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Motorhome Travels - March 2005

08/03/2005

Jumping for joy on a WA South Coast Beach. - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
Jumping for joy on a WA South Coast
Beach.

Norseman is a town in recession - most of the shops are closed and when we were visiting, the streets were littered with intoxicated indigenous people. The helpful owner of the book exchange happily explained the rise and fall of Norseman (and told the best part of her own life story) while we selected a few books. A sad state to see a once proud town in.

We picked up Tracey's Mum and Step Dad in Esperance and immediately headed west. We hope this will be a relaxing time for them after their last hetic year jaunting around most of the known world. There are lots of seaside camp spots along the way and we have enjoyed lots of swimming and (unsuccessful) attempts at fishing.

Albany is a town with a nice feel - the weather has been fantastic while we have been in this area (despite rumours that it is often otherwise). After a drive around the coast to look at the National Park, we met up with Wendy and Mark - Wendy is the sister of Gail who used to own Hobohome. We enjoyed a drink and a chat about all things motorhoming before retiring for the night.

From here we are heading around the coast then north towards Perth. There is a lot more coast to see and more opportunities to dangle a line in an attempt to catch that elusive big one!


13/03/2005

As we headed west from Albany the landscape changed from the sandy scrub and farm land to large lush forests with damp carpeted floors. We camped at Parry Beach for a couple of days, this is where a large number of Western Australian salmon meet their end. A small party of commercial fishermen lay in wait - for just a few days each year huge numbers of salmon arrive in the bay only to be captured by even larger nets and sent off to meet John West. When the salmon are running, more than 40 tonnes are netted each day. While camped we experienced the first real rain we have seen for many months, it was warm and the autumn rain was quite refreshing. 

Heading west, we stopped off at the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk and thoroughly enjoyed our walk through the tops of the trees. There are some amazing old trees with hollow trunks that are so large you could hold a small party inside them. 

Yesterday we left the coast and headed inland towards Pemberton - here we climbed the 60m Gloucester Tree. Once a lookout tower for spotting bush fires, this is a fantastic climb. Steel spikes have been driven into the trunk of the tree forming steps that spiral around and up to a platform that sits above the forest canopy. We purchased a one year W.A. National Parks pass in Esperance for $51, we have visited a number of parks since then and at $9 per daily admission, the pass has already paid for itself.

As I write this we are camped at Sue's Bridge camping area on the Blackwood River - this has got to be one of the best designed and maintained camping/day use areas in Australia. It is simply beautiful, and I can't believe that we have it all to ourselves! Firewood is provided and last night we enjoyed a nice meal cooked by our guests (yes, we have been making them work for their keep). The only downside to these nice wooded camping areas is the lack of sunlight for our solar panels and thus the generator has had a few hours exercise in the last few days.

PS - Happy Birthday Zoie (she's 21!).

 

26/03/2005

Changes ...

After leaving Sue's Bridge we moved further north to an interesting area called Buffalo Beach. Located on a long peninsular with an estuary on one side and the ocean on the other, Buffalo Beach used to be a commune before being converted into the conservation reserve we see today. Lee and Howard (sister and bro-in-law) drove down from Perth to meet us at the camp on Monday night.

The following day we packed up the motorhome and headed for Perth to drop our guests at the airport. Thel and Norm left us on a plane bound for Brisbane, thinking and talking about the motorhome life style ... I think they will be back.

The motorhome is currently parked on Lee and Howard's property in Marangaroo and it looks like we may have some major repairs to do before we proceed.

We have been worried about the engine for some time, a pressurised sump is forcing engine oil into the air cleaner and as we drove around Perth navigating our way to Marangaroo, we lost oil pressure when the motorhome idled at each set of traffic lights. There are more diagnostics to be done before we leap to conclusions - but it is not looking good. There is also a long list of more minor repairs to be completed.

We have now decided to buy a house here in Perth - mainly as a rental investment. As we are going to need some time (and money) to sort out the motorhome and get it ready to travel again, we plan to move into the house for at least six months. For the last week we have been searching for a house with a large area to park the motorhome and we think we have found one.

This is by no means the end of our travels in Hobohome - we have a big part of the country yet to see (and from what others have told us, it's the best part). While it is exciting to have these changes ahead of us, after 22 months on the road, it will be hard to adjust to living in a house again (and perhaps even more difficult to adjust to going to work each day.)

Lee and Howard own an Italian Restaurant called Nonna's cafe. It is located in Alexander Heights - north Perth. On our first night in Perth we were treated out to a fantastic meal at this great little restaurant. If you ever find yourself in the area, we seriously recommend that you check it out - mention Hobohome and Howard will gladly provide free Bruschetta for the whole table!

 

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