Adelaide, but where to next? ~ December 2016

The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

Thursday 1st December 2016

I finished some cards off ready to post, then I got on with the knitting for our new baby girl. Pete Mate did some reading and computer things. Happy hour was once again just us and very pleasant it was.

Friday 2nd December 2016

We busied ourselves in the morning with goodness knows what. Oh yes, Pete Mate had to unblock the pipe under the caravan, it was from the shower and apparently it was my hair that had blocked it. We had lunch at Harbor Town whilst watching the planes take off and land. I left Pete Mate to it whilst I did some Christmas shopping and grocery shopping. I cannot say Harbor Town is my most favourite place but it is handy for Woolworths and the Chemist Warehouse. Once back at the ‘van Pete Mate finished off the plumbing job he started this morning and then it was time for happy hour.

Saturday 3rd December 2016

I gave the inside of the caravan a long overdue thorough clean. Then I was back to my knitting. Pete Mate read, played computers and had his naps. We have started to have a think of where we are going next. In the evening we met up with friends Ann and Lyndon for dinner. We first met them at Tumby Bay in 2004. It was a very pleasant, relaxed evening plus the food was yummy.

Sunday 4th December 2016

It is our 12-year anniversary of being on the road. No celebrating for us. We both woke up with rotten colds which involved a rather painful earache. We had to cancel our plans to meet up with Libby and Frank as we really didn’t feel up to going out plus we didn’t want to give it to them. We were disappointed as we were looking forward to seeing them, plus we'd have loved to celebrate our anniversary with them. We just lolled about feeling sorry for ourselves, I didn’t even feel up to doing my knitting. Not the best day we had in 12 years but by no means the worst.

Monday 5th December 2016

Not a lot happened here today as we were both still feeling under the weather. We did, however, start making plans to move on.

Tuesday 6th December 2016

We are starting to feel a little better today. Another couple of days and I think we will be firing on all cylinders. We had to pop out to the shops for milk and bread, neither of us felt like going so we both went. Pete Mate’s sense of direction is not what it used to be. He turned the wrong way for the shops and then on the return journey he again wanted to turn the wrong way.
Pam: Where are we going?
Pete: Well, where do you want to go?
Pam: I thought we were going straight home. If we are, you are going the wrong way.
Pete: I knew that; I will just leave where I was going to another time.
Once home it was back to lolling about. I did do some knitting and Pete Mate played computers.

Wednesday 7th December 2016

I felt like rubbish so I lay on the bed all day and read. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow. Pete Mate played computers all day.

Thursday 8th December 2016

Today I feel much better but Peter is now back in bed feeling a whole lot worse. I finished off my Christmas cards and did some knitting.

Friday 9th December 2016

We went to Marion shopping centre, neither of felt like shopping but as we were low on supplies we had to go. I chose Marion because it is a huge shopping centre and all the outlets I wanted were under one roof. First we found a café for coffees whilst we got our bearings, we had a lovely chat with a chap from Nottingham who had just opened his own skin clinic in the centre. We found the Telstra shop with a little help from people and the information board. It is the only Telstra shop we haven’t had to make an appointment for later. The girl answered my question about the plans we are on plus she managed to fix the phone so we received messages. No one else has been able to help with this. As a bonus she gave us directions to the Post Office. Then we found JB Hi Fi all by ourselves. One of the television remotes had died. With the help of a very nice young man we bought a universal one. He said it says on the pack it is easy but it can be quite ‘strenuous’. Which made us smile. By now it was lunchtime so we headed back to where we had enjoyed our morning coffees. Then we shopped for wine and groceries before heading home for a lie down.

Saturday 10th December 2016

I seem to spend most of the day cooking for the freezer. Pete Mate got things ready for our trip tomorrow plus he washed some of the caravan. I packed away the inside things. For dinner we walked up to the café which is within the caravan park. It was a very nice meal and not overly expensive but the place lacked ambiance.

Sunday 11th December 2016

We were ready and on the road by 9.30am. Our first stopover is Port Augusta. The trip was uneventful but long and I did quite a bit of knitting along the way. This is the first leg of a journey of 2,900km and a continuation of the 5,000km trip with Angie and Dave that we just completed.

Monday 12th December 2016

We were back on the road even earlier than yesterday and had a good trip through to Wudinna. The caravan park is at the back of the roadhouse and is basic. The amenities were well maintained and very clean. We ate dinner in the restaurant which was very nice and reasonable.

We were a little grumpy about two young children who were very loud and kept running about. They were part of a large group of locals that had come to the restaurant for their Christmas party. One of the group, a lovely lady, came over to our table and said she hoped they were not spoiling or quiet dinner. We mentioned the children and that is when we got our lesson in not judging because what you see is not always how it is. These two youngsters were born deaf and had just had cochlea implants. The boy was having difficulties adjusting to it. We then felt admiration for the parents rather than, Why don’t you control your kids.

Tuesday 13th December 2016

On the road to Penong today. The trip was uneventful and we arrived at Penong early afternoon. The caravan park was next to the largest windmill in Australia. In fact, the town had different sizes of windmills dotted all around. The caravan park was small but well maintained and once again the amenities were good.

Wednesday 14th December 2016

Another long day on the road, this time to Eucla, and we are now in WA but still on Central Time. The caravan park was at the back of the roadhouse and was quite basic but good. We had amazing views across the national park and on beyond to the Southern Ocean.

Thursday 15th December 2016

We are off again and we are both getting a little weary now. We arrived at Cocklebiddy at lunchtime and decide not to stay overnight as planned but to press on for another hour. We stayed at a lovely little spot called Caiguna. Again the caravan park was at the back of the roadhouse and the amenities were really good. Excellent showers.

Friday 16th December 2016

We had a good run through to Norseman. We were not impressed with the caravan park or the price of $38.70 per night. We will not be staying here again. The town of Norseman is a little sad and jaded.

Saturday 17th December 2016

We arrived at Esperance in time for lunch. It is a nice little park with good facilities. We were soon set up enough for the few days we are here.

Sunday 18th December 2016

We were collected from the caravan park by friends, Jim and Maggie. Jim is an old gliding buddy of Pete Mate’s whom we regard as a close friend. We hadn’t met his partner, Maggie, before but as soon as we had it was like we were old friends. We had a lovely day being taken out and about Esperance seeing the sights. We called in at their home to drop things off and had a light but yummy lunch. Then we were off again in the car having a look around.

We went to a very interesting glass gallery and I have to say I was tempted to buy a couple of pieces of jewellery and if we lived in a house there was a very nice - but large - sculpture that caught my eye. Then we went back to Jim and Mag's house for dinner which was equally as yummy as lunch. A lot of wine was consumed and Pete Mate needed a helping hand to get home and into bed.

Monday 19th December 2016

We had appointments at a doctors for script renewals plus Peter’s chest is making strange noises. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with him, it was just what was left over from the man cold. The doctor also refused to renew one of my scripts as he said it was bad medicine.

After we left there I found an amazing craft/sewing shop where I bought buttons and finishing touches for the knitted things I had made for our baby girl. I could have spent hours in there but Pete Mate was waiting in the car. He thinks these 'pink' shops should always be paired with a hardwear shop, perhaps with a coffee lounge between. From there we had a bit of a drive out of town to buy cheap fuel. Pete Mate has found an ‘app’ that tells him where the cheapest fuel is. The drawback is that sometimes, as in this case, the information is out of date so we drove back into town and filled up at the Woolies servo.

We went to a shopping mall and dropped our scripts in at the pharmacy. Time for a coffee ... but where? We obviously looked lost because a very kind lady asked if she could she help. She pointed out the only coffee outlet which was a drive-through. We wandered over to have a look and she came back to us and said she had checked and there are tables and chairs to sit and have coffees. How kind was that?

Our next place on the list was the supermarket but before we got there the whole shopping mall was plunged into darkness - it appeared that Esperance had a power cut. We could continue to shop in the supermarket because they had back-up power but alas, we could not pick up our scripts. We left them there for another day. When we arrived home the power was restored to the town. We had lunch and a nap, then I continued with my knitting whilst Pete Mate 'did things' on the computer.

Tuesday 20th December 2016

We collected Jim and Maggie and had a drive out to see Stonehenge. This is a full sized replica of the original in the UK. It is made from the Esperance pink granite and was built to align with sunrise on the summer solstice which is the same line as sunset on the winter solstice.

The construction was not originally meant for Esperance but for a millionaire in Margaret River. When the millionaire got into financial difficulties the quarry looked for another buyer. Kim and Jillian Beale bought it and had it erected on their farm (which is now for sale for 5 million dollars).

stone henge
As I said above, this replica is full size. The lintels are in place to illustrate how
the real Stonehenge would have looked around 1950 BC.
Afterwards we went back to Maggie and Jim’s for lunch. Then we parted company after making arrangements for tomorrow night. Pete Mate and I had a couple of things to do in town - one was buying a new tow ball. Pete Mate likes to replace the tow ball periodically; he says it is subjected to a great deal of shear stress and for the cost involved, it's worth playing safe. Once home he fitted the new ball whilst I caught up on a few things in the ‘van. Once again it is cold.

Wednesday 21st December 2016

We had a few things to do in town ready for our departure tomorrow plus some Christmas grocery shopping because this will be the last shops we will see until after Christmas. In the evening we met up with Maggie and Jim and for dinner. It was a very pleasant evening, the company was excellent, the wine good but the food was a little ordinary. We said our goodbyes which is always a little sad when we really like the people.

Thursday 22nd December 2016

It was a long drive through to Wave Rock. We experienced heavy rain, boiling hot sun and lightning strikes which started a fire in the distance; we saw the fire truck hurtling off in the direction of the smoke. We were very tired and grumpy when we arrived. The caravan park is okay and it is right near Wave Rock. We were told the best time to see the rock is around 7.00am. I sort of cooked our salmon on the camp barbecue. I say sort of because I had to finish it off in the microwave, no way to treat a beautiful piece of salmon. The barbecues were rubbish and never got really hot. Once dinner was over we called it a night.

Friday 23rd December 2016

We walked around the rock at 7.00am as suggested. It was quite impressive but not as spectacular as we had been led to believe. We took a few photos and then walked back to the ‘van for breakfast.

Wave Rock
Wave Rock.
Later we did all the museums and the wildlife park. The first museum adjoined the reception and shop. This was the pioneer one which had a lot of old things which were interesting. Whoever set the museum up just crammed everything in and it was so easy to miss things of interest. Part of the museum was their office so we had a photocopier and computer stuck somewhere in there. Plus, a young chap was folding bed linen and he was using the horse drawn buggy to put it all on. Kind of spoilt the moment.

Next we walked across the road to the other museums and café. We decided to have an iced coffee before we tackled the other museums. I don’t very often have iced coffee these days so was very disappointed when this one turned out bitter and not very nice.

The lace museum was next on the agenda. This was very good, it was well displayed and very interesting ... lots and lots of very old lace.

Lace Museum
The Lace Museum was not limited to old lace.
Unfortunately, the lighting was poor but this was to protect the lace. They even had a small square of the material that was used in Princess Diana’s wedding veil.

Next was the miniature soldiers’ museum. This was quite good, I even got to play toy soldiers and had my own little battle.

I even got to play toy soldiers and had my own little battle.
When we left there we walked into the wildlife park and that is when we were truly disappointed and upset. The poor animals, (the ones we could actually find) were sad, oh so sad, and not well looked after. The smell coming from some cages was appalling. We left as soon as we could find the way out. The afternoon was spent doing our various hobbies

Saturday 24th December 2016

We enjoyed a good trip through to Perth. It was a long day and we were glad to finally set up camp in the caravan park. Pete Mate went off to get fuel whilst I finished some things in the ‘van then I watched Doctor Who. Our evening was quiet and very pleasant.

Sunday 25th December 2016

The original plan was to have Christmas day with son Nic. Because he didn’t know we were coming over here until the last minute, he had already arranged to go away. We also received an invitation to spend Christmas Day with friends but we declined. We are so glad neither of the latter took place as we were both jaded from the travelling. We spent a glorious day just relaxing, eating yummy food and reading. We are now refreshed and can now look forward to Boxing Day with friends and our Christmas lunch on the 29th when Nic returns.

Monday 26th December 2016

We spent the day with friends Tracey, John, Pat and Tony. On the way we took a short diversion to look at our house. We were pleasantly surprised to see how lovely the block looked; it is crammed full of trees. It looks the best it has ever looked.

We enjoyed the day very much, it was so lovely to see everyone again and we just picked up where we left off eight years ago. As I was driving, Pete Mate let his hair down bigtime and by the time we left he was very squiffy but he kept us all entertained. I am sure he will suffer tomorrow!

Tuesday 27th December 2016

There is no justice in this world, Pete Mate woke up bright as a button! Well, not that bright but he didn’t have a hangover. We found a lovely little shopping mall not far from the caravan park where we stocked up on supplies and had coffees. Once back at the caravan I did heaps of washing which I got dry in spite of the short showers of rain. I finished some paperwork off for Sue and then got back to my knitting.

Wednesday 28th December 2016

We met up with Sue and Lisa at a winery in the Swan Valley. It was lovely to see them and the lunch was very pleasant. The food was plentiful and very nice. The restaurant looked like a big shed and the seats were not comfortable but our main grumble was the music - it was so loud it was giving us headaches. Afterwards Sue and I exchanged paperwork and then said our goodbyes. Pete Mate and I considered going for a drive but decided to go home and have a nap.

Thursday 29th December 2016

What an absolutely splendid day we had. Nic arrived around midday with the extra seats for Billy. They had been stored at the house and Pete Mate wanted to have them just in case we have to exchange Billy for a newer model. No plans to do this but one never knows what is around the corner. More importantly Nic was also brandishing a bottle of wine which was opened without delay and we sat outside chatting and drinking. I then served the first course of prawns and avocado. Once the roast pork and trimmings were ready we ate inside the ‘van. Afterwards Nic and I sat outside chatting with a cup of tea whilst Pete Mate had a nap. Then it was time for sherry trifle – not the best one I have made but it was still yummy. After a while Nic departed for home, I washed up the mountain of dishes and Pete Mate put all his ‘stuff’ back in the car. It was one of the best 'Christmas Days' I have enjoyed in a long time.

Friday 30th December 2016

I was collected by Pat and Tracey from the caravan park at 9.15am and enjoyed the best girls’ day out. We set off for the Swan Valley, first stop was a coffee place which didn’t appeal to Pat and Tracey so we carried on to the Margaret River Chocolate place. We sampled free chocolate and then had coffees. It was very pleasant and we sat and chatted, catching up on all our news. We left there and Tracey found this lovely little café for lunch. It was really nice and the food was good.

We left there and headed to Midland Gate Shopping Centre. Tracey had some banking to do and then we shopped. We all bought things, I bought a pair of sandals, trousers and four tops. Once we were all shopped out we found a coffee shop and we all enjoyed a cool drink. Then we decided we had better wander home as the shops were closing up. I wondered why they were closing so early when I looked at my watch and saw it was 5.00pm. Amazing how quick the time flies when you are having a good time. Whilst I was busy enjoying myself Pete Mate managed to find a place that fixed up Billy’s tank and fuel pump. Life is good.

Saturday 31st December 2016

I was an early bird shopper this morning as I wanted to beat the rush. After breakfast I started preparing the food for later. Friends Karen and Dave plus Jan came over for a barbecue. It was a really good afternoon and evening, the food cooked by Karen on the barbecue was lovely, the wine flowed and the company was excellent. Once everyone had gone I did a mini clean up and flopped into bed exhausted but happy. Tomorrow is a whole new year and ... I've never been married to a 75 year old before.

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