Saturday, 4 July 2015

Perth via Darwin Part 13

Day 57 September 13th 
Ceduna. At last a sleep in, can you believe it after two months I can sleep in right till 7AM. My goodness me and I actually got to 7AM and had to get out of bed. And so the day started with sorting out our caravan and then doing the washing and making cookies for morning tea and lunch as Dennis wanted to take a tour down the east side of Ceduna.

Once again we drove in and out of bays, Dacres Bay then onto Laura Bay where we saw a pod of
Dolphins and that was exciting. We drove onto Smokey Bay and walked onto their jetty. While on the jetty we were busy taking photos of birds and then excitement struck when two seals came out the water chasing one another around the jetty it looked like a baby seal and it’s mom having fun in the ocean. We watched them for a while but the photos we took are not very clear which is sad but our eye saw them and it was just lovely to watch. We sat on the jetty and had lunch too and quite peaceful.

We drove back to camp and the weather becoming increasingly hot so we had a change of clothing from a wintery to shorts and slops. I rested for the afternoon and around 4PM we went for a walk onto the Ceduna jetty and once again were graced with the presence of two dolphins in the bay.

During our travels around the sand roads we saw many Moby Shingleback Lizards, which are from the blue tongue lizard family. Interesting wee creatures they are.
We came back to camp and then the sun started to set leaving a wonderful glow across the bay and slowly the sun started to disappear and darkness fell on the ocean and our surroundings. By this time our eyes were heavy and time to retire after a most enjoyable day.


Day 58 September 14th 
Ceduna. Derek’s birthday today and so we phoned and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. We decided to venture out on the opposite side of the bay. We made a flask and packed a lunch and left about
9:30 AM. Just after the quarantine post we turned off to Denial Bay where they oyster farm then went back onto the main road and came to a turn off where it became a sand road to Mac Kenzie ruins. Here we drove into see the ruins and it touched my heart to see what is left of our pioneer’s home. It makes one realize the value of what they gave up and did for us to what we reap today from their hard works.

After being here on these open plains we carried on to the Davenport Creek. When we finally reached this destination to find it was a 4x4 beach track and Dennis’ face lit up as we drove onto the beach. There were signs there to respect the dunes and its habitat also telling us to let down our tyre pressure for the beach run.                    

 How can a wife say no to a face full of glee? So down went the pressure on the tyres and off we went. Up and down dunes which were beautifully white and with the wind blowing one could see the sand moving and replacing old track marks and slowly but surely the dunes were changing shape.

Most of these dunes were quite high and at times one could hear the engine turbocharger kick in  trying to get up to the next dune. Dennis had loads of fun and I must admit it was also enjoyable being able to see the beauty of the beach in another perspective. We were at times surrounded in sand mounts smooth with no marking on it and I'm pretty sure when we leave there will be no marking of our tyres to show we were there. 

Well the wind is increasing and becoming unpleasant and time to head back to camp and finding that the temperature is changing to and the white horses in the ocean increasing rapidly and becoming very rough. So Dennis and I rushed into the caravan to find shelter and enjoy the warmth of our abode and it’s also time to pack all the things lying around as we on our next leg of our journey tomorrow and I can assure you it will be quite early too.
Day 59 September 15th 
Well it’s hard to believe it’s the last week of our holiday and feeling rather sad at the thought as this trip has been absolutely wonderful and we have been so blessed to have done what we have done and been able to see so much in such a short time as this. We are on our last leg home from Ceduna to Melbourne via Broken Hill where my mother was born and all her ancestors lived and were buried here.
Yesterday afternoon the weather truly turned to wild gusty nasty winds, howling around the caravan with the temperatures dropping and all we did was close ourselves up in the caravan and enjoyed the warmth and cosiness there.

We left this morning with winds, overcast and cold and yet the temps said it was 18°C  but it definitely did not feel that way. We passed through the granite country where we saw a huge statue of granite commemorating the farmer and the people of the town in Wudinna.

Driving onto Kimba which is HALF WAY ACROSS AUSTRALIA and has the Big Galah and this is where we had morning tea but it was cold and it was a quick jump back into the car for warmth. 
We Arrived in Port Augusta and went into the town to look at shops and walk around and got some things for the caravan. We arrived at the caravan park and set up camp had dinner and retired for the night.

Day 60 September 16th 
We had breakfast packed up and left at 7.42 and the temp was 11.4. The weather was overcast and the sun struggling to beam through all the clouds and in the distant when we looked at the ranges it was misty and looked as if it was raining. We took some photos of the distant terrain and as we moved towards the mountains the mist was more evident and the roads became windy and the lights of the vehicles on the roads were put on for safety. 

It was an enjoyable journey crossing from South Australia to New South Wales stopping at the Big Gum tree which apparently is over 500 years old.Took a photo of me hugging it, gosh the circumference is huge.

 We then drove through Peterborough which use to be called Petersburg. They have a beautiful entrance to their town of a train and then tin sculptures of kangaroos and oxen. 
We stopped at Yunta to put in diesel and have a cuppa here. It was quite funny, as we were entering into this border village we had to drive behind an oversized vehicle and they pulled over in this town for a rest and of cause we hurried with our tea just in case they decided to pull off and then we would be in a pickle as one could not overtake this vehicle. So off we were to Broken Hill arriving in the afternoon, set up camp and then drove around the town looking for the miners Memorial but sadness is as we were unable to drive up there it was closed. Came back had dinner and retired.

Day 61 September 17th 
Woke up at about 7am enjoyed the sleep in, Got ready and went to Maco’s for breakfast then off to the Desert Sculptures. 
Another day of the freezer door being left open my goodness the wind was icy and froze up the bones. It was an interesting insight to see what sculptures see in and feels in their hearts and minds and how they hammer at the stone to get what they want others to see. 

Some you could see and others it leaves you looking and wondering what you looking at but that is me, the view from up there over the terrain and its surroundings was spectacular. I looked at Broken Hill and the mines and thought of my ancestors and their hardships and tried to imagine their life in the late 1800’s I could see them bustling around the main street and working in various shops. Maria Downs was a seamstress in one of the shops and Aunt Sarah use to look after all the nieces and nephews and bake and sell cookies and pies. Yesterday we went and took photos of their homes no 1 Argent street and of cause my G. G Grandmother Jane who lived in 3 Argent Street and this too was where my mother was born in the 1911.

When we left the Living Desert we decided to take the back road to Silverton which of cause ended up being a 4x4 drive through the outback. It was a lovely experience seeing kangaroos, sheep and goats in this vast arid piece of land. 

Driving through dry river beds and opening and shutting farm gates. It was a lovely experience being in the true outback of Australia. We hit a snag when reaching the main road the farmer had locked the gate and of cause we had to back track to another road which we found was the Kelly’s farm which had an open gate leading onto the Dreamers mine road. Whew, we were so grateful for that as we had been on the road at least 2 hours 4x4ing. 
So off we went to Silverton and had lunch there and a cuppa, a well-deserved one at that. We came back to camp and rested the afternoon and now it’s time for the smell of a homemade meal and then to retire for the night.

Day 62 September 18th 
Today is a day of catch up with the chores of our wee home on wheels and do the washing. There was a waiting line for the machines this morning but we managed to get a machine and do 2 loads, so now we have clean clothes till we reach our home in Melbourne. Dennis and I are feeling rather sad as our holiday is coming to an end. We truly enjoy the beauty of Australia and what it has to offer. Each town we have been to is unique in its own way with their strange quirks of doing things and the set-up which we have enjoyed along the way. Broken Hill is not exception with its vast arid terrains surrounding this remote town/city with loads of history to its name in regards to the silver mines. Having my family in the late 1800’s working on the mines and in the shops and hotels, a story each in its own way.
We went to my G Grandparents, Grandfather’s and his brother Joes grave today and placed wee flowers and my heart was with gratitude in what they did for this country way back then. Oh how they must have struggled but at the same time lived a life I’m sure of happiness too. The Armstrong and Downs family all united together coming from Ireland to a land here in Australia which they now could call home. 

We decided to go to the lakes at Menundee and this is where Joe Armstrong had drowned. It was over 100k’s to this lake and when we arrived there it was lunch time so we stopped off at the Maidens Hotel and had an Outback hamburger with the lot.

It was tasty and not too bad. Just outside the hotel is a memorial to the men Burkes and Wills expedition and the history there when it was their last post before leaving civilization and heading out to the vast and treacherous outback way back then. I find it ironic that Dennis would end up at this place as our last outback experience was all about these two men and where they had died in Innamincka so here we are taking photos of these memories to their lives and their exhibition. We left there for the lakes and drove around there and discovered Burkes and Wills last camp site on the edge of the lake so we were rather elated in our find today and a wonderful ending to this trip in Broken Hill and Darling district. We drove back to Broken Hill and went to the shops then back to camp and packed up a few of our things, had dinner and then retired as it’s an early start tomorrow for out long stretch home.

Up to now we have driven 18,166k’s


Day 63 September 19th 
Up early today and decided to have our famous Makco’s for breakfast. We felt quite refreshed for our journey back to Melbourne. After having breakfast we said our farewells to Broken Hill and the town of my ancestors with a sadness in my heart and yet it was just wonderful being here to look around and be at peace with knowing something of their past. 
The sun was shining and the flowers were starting to open along the roads giving it a ray of beauty in its own way varying in colours from yellow white purple and sometimes red and pink and blue. The terrain changed from arid to forestry back to arid and the soil changed colours too and at times looking very salty. We had to stop to eat our fruit we had in the car for quarantine purposes then drove on going through wee towns all having their own symbol announcing their town and what they stand for, and at time very interesting art work.We stopped for morning tea and a wee stretch then at lunch time at Sea Lake where we were going to stop over for the night but decided to drive through to Melbourne.

Crossing over the border into Victoria made us realize that our journey was coming to an end and feeling quite emotional as we wanted to continue with this wonderful adventure.
HOME AFTER 19,013 Km
God has been our strength and our shield throughout this journey He watched over Dennis and myself and looked after our car and caravan and provided us with shelter each night protecting us and allowing us to experience and see His creation. We give Him all the glory and praise. Thank You Jesus! Amen.

And so our journey came to an end, Kathleen and I both often reflect on the great time we had and have many times wished that we were still 'on the road' but all good things must end. We will once again venture out to the North West coast of WA but that will only be in about two years time when hopefully I can retire.  
I have made a 90 min. video for family and friends, I then taught myself to book bind and printed and bound a 140 page book for each of our children.

 It has taken some time for all the posts to be uploaded, as a matter of fact in about two weeks it will be a year since we left on this journey. I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for being patient.

Until next patient, relax and enjoy

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Perth via Darwin Part 12

Day 50 September 6th  
Bremer Bay. Leaving Peaceful Bay just after 7 AM with a temp of 17°C but yet it did not feel that cold. We had been awake since 4 AM and then by 5 we decided to get up and shower and sort things out and as we stepped outside our caravan we were greeted by the duck family and very friendly too. We did not unhitch the caravan which is a bonus when staying one night at a place so it
was an easy pack up. We drove through various National Parks the veered off to take an ocean road scenic drive on our way, Albany Port, Harding Beach, Black Head looing out to some Island and Frenchman’s Bay. Had tea at Discovery lookout then drove through Albany, a busy town and also a port with beautiful bays. The weather changed quite dramatically, with high winds and rain on our way to Bremer Bay causing the petrol consumption to increase but sadly did not clean the caravan as we hoped it would.

We arrived at Bremer Bay to a beautiful well groomed Caravan Park but still the weather has not
improved so I guess it’s time to put up the feet and relax for the rest of the afternoon and catch up with the laundry. This was a big mistake doing the laundry as the rains came and ended up having to put everything in the tumble dryer. During this time Dennis got itchy feet and wanted to explore the bay so off we trundled and the clouds sort of gave wave every now and then to a wee bit of sunshine allowing us to walk and explore on one of the viewpoints when two men said there are whales out there in the bay and was told we could take our car onto the beach to look. That gave Dennis a huge smile on his dial and off we went onto the  beach to find the whales.

For a while we could not see them and was filming our trek on the beach when we decided to stop and there they were in all their glory popping up and down and turning for us to see their tail then their flippers and just basking in the waters having a lovely time and showing off their beauty. We sat there for a wee while enjoying the show feeling quite elated having seen a whale in its natural habitat. Back at the camp and settled down for the evening.


Day 51 September 7th  
We left Bremer Bay pretty early driving to Wave Rock today and looking forward to enjoying this part of the journey. We stopped at Lake Grace for a cuppa and back on our journey we passed many
salt lakes and most of them were pink in colour. The terrain was mostly farm lands with canola field and the flowers in full bloom giving a ray of sunshine yellow across the fields looking like a carpet on the ground. However we drove into high winds and the beginning of rain putting a damper on our arrival at the park but we made the most of it and set up camp and decided to go to the information centre were we had lunch and being father’s day a day of celebrating dad’s across Australia.

When we finished our lunch we browsed around
the shop which had a display of wild flowers beautifully arranged upon their ceiling, some arrangements were in the form of butterflies and others were hanging in bunches. We then paid our entrance fees to the following places to visit and that was the Lace shop. This shop has the largest collection in Australia which is handmade and machine made. There were all sorts of designs especiallycollars Christening gowns and various other laces. There were bobbins on display and also a “Try me” the intricate and delicate cottons and patterns and the patience to make lace is astounding. 

There were also wedding dresses from various eras’ and a special lace which was from Queen Victoria. This display is worth the visit. Just around the corner into the other rooms was the Toy soldier collection. They also had a wild life sanctuary with exquisite birds and other Australia wild life. Unfortunately the rains came and we were unable to finish our walk around that area. Back at the camp and the winds became a howling gust and the rains came down. So we spent most of the rest of the day in the caravan.


Day 52 September 8th  
Wave Rock. My goodness me what a night, the wind was gusty and noisy with heavy rains on and off and I’m pretty sure it kept most of the camp awake but we all survived to tell the story the next day with our teeth chattering with the cold but that did not stop us from venturing to the rock to sightsee and climb the infamous rock.
After having our breakfast we left for our walk all rugged up with beanies on the head to keep warm. We walked across the park to the entrance of the rock and therein its beauty was the magnificent wave like rock, we just stood there absorbing its beauty. Then the cameras started clicking away getting all sorts of angles to get the colours which blended into each other causing it to look like a true wave about to  crash down
onto the shore. After spending a wee bit of time walking around we ventured to the rock climb with chains up to the steps which looked over the water dam that supplies Hyden with its drinking water. We carried onto to the top and admiring and taking in the sights around us. There were salt lakes and bushes and more rocks. This rock has a beauty all on its own, walking the whole length of this rock stepping over pools of water which had collected from the previous night’s rain.
We followed the track makers and clicking 
away at the camera trying to capture the surrounding beauty of Hyden. The winds were very strong on the top and at one stage took Dennis’s cap and of cause he went after the cap on this steep side of the rock and me standing down below watching this exercise but he did retrieve it much to his delight. At the bottom we found another sign to the Breaker Wave which we walked to see and that too was spectacular. We also came across a Sandalwood tree in bud. The surrounding flora was coming into flower and there are signs warning not to pick wild flowers, a $1000 fine if caught. We walked back to camp to fetch the car to go to the clear water salt lake at the Wave Rock resort one can swim here then off to see the Hippo’s yawn and true to its name it looked like a hippo with its mouth wide open.
We left there and decided to find the Hump and Mulka’s cave which is 18k’s from the rock. The wild flowers were also coming into bloom there. We walked around the cave which has an interesting Aboriginal story to it. We left there and went to the shops to stock up on fresh produce came back to the camp and cooked a roast chicken but the weather was quite nasty with very cold winds blowing and raining on and off.
We decided to go to the Kiosk to look at the museum taking one back in time to what we use to use in shops and homes dating back to the late 1800’s and bringing back many memories of our own childhood with our grand parents and parents what they used in their homes. Later that evening the weather truly became nasty and the heater was put on in the caravan to keep warm but with the day’s outing and fresh air made us quite tired and we retired.

Day 53 September 9th 
Esperance. We left pretty early today 7:10 AM with the temp 6°C and feeling the cold. The sun was shining and not a cloud to be seen. The road was pretty quiet for a wee while and later on into the
morning a car would appear. We came to King Lake which is about 7k’m across a salt lake and some parts are dry but the view of this lake with the morning sun shining across it gave it an awesome glow glimmering across the waters and while on the cause way we encountered an eagle taking off realizing he was about to hit the car veered off to the right with its wings spread out to its full capacity looking so graceful which brought scripture to mind from Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings and eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Taking many photos of this area we left for our next leg of the journey to Esperance. We arrived at the coastal town and found our next place to bear our heads down for the evening.

We set up camp and then went for a sight see around the town finding cute photos to take of the foreshore.
We then took a coastal drive popping in and out of viewpoints taking photos of this beautiful coast line with islands and history written at each stop and the rock formation along the shore and various bays with waves hitting the beaches on some and others as smooth as glass due to the bay shape protecting the beaches. We came back to camp and settled for the night.


Day 54 September 10th
Fraser Station. We decided this morning to have a breakfast at Mac Donald’s and I might just add it was delicious. Dennis discovered there was something wrong with our deep cycle battery so we had to first go and purchase a new one and thank goodness we were in a town that had all this sort of things and not just in the outback.
We drove to Norseman where we had morning tea this is the beginning of the Nullarbor stretch. Took photos of the famous horse that was famous for finding gold with the pawing of his hoof hence the name of this town.

 The drive to the station was most pleasant and arrived there to a true outback experience. It was
lovely here, setting up camp and enjoying the fellowship with other campers and later on that evening we decided to go for a walk along the sand road leading to who knows where. As Dennis says you never know what is just around the corner and so we walked but Dennis wanting to cut across the bush to the other side and me saying we need to see what is around that bend and of cause I won that battle and we walked to that bend to find a golf green. The famous longest golf course in the world which is from Ceduna to Kalgoorlie and this was a par 3. What delight it was finding this.

The sun was starting to go down and the darkens was starting to invade us so we decided to trundle back to the camp and on our way back the sweet wee kangaroos were coming out of their hiding to a feast in their backyards hopping all over the place and enjoying themselves. Time for dinner and then to catch up on our stories of the day but the eyelids were far too heavy to concentrate. So it was lights out and an early start for the next day’s journey.


Day 55 September 11th
Border Village. Our next part of the journey is to go down the Nullarbor. We were going to stop in 
about 200k’s but decided to track straight through to border village which is the caravan park just on the other side of WA. We stopped for lunch at Madura and discovered another green and Dennis took photos. 
It was a long stretch travelling just on 600+ k’s so we decided to eat out at their restaurant which was a huge blessing for me. It was early bed tonight.

Day 56 September 12th
Up early again and leaving for Ceduna which is 478 k’s another long stretch. The road was misty and the sun shining brightly across the plains of the Nullarbor. We travelled alongside the sea for a wee while before venturing in land with the terrain changing a lot as well as a lot of road kills which I always find so sad but that is life. The wild flowers too were all coming into bloom varying in colours and of cause through this stretch all we wanted to see was a camel but no such luck.
Finally we went through the quarantine border of South Australia and 10k’s in to our caravan park where we will be putting our feet up for the next three nights and hopefully enjoying some sun and good weather.  The caravan park is on the foreshore with our door once again facing the sea front. After setting up camp we went into the town to purchase fresh produce as we could not bring any across the border.
Back to camp and by this time it was sundowners and dinner. How can I forget the most important highlight of this day was driving along the Nullarbor and there in its glory was a Petrol station and a bill board written across it DINGGO’S DEN. This is Dennis’ name for his 4x4 travels and his blog. We actually drove past it and had to turn back to get a shot of the board. It was so exciting to see that!
This is the station and below well, I don’t need to explain it.


Until next time..............................Think Positive

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