South WA

Sunday Bloody Sunday

After a nice slow start we eventually got up to Freo and Cottesloe. It was interesting to see what's changed in the last 6 years.
After A few frosty adult beverages at the OBH things got a bit noisy so we adjourned to Clancys Fish Bar in Freo.
Charlotte, Neil, Sienna and Fearne came down from Scarbourgh to say hi. Great to see them after so long. Can't believe it has been so long.
A glass of port and an early night.

Technologic

The internet wins once again. After spending the morning driving around visiting at least half a dozen retailers, purchases were made online. Crock is now all teched up.

Jaks spent a lovely afternoon having lunch with an x co-worker and lovely friend. Great to catch up on all the gossip and go for a spin in the MR2, roof open of course.

Crock and Bryce treated themselves to a counter meal at the Ravenswood Hotel, burgers and schooners all round. After stopping to see Jimbob at the Sands and a visit to Dangerous Dan's we rendauvouzed back at Crock's for more beers, nibbles and the usual chit chat.

Leftover roast duck for dinner tonight.

Honey and the Bee

Busselton - distant memories of skinny, fit, sweaty days. Next thought...

We had been looking for a metal thingy that we could use to hold a pen on the sun visor in the car. You know the things. We had looked in newsagencies across Southern Australian in search of this illusive device. To our delight we found one in the local newsagency in Busselton. To our disgust we discovered the purchase price $18.55. So our search ended here and we decided getting a pen out of the glove box was not that hard after all.
We met up with our friends Simon and Sarah. They kindly offered for us to stay at their farm in Nannup. We had a quick ale in the local pub, purchased the obligatory stubby holder (11 colours to choose from) and headed for the farm.
We had a lovely dinner, catching up on the last 6 years and relaxing by the fire.
We spent the morning pottering around the farm. The highlight was inspecting the bee hives. Simon and Sarah sell their honey at the local markets. We helped label some honey, checking the labels were straight and facing the correct direction.
Lunchtime saw us on the highway to Mandurah and we arrived at Crocks just in time for happy hour.
We have just had a lovely dinner of roast duck and are quietly sipping on some red wines.

Feed the Trees

The bigger campsites in National Parks in WA have campsite "hosts". These are volunteers who stay at the campsites for 4 week periods to collect fees, do some basic maintenance and keep their eye on things. Our hosts at Stokes NP were Helen and Charlie. Helen was very friendly and enthusiastic about her job and provided us with reams of information.
We continued west heading into Fitzgerald National Park. The dirt roads were excellent (much better than some sealed roads in Tassie) and Bryce wished he was on his bike. We hit the coast at Bremer Bay where we had planned to camp for the night. The weather had different ideas with fairly constant heavy rain. The idea of setting up the tent in the rain and siting relaxing on the beach in the rain was not very appealing. So we pressed on to Albany. Albany was a place we had fond memories of, and despite the rain it was still an awesome place.
We popped into Albany 4x4 and purchased some new headlight covers, a magnetic stubby holder and the lads were very helpful with ideas about local campsites and 4WD tracks. Awesome service!
The rain continued during the night, although we awoke to blue sunny skies. After drying the tent and collecting provisions we headed further west through Denmark, Walpole and Pemberton. This road is surrounded by the Karri forest and is beautiful, lush and green.
We had planned to travel down Scott's Road, a 4WD track into D'Entecasteaux NP to Lake Jasper. This road was closed due to the bridge collapsing so we had to enter the NP from the north via the strangely named Pneumonia Road. The initial part of this road is shared with forestry, although we didn't see any log trucks. The track then narrows and on entering the park becomes sandy.
There are only 3 campsites at Lake Jasper and they a currently redeveloping the day use area. The lake is quite big and previously used for water skiing, which is now banned. Would be an awesome place to bring the super yacht for some high speed skiing.
We spent the afternoon walking around and in the lake, taking some snaps at "golden hour" and chatting to Mark the contractor who was doing all the redevelopment work. Mark gave us some great tips on others campsites and some words of wisdom about life.
We had planned to have a nice swim this morning, but once again the weather had different ideas.
Today we are heading north towards Mandurah where we will meet up with Crock tomorrow night.

Thunderstruck

Despite my best intentions, when we awoke a bit after midnight it was not me that had roused Jaks from her slumber. There were huge peals of thunder and white hot lightning flashes that had awoken us both. As with storms at home we thought that it would be over in a matter of minutes. Three hours later, after many flashes and repeated bangs (the weather that is) the thunder subsided marginally and we were able to get a touch more sleep.
The morning left no clue to the nights activities with blue skies and warm temperatures. We had a wander along the cliffs of the bay before heading into Cape Le Grande on our way to Esperance. Cape Le Grande is truly beautiful. Incredibly clear water merging with granite cliffs. Much like the Coles Bay region of home.
Esperance seems to have grown since we were last here. The CALM office was just as helpful, giving us info on Stokes' Inlet which was our next nights home.
Jaks won a great game of Amazing Race as we checked in at the National Park. We left the Winnebagos in our dust.
Tonight we have had a great dinner after an enthusiastic but fruitless fish chasing black brim.