Itchy feet after two weeks in Perth ~ January 2017

Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege.
Use it.    Dwell in possibilities.

Sunday 1st January 2017 - A Happy to New Year to All.

I woke up a little under the weather today. It is Pete Mate’s 75th birthday and I asked him earlier in the week what he wanted to do. His reply was Nothing. It turned out to be a good choice from my point of view. I finished cleaning up from last night, did some reading and knitting but did a lot more of lying down resting my head. During the day Pete Mate received messages and phone calls for his birthday which was lovely.

Monday 2nd January 2017

We met up with Peter’s brother, Andrew, and his wife Helen. It was a very hot day ... 38°C, I think. We arranged to meet at the Rose and Crown in Guildford. We found them sitting at a table under a tree which was surprisingly cool on such a hot day. We enjoyed a really nice lunch and a couple of drinks and of course, lots of chatting.

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

Pat collected me from the caravan park and we went over to the shopping mall in Forrestfield for coffee and lots of chatting. We enjoyed a lovely time together. Pat gave me a book I have been wanting to read, plus she had a gift from Tracey for me as well. I have been spoilt. It was really hard saying goodbye to Pat as she is one of my dearest friends. In the afternoon I had a medical appointment, afterwards we went to the shopping mall to buy Peter a watch. He did not find what he was looking for. I however found what I wanted at the kitchen shop.

Wednesday 4th January 2017

Nic took me to the movies this morning to see Star Wars which was great. Pete Mate took Billy for a transmission service. Afterwards Nic and I had lunch which was yummy. It was also nice just to sit and chat and catch up on everything. When I got home Peter was having a nap. I washed some bedding and then off out we went again in the air-conditioned car, his time in search of drawer handles to replace a broken one and have some spares. Later we went out to a curry place for an Indian curry. It is a café and not a restaurant and the atmosphere was not the best as we were the only two customers; apparently they make their money from takeaways. I enjoyed my butter chicken but Peter wasn’t so keen on the goat. He said it had a lot of bone and gristle. Once home we enjoyed a glass of wine and I got ready for bed. This is when I remembered the sheets were still out on the line. I decided to get them in the morning.

Thursday 5th January 2017

I was out early to get a pedicure at the local ‘nail’ shop. I am happy with my pedicure but the place could have done with a good clean. The other day I spotted a really good butcher so before heading home I bought meat to put in the freezer for when we are on the road. Once home I remembered the sheets and went to collect them. Alas, someone needed them more than we do because they had taken them but kindly left the pegs. Not happy! I found out later that a few things had gone missing overnight – pots, pans and even our neighbour's underwear. I was cross with myself for not making the effort to go and bring the sheets in last night.

We met up with friends Eileen and Peter for lunch in Applecross. It was so good to see them again. We enjoyed a nice lunch and a good catch up.

Friday 6th January 2017

I was out shopping early this morning ready for our departure tomorrow. I also put out a load of washing early so I could bring it in before we left to meet friends for lunch. Once I was hope from shopping we decided to leave earlier than planned because we wanted to have a drive through Perth to see what had changed. The washing was not dry. Perth is undergoing a huge change along Riverside Drive. When completed, Elizabeth Quay will be home to many restaurants and boutique type shops. It will be good to see it once it is completed. We arrived at the Mount Henry Tavern at the same time as friends Bernie and June. Keith and Lynne arrived a little later because they were held up by an accident. It was a very pleasant lunch and it was good to catch up with everyone’s news.

Once home we started to prepare for our departure tomorrow and then later Nic arrived for happy hour. We had this in the barbecue area because we had packed all our things away. It was a good evening chatting, drinking and eating. Sad to say goodbye, though.

Saturday 7th January 2017

We left Perth just before 10.00am. The traffic was heavy and it didn’t help matters that we took the wrong turning. We both agreed the sign was misleading! Once we were on our way the journey was good and non-eventful. We stopped at Tammin for lunch and Pete Mate had a nap. Then we were off again, on to Southern Cross. It was a long day. We were pleasantly surprised by the caravan park. It is really lovely and well maintained. The couple who manage the park are friendly and helpful. We might stay longer than one night.

Sunday 8th January 2017

We enjoyed a very peaceful night even though the main road was not that far away. We decided we would stay another day. I did some washing and knitting. I am knitting at every opportunity because when we get to Kalgoorlie I want to send a parcel off to Poppy, our great grand daughter before she gets too big for the items I have knitted. Pete Mate used the time to catch up on the website a little.

Monday 9th January 2017

We decided to have another day, just because we can. The day was a repeat of yesterday except there wasn’t any washing to do. Just another peaceful relaxing day.

Tuesday 10th January 2017

On the road again today heading for Coolgardie. We had a very good run through, not an overly long trip. We arrived at the caravan park and thought, This looks okay. We had decided to stay three nights as we wanted to explore the area. The chap that greeted me at reception was nice and friendly and very old.

Once money had exchanged hands we were told to drive to the right and pick any site we liked. We drove around the corner and both declared, Oh My God! PM asked me how many nights I had paid for; the answer was three. It was an utter dump, we expected Steptoe and his horse, Hercules, to appear at any moment. (For those who don't know, 'Steptoe and Son' was an English comedy about a rag and bone man and his yard). There was junk all around the place, the amenities block looked like it should be demolished and the gardens, well they were just weeds and dead plants. We set up camp and I went to check the showers and toilets. One toilet didn’t flush at all; you were lucky if you found a toilet or shower cubicle where the locks worked. On a good note we did have wine.

Wednesday 11th January 2017

We enjoyed a full day in Kalgoorlie. We did the organised tour of the town hall which was very interesting. Our guide, Tim, was very knowledgeable about the history of Kalgoorlie and Boulder. The building was beautiful and well maintained, what delighted me was the locals still used it for events plus the council still holds their meetings here. Very often modern buildings are built and the old ones are left to die. We heard little stories about different mayors and it very quickly became apparent there had been some rivalry between Kalgoorlie and Boulder. I asked if this was so, and had it been mostly friendly. The reply was, yes, there was rivalry, and no, it was not friendly. This, of course, refers to days gone by as now it is hard to tell where Kalgoorlie ends and Boulder begins. Plus there is only one council for the combined City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

After the tour I went into the information centre to look at the shop. Pete Mate went outside to look at a motor bike. When I emerged from the shop he was nowhere to be seen, then I spotted him walking up the street so followed but lost him so went in search of the Telstra shop instead. I found this but decided not to stay as it was pretty busy. I went back to the car and there was Pete Mate wondering where I was, he had been searching for me. This is why we have a mobile phone each; the only trouble is one of them tends to get left at home!

By now it was getting towards lunchtime so we decided to drive out to a shopping mall where Target is - I needed to replace the sheets that were stolen. As well as Target, we found a Gloria Jeans for lunch. I gave the girl our order and when it was ready she shouted Pamela and three of us stood up. How funny is that? After lunch we bought the sheets and discovered the pharmacy in the mall did not fill prescriptions – a bit odd we thought.

From there we went to look at the Super Pit which is huge. It is one of the largest gold mines in the world. These huge trucks looked like little dinky toys at the bottom of this pit. We didn’t stay long because the wind was quite strong and not very pleasant. Back into to town we go to find a pharmacy. We found one and while the scripts were being filled I walked up to the Telstra Shop which now was quite empty. A lovely young girl called Summer served me. We sorted out a new SIM card and then she updated a couple of our plans so we got extra data. I told her the SIM card was for an iPhone that my son had given me. On finding out I had not owned one before she gave me her personal mobile number in case I needed help. She was also thinking hard of places of interest we could visit. She asked, had we been to see the ‘Brockles’? I replied I hadn’t and I had no idea what they are. She went a little pink in the face and was unsure how to explain when I realised she had said 'brothels'. I said I understand now and no we haven’t looked because I know all about them having worked in two for years. Now her face did turn quite pink! I assured her I did not actually work in the brothel but looked after the accounts. Her reply was I am not here to judge. Lovely girl. Once that was all sorted I went back to collect the scripts and found a problem with one. The pharmacist could not fill it but he gave us enough tablets to carry us over until we could get to a doctor. How lovely is that? We found the people of Kalgoorlie so lovely and friendly. Once that was all settled the only thing left to do was the dreaded supermarket shop. Then it was home for happy hour.

Thursday 12th January 2017

Today it was Coolgardie’s turn. We had a drive around to start with but that didn’t take long. We had a look down the main street at the buildings and I found the Post Office. I had a couple of parcels to send. The chap serving was very helpful and found the correct packaging for each parcel. Whilst I was doing this Pete Mate was in the shop next door. This was a second hand shop that had a sign saying they bought junk and sold antiques. It was a very interesting shop. We then made our way to Coolgardie’s museum which has very good reviews. We paid our $2 each and went our separate ways as we tend to do in museums. It was good but not anything special. Peter did the second level but I gave the stairs a miss as my knees are too painful. Once we had seen enough we went home for a lie down in the cool. The heat is getting to us a bit.

Friday 13th January 2017

We had a good trip through to Fraser Ranges Station. We had heard how lovely this place is and we were not disappointed. We set up camp and relaxed. Later we sat outside the ‘van with our wine and watched kangaroos, emus, a baby goat and one horse. They were either in the paddock just beyond the caravan park or actually in the park itself.

Saturday 14th January 2017

It is very peaceful here, we decided to have three nights but it would seem most people just stay overnight because by 10.00am ours and one other ‘van were all that were left. The sheep and goats wandered about the empty park before heading out to the paddock. The horse seemed to be free to wander as well. During the morning I took to my bed as I had yet another cold and felt really ill. I only got up to cook dinner and do necessary things.

Sunday 15th January 2017

Another day of bed for me. Pete Mate was working on the website.

Monday 16th January 2017

I am feeling a lot better today so we decided to move on as planned. It is wonderful to have the choice. We arrived at Caiguna during the afternoon. We set up camp had a rest and then went over to the bar for happy hour. We met the locals who are very friendly. Then went home for dinner and the evening. The caravan park is now filling up, when we arrived we had the choice of the whole place.

Tuesday 17th January 2017

We awoke to find the caravan completely surrounded by water, it had been raining heavily during the night. I had to wade through the water to get to the toilet block and the office because we decided we would stay an extra night to allow the storm to pass over. It rained for most of the day but by evening it had eased. Yesterday, when we arrived it was 40 degrees. Today we were so cold we had the heater on. It was a good opportunity to do some knitting and computer work.

Wednesday 18th January 2017

The water had all but disappeared and it had stopped raining so we decided to move on. We enjoyed a good trip through to Eucla. I was greeted by a very grumpy woman who obviously was having a bad day. We set up camp and had the air-conditioner going in no time at all as once again it was hot. Crazy weather. We enjoyed a peaceful night.

Thursday 19th January 2017

We decide to stay another night as Pete Mate was tired and I was a little weary. Pete Mate wanted to go and look at the old telegraph building. Our body clock and the actual time are out of sync so we don’t really know whether it is lunchtime, dinnertime or wine time. Sorry, we always know when it is wine time. When we were hungry we walked up to the office and restaurant. It is a fair walk from the caravan park to the roadhouse and it was hot. We paid for another night and then enjoyed a very nice sandwich for lunch. When we were about to leave Peter made enquiries about the telegraph building. It was a ten kilometre round trip and there wasn’t much to see anyway, so he was told. He soon forgot that idea.

Friday 20th January 2017

We set off for the Nullarbor Roadhouse about 10.00am, one of the last to leave the park. We crossed the WA/SA state border and entered another time zone. I had used up all the fruit and veg ready for the border crossing only to find the border checkpoint is at Ceduna, not the actual border. The caravan park had a few ‘vans in it already but there was plenty room and we soon found a spot for the night. We went into the bar for happy hour and dinner and watched the tennis on the big screen. It was a very pleasant evening spent with some really nice locals.

Saturday 21st January 2017

Today’s overnighter is Penong, we stayed there on the way to Perth and found the caravan park very nice. The couple that own it are friendly and helpful and they keep the park looking good. The amenities are spotless and well maintained. Plus, you don’t have to pay for a shower. Across the Nullarbor you have to pay $1 for a five minute shower as water is scarce. We enjoyed a very peaceful night.

Sunday 22nd January 2017

It was a short drive from Penong to Ceduna. We had to stop at the border checkpoint for the attendant to see if we had any fruit and vegetables. This border check was just before you enter Ceduna which I find all very confusing because the border was just after we left Eucla. The caravan park is small and very nice. Jodie (one of the owners) booked us in and she was very helpful and friendly. We set up camp and then relaxed. We have lovely views of the ocean. As we had run out of wine we visited the pub next door. We both enjoyed a drink but were not impressed by the service. We then walked around the corner to the bottle shop. Back at the caravan we sat outside for a while as the temperature was perfect.

Monday 23rd January 2017

We didn’t do a lot today, just relaxed, watched some tennis, did some knitting and reading. It rained off and on for most of the day and the temperature has dropped considerably.

Tuesday 24th January 2017

In the morning I kept the washing machines in the laundry busy, cleaned out some cupboards and did some other cleaning. In the afternoon we had a drive around Ceduna and discovered it to be a lovely little town. We paid a visit to the Information Centre and talked to a man that was as useful as a chocolate fireguard. We then did some shopping before heading home.

Wednesday 25th January 2017

I did some more cleaning and cupboard sorting. Then I watched the tennis whilst knitting. I sat outside for a little while but when the wind blows - which it seems to most afternoons - it is very chilly.

Thursday 26th January 2017

Once again I did some more cupboard sorting; I think I have now done all the cupboards. I watched the tennis, sat outside reading until the chill factor set in. Pete Mate was on the computer doing the website.

Friday 27th January 2017

I took the camera for a walk, not realising how hot it had become. I took my photos and then wandered into town. By the time I returned I was ready for a cool drink. Pete Mate was sitting outside the ‘van waiting for the floor to dry. No he didn’t wash it, I did before I went for my walk. It was dry so two cool drinks were prepared and consumed, sitting outside, watching the ocean. The rest of the day was taken up with hobbies.

Saturday 28th January 2017

We did some preparation for our departure tomorrow. In the afternoon I went shopping and Pete Mate took Billy for fuel and a car wash. He couldn’t find the carwash. After he collected me from the supermarket he asked someone where the carwash was; we then found it and Billy got a wash. Once home we retreated inside with the air conditioner on. It is getting hot again.

Sunday 29th January 2017

We enjoyed a good run through to Wudinna arriving at lunchtime. I went to book in and found the place locked up and no one in sight. As we had stayed here before we found a site, switched the air on and had lunch. It appears we cannot get the TV which is unusual because I am sure we had it here last time. Later I walked over to the office and it was still unattended so I rang the number. Sandy, the owner, answered and said she was at the hospital with her mother. We arranged we would pay later when we went over to the restaurant to have dinner. It was a very pleasant evening with yummy food.

Monday 30th January 2017

We busied ourselves in the caravan. We felt like a rest day after yesterday’s travelling. We are tending more and more to have a rest day after travelling.

Tuesday 31st January 2017

We went into town to have a look around. Firstly, we visited the huge statue that was built in honour of all farmers. It is quite a magnificent statue and very, very big.

The Australian Farmer granite sculpture in Wudinna. Each of its four sides represents different facets of farm life in Australia. For example, the heads of wheat in the left photo have some grains missing.This symbolises hungry years, hardship, battle for survival. The head represents the sun, the symbol of life. And so it goes on. The rear facade of the of the figure is male and the front is female as a dedication to the unsung women in the agricultural industry.
The little, fat, blue-topped figure in the right picture is just there to lend scale.

We then visited the information centre to find out more about exploring the Gawler Ranges National Park. They could not help us with maps or anything else we didn’t have. Nice ladies though, very friendly. We had a drive around the town and did a little shopping. All the people in this town are so friendly. Later, we decided we would stay a few more days. When we went over to the restaurant for dinner we paid the extra rent and now we are staying the week.

That's January done and dusted.

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