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.

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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

 


Day 319 of retirement

May 1, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 23rdApril:

Time to repack our gear and load it into the car. Off to Port Augusta tomorrow then the Nullarbor on Wednesday. Got some long kilometres to travel over the next week.

Tuesday 24thApril:

Left Port Willunga for Port Augusta (360km & 4 hours). Rained quite heavily as we passed through Adelaide but fined up as we headed north.

Nice smooth trip and arrived mid afternoon. Grabbed some late lunch and a few supplies then back to our cabin for an afternoon nap.

Wednesday 25thApril:

Left Port Augusta for Ceduna (480km & 6 hours with a few stops). Had a good smooth run with little traffic. In Ceduna for two nights and catching up with cousins tomorrow as my Dad was from this area.

Thursday 26thApril:

Went for a bit of a drive today exploring the surrounds of Ceduna.

For dinner we caught up with my cousin Kevin and his wife Sue. Caught up on 40+ years of family history. Been that long since I was last in Ceduna. Had a really really great night with them.

Also ran into Peter Treloar the local Member of Parliament. Peter is from Cummins (where I grew up) and the last time I saw him he was knee high to a grasshopper. I also worked with his dad Brian when he was a councillor in the local council and I worked there. Small world.

Friday 27thApril:

Left Ceduna for Border Village on the SA/WA border (550km & 8 hours (lots of stops).

First stop was The Church on the Hill outside Denial Bay. This old Lutheran Church has been restored by the locals but more importantly it is where my Dad grew up. Standing in the old church I could just see him in the pews.

Also visited the graves of my Grandma Ross (nee Kloeden) who I can still remember. I visited “Uncle Wally” as well. Uncle Wally is actually my cousin but we always knew him as Uncle Wally. Uncle Wally and my Dad used to get up to a bit of mischief in their day.

The old church grounds felt good knowing the history of my Dad growing up there.

Found Kloeden Road and stopped for a pic.

Next stop was Penong and the windmill display. Windmills of all shapes and sizes are on display including one of the biggest in Australia. Very impressive.

We drive into the Head of Bight where the whale watching happens from the cliff tops when in season. No whales at the moment.

Stopped at Nullarbor for lunch and checked out the Nullarbor Links the world’s longest golf course.

Nullarbor Links is an 18-hole par 73 golf course, said to be “the World’s Longest Golf course”, situated along 1,365 kilometres of the Eyre Highway along the southern coast of Australia in two states notably crossing the Nullarbor Plain at the head of the Great Australian Bight.

Nullarbor Roadhouse is a Par 5 – 538m long. The whole course stretches from Kalgoorlie in WA over the Nullarbor to Ceduna in SA.

Also had three stops at lookouts along the Bight.

Saturday 28thApril:

Left Border Village (SA) for Cocklebiddy (WA) (290km & 4 hours).

When you leave SA and enter WA you have go through quarantine, as you can’t bring fresh produce into WA because of fruit fly in SA and other eastern states. We ate all our fruits and thought we were okay with what we had left.

As it turned out our commercially dried bananas (from the Adelaide Central Market) were a no go so we gave up 2.5 packets of dried bananas. Damn.

Made a couple of stops along the way and cruised into Cocklebiddy early afternoon for a great good old country lunch.

Sunday 29thApril:

Left Cocklebiddy for Fraser Range station (320km & 4 hours). This is an old sheep station which is now a cattle station and is set back off the highway.

Had a couple of stops for local attractions and a nice smooth run through.

We settled into the “Overseer’s Cottage” and loved it so much we booked another night.

Enjoyed a home cooked meal (fish & chips + desserts) by the station folk.

Monday 30thApril:

Off on a nice long hike this morning before it gets too hot this afternoon.

We hiked up to the summit of the local “mountain” range then looped back round behind the ridgeline. Stunning country and had perfect hiking conditions. Not too hot and a nice wind blowing to keep the flies away.

Back for a shower, light lunch, siesta and another station home cooked meal for dinner.

Tuesday 1stMay:

Left Fraser Range Station for Kalgoorlie (300km & 3.5hours) via Norseman. Nice easy run with no traffic.

Our cabin was ready when we arrived at midday so were able to unload the car. Then off downtown to the Kalgoorlie Boulder Information Centre. We booked two tours being for the gold mine and the town tour.

Got some supplies and back to the room where Guy cooked up a very nice Sinigang veggie / chicken broth.

Spent the afternoon resting and catching up on blog stuff as we now have 4G internet at last. Only 3G across the Nullarbor.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 310 of retirement

April 22, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 16thApril:

Another wild day today. At least the rain has eased but still pretty windy and cold.

We went for a drive to Robe for lunch and checked out the Limestone Coast along the way (120km round trip).

As Robe is known as the crayfish capital of Australia we had to have an appropriate lunch. So a crayfish omelette for Guy and smashed avocado and crayfish for me. Awesome food.

Back to Beachport and followed the scenic drive for a 16km round trip. The ocean was wild but still some spectacular views.

Tuesday 17thApril:

Left Beachport for Meningie/Tailem Bend but decided to drive all the way through to Port Willunga to my sister’s beach house. (450km & 7 hours).

We had a few stops along the way especially my brush with the law. I was pulled over for my first speeding infringement today. Doing 110 in a 100 zone. After the lovely policewoman checked my license, checked car rego, breath tested me and informed me it was a $450 fine, she let me off with a warning. Awesome service SA Police.

Also detoured to Coonalpyn to see the silo art. The huge grain silos have been painted with some of the local kids pictures spanning the full length of the silos. Pretty impressive.

Wednesday 18thApril:

As we are a day early to Port Will we had a nice leisurely day. I spent a couple of hours cleaning the mighty Mazda inside and out. She was pretty dirty but all good now.

We also planned out the next couple of weeks as we cross the Nullarbor to WA. We booked our accommodation at the motels along the way, as we don’t fancy having to sleeping in the car, as the stretches between roadhouses are considerable.

Lunch was at the iconic Victory Hotel. Awesome food there as we have been there a couple of times previously.

Thursday 19thApril:
From our visit to the Cube today at the D’arenberg winery (https://www.darenberg.com.au) which is 20 minutes away from Port Willunga. We enjoyed an eight-course degustation lunch (which was awesome) before exploring the very unique Cube at this winery.

The Cube consists of 4 floors of a very unique building inside and out. It has wine tasting, a restaurant, gallery and function area.

Back to the beach tonight to watch the sunset. Not as vivid as last night but still pretty special.

Friday 20thApril:

Off to the big smoke today. Caught up with Deb (cousin) and Pam (friend) for lunch at a Filipino restaurant in downtown Adelaide.

Then off to the iconic Adelaide Central Market. Guy  is cooking up a Filipino feast tomorrow for the Kloeden gathering so needed some supplies. Managed to get it all at the market along with a few supplies for the road next week when we head for WA.

Saturday 21stApril:

After a busy morning, a huge Filipino feast was prepared for the family gathering. The masses arrived at midday and a great afternoon of fun and food prevailed.

And doggie bags were issued to all, as there was plenty of food to go round twice. A great family gathering was had by all.

Sunday 22ndApril:

A leisurely day where we all relaxed with walks (and swims) at the beach. Awesome weather.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 

 


Day 303 of retirement

April 15, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 9thApril:

Awesome customer service today at the Naracoorte Mazda service centre (Wickham Flower & Co). The mighty Mazda needed a regular service so I called them to see if they could fit me in some time in the next few days.
I got same day service. Dropped the car in at 10:30am and ready by midday.
And they even washed the Mazda. Pity the car washer as it was caked with bug / grasshopper guts on the front and very dirty.

After the service we made our way to the Naracoorte Caves and took a tour of the Fossil Cave. They have been excavating 50,000-year-old fossils for the last 45 years and they reckon that at this pace they need another 300 hundred years to clear the chamber.

After a very yummy dinner cooked by Deb we went through her pics of the Philippines (Marinduque) when she, Pam and Mike visited us some 6.5 years ago. Guy and I felt homesick.

Tuesday 10thApril:

Rest day today as we relaxed round Deb’s deck. Midday trip into Naracoorte for some supplies for Guy to make up a big pot of pork adobo for dinner.

Had a great dinner with Deb, Mike (Deb’s partner), Mick (local) and Mark (visiting from Oregon in the USA). A very interesting group of people from all different background.

Mick has climbed in Nepal and turns out we have both climb in the same area. And Mark is a keen mountain biker with Mike being a motorcycle racer. All things from my past life (before retirement).

Wednesday 11thApril:

Left Naracoorte for Halls Gap and had a good smooth run with no traffic (350km & 4 hours).

Settled into our luxurious cabin then went for a bit of a drive round the town for a look see and get a few groceries.

Thursday 12thApril:

Off exploring the northern Grampians today (120km loop). We visited:

~ Reed Lookout (lookout west of the Grampians).

~ The Balconies (stunning rock formation).

~ Mackenzie Falls (awesome waterfalls).

~ Broken Falls (smaller waterfalls).

~ Gulgurn Manja Shelter (Aboriginal rock art).

Lots to see and some spectacular rock formations.

Friday 13thApril:

Off exploring the southern Grampians today (130km round trip). We visited:

~ Wonderland carpark (was going for a hike but carpark full. Try tomorrow).

~ Venus Baths (bath holes in the granite rock that water flows through).

~ Lake Bellfield (reservoir).

~ Mount William Highest point in the Grampians).

~ Bunjil Shelter (Aboriginal rock art).

~ Red Rock Olive Farm (yummy olives).

Had the best Indian lunch at The Punjab Indian restaurant, Halls Gap. We both agree that it is some of the best Indian we have ever had.

Saturday 14thApril:

Rained and blew all night and all day so a sleep in till 11:00am was the order of the day.

Then off to the Halls Gap Hotel and their open fireplace along with a damn good steak lunch. On the way home called into the bakery for some afternoon tea treats. Vanilla slice for me (not as good as Cummins) and fudge for Guy.

Wild, wet and windy all day so relaxed at the cabin catching up on the blog, photo editing, device updates and backups..

Sunday 15thApril:

Left a very wild, wet and windy Halls Gap for Beachport across the border in SA which was a little better (350km & 4 hours). It rained and blew on and off during the whole trip. Fining up tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Outside Hamilton VIC, we took a slight detour to the Nigretta and Wannon waterfalls. Not much water flowing over the falls at the moment but still very beautiful places with the rock formations. Settled into our luxury apartment right on the beach for the next two nights.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 297 of retirement

April 9, 2018

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Hi All

Tuesday 3rdApril:

Left Anita’s in Narre Warren for Anglesea (170km). Arrived midday ish so visited Torquay for a wander.

We visited the National Surf Museum. What an awesome place on the history of surfing. There was some great video of monster big wave surfing along with the history of surfing in Hawaii.

Had an awesome lunch and discovered that Bells Beach was hosting the Rip Curl Pro Easter Classic surf event. We bypassed the Bells due to all the traffic but might visit tomorrow.

Quick stop over at the Great Ocean Road Chocolate & Ice Creamery for afternoon tea and a few chocolates. Arrived at our cabin late afternoon and settled in.

Wednesday 4rdApril:

Off exploring the Great Ocean Road between Anglesea and Apollo Bay (180km).

We visited a number of lookouts, local attractions and the Erskine Water Falls. Had an awesome seafood lunch at the Lorne Pier restaurant. Arrived back at our cabin in Anglesea in need of a cup of tea and a lay down.

Thursday 5thApril:

Spent the day exploring The Great Ocean Road between Anglesea & Warrnambool (280km).

Found some awesome highlights:

~ Wooden sculptures by the sea in Apollo Bay.

~ Cape Otway Light House.

~ The 12 Apostles.

~ Loch Ard Gorge.

~ The London Bridge.

~ The Arch.

Staying in a cabin in Warrnambool Big4 for the night.

Friday 6thApril:

Off to explore the remainder of the Great Ocean Road (180km). We dropped into the Grotto, the Bay of Islands and the Bay of Martyrs. It absolutely bucketed down (rainstorm) as we drove to the Grotto but cleared up to a nice sunny day.

On the way back we called into the Warrnambool Cheese factory and sampled some very yummy cheese. Purchased a few varieties as well.

Then went for a drive to Port Fairy and a picnic lunch at the port.

Back to Warrnambool and off to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. This is a replica maritime village consisting of some of the original buildings along with some old ones transported to the site. Lots of old gear there as well.

Finished the day at Pippies Restaurant for an awesome dinner.

Saturday 7thApril:

Left Warrnambool VIC for Naracoorte SA where we are staying with my cousin Deb for a few days (280km). On the way out of town we visited Thunder Point and Point Ritchie for a look-see.

Had a great leisurely drive with a picnic lunch along the way. Great to catch up with Deb once again. She visited us (along with Pam and Mike) in the Philippines (7 years ago) when we were there. They got stuck on the island for a few extra days due to a typhoon.

Sunday 8thApril:

Off to Mount Gambier for the day (200km round trip).

While there, we visited:

~ Blue Lake. Extinct volcano full of bright blue water.

~ Valley Lake. Extinct volcano full of water.

~ Sink Hole garden in the centre of town.

~ The Umpherston Sinkhole Gardens.

~ Father Woods Park. Full sized people carvings of pioneers of the district.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy