a lot of walking here. We have noticed that you have to pay for parking everywhere, they don't seem to have any free parking but I think we will have to get used to being in larger towns and cities as its been a while. We walked around the harbour and a couple of art galleries which were good and also the old gaol known as The Roundhouse. Back home to put our feet up as tomorrow we are going to sightsee in Perth.
Wednesday 9 September 2009 DAY 59
Drove into Perth and got into a carpark, most of them were full or not a high enough clearance for our Cruiser as we have the two spare tyres on top. Walked around the city and through the London Arcade which I had remembered from my teenage trip here. Then we had a look at the Swan Bell tower and then on to the Wheel and decided to have a ride. It was a good way to see how big Perth is, it does seem busier than Adelaide but it has a similar feel to Adelaide, and certainly not much like Sydney or Melbourne as it is still a very easy city to get around by car and walking. Drove to Kings Park and hadn't realised how large this park is. We had lunch here and walked around as the weather again is quite good with only one shower all morning. We then drove back to Fremantle as we wanted a decent coffee and they have a Capuccino Strip so we hunted out a really good shop. Tomorrow we leave here to head east, the last leg of our trip. Sadly it is coming close to the end of our travels and although we are getting very anxious to see our family and friends we also have got used to being "on the road" most days and the lifestyle that goes with it and it will be hard to get back to life as we knew it.
Thursday 10 September 2009 DAY 60
We woke this morning to hear the weather report which is gale force winds and some rain and getting worse by midday. After breakfast and listening to further forecasts which are all getting worse, we have decided to stay put here in Fremantle as the wind is very strong even here in the caravan park with our van rocking in the gusty winds. We will be able to have another look around here now and maybe take in a winery or two. After setting out this morning and heading towards the wineries we decided to turn back as the weather was really bad and we were getting concerned about leaving our van in the park so went back for a restful afternoon in our van. The winds were really strong and we are rocking and rolling here hoping that we all stay upright tonight. Hopefully in the morning things will have settled a bit and then we'll head east to Wave Rock. Nobody left the caravan park this morning but a few came in early probably to get out of the bad road/weather conditions.
Friday 11 September 2009 DAY 61
This morning the weather is slightly better and we decided to pack up and head east hoping that the weather will improve as we go inland. We made our way through the traffic onto Brookton Highway and passed through some lovely countryside with citrus growing orchards and then through the Dale Conservation Park. Brookton was our first stop for fuel LPG 81.5 cpl and then on through some very pretty country with canola fields and some sheep grazing country. Stopped for the night at a roadside stop at Gorge Rock Pool but the weather had turned wet again and the wind was starting up again. We decided to stay at the Gorge Rock and another motorhome was there as well so somehow we felt a bit more comfortable. We walked to the Rock which was another flat granite outcrop but very slippery in parts and as the wind was really blowing and the rain pelting down we made a quick dash back to the caravan to dry out. Luckily we have a small gas heater so we were able to keep warm and dry our clothes.
Saturday 12 September 2009 DAY 62
Happy Birthday Marianne!
After a good night's sleep - the wind and rain stopped by nightfall - we set off for Hyden and the Wave Rock. We passed through a nice little town of Kondinin and noticed an old Golden Fleece Petrol sign on one of the service stations but they were now selling Caltex.
Next stop was Hyden and then a 4 km drive to Wave Rock. This was as good as we had heard and we had a walk around the bottom and up to the Reservoir and then to the Hippos's Yawn rock. On the way we discovered some lovely native orchids which were beautiful and appaarently just coming out in flower and that area is well known for them according to one lady we spoke to who knew each variety. The weather was really nice today and good for walking. We left Wave Rock and continued on hoping to find a camp site but the two that are in our Camps 5 book were very close to the road so we drove on and stopped at Bodallin Pioneer Park for the night. It was close to the road but it was late in the day and we didn't feel like going further but once we had stopped we realised the train line was very close but fortunately only a few came through the night.
Sunday 13 September 2009 DAY 63
Happy Birthday Margaret!! We drove into Southern Cross and got fuel LPG 83.9 cpl and had a look around but only a small town but some lovely old buildings and then drove up to the lookout and on to Coolgardie. This is a nice old town but being Sunday we found nothing open except for an old shed and the people who had gatthered there invited us in to have a look and to our surprise it was a Car Restorer's Club and they had a few old cars and some auto memorabilia so we had a look around and then headed to Kalgoorlie. We tried to book into one of the parks but a sign on the door said "closed for lunch", then onto the next and found the same so we hoped third time lucky and we were. Country towns are so different to cities - time means nothing here. Weather here is lovely and sunny so we are looking forward to a few good days here looking around.