A Travellerspoint blog

June 2012

Day 41 - Friday 15 June 2012

Perth to Margaret River

Woke this morning to a temperature of 8 degrees, but we had a generally clear blue sky. We packed up and hit the road at about 9:30 am. We covered a total of 245 kms today, of which 200 kms was on dual carriageway roads, most of that being freeways. There was no wind and the roads were generally flat so we spent most of the trip in overdrive, which resulted in a good fuel economy of 18.3 litres per 100 kms.

We stopped for a morning coffee in a rest area just north of the Australind turnoff. There was still plenty of evidence of the recent wild weather.

Recent wind damage to trees

Recent wind damage to trees

We arrived at the Taunton Farm Holiday Park at 1:00pm and did the full set up as we will be here for 3 to 4 days. Taunton farm is a working dairy farm located about 15 kms north of the Margaret River township.

All set up on a drive through site

All set up on a drive through site

Taunton Farm

Taunton Farm

After setting up camp and having a late lunch we drove into Margaret River to go to the Visitors Centre and pick up papers and a few groceries.

Posted by TwoAces 04:04 Comments (0)

Day 40 - Thursday 14 June 2012

Perth

This morning we headed for Perth Autobody Repairs to get a quote to fix the Navara. David spoke to the insurers later in the day for an update - they advised that they have the quote and will immediately refer it to an assessor, who should deal with it tomorrow, and we should have the result on Monday morning. The repairer rang to advise that parts were available locally and they will be able to proceed when the quote is approved - it should take three days so hopefully the work will be done by the end of next week.

Later in the morning we visited the local shopping centre for papers and a coffee, while we waited for some scripts to be made up. Also visited the local Caltex/Woolworths servo for diesel. Diesel over here is $1.489 per litre before our 4 cents discount - not everything is expensive over here. The caravan park here was $45.00 per night before our Big4 discount - the most expensive that we have stayed at so far.

Back at the caravn park we had lunch and consulted the weather radar as we knew that another front was coming during the afternoon. Sure enough the rain arrived as predicted, so between showers we decided on a visit to Fremantle. While we were there we had a couple more very heavy showers. We parked near the waterfront and dashed into Cicerello's on Fishing Boat Harbour - We had already had lunch so passed on fish and chips but lined up for a warm Chocolate Mud Cake with Ice-cream - naughty but nice!

Cicerello's - WA's No. 1 Fish and Chips

Cicerello's - WA's No. 1 Fish and Chips

Cicerello's Landing

Cicerello's Landing

There are Big Wheels everywhere now

There are Big Wheels everywhere now

Between showers we had a quick look around the waterfront where ther are a number bronze statues. Di wasn't too keen on the bloke with the tight pants, but then she never was an AC/DC fan.

Di with a fishy character

Di with a fishy character

Another fishy character

Another fishy character

Bon Scott grew up in Fremantle

Bon Scott grew up in Fremantle

As it looked like rain again we headed for the shops to keep dry and visited the Tourist Information Centre and a couple of bookshops. Di picked up a couple of books by Hilary Mantell - Wolf Hall, and her latest - Bring up the Bodies, both books are set in the time of Thomas Cromwell - circa 1540.

Another storm on the way

Another storm on the way

We have decided to head for the Margaret River area for 3 or 4 nights while we wait for the go ahead on the Navara.

Posted by TwoAces 02:49 Comments (0)

Day 39 - Wednesday 13 June 2012

Albany to Perth

We spent a restless night when the strong winds arrived at about 1:00 am and lasted until about 6:00 am. We also had heavy rain, a thunder storm and hail, but all in all not as bad as last Sunday. David logged on to the internet to check out the Weather Bureau's website - after reading the forecast, checking the rain radar, and looking at the wind maps, we were happy that the winds were easing and it would be safe to drive to Perth. By the time that we left Albany the rain had stopped and the winds were down to about 15 to 20 knots, albeit still gusty.

While we were packing up a TV camerman wandered past with all his gear, and thinking that they might be looking for storm damage, David enquired what channel they were with and what they were doing. It turned out that they had a film crew in the park making an episode for Frankie J Holden's show What's Up Downunder, that screens on Channel 10 on Saturday afternoons and again on Sundays on One HD. The major sponsors for the show are Big4 caravan parks, and Nissan Australia. When they realised that we had a Nissan Navara they asked would David do an interview for the show. Di hid in the caravan while the TV camera was running, but David was happy to sing the praises of Big4 Caravan Parks and the Mighty Nissan Navara, although he had to stand in front of the bent bit to hide the damage.

We eventually got away from Albany at about 10:00 am and tracked almost NNW on a fairly staright run to Perth which was 402 kms away. It was still quite breezy, which did not help with the fuel economy, and with occasional showers. Thankfully all the road trains were going the other way, so we had a fairly uneventual trip. We stopped for a morning coffee at Cranbrook, and stopped again for lunch at Kojonup - cauliflower and bacon soup with a bread roll - yum! In this area there are a lot of places with "up" on the end of the name Narrikup, Porongurup, Kendenup, Kamballup, but best of all was a sign to Muddleup.

The roads were littered with fallen trees and limbs that had fallen out of large trees. Road crews had been out early with chainsaws to get trees off the roads and were still out cleaning up. At a guess there must have been more than a 100 trees uprooted and more than a thousand large trees with limbs on the ground - all in 400 kms!

We eventually arrived at the Big4 Discovery Holiday Park in Perth and booked in for two nights. Today is the coldest day in Perth this year with a top teperature of 17.8 degrees. No photos taken today!

Posted by TwoAces 02:58 Comments (0)

Day 38 - Tuesday 12 June 2012

Albany

A cool morning, 10 degrees at about 7:30 am, and an overcast sky. However the sky gradually cleared to a bright sunny day with no wind, but given that the forecast for tonight is for the equivalent of a category 2 cyclone, I think that it might be the calm before the storm. As we are leaving tomorrow for Perth we visited the supermarket to restock, then filled up with diesel, and generally prepared the rig for moving on.

After lunch we decided to take advantage of the sun and drove around the Headland to have a look at the brig Amity - a replica of the ship that brought the first contingent of 19 soldiers and 23 convicts from Sydney in 1826 to establish a settlement. What was very noticeable was the difference between the crews quarters that had about 4 ft 6 ins headroom, and the fairly plush surroundings of the officers with over 6 ft of headroom.

As I sit here updating this blog (9:00 pm) the rain that started at about 7:30 pm is slowly getting heavier. The storm front is expected to pass over between 10:00 pm tonight and 2:00 am tomorrow morning. They expect conditions tonight to be worse than last Sunday's storm, which we thought was not too bad here in Albany. We have packed everything away in preparation for leaving Abany in the morning, so there is not much more we can do but hope for the best.

Ataturk Entrance to Albany's Port

Ataturk Entrance to Albany's Port

Albany's woodchip terminal

Albany's woodchip terminal

Albany Convict Gaol

Albany Convict Gaol

The Brig Amity

The Brig Amity

Crew hammocks

Crew hammocks

Di in the hold

Di in the hold

Officer's quarters

Officer's quarters

The Officer's wardroom

The Officer's wardroom

Di keeping us on the straight and narrow

Di keeping us on the straight and narrow

The Amity's steering gear

The Amity's steering gear

Albany's port from the Amity

Albany's port from the Amity

Posted by TwoAces 06:06 Comments (0)

Day 37 - Monday 11 June 2012

Albany

The weather in Albany is still decidedly ordinary! More stormy weather is forecast for the next few days, including very wild weather for tomorrow night, when winds equivalent to a Category 2 cyclone are predicted. We spent the morning making a few phone calls to see if it possible to get the Ute fixed in the next week or so. We leave Albany on Wednesday morning and will drive to Perth so that we can get a quote to repair the Navara and see if it is possible to carry out the work fairly quickly. We hope that after getting a quote for the reapirs we can continue our touring of the Margaret River area, and return to Perth for the repairs to be carried out. If it does not work out we will leave the repairs until we return to Hobart in early October.

Because we need to be preparing documents and sending them away we decided to go to Officeworks and buy a cheap printer/scanner - picked up an Epson Printer/Copier/Scanner for $39.00. It turned out to be not quite the bagain that we thought it was, as it had no USB cable to connect to the computer. Back to Officeworks for a USB cable at $12.95. The printer has now been setup and connected in accordance with the very poor chinglish instructions and is working, so we cannot complain too much. When the printer cartridges run out of ink you apparently throw the printer away and get another one as they do come with new ink cartidges, at a fraction of the cost of the cartridges themselves, which cost $70.00.

As I said the weather is lousy so decided that a drive to Denmark (along the coast to the west) might get us away from the bad weather, but it was not to be! We stopped for lunch at the Denmark River in Denmark , and sat it the car in the car park as it was still raining. From Denmark we drove to Ocean Beach then continued west towards Walpole to look at Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks. We decided to leave the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk until another day when it is not so windy!

Denmark River in Denmark

Denmark River in Denmark

Ocean Beach near Denmark

Ocean Beach near Denmark

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

Is the weather improving?

Is the weather improving?

Greens Pool

Greens Pool

Elephant Rocks

Elephant Rocks

Elephant Cove

Elephant Cove

Posted by TwoAces 05:56 Comments (1)

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