Margaret River Region, WA

The last few days have been challenging. Our Tassie mates moved on as they make their long way home. We were now on our own as camp hosts. This week has been getting hotter as the week went on. Tomorrow (Friday) is set to be 40 degrees. This has already made a few leave camp as they wanted to run their generators when they liked. Since the shire put in a complete fire ban, this is not possible. we just head for the beach with our tent and swim and snorkel in the ocean.

We have got on well as camp hosts and it’s always interesting meeting people from everywhere. Can’t wait till Monday when it will drop below 30 degrees.

Margaret River – Olive Hill Farm

We continue enjoying our stay at Olive Hill Farm. So much, that we have decided to stay till April. We have secured a caretaking role here as the current caretakers have to move on. They are an amazing couple and we have big shoes to fill.

We had a visit to the Margaret River Dairy Company where we tasted and purchased a couple of beautiful cheeses then enjoyed two ice creams.

We have enjoyed several days out around the area with both Kimbra, Andrew and Helen who owns the farm. We were all then invited to Helen’s beautiful house for dinner. It was a great night with great food and wines and seemed to be over very quickly. Next day we all enjoyed visiting a few wineries with Andrew kindly doing the driving. We ended it by visiting our local, the Colonial Brewing Company for beers and eventually a couple of bowls of chips. Today (Sunday) we are off to the Wild Hop brewery for lunch with Andrew and Kimbra before they leave very soon. It will be very sad to see them go but that’s life on the road. We will definitely keep in touch though and will definately catch up when we take our wee journey to Tasmania. This week is forecasted to be 30+ increasing as the week goes on. That equals, beach beach beach.

The bus is called Trevor and is kitted out for glamping. living on a dirt road means the cruiser will not be clean for months.

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Olive Hill Farm, Margaret River

With the Xmas and new year festivities over, it was good to get back to our version of normal.  With our COVID booster jab now due, we managed to get a booking at the pharmacy in Margaret River for the thirteenth of January.  Hopefully this will be the last one we will require.  We are lucky to be in WA at the moment as COVID has been relatively kept under control.  This will change early February no doubt when the border re-opens.

Margaret River is a great base making touring the area easy.  We have managed to visit all the surrounding towns. Coweramup, Dunsborough, Busselton. Vasse, Gracerown, Yallingup to name a few. we still have the southern towns to visit but we have plenty of time.

Each of these were fantastic and had the the bonus of amazing beaches.  We also visited Canal Rocks which was wild, with massive ocean waves crashing against the huge rocks surrounding it.  We then took a stroll along the walkway, we watched as several youngsters were jumping off straight in to the deep water below.  As usual it was ‘No Dogs Allowed’ so our time was limited but we managed to get down to the boat ramp in time to see a huge stingray swimming just off the ramp.

We found ourselves back at the Colonial Brewery next to the farm for Reggae n Ribs Sunday.  We enjoyed a few hours here with the camp hosts and our new friends, Andrew and Kim who are great company.  These guys will leave soon as they make their return trip to Tasmania.  They are due to leave the day before us on the seventeenth and eighteenth of January.  Today Tuesday the 11th, we are off to the Prevally beach for a few of the hottest hours of the day. today and tomorrow will be in the mid to high thirties. Happy New Year to everyone. Hope 2022 finds you healthy and happy.

Caravanning at Margaret River, Western Australia

Been some time since we put up a post on here but since we arrived at Margaret River we have been pretty chilled.  We spent quite a fast time to get here whilst covering lots of ground and states.  

First up for me was to get prepped for Karen’s birthday two days before Xmas day.   I tend not to plan ahead but do what appears at the time.  This year it was the usual Mimosa breakfast and opening cards and presents.  Complete with French toast and Maple syrup, lovely.  

The birthday girl with another glass of bubbles.

Then it was in to Margaret River where Karen was booked in for a Thai Massage.  Not the soft relaxing type but a deep tough tissue massage.  A real beat up to get the tension out after the long drives.  Kaz limped out of the place sore but loose and revived.  We then walked down the hill to the Main Street and entered what can only describe as a hippy shop.  As Kaz wondered what was going on, everyone in the place wished her a happy birthday.  Still with no clue, she was introduced to a lady who was a psychic.  She would be telling her fortune and giving a tarot card reading as well.  I then left Kaz there with an astonished look on her face.  

Afterwards made our way to the Margaret River Brewhouse where I had booked a table for 1pm.  Once there with Max in tow, we were given a great table under cover on their huge deck.  This was very welcome as the sun was beating down? The food was great although we did leave with a full carton of chips to go.  This was due to Kaz ordering chips with her muscles, only to discover they came with chips already.  We shared some chilli squid to start and I had Mackerel and chips.  All washed down with some wine of course.  It was then back to the van for more champagne and birthday cake.  I was pleased how it all went considering we were far from home.  More importantly Kaz had enjoyed a great day.

Xmas day was a bit weird being on our own but we headed of to the beach for a Xmas day swim.  The water temperature was amazing as was the white sand.  

We had a Xmas meal of, eye fillet steak in a pepper sauce, chat potatoes and broccolini.  Yes and a two nice bottles of sparkling red wine.  It was peaceful and we had lots of laughs.

The following day we got up about 9am and as usual took Max for a walk before cooking up a fabulous breakfast.  The plan today was to chill.  Kaz reading books as ever, with me continuing to write my book whilst having a play with the guitar.

As we sat there relaxing, a new couple arrived.  They came over to us and asked if we knew anything about the huge smoke cloud rising up behind the farm.  We had no clue and got up to have a look.  Across a paddock and behind some trees we could see a massive amount of smoke rising.  It was clearly getting worse and as the wind was blowing in our direction, we started to see some ash falling and the smoke haze started to block out the sun.  

The caretaker Andy then appeared.  He instructed us to pack up everything just in case we have to leave in a hurry.  In near forty degrees temperature we had to remove our awning which we had spent a bit of time and effort to put up, before packing everything else up.  There were quite a few people who we believe were Perth residents who left to return home as the temperature was forecast to remain around forty degrees for the next few days.  They said they would return once things got better.  We of course had no such luxury of returning home being full time travellers.  With everything packed up and the van hooked up just in case we had to flee, the caretaker returned with an update.  He said the wind had changed direction and the helicopters had managed to get on top of the fire rapidly.  We could now relax as the danger for us had passed.  We weren’t that worried really, more concerned as to where exactly we were meant to go if the wind hadn’t changed.

For the next few days we headed for the beach and spent the day swimming in the ocean.  Max with his frisbee and us enjoying some snorkelling.  

On New Year’s Eve wee had the fun of welcoming in 2022 three times.  Once for South Australia, then Western Australia before the UK.  It wasn’t a late one and we were in bed pretty early.

We have enjoyed some day trips around the region.  Dunsborough was nice with a fantastic beach.  Coweramup was also a nice spot with sculptures of painted cows everywhere.  We also took in a couple of tasting sessions at a few wineries.  Yesterday we headed up to Busselton where we intended to walk the two km jetty.  We arrived there and the place was pretty busy with heaps of people swimming and sun baking.  There was lots of things for kids who were everywhere.  We rocked up to the sign and our plan on walking the jetty was killed off.  Our most seen sign as usual read, “NO DOGS ALLOWED”.  So once again Max had unwittingly put paid to that experience.  We then returned to the car, collected our picnic bag and returned to the ocean from, found some shade and people watched.  Busselton was a real surprise to us and we will return without Max and walk that jetty.  To finish off the day we found a dog friendly beach and Max enjoyed a nice swim and run around with his frisbee to cool off.  

It was then back to Olive Hill where hopefully it would be cool.  On the way we decided to have a quick cider in the Colonial Brewery, two minutes from Olive Hill. With Max being bugged by bugs we had to help him. He seemed to like the fly net.

As I write this its the fourth of Jan 2022 and we still have a couple of weeks to go here before we once again hit the road.  We have now been on the road for eight months and absolutely love it.

Happy New Year to all and hope you keep following Our Wee Journey.

Burekup to Margaret River, WA

We left Burekup around 9am to make our way to Olive Hill Farm, Margaret River.  

We made a quick detour in to the town of Busselton to pick up a guitar Kaz has bought me for Xmas, i stupidly left mine in storage and regretted not bringing it. not that i can play the guitar but i keep trying. We then headed to the small town of Cowaramup to fill our water tanks.  It took us a bit of time to find the correct tap which was not signposted.  As we got to the end of filling, three more vans came in behind us.  We asked them how they knew the location of the tap and they replied, “we seen you filling up otherwise we wouldn’t have found it.

We left Burekup after having had a great last night listening to some live music at the country club and meeting some of the locals.  We will definitely return there on our way back north. 

Arriving at the farm along the the two km dirt road, we were met by the current caretaker and Helen who owns the property with her partner Benji.   Helen told us we could pick a spot wherever we liked since we would be here for the next month.  The other people who were arriving with families would be allocated a space to keep all the kids in one area.  This of course was music to our ears as Max is not a fan of screaming children or quiet ones or ones on skateboards or ones scooters.

The place hasn’t changed much in the four years since we stayed here.  We walked with Helen who gave us a suggestion of a great site and as we always follow advice we took her up on it and got the van in without issue.  We are looking forward to being in one place for so long having moved a lot in the last eight months and 21000 km crossing four borders.  We did it so quickly due to COVID and the need to get in to WA as Olive Hill Farm is the only thing we have booked in the entire journey.  We will now slow down dramatically and stay in places we like a lot longer.

Later we took a trip in to the town and found it packed with people all here for the Xmas break.  The Main Street was awash with people Xmas shopping and the sun was shining but not too hot.  We didn’t stay long and got back to the farm to see all the arrivals coming back in.

We asked Helen if Bemji was still producing haggis but she told us he stopped that some time ago.  Not good news as we were looking forward to that and we will have to get a fix somewhere else.  In no time it was late afternoon and we sat outside the van having  five o’clock cocktails whilst listening to all the bird life.  We were lucky getting a visit from a couple of male Fairy Wrens.  These things are tiny but the blue colour they have is stunning.  The females are an ordinary brown colour and it’s the males who have to look pretty.

For only the second time we will put our annex out which gives us a huge covered area outside.  I climb up on to the roof of the cruiser, open the rooftop bag and pass the four bags containing the annex down to Kaz.  It then took us 2 hours to finally set up completely but this was only the second time we have put it up and that time will fall now that we have labeled all the pieces and know what goes where.  Finally we attached the solar Xmas lights, mounted the tv and job done.  With the weather for this week being hot we can be inside in complete shade but with heaps of sun powering our two solar panels on the van plus the panel on the car.  It’s Karen’s birthday tomorrow the 23rd.  So that will be a fun day.  Then Xmas day is forecasted to be 38-40 degrees so we will end up going to the beach for a swim. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Xmas from Margaret River.

Steve, Kaz & Max. Facebook Group – our wee journey

Bunbury to Margaret River, Western Australia

So tomorrow we will head south to Margaret River for Karen’s birthday on the 23rd and Of course Xmas. We will be staying at Olive Hill Farm just outside the town. This is somewhere we stayed at four years ago and always swore we would go back for a longer period of time. Well that time is now and we have booked in from tomorrow the 20th of December for a month. It’s a great place run by great people.

Up to this point we have spent a bit of time in and around Bunbury.  We were both surprised at how big and well served with facilities Bunbury is.  We stayed at a couple of free camps.  One in a tiny town called Burekup and the second in Bunbury itself overlooking the ocean.  Burekup had Xmas carols, outdoor cinema, kites flying, giant bubbles and a couple of food vans. we also checked out wellington dam and Gnomesville both amazing for very different reasons.

Anyhow check out the pic’s and if you want to comment plz do.  join our Facebook group – ourweejourney if you would like to.  Just send a request to join as it’s a private group to keep spam out.

Western Australia Travels

Been a while since we put anything on here. not bore you with words but just stuck up some photo’s. We got down to Fremantle, got the car serviced. we then drove to Mandurah which was a bit cloudy but still warm. we are now in Bunbury as we head south to Margaret River. We will be at this free camp for the next three nights. last photo is, kaz’s new bike. Hopefully the fires will be out by the time we get there.

Three Springs, WA Tourists

We decided to stay in Three Springs some more.  This morning was another early one as we were awakened by the soft birdsong of the Cockatiels.  They sound like most Australian bird’s with their almost prehistoric squawking.  Today we do some tourist stuff around the place.  We drive out of town about 17km and arrive at the Talc Mine.  Yes, as in Talcum Powder for baby’s bottoms.  The mine is the largest in the world and the product is sent all over the world.  Talc is used in some surprising things, like.  Cosmetics, animal feed, cars, paper, tyres, chewing gum, pain and fertiliser to name a few.  Walking up to the top of the viewpoint was amazing.  We could see the entire mine stretched out in front as well as the wheat fields and the salt lakes.  We didn’t’t stay here long due to the heat of the sun.We then made our way back towards town where the next stop was the amazing pink lake.  These are always hard to photograph but we gave it a go.  Next and last was one of the first pumps from one of the three springs.  Unfortunately the handle on the pump had broken otherwise we could have had a go.

It was then back to the van for a bite to eat for lunch.  As we sat there a couple arrived towing a caravan and parked next to us.  Strange as the place was empty.  The woman told us they had stayed here before but only stopped to have a cup of tea.  She then asked us where we were from and where we were heading etc.  She then talked non stop on the phone.  Packing up their chairs and table before leaving without even a goodbye.   She was back on the phone.  We may have seemed a bit frosty to them or might have waved and we missed it.

We then took a drive to the next tiny town called Carnamah.   The little towns around this area seem to have quite a bit of funding going on.  Both the towns have excellent facilities and some of the heritage type building have been restored.  We take a look at the caravan park.  Why you would stay here and not Three Springs I don’t know.but different people prefer caravan parks.  We check out a few other spots then head back to Three Springs.   

I am chef for the night where we have beef stir fry with broccoli, mixed veggies in a coconut curry sauce, delicious.  Normally we can get two meals from our evening meal but this time we scoffed the lot.  Tonight we watch the movie The Devil All The Time starring Tom Holland.

Next day we leave this great town but not before we head to the local butcher where we spend some cash.  

Today we are heading to a new town south of Three Springs called Moora.  It’s one of our shortest drives and we arrive in the town and locate the camp area.  It’s a free parking area behind the town council offices.  Not great but in a great location right in the centre of town.  The town is tiny but people here obviously love the place.  Everywhere you look there are flowers, murals and some sculptures dotted around.  At the rear of the Main Street there is also a full size swimming pool.  We had a quick look but I think the pool doubles up as a crèche, there were heaps of  kids in it.

We moved on and had a good wander, taking some photo’s as we walked.  We then spotted a newsagent and decided to buy a ticket for the WA Lottery which had ballooned to 80 million dollars.  We got back to the van and met a couple who were parked near us.  They were doing the same as us, although only for one year.  They had been on the road for the same amount of time.  They were from Sydney but instead of going south, they intended to head east away from the coast.  They reckoned going any further south they wouldn’t get anywhere to stay as everything had been booked out.  We told them where we would be for Xmas in Margaret River and followed it up by telling them it was now booked out.  They hadn’t intended to stay in Moora but on arrival thought it would be worth a more detailed look.  With a dump point, toilets and potable water here and lot’s of bins it really is a good place to stop.

We stayed only one night and filled our water tanks before leaving.  We then remembered we still had to check our lottery ticket.  Kaz handed it over waiting for the usual “sorry” but the machine chimed and we have a winning ticket.  Not 80 million but a handy $62. 80 our biggest win ever.  We cash in and head out.

As we head south we are only an hour north of Perth.  In Perth we will be staying just south of the city at the Fremantle Village Caravan Park.  This will be the first big city we have been to in some time and the first caravan park since Broome.

Anyhow, back heading south our next stop is the tiny town of Mogumber.  Again this is a free/donation site next to the town oval.  Great for Max to run in although a bit hot at 36 degrees.  It has flushing toilets (yes, a luxury), and hand washing facilities.  After another short drive we pull in to the site.  The place looks good as it has lot’s of trees providing a decent amount of shade.  We scope out a spot under some massive tall trees and take a walk about.  Once again there is no one else here although that may change later.  Although the road is reasonably close it’s a quiet road anyway so not so many cars or road trains passing.  There are a couple of rail crossings so we expect to hear some horn blowing but not at night.  We head back to the van and with ten minutes Max starts barking.  We take a look outside and there are two caravans arriving.  Good on Max as we didn’t hear a thing.  They park pretty close to us under some not so high trees.  

In the afternoon the wind starts to increase so much so that smallish to medium branches start falling.  As they do the noise as they hit the van roof is a bit scary.  We don’t want our solar panels or our roof vents or the car windows getting smashed.

We make the decision to move which is easy as we haven’t unhooked the van and car.   We move away a short distance and park in what was our second choice spot, still shaded.  As usual we have annoying insects here.  Tiny little fly things as well as the usual house type flies.  There is also a massive amount of locusts.  Shortly before we arrived we were hitting heaps of them and they were getting smashed in great numbers.  Here as you walk around they are like a carpet.  Some of the bigger ones arrive with a thud  as the land on us.  Later we here a light plane sounding as if was dive bombing and we guess they were crop spraying.  A plague of locusts can wipe out years of work for the poor farmers.

In the late  afternoon with me writing and Kaz reading, Max is outside on his mat.  Well that’s what we thought until a woman from the two other caravans walks over with Max in tow.  He had quietly walked off and joined these people who were enjoying some afternoon drinks and nibbles.  Oops, must remember to put his lead on.

Kaz apologised, then got chatting.  She told us there is a pub next to the camp about 300 yards away.  We haven’t been in a pub since Broome and even then we had one drink.  Apparently there is a huge area behind the pub where tomorrow night there will be live bull riding.  Not the stuffed one seen in pubs but actual full size animals.  I am not a fan of animal entertainment but as we have been starved of live entertainment we might take a walk up.  Not sure what we will do with Max, but will probably have to take him with us.

Ok, scratch the bull riding.  We just took a walk up to the pub to check it out.   We were shocked to see that admission tonight will be $25 per head.  Like I said earlier we don’t even like bull riding but would have had a beer and would’v given it a five minute look.

We will make our own entertainment and save the $50+ dollars.  We will however stay here another night.

Geraldton, Yandanooka , Three Springs. WA

Next day arrives after a noisy night.  Next to the camp is a railway siding that has a massive work shed.  It has two huge extractor fans which run twenty four seven.  Trains go past but only a couple of times a day.  It still remains a good stop due to the location and cost.

We noted that not everyone respects the twenty four hour stop limit as we notice a car and van that drove away as we arrived yesterday then came back later and took up another spot.

Anyhow, we drive out to visit the HMS Sydney Remembrance monument.  If you are ever in Geraldton, do not miss this.  The place is spotless, has great information boards, statues with amazing views out to the wreck site just off the coast.

We considered going back to the same camp that day but thought against it and headed out to the Bringo Lookout just east of Geraldton.  Although close to the road the camp itself is really good, spacious and has amazing views to Geraldton and the Ocean.  We grab a great spot down the bottom.  There are two areas one at the top and the one we park in.  There was also no one else there when we arrived but we were joined by a couple of different vans and tents over the two days we stayed there.  It was however peaceful with great sunsets.

Today our intention was to head further south but we thought we would stay one more night in Geraldton at the free camp again.  We had to make a few phone calls and then fill our tanks again.  When we arrived wee seen that the guy who wasn’t following the rules was there again.  We parked up anyway then unhooked the car to do a little bit of driving around the place.  We decided to only stay one night then move on.

Following morning we left town heading to Enanty Barn Mingenew.  This is another free camp with the usual twenty four hour maximum stay allowed.  When we stopped there, we were less than impressed.  It was too close to the road, had no shade and the barn looked derelict.   We decided we would drive on to our next stop at Yandanooka Town Hall.  It’s a tiny town but welcomes campers to stay for free.  This time the limit is seventy two hours.  It has flushing toilets with paper, wash hand basin with soap and paper towels.  Believe me this is very rare in our experience.  It also has an amazing stargazing site at the end of the camp.  We managed to stay here for the three night maximum.  It was really peaceful with not another camper around.  As grain season is upon us there were a few trucks during the day but at the other end of the street and caused us no issues.  Max received a visit from the famed brown dog who is a regular visitor to people camped up.  She was a really placid dog that Max of course had a go at.  Brown dog could not give a hoot about him and carried on looking around.  This seemed to trouble Max as dogs generally run from him.  He was now interested and hung around her which we were amazed at.  We also had a visit from a local guy who owns two houses that the dog was from.  He walked over with two dogs with him.  One was brown dog, another was a black dog.  Max decided to have a go at the black dog, a female who showed him who was boss round here then sat under the caravan where Max usually shades himself.  He was perplexed  it happy to let her stay there if she wanted to.  The guy was from South Africa and had lived in the area for some time.  He and his wife both live on the same property but in seperate houses.

Later brown dog came back then spent thirty minutes hanging around with Max both off lead.

Later it was movie night with Bombshell the story of Fox News.   If you haven’t seen it have a look.

Next morning we get an unwanted alarm at 6am but no ones fault.  We hear the noise of a truck pull in reasonably close to us.  I look out and there is a massive road train sitting with the driver staring at the wheels of the truck that have smoke billowing out from them.  It looked like the brakes has overheated and he had to sit a while and let them cool down.  We have not seen 6 am for a very long time but today we will move on from this camp anyway.  Then having got back bed, we here a “good morning”, outside the van.  I scramble to find my shorts and shirt before going outside.  As I finally get outside I see a person on a cycle pedalling down the road.  I look down and discover a box at my feet.  On further inspection, the box is full of freshly picked oranges and a couple of lemons.  How good is that from someone we don’t even know?  Now that I am up, I stay up.  
Today we are driving one of our shortest site swaps.  The town of Three Springs is a tiny place and just 35km south of here.  We may get there and not like it and move on we thought.  As we arrived in the town we were amazed how nice it was with a cute Main Street lined with shops and a pub of course.  We headed to the free camp site where there was only one other couple in a small Toyota bus parked.  There were groups of large tres providing great shade and three complaints fire pits complete with cooking pans then unbelievably a massive, Swimming Pool that has nine lanes.  This makes it bigger than an Olympic pool as it has nine lanes!!  It is also free to use complete with changing rooms and immaculate bathrooms complete with hot showers.  The toilets and showers are ‘The Best’ we have seen in almost eight months of travel.  Certain caravan parks who are charging a lot for manky facilities should look at themselves.  We have no hesitation in recommending this place.  It shows the way it could and should be done.

I took Max for a walk over to the pool later where I met a couple of ladies who told me the pool use was free, that school would be out soon and best to avoid that time.  Then suggested we come back at five pm when they would be gone.  The pool closes at six.  Since I had Max with me she said that we could bring him as well.  There was a covered grassy area off to the side he could enjoy whilst watching us swim.  She would also tell the kids if there were any to stay away from him.  Again really nice people. As five o’clock arrives we head back to the pool with Max in tow. there are a few kids still there but they are all in the shallow end. We place Max undercover from the sun and Kaz is in first followed by myself. This pool is both deep and wide not the warmest but we are glad to cool off. With time getting on Kaz heads off for a hot shower then I follow as she takes Max back to the van. As the sun starts to set we are outside enjoying the cool air with a refreshment. we will stay here for at least a few days.

Western Australia Caravanning.

After a great nights sleep at Edaggee, just north of Shark Bay we are up back on the road heading south.  The road is really quiet and continues to be so.  Since we have Max with us heading in to Shark Bay is a no no.  We had also been there four years ago so we decided to keep moving on.  After an easy drive with a single stop at the Wooramel Roadhouse for fuel and I couldn’t resist a home made Jalapeño sausage roll, I have to say that this is a new favourite of mine, bloody delicious.  We arrived at our next stop which was the Nerren Nerren rest area.  This one is a very basic site but does have toilets and wins the prize for the most bins at a stop area.  As usual with the short one nighters, we stay hooked up.  One thing we have noticed is the temperatures dropping and as such we will not drive much further south as mid to high twenties is our new minimum.

Tonight we cooked Gnocchi, cooked with crispy bacon pieces, onions, crumbled salmon in a white wine and cream sauce with Parmesan all cooked on the Camp Master, then washed it down with a nice glass of goon bag De Bortoli red.

Tonight we watched The Red Notice, starring The Rock and Ryan Reynolds.  Then lights out ready for an early start tomorrow.

Next morning we drive out south bound as usual, today’s destination is the Galena Bridge South, Murchison River.  We arrive there without any drama and find only one other van parked.  The place is huge with tarmac parking that is welcome with our clean car and van.  We drive around a bit and see there are 2 toilets blocks and four dump points and of course bins everywhere.  No excuse for the pigs around to drop their rubbish.

We take Max on a wee walk to the river over the old bridge which is dominated by the new bridge standing tall above it.  Unlike the north this one actually has water in it and to our surprise a family of black swans including six signets.  We decide on a spot at the very back which gets up far away from the road.  It has a concrete picnic table with benches and a wee roof over it for shade.  Later several caravans, motor homes, trailers the list goes on arrive.  We get a couple parked close to us but not that close with plenty of room.  As usual we have our dinner and then watch another movie before bed.  Fast asleep around midnight we are woken up by Max barking and get up to investigate.  Turns out some person who will be sleeping in their car has parked on the dirt on the other side of our table and bench.  Then proceeds to pump up an air bed at midnight!!  It’s hard not too think of Wolf Creek at this point.  He then leaves at 4am.  Good on Max our travelling security officer.  Although the mind does boggle at some people.  In the morning we have some breakfast not in any hurry today.

Our intention was to stay at a free camp by the name of Tenidewa Pioneer Well which is a bit north East of Geraldton but when we arrived we were none too impressed as it was tight to manoeuvre about and all red dust.  We decided to can this and move on to our second choice of Ellendale Well, Ellendale.  Although not free it’s only $10 per night for both of us.  We get back out on to the main road where we have two choices, one adds about an hour on, the other saves this but is cross farmland and we suspect that it might be a dirt road.  We get up to the cross country road and great, it’s tarmac so we get on it and motor on through some lovely country with wide open space.  But our joy was short lived as we had to make a right turn and yes, straight on to dirt with our freshly washed and gleaming car and van.  Oh well never mind let’s press on we said, not.  We were bloody annoyed but at this point the best plan was to forge ahead over several more dirt roads that coated both vehicles in the usual red dirt. 

When we arrived at the Ellendale Pool camp ground, we were in for a treat as the place is superb with a massive water hole on the Greenbogh river which is surrounded by a massive rock face and is an Aboriginal site of importance.  Bonus is there are only two other vans here so we can pick virtually anywhere to park.  We avoid parking to close to the water in case there are mosquitoes around and settle in.  It’s a nice peaceful place until the cockatiels arrive home and man the noise is deafening.  There has to be hundreds of them flying around like mental cases before there is silence and they have went quiet.  They then return before dark and it’s a repeat of the last time before their bedtime arrives and all is still again.  Tonight’s viewing is Joker.  We have seen this movie before  but the acting is amazing from Joaquin Phoenix.  Our intention is to stay in this spot for the next five days at least.

Now it’s day three.  The place has been pretty quiet with a few arrivals and departures.  We had a couple of hired Britt small motor homes close to us.  Which were three girls who sounded English.  They only stayed one night and had a little party night complete with fairy lights hanging.  Strangely they didn’t have any music playing and by 10pm were asleep.   Next to them was a woman on her own in the same type of van but not hired.  She was from Geraldton and was just camping for a couple of days before heading back to work.  She actually went in to the “do not swim river” talking to her she said the no swimming thing is more to with high hot summers when an algae appears but it’s ok to swim now.  She then said it’s best if you don’t drink or put your head under the water.  With that assurance we decided swimming was a no no.  The same day four locals arrived who had no fear of the water and in fact were having great fun jumping off the rocks in to the river fully submerged.  The girl said that at one time you could climb to the top of the rock but they put a stop to that after someone broke their neck having jumped off the top in to the water. She told us the aboriginal story of the serpent who lives at the bottom of the lake and the aboriginal people throw some sand in to the water to show the serpent respect and let it know you are here and mean no harm.  We had read that story but it was interesting to hear a local telling tourists the story.

Later we had a guy come to the van who we didn’t see approach but Max did and gave the guy a good barking to.  Turned out that his Nissan Patrol with all the fruit on it accessories wise wouldn’t start and asked us if we had jump leads as he had none.  He had asked a couple of other people who surprisingly didn’t have any either.  Luckily for him we have our ARB starter pack which is tiny but powerful.  He had seen these but never seen one in use.  I connected the pack to his battery he cranked it and boom, started first time as usual.  Patrol guy was so impressed he vowed that next chance he gets he will definitely be buying one.  It’s good to be helping people on the road as we have been helped as well.

Walking back to the van I could see an new arrival.  This was a huge fifth wheeler van being towed by an equally huge Chevrolet pick up.  They found a spot in seconds then the whole van opened up with solar panels, slide out sides and tv satellite raised.

They were a couple on their own who seemed to just want to be on their own.

At the camp there is a shower but it is an outside one and has only cold water.  But needs must and I go up and get under it.  I could tell straightaway that this would not be a power shower and it had a button that had to be continuously pushed in to keep the merger flow going.  There was also a slight wind blowing across it and I felt I was on the dance floor bobbing about to catch as many drips as possible.  It was good to get clean of the dust here even if it will be short lived.

Later Kaz  made dinner.  Which was Parmesan and ricotta risotto with chicken and chorizo.  It was bloody delicious.

We then watched the final episodes of the series ‘Maid’ Before lights out.

Next morning we get the usual cacophony of shrieking Cockatiels around 7am.  They are showing off their flying skills in and out of the rock face high above the river.  So it’s up and out with Max for his daily stroll where he manages to find a dead Blue Tongue Lizard being devoured by a host of insects for breakfast.  Thankfully the locusts who were flying about on mass yesterday have moved on.

The pool got very busy later with quite a few locals turning up for picnics and to have a swim.  Today seems a bit windier and we put our awning away to save getting it damaged.  Fifth wheeler didn’t read the wind and and had five, yes five solar panels out unfortunately two of them were lifted by the wind then  thrown on to the ground.  Although it didn’t look like they were moving on today that’s exactly what the did.  They packed up their solar and everything else and drove off.  Kaz spent the day reading and I spent my day writing my book.

Tonight’s dinner is Breaded Hoki with chat potatoes.  Then dishes done and on to tonight’s viewing of ‘sex education’ the tv series.  This is season three that seems a bit more risqué than season two.  It is still a good laugh though.  

Moving day arrives again and we vacate this great stop and head out on our way to Geraldton, WA.  The road starts of tarmac then bugger, becomes a dirt road thankfully only for about 8km.  It’s an easy drive and we get to the Geraldton free camp nice and early.   We are lucky to get a spot as there are only eight available and the limit is a 24 hour stopping limit.  So we will go somewhere else tomorrow.  

We are hesitant to go any further south now as the temperatures are a lot lower than we have been enjoying but still in the high twenties to low thirties.  We would have stayed longer at the other camp but our water was on the verge of running out and we really need to get a some washing done.  This Geraldton camp spot has free water, so we fill up our 120 litre tanks and a spare 15 litre container we carry.  The camp is right in the centre of town down near the boat ramp.  We park up then head straight along the road about 500 metres to the laundromat and cough up $24.00 for washing and drying.  Then off to the supermarket for a few essentials.

As we are parked right next to a huge grassy area finally Max can get a run with his frisbee.  He doesn’t last long though as his back legs are not his friends at the minute and it’s the first run he has had in about a week.  There is a beach here so he will definitely want to go there.  The beach is  his happy place and he loves a swim.

Anyhow just a catch up as we have been off grid for a while and will soon be off grid again no doubt.  

Thanks for all the interest in my waffling, more to come soon.