Thursday, 31 December 2009

Australind, Western Australia 7-31 December 2009

We spent this period looking after Cheryl & Keith’s home while they went over East.  It was a lovely place to stay and very well kept.  The outside area is quite large and well suited to al-fresco dining and BBQ’s.  They also have a cute little fish pond which is home to 8 or 9 small Koi fish.

Got to know the area a bit while here (this is the major benefit of staying in one place for a while).  The Leschenault Estuary and Peninsula are really quite pretty, and there are plenty of places where you can drive onto the beach and up and down the coast.

We also checked out places like DonnyBrook, Capel and Boyanup.  Lovely country – both farmland and bush.  And pretty nice drives too!

Cheryl & Keith came back on the 30th, and we have a fun night of photos and movies from there trip.  The photos of the Whitsundays really made me want to return to Airlie Beach again sometime soon.

 Lovely al-fresco area Koi waiting for dinner Leschenault Peninsula Leschenault Peninsula Leschenault Peninsula

Monday, 7 December 2009

Bunbury & Australind Caravan Parks, Western Australia 1-7 December 2009

Didn’t really do a lot during this period other than cleaning and a bit of needed maintenance.  The plan initially was to stay at the Discover Holiday Park in Bunbury for the period up till the 7th when we move into Cheryl & Keith’s.  Just be on the safe side though, we only booked for 3 days.  Unfortunately, that was three days too long!!  It is quite the noisiest caravan park we’ve ever stayed in.  For starters, it was way too close to the Busselton Highway (quite a busy road).  OK, we could see that, but the manager told us we’d have a quiet site.  Way wrong!  Then he parked a big truck belonging to a cabin liver one site away from us.  This cabin person left at 05:30AM every morning, and wasn’t quiet about it.  And then, as the last straw, another cabin guy brought his truck AND chain saw home, and gaily set about pruning a couple of trees – right during Happy Hour.  ABOMINATION!!!

That same night, there was a reasonably big bush fire a little further south which made for a lot of smoke and a really beautiful sunset.

 Discovery Holiday Park, BunburySmoky sunset @ Bunbury

So, we left and went to the Australind Caravan Park.  Much better, and we had three peaceful days, mellowing out under the trees.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Grimwade Settlement, Western Australia 26 Nov – 1 Dec 2009

Grimwade Settlement Day 1

Somewhat of a disappointing morning. We first drove to Revelly Bridge but couldn’t find a suitable spot to camp that was level. The next camp spot in the book was Wrights Bridge which is now closed. There was a fire through the place last year. Next came the Heritage Cheese Company – which is closed Wednesday and Thursday (er TODAY). So then we set the TomTom GPS for Balingup Transit Centre – and found ourselves outside a house. By this stage feeling pretty damn peeved, we headed for the Visitor Centre. My teeth were gritted and I was ready to start tearing strips off someone!! Fortunately, the lady in the Visitor Centre admitted to being a very new volunteer, and was so nice I just didn’t have the heart to be nasty – after all, it wasn’t her fault. It turned out the GPS reference in Camps5 for the TomTom for the Transit Centre was wrong, and so it told us to turn left not right. Bugger!!!

After coffee (and coincidentally going into the same cafe that Jeff’s mate Eddie Stevens owns), we had a couple of “fruit” port tastings. Much better than Queensland’s efforts – a Plum port and a Cherry port. But at $30 / bottle just a little rich for our blood.

Now we’re at Grimwade Settlement. First sight was a little disappointing as the track took us past what looked like a “Feral” camp. About 8 very ugly mongrel dogs, 3 antique caravans that look as if they haven’t moved in 20 years and a lot of bits and pieces. Hmmmm!

But moving on down the track, we passed a couple of more ordinary vans and motor homes, so we are now camped alongside Mullalyup Brook for the night.  This is a lovely spot, the pond / brook is full and crystal clear.

Grimwade Settlement Day 2

OK this is a good spot, we’ve decided to stay another couple of days at least.

Interesting day. Rick got the Satellite TV operating yesterday. Once again no problems. It seems as though getting the new support legs, which raise the dish higher was a good investment. He also got the external water pump operational from the generator. This allows us to pump from a water source into either a bucket or directly into the water tanks (hopefully through the filter). Good move. We’ve also sussed out the way to set up the gas ring properly. Using the grill from the gas cooker inside as a stand, I can now cook outside without melting holes into the table! The wind shield works really well too. We had a visit from the local CALM ranger, just to make sure that we are doing the right thing i.e.  no fires, rubbish etc. He was a young fella and had a large bandage across the back of his right hand. Me being nosey, I just had to ask about it. Apparently he had just had a melanoma removed – 7 stitches. Ouch.

Weather is much better today – still cool, but the wind has dropped considerably. It was very cool last night – double quilt night and much better for sleeping.

Grimwade Settlement Day 3

Great day. Managed to get a load of washing going this morning. Having the generator plus a good water source makes all the difference. We even had showers. There’s been a lot of weekend activity today. People using the pond for boating and swimming, and generally having a great time. Bit noisy, but there you go.

Some people here have a Manchester Terrier. It looks like a cross between a Doberman and a Whippet. Lovely looking dog.Manchester Terrier

Warmer today, but still cool overnight. Beautiful.

Grimwade Settlement Day 4

Lovely relaxing day today. Spent half the morning watching a pair of Coots and their 3 chicks. The babies are only tiny, like little balls of fluff. Then a mother duck with her little brood appeared and wandered around for a while. Lots and lots of visitors here today, fishing, boating and swimming.

Grimwade Settlement Day 5

Made an early start to the day – we were up and about by 7am. Trucks and machinery have started coming through the area on the way to a new logging site. The noise isn’t too bad, but they left a lot of dust. Just as well the logging site is out of earshot.

And for the last act of the day, the batteries on the car decided they didn’t want to work, so Rick couldn’t start the car. Two hours of generator time and a jump start from the deep-cycle later, we finally got a start. Hope tomorrow is better.

This has been a lovely place to stay, and we’re both kind of sad to leave, but the time has come to head west towards Australind.

Looking at our camp from across the pond Looking down the pond View from our front door Perfectly peaceful