Day 367 of retirement

June 17, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 11thJune:

No wind but still cold and showers, so car exploring.

We visited Injidup Spa (a rock pool that you can swim in and it simulates a spa), Canal Rocks (water surges in canals through the rocks), Sugarloaf Rocks a large rocky outcrop that is the southern most nesting place for the red-tailed tropic bird. Only a few nesting pairs left.

Into Dunsborough for lunch and visited the Christian Fletcher photographic gallery. He is an awesome landscape photographer.

Tuesday 12thJune:

Rained all morning but cleared up at midday. So we headed to the Busselton Jetty. The jetty is 1.841km long and the longest wooden pile jetty in the southern hemisphere. We walked to the end and back in the fresh sea air.

Had an awesome lunch at the restaurant looking out over the jetty.

Back to the cabin and some serious planning for the next few weeks. Nothing booked yet but we now know our route which is 90% locked in. Always room for a bit of wiggle time.

Wednesday 13thJune:

Left Busselton for Fremantle (230km & 3 hours).

Arrived in Coogee Beach (just south of Fremantle) at 12:30pm and were able to get access to our cabin to unload our gear.

Off into Fremantle to check on Rottnest Island access and tours. Over a very yummy seafood lunch at the dock we sorted out the tour for Friday.

A wander round the quiet Cappuccino Strip area followed by a cup of tea and apple pie finished off the day nicely.

Thursday 14thJune:

First stop today was the old Fremantle prison. It operated from 1855 to 1991 and is now the only world heritage listed building in WA so will be preserved forever.

Our guide was excellent in his history of the facility and some of its characters and what they got up to.

Not a nice place to be incarcerated in the 1900s as it still operated as it was built back in 1855. Its gallows were responsible for 60 men and 1 woman being hanged there.

After a very yummy seafood lunch again we headed for the Maritime Museum to mainly see Australia II, Alan Bond’s yacht that wrestled the Americas Cup off the Americans back in 1983 for the first time.

Lots of great stuff there as well to see that is maritime related.

Friday 15thJune:

Off to Rottnest Island for the day. The ferry ride (30 minutes) each way was okay so all good.

We did a guided tour of the island so got to see all the highlights and hear about all the history. And a bonus we got to see some Quokkas up close and personal.

Finished off the day with an awesome catch up with Dani Langley (ex Civica life) and Stu. Great dinner with great company and lots of even greater stories.

Saturday 16thJune:

Left Fremantle for Ocean Reef to stay with Vernie (a fellow mah-jong player from Manila) and Bob (50km north of Fremantle). We made a side trip to Scarborough Beach for a looksee before arriving at Ocean Reef. Beautiful spot.

After a very yummy lunch Bob and Vernie took us on a tour of the local area followed by afternoon tea at the local Hillarys Boat Harbour.

Sunday 17thJune:

Up early for a very nice 1-hour walk along the Ocean Reef foreshore with Bob and Vernie followed by a home cooked brunch of eggs, bacon and mushrooms.

Vernie organised a mah-jong game for Guy in the afternoon, her first one in many many months so she is back in her element.

Bob took me for a drive in the local area long the coast for some photographic opportunities.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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Day 360 of retirement

June 10, 2018

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Hi All

Tuesday 5thJune:

Baby sitting Jett & Mateya today in Narrogin as it is a pupil free day at the school and Mel is working and Mark is busy farming. Very cold windy day so a games day indoors is the go.

Wednesday 6thJune:

Left Narrogin for Manjimup (230km) with a stop over in Bridgewater for lunch.

Quite cold and blustery when we arrived in Manjimup. After a cup of tea we went for a drive to see the Diamond Tree. It is a 51m tall Karri tree with steel spikes hammered into the tree trunk so you can climb up to the top platform/cabin. This was used for spotting bush fires in the past. After some pics it was back to our motel room as it started to drizzle again.

Be back tomorrow to explore this tree and surrounding area.

Thursday 7thJune:

Off exploring today. First stop was the Bicentennial Tree (75m high fire spotting tree) but as there was 6km of very wet muddy road we didn’t chance it in the mighty Mazda.

Next stop was the Cascade waterfalls. There was quite a bit of water in the rapids after all the rain.

Then it was off to the Gloucester Tree (+53m high fire spotting tree). We had a look round but didn’t climb it.

Last stop was theUnderstory Art and Nature sculptures in the bush in Northcliffe. This one is highly recommended as the best incorporation of art and nature.

Purely by chance caught up with David F and Debbie W for dinner. They are from a previous life in Civica. They are working at the local council in Manjimup at present. Awesome catch up you all.

Friday 8thJune:

Went for a short drive to the King Jarrah tree just outside of town. A huge 500 years old Jarrah tree that is quite spectacular.

Back into town for a wander round followed by lunch. Guy had a Truffle burger and I had a steak with truffle mash and sliced slivers of truffle. Very very nice.

Drizzled on and off all afternoon so we broke out the maps and booked our accommodations for the next 2 weeks.

Saturday 9thJune:

Left Manjimup for Busselton via Augusta (240km). The weather was foul as it rained and blew all day.

Hoping to see some whales at Augusta but just too stormy and rough.

Next stop was Jewel Cave outside of Augusta. We were very lucky as there were only six of us on the one-hour tour. So everybody got great pics and we had all our questions answered.

A really unique cave (lots of chambers) as it has different formations to other caves we have been in.

Absolutely poured as we arrived at our cabin in Busselton. Our cabin is quite luxurious so a great place to ride out the storms.

Sunday 10thJune:

Still windy with the occasional shower of rain but fining up. We went for a drive through the lush and very green Ferguson Valley to Gnomesville.

Gnomesville started with a single gnome in a hollow tree (started in the early 90’s) and now has expanded to more than 3,000 gnomes with their own village. It is now a top 100 place to visit in Australia. There are now Gnomes here from all round the world.

Next stop was downtown Bunbury and checked out all the awesome street art.

Final stop was the Busselton jetty. Extending 1.8 kilometres over the protected waters of Geographe Bay, the heritage listed Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

The train and under sea observatory at the end were both closed due to the rough weather. Should be open in the next two days so will go back and explore further.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 354 of retirement

June 4, 2018

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Hi All

Tuesday 29thMay:

Checked out the Narrogin and nearby places with our tour guide, Lyn. Saw some more orchids and bird life at the local lakes.

Also had the mighty Mazda serviced by the great people at Narrogin Mazda. They fitted me in today and had the service all completed by midday.

Wednesday 30thMay:

Rest day today. Just hung round Lyn’s place and had a very nice lunch at the local pub.

Thursday 31stMay:

Left Narrogin for Hyden (Wave Rock) (200km & 2 hours). Was sad to say goodbye to Lyn (sister) as it has been great having her as our tour guide.

Arrived early afternoon and after lunch and checking into our cabin it was off to Wave Rock (300m walk from our cabin).

Absolutely amazing formation with all the curves colours and textures. Hardly anybody there so mostly had the whole rock to ourselves. Will explore Wave Rock and other formations in the area tomorrow.

Friday 1stJune:

Off exploring the Wave Rock area today. First stop was back at Wave Rock and climbed up on top of the rock. Very interesting place as there are depressions that each have their own little ecosystem growing in them. Also large granite rocks eroded / hollowed out into mystical shapes.

Off for a drive to The Humps and Mulka’s Cave (36km round trip).

Mulka’s Cave has some very old and weathered aboriginal art works. Getting very faded but still able to see the outlines of many hands.

The Humps’ Kalari Trail starts at the cave so an easy start. The trail winds its way up to the summit of The Humps (large granite outcrop) with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

On the way home we called into Lake Magic (large salt lake) and Hippo’s Yawn (a cave shaped like a hippo’s mouth).

Saturday 2ndJune:

Back up on top of Wave Rock this morning for a wander. It really is a special place as there is so much to take in around the rock.

Then a short drive into Hyden to see the local junkyard sculptures. These are a series of sculptures made out of local junk depicting the locals and their history through the sculptures.

After lunch a siesta and relaxing afternoon was had by all.

Sunday 3rdJune:

Left Wave Rock for Mary’s Farm Cottages via Lake King, Newdegate (Silo art), Lake Grace and Kukerin (290km & 4 hours with a few stops).

The silo art in Newdegate was amazing as we got to see the artist actually creating it.

Staying at Mary’s Farm Cottages outside Kukerin. Superb place to stay as we sat on the veranda and watched the sunset enjoying a hand delivered home cooked dinner (Chicken Kiev and fresh Yabbies).

Monday 4thJune:

Left Kukerin for Narrogin via Corrigin (250km).

Arrived in Narrogin and back at my sister Lyn’s place. She is away at Uluru at the moment so we have the place to ourselves.

Had a nice quiet afternoon and booked our accommodation for the next two weeks.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 347 of retirement

May 28, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 21stMay:

After a sleep-in this morning it was off to Elephant Rocks and the Greens Pool. Awesome and beautiful beaches and rock formations.

Another awesome lunch at a local brewery and caught the sunset at Lights Beach.

Tuesday 22ndMay:

Off to the Walpole area today for a look see.

First stop was the Valley of the giant’s tree top walk. This walkway is 40m high and makes its way up into the tree tops of trees that reach 70m high. Fantastic walk in the tree tops although the walkway does sway a bit.

Next stop was Mt Frankland which involved 24km of dirt road driving but luckily the road wasn’t too bad.

On the way back we called into the Swarbrick Art Loop. This is a series of sculptures in the bush. Interesting.

Back to the cabin and we went for a walk from our cabin to Ocean Beach and back while enjoying the setting sun.

We both really like it here as you are spoilt for stunning choices.

Wednesday 23rdMay:

Left Denmark for Porongurup (110km). Arrived in Mount Barker midday and had an awesome lunch at a local winery.

Then off to Porongurup where our mud brick cabin awaited us. Very nice cabin with a rustic feel.

Late afternoon went for a drive into the Porongurup NP to check out a couple of hikes, which are on the agenda for tomorrow.

Thursday 24thMay:

Off to Castle Rock Granite Sky Walk this morning. A nice 2.2km hike up the mountainside gets you to Castle Rock. The lower lookout is just around the corner from the climb to the skywalk.

To get to the skywalk you have to rock scramble over two sets of obstacles then climb a 7m ladder up a cliff face.

Guy made it up (awesome effort) but sadly I didn’t. Had an attack of vertigo. First time this has happened in 40 years. Old age catching up with me.

Next stop was the Stirling NP and the Bluff Knoll. Awesome monolith. Lots of dust and smoke about so visibility wasn’t so good.

Friday 25thMay:

It was a wild cold night last night. Lots of wind and heavy showers of rain. After a nice long sleep-in we went for a loop drive round to Mount Barker.

Had a very nice lunch at Nic’s Café and then back to the cottage for a relaxing afternoon (with the gas heater on) watching the rain go by.

Saturday 26thMay:

Left Porongurup for Narrogin (250km). Rained most of the way. Arrived 1:00pm ish at my sister’s Lyn’s place.

A quick unload of the Mazda and packed a smaller bag as we were heading out to Mel (my niece) & Mark’s farm some 40km out of town.

Arrived at the farm and cooked up a big batch of Pork Adobo for dinner as we settled in with the pot belly roaring away keeping us nice and cozy.

Sunday 27thMay:

Spent the day at the farm with all nieces and nephews, as Bronte and his two girls were present as well. Great family day as it blew and rained outside.

Monday 28thMay:

Back to Narrogin with Lyn. Dumped our gear and spent the day wildflower hunting with Lyn and Andrew (orchid hunting friend). Got to see some of the local countryside and some very nice orchids and wildflowers.

Back mid afternoon for a nice hot cup of tea and relaxing.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

 

 


Day 338 of retirement

May 20, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 14thMay:

Off exploring the Bremer Bay area today. Lots of awesome beaches with squeaky white sand and crystal clear turquoise water.

Pity it is so cold. We could have been enticed into a swim.

Tuesday 15thMay:

Left Bremer Bay for Albany (220km & 3 hours). On the way we detoured into Cheyne Beach. It is 20km off the main road so a little remote. But such a beautiful place.

Arrived into Albany, checked into our cabin and off for a very nice lunch at The Three Anchors restaurant. Some shopping for supplies and back to the cabin in time for an afternoon siesta.

Wednesday 16thMay:

Off exploring the Torndirrup National Park (Southern peninsula from Albany).

Awesome place with our favorite places being The Gap, The Natural Bridge, Salmon Beach and the old whaling station.

Thursday 17thMay:

Back to the old whaling station to visit the attached wildlife park and botanical gardens. On the way back to Albany called back into the Gap / Natural Bridge. Love this place. Sadly several hours after we left a tourist fell into the ocean at the Gap and didn’t survive. It is a very treacherous place and not to be taken lightly.

Back to the Squid Shack for lunch (thanks Dani) then off to the National ANZAC Centre.

Its focus is on WW1 history. You get a card with a solider on it and you then swipe it round the centre and it gives you his history. Over 40,000 soldiers went through Albany off to the Great War.

Awesome but sad place.

Friday 18thMay:

Off exploring Little Beach today in the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. Beautiful spot with squeaky white sand.

Lunch was Yabbies, Marron and smoked salmon at the Old Marron Farm Café. Awesome.

At 4:45pm my sister Lyn turned up (lives in Narrogin) to stay with us for two nights. She is taking us orchid hunting tomorrow in the local area as we have been unsuccessful finding any.

Saturday 19thMay:

Off orchid/wild flower hunting with my sister Lyn round the Denmark area. Saw some amazing plants. Thanks Lyn.

Back to the cabin at 4:00pm and settled in to watch the royal wedding. Yeah I know, we are a sad bunch.

Sunday 20thMay:

Left Albany for Denmark (100km). Lyn took us to another orchid spot on the way then we parted ways. Lyn headed back to Narrogin and we headed to Denmark.

Had an awesome lunch at Lake House (winery restaurant).

Checked into our “house” (huge Chalet cabin), which is very roomy and nice.

Spent the afternoon exploring the local Denmark area.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 331 of retirement

May 13, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 7thMay:

Off exploring the Esperance area today. We followed The Great Ocean Drive which is a 40km drive along the coast. The seas were up today so some spectacular scenery was seen by all.

After lunch at Salmon Beach, we went off to the Lucky Beach area for the afternoon (140km round trip).

Another beautiful part of the world with white sandy beaches.

On the way home we called into Stonehenge. It is a full size replica of the original Stonehenge, as it would have looked in 1950BC. The structure is aligned with the summer solstice sunrise in Esperance.
137 stones of Esperance Pink Granite were quarried and assembled on a local farm. Awesome structure.

Tuesday 8thMay:

Quiet day today as we explored the township of Esperance soaking up the warmth.

After lunch Guy cooked up a big pot of pork adobo for dinner. Our last night at Deb and Alan’s and it has been awesome spending time with them and enjoying their hospitality.

Wednesday 9thMay:

Left Esperance for the Munglinup Beach Holiday Park (150km & 2 hours). It rained all the way but cleared up late afternoon. Weather is clearing for tomorrow so will explore the local area.

Munglinup is a real little gem of a spot. Set in secluded bushland spot 25km off the highway and 2km from the beach.

The two-bedroom cottage is awesome especially with a potbelly stove, which we have fired up. Awesome spot.

Thursday 10thMay:

Went exploring the Munglinup area. Visited the beautiful Oldfield Creek and Munglinup Beach.

We had the whole beach to ourselves. Our footprints were the only ones on the beach. Didn’t see anybody the whole time we were there. Loved it.

Back to our awesome cabin and cranked up the potbelly stove as the afternoon cooled off.

Friday 11thMay:

Left Munglinup for Hopetoun (120km & 1.5 hours). We arrived at 11:00am and were able to check in to our cabin, as it was ready.

Off to downtown Hopetoun for a very nice Pork Spare Ribs lunch.

After lunch we went west along the coast and explored the Fitzgerald River NP. Came across some awesome vegetation. The highlight was the Royal Hakea, which were stunning. I have never seen them before so very special.

Fitzgerald River NP is called a Biosphere. It is world known and many overseas botanists come to WA to visit the rare and unique flora in this park. Truly an amazing place.

Saturday 12thMay:

Explored Ravensthorpe today and visited the silo art, museum and farm gate art, very nice and interesting.

There are over 20 different farm gate arts scattered around the area that we tried to look for. The idea is that the artist will use only disused farm materials.

Sunday 13thMay:

Huge happy mothers day to my beautiful wife Guy. Celebrating with a nice restaurant dinner tonight.

Left Hopetoun for Bremer Bay Resort (260km & 3 hours). Checked out some more Farm Gate Art along the way.

Nice easy drive and arrived early afternoon. After dropping our gear it was off exploring the local area.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 325 of retirement

May 6, 2018

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Hi All

Wednesday 2ndMay:

Off on the Super Pit gold mine tour this morning. Did a tour of the gold mine facilities and the HUGE open cut mine. The open cut is one of the largest in the world measuring 3.6km long, 1.6km wide and 700m deep. An awesome spectacle to see.

The mine produces about 60kg of gold per day. In today’s gold prices (approx $1,700 per ounce) that is $3,597,200 per day. But when you see the infrastructure and machinery required to produce this amount of gold it is mind blowing. Just in dump trucks alone there are 40 CAT793 trucks that cost $4.4 million dollars each ($176 million dollars total).

1 in 7 trucks carries gold bearing ore (the other 6 carry out waste). This one truck’s gold is about a golf ball size (500 grams = $30,600 worth out of a 225 tonne payload).

Wes our tour guide was a wealth of knowledge and gave an awesome run down on the day-to-day workings of the mine and its history.

At 4:30pm we did a tour of the Questa Casa, which is one of two of Kalgoorlie’s working brothels. It is the only original brothel left in Kalgoorlie and is over 100 years old.

The madam gave us a very interesting talk on the history and day-to-day operations of the brothel along with some very interesting stories. Also showed us round the working rooms (it was closed at the time) and the costs associated with the rooms. Very interesting.

Thursday 3rdMay:

Off exploring today. First stop was to see my cousin Wendy who I have never actually met. Great to catch up with her and hear all her family history.

Next off to Coolgardie (90km round trip), which is a Gold Ghost Town. In its heyday (gold rush) it was the third largest city in WA with a population of 15,000. Sadly back to 850 people now.

They have a great museum there which has one of the best old bottle collections I have ever seen. Very impressive.

Back to Kalgoorlie and the public Super Pit viewing area. This was across the other side of the open pit and gave another perspective of the huge operation.

On the way back to our cabin we called into the Mount Charlotte lookout to see a view of the township. Great views.

Friday 4thMay:

After a leisurely morning which included a load of washing it was back into town and the Goldfields Museum. Awesome museum especially the vault with its “real” gold displays.

In 1991 the London Bullion Market Association granted accreditation to Australian Gold Refineries Kalgoorlie Plant to produce 400 ounce gold bars. This is the first one produced (it is real) hence the K00001 serial number. It is worth $6-700,000 in gold value but really worth several million as it is the first bar produced. It is kept in a very secure vault that is open during the day.

Then off to the balcony (over looking the main street) at the York Hotel for a very nice lunch.

Back to the cabin for our afternoon siesta followed by a visit to the Hammond Park for our evening stroll and last look at Kalgoorlie.

Saturday 5thMay:

Left Kalgoorlie for Esperance (390km & 5 hours with a few stops).

Staying with my cousin Deb and Alan (hubby). Great to see Deb as I last saw her when she was 15 (48 years ago). Lots of catching up was had by all.

Sunday 6thMay:

Off exploring today with Deb and Alan in their 4 x 4 in the beautiful Duke of New Orleans Bay area. Awesome part of the world and we loved it so going back to stay for a few nights.

Called into the Condingup pub for a very yummy lunch. A great day out was enjoyed by all.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy