Friday, September 25, 2015

Perth to Adelaide

While in Perth it was our wedding anniversary, so we had a nice tea out, within walking distance of the park, which was very enjoyable.
We caught up with my old school friend Anne Holder and her husband Rod. We had got back in contact by Facebook so Anne had followed my journey down the west coast and suggested we catch up when I reached Perth.

Our old neighbours also now live in Perth, so we had dinner with them one night, and I attended a baby shower hosted by De for Jeannine and Will’s baby while Randall, Will and Jonathon went out for a boy’s Father’s Day. It was so nice to catch up with everyone again.


We also caught up with Randall’s cousin David and his wife Rose and their two gorgeous girls, Lola and Sophia. We spent an enjoyable afternoon with them at their place in Mullaloo.
Our last catch up was with Phil and Angela Delich. Phil had worked for us many years ago in our amusement machine business and Randall has always liked keeping in touch with him. We had lunch at a German restaurant which was different but nice.

We also had to have the car serviced, so we arranged to drop it off early. It was near the satellite shop where we purchased the satellite dish quite some years ago. We got talking to the owner and he brought out this ‘you beaut’ satellite finder called the ‘marriage saver’. Luckily Randall is always good at locking onto the satellite, so there are never any arguments. This didn’t stop Randall’s eyes lighting up, and we walked out with it of course!!

So after all the catch-ups and car stuff we decided that it was time to move on and head East across the Nullarbor.

We were going to go fairly leisurely, but, really, there are not a lot of attractions along the way, so it took 4 nights to get across in the end.
We did make sure we stopped at Northam to find the butcher that we had bought the most delicious sausages from 5 years ago. He had moved, but we tracked him down and got the sausages – not quite as good as we remembered though!
The first night we stopped at a gravel pit. Randall set up the satellite dish, so he could use his ‘marriage saver’ and he was most impressed with how quickly he got set up.
Our second night was at the back of a truck stop, with a couple of other people stopping there as well. 

The third night was at a lookout called the Madura Lookout. It had quite spectacular views over the plains.
We drove across the Nullarbor Plain, which means ‘no trees’.

All the fuel stops along the way have signs indicating that there is no water available unless you stay at their caravan park. However, they have signs along the highway indicating water, and when you drive in, it is just an enormous roof that collects water into a couple of huge water tanks. We filled up at one of these, along with several other people.
We had some time zone confusion in mid western Australia. There is an unofficial central west time zone, as well as WA time and SA time. At one stage we had three different times on our watches, phones and car!!
It was lovely to arrive at the WA/SA border and walk out to see the Great Australian Bight!

Driving along we sometimes watched Sky News on the phone - it never ceases to amaze me how good technology can be!

Our last night was at the Head of the Bight car park. There were quite a few other campers there.  A beautiful sunset and amazing night sky lifted the ambience of the gravel car park with its tall cyclone fence.

We got up the next morning and drove in to the Head of the Bight. You are pretty much guaranteed to see whales there during the whale migratory season. We paid our entry fee to the most uninterested lady at the desk. She had the personality of a coin in the slot turnstile!!
We saw three whales up close, all with babies in tow. The weather was absolutely beautiful with stunning blue skies, so we spent a couple of hours just watching the whales lounging around in from of us.

  All across the Nullarbor it was so warm we had to get out our shorts and t-shirts again.

From the Head of the Bight we drove to Ceduna. We stopped for a walk around of the waterfront, before heading off to our next overnight stop called Minnipa. It had a free campsite in the town, so we walked up to the local historic pub for a delicious meal and a few ales.
There are wheat fields as far as the eye can see in this area, and huge wheat silos at each town we passed through. We stopped at Kimba for a break, where we discovered we were only at the halfway mark across Australia. We thought we were much closer to the east!
Randall had been in touch with David and Ros Taylor, who also own a Cambridge Caravan like ours. They were also in SA and it was likely we would catch up with them at some time. We arranged a meeting place at the Mambray Parking Area, and from that we decided to stay at a lovely little historic country town called Crystal Brook. We had driven through it at the start of the holiday and thought it was really quaint. There were two free camp options, and we chose Bowman Park, just out of the town. It had a nice grassy area to camp on near historic ruins of an old farmhouse. There was also a function centre there.
We started setting up, then discovered there was to be a wedding happening, with music etc. not too far from us. We did talk about packing up and moving, but then decided not to.

We decided that we could put up with the noise. It wasn’t too bad in the end. David got out his fire pot and we sat around enjoying the warmth.

The wedding noise wasn’t too bad, except for the people who decided to drive around each caravan at about 2am tooting their horn!!
The weather the next day was beautiful, so we went for a long walk. When we returned the wedding was still going and David got talking to one of the boys in the wedding party. It was mentioned that Randall had his bagpipes and so it ended up with Randall playing Amazing Grace to the happy couple – they had walked down the aisle to this the night before – much to the enjoyment of all there.

From Crystal Brook we headed for Adelaide. David and Ros were following us as we drove in to Crystal Brook, and David pointed out that our right indicator on the caravan was not working. Just another thing to add to the long list of broken things on the holiday!!

We had another lovely catch up with my sister and her family. It was nice to see my nephew, Ed, who had recently returned from volunteering in Cambodia.

The politics hotted up when we were there. Randall set up the satellite dish so he could follow the Liberal leadership challenge, and watched the debrief all the next day, while I had a coffee catch up with Penelope.
We stayed a few days. Our caravan park had a walking track behind it that led all the way into the city about 5 kilometres away. It was a very pleasant walk and we had a bit of a look around the city before walking back to the park again! Needless to say we slept well that night!

We packed up and started the last bit of our journey - heading towards Echuca to catch up with Katie Matthew and our little grandson Otto.

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