A Travellerspoint blog

Days 82 - 84 Metricup to Youngs Siding

overcast 24 °C


Day 82
Had a good chat with Graham and Nancy this morning before moving on. It really is a wonderful spot where they live and the scenery is magnificent.
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The first stop this morning was at Margaret River where we walked part of the town and did a little shopping before heading down to Witchcliffe where Bob’s Uncle John lives. He is 94 and certainly has all his faculties about him. We had morning tea with him the drove on to have a look at Lake Cave. There are over 100 known caves in this area but only 6 are open to the public.
There are over 300 steps down into Lake Cave but the views were well worth it. We took a lot of photos.
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The next stop was in Boronup Karri Forrest. The trees here were absolutely magnificent.as were some more wildflowers including the very beautiful purple/blue Hovea.
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Continuing on we drove down to the junction of the Indian and Southern Oceans and the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin
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Very close to here was the remains of a water wheel which was built in 1895 to provide water for the construction of the lighthouse and then to supply water to the lighthouse keepers. It has calcified now but it does look good.
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We drove on the where we thought we might camp for the night at Alexandra Bridge Campground however, the place was packed with campers (it is school holiday time), so we drove on to the junction of the Brockman Highway and Stewart Road where we have pulled into for the night.
We have finally started our homeward journey as today we headed east for the first time.

Day 83
We got up this morning and there was a slight mist about so took some photos of our stopover for last night.
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We drove down Stewart Road which is a shortcut to Pemberton, we have never been on this road before and it was quite good. Just before we came to Pemberton we called in at Beedelup Falls. The falls are not that high but the scenery and the trees around here are wonderful.
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When we reached Pemberton we pulled into the old railway station. They still haven’t found a driver for the old steam train so it’s not running which is a great pity. We went 25 km down the track and back on it in 1999. It was a wonderful experience. There is quite a lot of old railway gear lying about everywhere here.
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We had lunch here near the Gloucester Tree and took a couple of photos of the vans amongst the tall Karri trees.
We drove further south east through Northcliffe to a rest area just 16 km from Walpole. We hung up some of the damp washing and photographed a few more wildflowers (Are you sick of them yet?).
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Day 84

Left our campspot 16km west of Walpole and drove into Walpole itself. On the way we stopped at a lookout to see Nornalup Inlet.
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We refuelled and then unhooked our caravan in the Information Centre car park. We packed morning tea and drove up Hilltop Road to have a look at The Giant Tingle Trees but on the way stopped at a lookout to see down to Nornalup Inlet again.
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We continued on to the tingle tree car park and went for a walk. There were a number of new wildflowers along the track.
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The Tingle trees are really quite large and most of them have had a fire in the buttress at some time or other which has left them quite hollow and interesting.
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We had morning tea before carrying on to Circular Pool on the upper reaches of the Franklin River. A chemical called Saponin is produced from decaying plant material in the water which causes the water to foam when it descends through the waterfalls. The waters brown colour is caused by the tannin released by the decaying plant material. The reason that it is called Circular Pool is the marvellous circular patters which occur as the water swirls around in the lower pool.
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We drove back to Walpole and hooked our van back on then drove to William Bay. This must be one of the prettiest beaches in Australia and we took many photos here as well as just around the corner at Elephant Rocks. There were many wildflowers here.
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We continued on to Denmark which is a lovely town. The riverside has a nice bandstand on the other side and a great park all the way along the river.
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We then drove out to Young’s Siding and the home of Glenda and Duncan. Glenda is the daughter of one of Bob’s Cousins. The scenery here is wonderful. The farm is very peaceful and Duncan runs cattle and sheep on it.
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Pommy Bob had a great time entertaining Glenda and Duncan's two children; Beth and Jim. We are not too sure who wore out who.

Posted by Hiroes 07:03 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Day 80 - 81 PERTH - METRICUP

sunny 27 °C

Day 80

We had a busy day today. We drove to the Guildford Cemetery and placed some flowers where Bob’s Dad and Mums ashes have been placed.
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We then drove to Kelmscott to have morning tea with Aunt Minnie. She is doing OK and her dog is looking after her.
We then drove to Rockingham where we had lunch before going to safety Bay to the home of brother Colin and wife Barbara. We had afternoon tea there then came back to the van park.
Not very much to report apart from the fact we drove over 200 km today.

Day 81

We were up and away early this morning as we have a fairly long way to go. We drove down the Roe Highway until we reached the Kwinana Freeway which we took all the way to the outskirts of Bunbury. We did stop somewhere between Mandurah and Bunbury for morning tea in a rest area. We did the by-pass of Bunbury and continued on to Capel where we did a detour through the Tuart Forest trail and saw all of the Arum Lilies amongst the trees. There were millions of them and they are a pest here.
We drove on into Busselton where we intended having lunch. It took a little while to find somewhere to park 2 caravans as it is school holidays and there are many tourists around.
We walked to the 2 mile long jetty and took some photos here as well as of the lighthouse.
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There were some children learning to climb on a climbing tower.
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A short walk into the town itself and taking a photo of the old Police Station where Bob got his first driving licence.
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The other interesting place was the Esplanade Hotel where Bob had his first beer in a hotel when he was about 16, even though the drinking age at that time was 21.
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We had lunch then continued on to Metricup and the home of Cousin Graham and his wife Nancy where we have camped for the night in their rather large car park.

Posted by Hiroes 04:53 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Days 77 - 79 PERTH

sunny 34 °C

Day 77

It’s a public holiday in Western Australia today (Queens Birthday) and not too many businesses open. We did try 2 Caravan parts places trying to get some Vinyl Awning wash for the van but no success. We went for a drive to Mundaring instead and went out to have a look at the weir there.2012_Oct_1..ring_Weir_8.jpg2012_Oct_1..ring_Weir_6.jpg2012_Oct_1..ring_Weir_1.jpg
One of the original steam powered pumps is still here
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And in the park is an unusual tree with multiple trunks
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In the 1890s prospectors made a dash for gold in Coolgardie seeking fame and fortune. However in the dusty, dry and searing heat another precious commodity proved even more elusive - water!
The area´s population was booming and in 1895 the State´s Engineer-in-Chief of Public Works,CY O´Connor, was asked to work out how to get fresh water to the arid goldfields around Coolgardie.
He decided to build a storage reservoir in the hills near Perth and pump water inland. Some called it madness while time has proved otherwise, it is now considered a unique technological triumph.
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The project involved building a 21 Gigalitre storage reservoir at Mundaring and then pumping the water via eight large steam-driven pumping stations through a 557km steel pipeline. But CY O´Connor was never able to enjoy his success as pumping trials began just weeks after his death in 1902.
In January 1903 the Mundaring water flowed into Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. Since then the Weir´s capacity has been increased with the addition of the Lower Helena Weir downstream of the main dam. Water from this smaller dam is pumped back into Mundaring Weir.
O'Connor was subjected to prolonged criticism by members of the press and also many members of the Western Australian Parliament over the scheme. Forrest, always a supporter, had left Western Australian politics to become federal defence minister; defamatory attacks by the press had wounded him. O'Connor committed suicide less than a year before Forrest officially commissioned the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.
Evans describes how political machinations and individual greed led to many libellous newspaper articles about O'Connor towards the end of the pipeline project. One article in particular in The Sunday Times, 9 February 1902, is thought to have contributed to his death. Accusing O'Connor of corruption, it read, in part:
“...And apart from any distinct charge of corruption this man has exhibited such gross blundering or something worse, in his management of great public works it is no exaggeration to say that he has robbed the taxpayer of this state of many millions of money...This crocodile imposter has been backed up in all his reckless” extravagant juggling with public funds, in all his nefarious machinations behind the scenes by the kindred-souled editor of The West Australian —(Evans 2001:219)
The government conducted an inquiry into the scheme and found no basis for the press accusations of corruption or misdemeanours on the part of O'Connor.
O'Connor took his own life on 10 March 1902 by shooting himself, while riding his horse into the water at a beach south of Fremantle. He took his own life because he was accused of many crimes, such as foolhardiness and waste of public money.
The beach where O'Connor died was named after him and there is also a statue sculpted by Tony Jones, of him in the water there.
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The temperature today is quite high again so after lunch we went to Morley shopping centre to walk around and enjoy their air-conditioning. We spent a few hours here and in the end did a little grocery shopping then tried to find our car. This shopping centre is so large and I hadn’t paid enough attention when we came in. It took quite a while to locate our car.

Day 78

This morning we drove to Butler which is a far north of Perth outer suburb – in fact some call it ‘South Geraldton’. Brother Alan and his wife Brenda live here in a rather large 4 bedroom home. They have sold it and are looking forward to building a new house but downsizing to 2 bedrooms.
We had a very pleasant morning with them before all going to have a look at a nearby beach. Well, the tide was so high there really wasn’t a beach at all.
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We then went for lunch together to “Hogs Breath”, the first time we have been to one of these. Lunch was quite good.
After lunch, we said goodbye to Alan and Brenda and drove to Kingsley and the home of our next door neighbour, Steven. We delivered a parcel to him and had more cups of tea.
We drove back to our van after a quite busy day.

Day 79
We took the car into Midland this morning and had 2 new tyres fitted then took it to have a service done since it was over 1,000 km overdue. Pommy Bob picked us up and we went to have a look at a few old haunts of Bob in his youth. 1st stop was at The Point on the Swan River, well actually at the junction of the Swan and Helena Rivers. This was where he taught himself to swim. There were some rather large geese here.2012_Oct_3..e_and_Geese.jpg7949AFB42219AC6817F83B6B9652BA52.jpg2012_Oct_3_The_Point_1.jpg
Both Pommy Bob and Hiroe couldn’t help themselves and had to have a go on the children’s playthings.
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From here it was a drive past his old Primary School the on to another swimming area which was much closer to his home – Success Hill which has been refurbished and not too sure for the better.
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It was then on through Perth City and up to Kings Park which overlooks the City. Magnificent views and the gardens are full of wildflowers. We Had lunch up there and a good walk around amongst the flowers.
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We came across a water feature as well
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It started to rain so we drove back to Midland and picked up our car after it’s service and back to the vans.
We went back to Kings Park at Night. The views were amazing with all the lights on in the buildings. No other city in Australia has scenes like this one.
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Posted by Hiroes 05:44 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 74 -

sunny 21 °C


Day 74
We said goodbye to Richard and Mui, thanking them for their hospitality over the past 4 days and headed south. It was VERY cold last night and it is still cold this morning – had to put the heater on in the car.
We drove through Wyalkatchem, there was nothing open this early in the morning. We stopped at Dowerin and took a photo of the Tin Dog and read the story about it. Evidently prospectors on their way to the goldfields camped by the creek here; opened their tins of processed meat (commonly called “Tin Dog”) and left their empty tins on the creek bank and so it became known as Tin Dog Creek. Local high school students came up with the idea of installing a tin dog and raised funds to commission someone to sculpture a tin dog.
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Next stop was at Toodyay (if you say it fast enough it sounds like Toojay). This is a lovely old town with many nice old buildings including Connors Mill and Cottage and the Victoria Hotel. There was a very good Tea Tree plant outside the Information Centre. We had morning tea here before continuing on the Midland where we booked into a caravan park and had a late lunch.7CFCAAD92219AC681715C5B81B8E7526.jpg7CF98F032219AC6817AAEBF2B329B65C.jpg2012_Sep_2..Toodyay.jpg7CFBC7A42219AC681749D59FC3F2CFEE.jpg
Spent the afternoon shopping for necessary bits and pieces for the caravan (door handle and gas heater jet etc) then some grocery shopping and banking.

Day 75
Well, not one photo from today – that’s a bit of a change.
First thing this morning we booked the car in to have both rear tyres replaced and was told to return at 11 am for the job to be done. Well, we turned up at 11 and were told that the man who had quoted the job had made a mistake and that the tyres he had quoted on were not good enough for a light truck and that they didn’t have the correct ones in stock. We rebooked for next Wednesday morning early to have the job done by which time they will have the correct ones in stock.
Hiroe found an Op Shop and we spent quite a while looking around.
Back to the van for lunch and then we all got in our car and went for a drive around Guildford, Bassendean and into North Perth to Chinatown and did some shopping.
Back to the vans again for a late afternoon tea.
It’s getting quite cool already even though today was reasonably warm.

Day 76

After morning tea this morning we went into Midland to look around the “Farmers Market” It was quite interesting and it’s a pity we don’t have something like it in Bomaderry.
We walked around all the antique/junk shops in Guildford then left our car in the Railway parking lot and caught a train into Perth. The train was very clean and tidy and it was exceptionally quick.
Perth railway Station is undergoing some major renovations but didn’t cause us any trouble.
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We walked from the station to the Western Australian Art Gallery and spent quite a bit of time looking around at the exhibition.
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When we came out of the Gallery it was lunch time so we walked down to William Street in Northbridge and had lunch then backtracked to the Perth Museum and had a good look around there and had afternoon tea where the Old Perth Gaol used to be. There was a rather good looking garden table there so took a photo.
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We returned to the Railway station taking photos of old/new buildings and the new entertainment centre.
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Posted by Hiroes 02:26 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Days 72 & 73 Koorda

rain 18 °C


Day 72
We went 80 km to Wongan Hills this morning to have a look at an Op Shop. Well, unbelievably, no-one purchased anything.
Not too much to photograph here except for the Pub.
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Did some shopping in the local grocery store and purchased Richards medication before having an early lunch and coffees.
We returned to Koorda - A very strong wind gust slammed the rear door of Pommy Bob's car and bent the support mechanism.
Rick had a call from his employer to transport some chemicals out to the farm some 75 km away. Both Bobs and Rick drove out there and helped the farmer drive some sheep into a race where he had to do some treatment on a few of them.
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We returned to Koorda in time for “Happy Hour”. Just before we reached Richards home we came across a Grain Train in the Koorda siding loading grain.
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Day 73
This morning Hiroe did some washing while Pommy Bob and Richard worked to fix the bent back door support for Bob’s car.2012_Sep_2.._Work_1.jpg2012_Sep_2.._Work_2.jpg2012_Sep_2..ing_car.jpg
Most of the morning was spent sitting around and chatting.
After lunch, Hiroe, Mui and Pommy Bob walked into town to the Post Office and shop while Bob and Richard did some work on Richards Will as well as downloading some programmes for his new computer. Also transferred Hiroes recipe from our hard disk to Richard’s computer for Mui.
Pommy Bob has taught Mui how to play quite a few computer games and now she is hooked.

Posted by Hiroes 00:35 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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