Day 395 of retirement

July 15, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 9thJuly 2018:

Off exploring today. First stop was The Pink Lake at Port Gregory. The lake was a little pink and not in its full glory.

Hutt Lagoon is a pink lake, a salt lake with a red or pink hue due to the presence of the carotenoid-producing algae Dunaliella salina, a source of ß-carotene, a food-colouring agent and source of vitamin A. The lagoon contains the world’s largest microalgae production plant, a 250-hectare (620-acre) series of artificial ponds used to farm Dunaliella salina.[2]

Back to Kalbarri for a yummy lunch then went exploring all the lookouts from 10km out of Kalbarri, then back into town.

We were very lucky to see whales. They were out from the coast quite a bit but one came in quite close so we were able to get our first photo of whales in WA.

Tuesday 10thJuly 2018:

Off exploring Nature’s Window and Z Bend Gorges today.

Nature’s Window has a rock that has a “window” in it that overlooks over the gorge. We had to line up to take our turn to get pics of Guy in the window. Too many  “tourists”.

We sat up on the ridgeline for a while as we enjoyed the serenity of the stunning location.

Next stop was the Z Bend Gorge. Hard to capture the true awesomeness of the gorge as half of it was in shadow. Still a stunning place to visit.

Last stop was our favourite whale-watching headland about 10km out of Kalbarri. There were half a dozen whales breaching but they were a long way off shore. Too far to photograph.

Wednesday 11thJuly 2018:

First stop was back to our whale watching spot and we were lucky enough to see a whale in close to the cliffs. Great watching him frolic and approach some fishermen in a boat and check them out.

We then went for a drive to see the Hawk’s Head and Ross Graham lookouts over the gorges. At the Ross Graham lookout we went for a walk down into the gorge and explored the awesome patterns in the cliffs.

Back whale watching after lunch but the whales were way out off the coast. They didn’t want to play close in.

Thursday 12thJuly 2018:

Quiet day as we explored Kalbarri after a load of washing was done.

Got a friendly wave from a passing whale at our favourite spot.

Friday 13thJuly 2018:

Last day in Kalbarri today. As it drizzled rain all morning we had a quiet relaxing day.

Saturday 14thJuly 2018:

Left Kalbarri for Denham (Monkey Mia/Shark Bay just up the road). A 380km 5-hour trip with a few stops. As WA school holidays end Monday the traffic going south (Perth way) was horrendous.  90% of the traffic was heading south (we headed north) and at times there were long lines of cars, 4×4, caravans, camper trailers and boats grid locking traffic.

Another nice roomy cabin for the next 5 nights. After a quick trip to the supermarket we rested up in the late afternoon as we have tours booked for the next two days. Busy busy.

Sunday 15thJuly 2018:

Went on a 4×4 guided tour today of the Francois Peron National Park. As we were the only two on the tour we got to see some “secret” spots that Luke our awesome guide took us to.

A great day out all round.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 

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Day 388 of retirement

July 8, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 2ndJuly 2018:

Left Geraldton for Port Denison (70km), which is just, down the road.

Made it into Port Denison just as the storm front hit. Blowing a gale and raining. Our cabin is 20m from the beach/rock wall facing directly into the storm. Awesome.
Feeling much better today from the food poisoning. Had my first soup meal today and it stayed down, so all good.

Tuesday 3rdJuly 2018:

Well the bug has hit Guy now. She spent a very unpleasant night with the same symptoms I had. She spent most of the day in bed recovering. It was a windy cold winter day anyway and we had nothing planned so a great day to rest up all round.

Weather is supposed to be fining up a bit tomorrow so might do some car exploring as we have one more day here.

I had a very productive day updating my two cameras’ firmware, creating some new user profiles and going through all the menu options to refresh my mind with the functionality.

Wednesday 4thJuly 2018:

Went for a drive round the Port Denison area today in the winter storm (Blew and rained on and off all day). Our last day here as we head back inland tomorrow to Mullewa (for 2 nights) so hopefully will leave the crappy weather behind us.
Both feeling much better today from our bugs and had our first good lunch. And it stayed down and in, so all good.

Thursday 5thJuly 2018:

Left Dongara for Mullewa with a detour to Pindar to see the Wreath Flowers (220km) which are 10km down an outback dirt road.

The Wreath Flowers are an amazing flower that looks like a funeral wreath with pink and white flowers round its edge. We found lots of green circular flowers minus the blooms. We are 3-4 weeks to early.

Staying in Mullewa in a motel room. Bit cramped after all our nice roomy cabins. Only here for two nights then got a week in Kalbarri in a holiday house so looking forward to spreading out once again.

Friday 6thJuly 2018:

Off exploring Mullewa on foot and by car today. We walked the Wildflower Walk (3km) on the outskirts of town. Great track that is well marked and takes you through the virgin bushland. A few wild flowers out but we are 3-4 weeks too early for the main blooms though with the best surprise, we found a couple of patches of the hairy stemmed snail orchids, we are so happy!!!

Then drove the Northern Loop trail (115km with most on dirt roads). The back roads are well marked (so you don’t get lost) with points of interests sign posted along the way. There were a few wildflowers out so managed to get a few pics.

A great day out in the bush.

Saturday 7thJuly 2018:

Left Mullewa for Kalbarri (230km & 3 hours).

We travelled via The Chapman Valley Way, which is known for its wildflowers. Still a bit early but a few wildflowers out.

Arrived at our house for the next 7 days and it is very nice to have a bit of space to spread out.

Also gave the Mighty Mazda a wash as she was filthy from travelling on the gravel roads in the wet. She is looking like new again.

Sunday 8thJuly 2018:

A bit of a sleep-in this morning. Then spent the rest of the day planning the next 4 months of our travels. We locked in our route and phoned the major accommodation places and locked in our bookings. And that will takes us through to the end of our round Australia adventure.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

 

 


Day 381 of retirement

July 1, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 25thJune 2018:

Left Cervantes and headed 520km inland to Mount Magnet. Had a good run apart from 60km that was a combination of a single sealed strip of road up the middle to just a dirt road made of good old red dirt. The red dust gets into everything.

We went for a drive and checked into the information centre for some advice on things to visit and see.

We then drove up to the lookout overlooking the town. Mt Magnet really is in the middle of nowhere.

The Mt Magnet gold project is located immediately adjacent to the town of Mt Magnet, 500km northeast of Perth in the Murchison Goldfield of the Western Australian Yilgarn Craton. Mount Magnet is one of the Mid West region’s original gold mining towns, and the longest surviving gold mining settlement in Western Australia.

Tuesday 26thJune 2018:
Found a real gem of a place today out from Mt Magnet. Did a 38km (33km dirt road) tourist drive which took us through The Granites. Awesome bright red granite escarpments/formations due to the abundant iron oxide in the area oxidising on the rocks. Stunning place.

Aaahhh country living. Mt Magnet has 3 pubs a bakery and a coffee house. Try getting a midday meal. Nope. Dinner is fine from 5:00pm though.

Quick trip back to The Granites to see the formations light up in the afternoon sun.

Awesome colours. Love The Granites as I could spend days photographing it. It changes hour by hour as the sun moves across the sky.

This is one of those magical places that photographs just don’t do it justice.

Wednesday 27thJune 2018:

Left Mt Magnet for Geraldton (340km & 5 hours).

Stopped for lunch in Mullewa and called into the info centre. You see Mullewa is in the heart of wildflower country. As they have had some rain, a few flowers are out but we are basically 3-4 weeks too early for the blooms.

So we have decided to go back late next week for a few days and explore the area for wildflowers.

Arrived at our cabin in Geraldton that once again is very nice.

Thursday 28thJune 2018:

Today we wandered round Geraldton and visited the following:

The HMAS Sydney War Memorial – Took a tour and learnt the history of the Sydney and its sinking.

Old Geraldton Gaol – Small jail constructed by convicts. The cells have now been opened up to the local craft group who occupy the cells with their works.

Skeetas for lobster lunch – Awesome lobster lunch. We are back in lobster country once again.

Geraldton Museum – Very interesting place. Enjoyed the 3D presentation of the exploration pictures of the HMAS Sydney wreck along with the German raider ship the Kormoran

St Francis Xavier Cathedral – Very elaborate building.

Friday 29thJune 2018:
Rest day today.
We spent the morning locking in our accommodation for the next two weeks as school holidays start today (for 2 weeks).
At one stage it looked like we might have to sleep in the car but all good. Booked all the way to Kalbarri via Port Denison and Mullewa. We will hit Monkey Mia after the holidays so shouldn’t be too bad getting a place to stay.
After an awesome lobster lunch, again, the mighty Mazda got a good wash and clean. She was looking a little grotty after a few months on the road between washes.

Saturday 30thJune 2018:

Went for a drive today, as it is a stunning day out.

Went to The Alinta Wind Farm, Ellendale Pool (stunning gorge setting which is a bit off the beaten track), Central Greenough Historic Settlement (very interesting old restored historic township) and the Devlin pool.

Sunday 1stJuly 2018

Well it finally caught up with us. Food poisoning (Guy is fine, just me). Had takeaway last night (each had different dishes) and I spent most of the night with my body expelling everything out of it at both ends. Throw in the hot flushes and cold shivers and it was a fun night… NOT…
Feeling better this morning. Got a rest day so all good.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 374 of retirement

June 24, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 18thJune 2018:

Left Ocean Reef (huge thanks Bob and Vernie for the weekend) for downtown Perth Airbnb (35km).

Staying for three nights while we explore the city.

Tuesday 19thJune 2018

It drizzled on and off all day but we managed to dodge most of it in our travels. Off on a Swan River cruise from Perth to Fremantle and back. Great cruise and our captain gave an awesome running commentary of the life and times of Perth along the river.

After a very nice lunch at the docks we walked to the old Perth Mint. Went on a tour to hear about the life and times of the gold rush and gold smelting. It tied in very nicely with what we learnt in Kalgoorlie and the goldfields.

Got to see a gold bar being poured worth $300,000. Also got to feel and lift a 403 ounce gold bar worth $700,000. Just couldn’t quite get it into my pocket.

Also learnt that I am worth $5,353,040 by my weight in gold.

Wednesday 20thJune 2018:

Back to the Bell Tower on the harbor this morning. Did a tour (only 4 of us on the tour so very personal) and got to ring some of the bells. It’s harder than it looks.

The Bell Tower is the only place in the world where bellringers can share their cultural heritage with visitors in such an open and accessible way.

After another yummy lunch we caught the free bus to Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens. We spent the afternoon wandering round the gardens and foreshore including the elevated glass footbridge. Great to wander as you get to see sweeping views of the city and South Perth.

Thursday 21stJune 2018:

Left downtown Perth for Cervantes via New Norcia (300km).

The New Norcia Benedictine Community was founded in 1846 by Spanish Benedictine Monks. The town has had many purposes; a mission, a monastery, an orphanage for aboriginal children, a provider of education and now as a place of spiritual retreat.

The Monastery, where the monks live, work and pray, is at the heart of New Norcia. The monks of New Norcia live according to the guidance and rhythms of The Rule of St Benedict, which has been followed by monks since the sixth century AD. Monks who do so are referred to as ‘Benedictines’. Unlike many priests and nuns, monks do not join an ‘order’ as such, but instead join an autonomous monastery where they promise to remain for the rest of their lives.

We bought some very nice freshly bread baked at the monastery.

Arrived in Cervantes late afternoon and settled into our “Holiday House” (The place is huge).

Friday 22ndJune 2018:

First stop today was The Pinnacles (limestone pillars in the sand dunes). The weather was awesome so we spend half a day wandering round the site taking in all that there is to see.

The Pinnacles were thought to be exposed some 6,000 years ago. There are two schools of thought on how they were created. Both involve petrified tree roots and or a petrified forest that was buried in the sand for thousands of years. Nobody really knows.

Back to town and the Lobster Shack for lunch. This is a lobster-processing factory that has a very nice restaurant attached. The lobster lunch was awesome.

On the way back to the cabin we visited the Stromatolites. These are formations that grow in a lake as they are made by organisms (cynobacteria) that live in the lake. They are “lumps” about 1 meter in diameter. Weird looking things.

After a cup of tea and a lay down we headed back to The Pinnacles to capture sunset. It didn’t disappoint as we had a brilliant sunset over The Pinnacles.

Saturday 23rdJune 2018:

First stop today wasJurien Bay some 22km up the road from us. Great little sleepy town as we watched the skydivers parachute onto the beach.

Then off to Mt Lesueur a global biodiversity hotspot. It is a pocket of the planet that holds one of the greatest numbers of different plant, animal and ecosystem types. Over half the plant and some animal species are not found anywhere else on earth.
There is a one-way 18km ring road that winds through the park with some walking trails branching off. We went for a side walk back into the bush to check out the wildflowers. The wildflowers not in full bloom yet but we managed to find a few blossoms.

Sunday 24thJune 2018:

Off to Sandy Cape then back to The Pinnacles for one last visit (130km).

Sandy Cape is a stunning place where bright white sand dunes abound. We walked through the sand hills to the lookout and a panoramic view of the cape.

Back for one last visit to the Pinnacles. A place that calls you back. We visited it three times.

For lunch we headed back to the Lobster Shack for the third time to enjoy our favorite meal of lobster.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


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


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