Saturday, November 30, 2013

Melbourne to Perth

I know I haven't posted for about 10 days and I am sorry but I have had the best visit to my home in Melbourne visiting family and friends. All our medical appointments went well. Even though I am now on a waiting list to have an operation on my shoulder due to my torn shoulder ligament. My family have always been very important to me but being away from them for an extended amount of time really makes me aware of just how important they are to me. The only thing that could have made my wonderful two weeks any better would have been if I could have caught up with my son Shane, his partner Stacey and my adorable little grandson O'Shea. But Stacey is due to present me with my fourth grandchild in about three weeks and a six hour drive wasn't going to be to enjoyable for her. We are now back in Perth at a caravan park called Karrinyup Waters Resort, which is situated 12 kms north of the CBD. Even though it is a fairly large caravan park our location is very quiet and about 10 steps from the lake. So we have lots of bird life visiting our camp site on a regular basis. We are staying here a week to check out things in Perth and its surrounds.
It's always a joy to catch up with The Bridesmaids. We have all been friends since school and were bridesmaids for each other. It's so nice to have friends that you have so much history with and they accept you for who you are.

Our dog Zoe is getting old and it is very hard to leave her.
But I know Rachel will look after her in her old age.

Clare and I had lots of fun at Art Class.

What can I say - Mikayla is absolutely adorable.

Back in Perth we have visitors every time it looks like we might have food.
They are so tame they jump up to get stuff out of your hand.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Perth to Melbourne

Here we are back in Melbourne a total of 3,417 kilometres (2123 miles) from Perth. No we didn't drive it, we flew in a big comfortable plane. We have come home for 2 weeks for some Dr's. appointments and some time to catch up with friends and families. It was a bit of a shock when we arrived as we came from 39c to 14c. The house is a bit crowded as we are staying (in my house) with my daughter Rachel, Luke, Clare and Mikayla. It was so nice to give my girl a hug after six months. Clare is now a typical 2 year old chatterbox. She spends her day asserting her developing personality, not always but mostly in a very cute way. I just love this age, I love the things that come out of their mouths and how they view things. Mikayla is the smiliest little six month I have ever held. I just melt into her beautiful little almond shaped eyes when she looks up at me.  
Mikayla - 6 months

Clare - 2 years
Yesterday Rachel, Clare, Mikayla and I went to Santa's Magical Kingdom. It was so beautiful to see little Clare's eyes light up as we walked in and she spotted all the lights and rides, but that was nothing compared to her smile when Santa arrived and talked to the children. I love Christmas and I always become a kid when it's Christmas time, but the true joy of Christmas is when there are little people around.  

Rachel, Clare and a Penguin

Mrs Clause, Davine and Clare

The snow from the snow machine intrigued Clare
My night babysitting the two girls last night took me back to when my two were little and one or both of them wouldn't want to settle down for the night. Clare was great and slept all night but Mikayla just didn't want to settle. She just wanted to be with someone, and that someone was me. So we spent the night in the Queen size bed together and she slept soundly. Needless to say I am a little tired tonight.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gingin to Perth

Well we have finally hit the big smoke of Perth. I actually got a bit excited driving into the city centre. Not sure why, I think it might be because Melbourne and Perth are on opposite sides of Australia and I have never travelled this far before. We have put the car and Myrtle (our camper) into storage for the next two weeks while we fly back to Melbourne for a much looked forward visit with family and friends. Oh also some Dr's appointments. We have two nights at a hotel in Perth CBD and then fly to Melbourne on Thursday and I can't wait. While having a walk around the city this afternoon I realised just how long we have spent in remote areas. I have decided I haven't missed the city traffic and I'm certainly not used to the crowds. We decided to get some lunch and found a food court - so much choice, not used to that either.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Scones at Willowbrook Farm

Finally Sunday morning was here, the reason why we came to this part of the world in the first place. At precisely 9.30am Lil rang the bell to let everyone know that brunch was ready and come and get it. Shane grabbed his coffee and I grabbed my bottle of water (I don't drink tea or coffee) and off we headed for our treat. We have had scones, jam and cream a few times in the past six months, so we are getting pretty fussy with what we get served. But these delicacies that Lil whipped up are the best so far. The Strawberry and Mulberry jams were homemade by a lady in the area and the cream was real cream freshly whipped. Oh my goodness they were so yummy. The Mulberry jam was absolutely scrumptious, it actually won 1st prize at the Perth Royal Show in 2012. We just couldn't resist we had to buy a jar.
Mmmmm Scones!!!

I almost forgot to take a photo

Beautiful Mulberry Jam

Another very talented couple we have met while staying here are Jean and Steve Wainright. They are artists and have been visiting Willowbank farm for quite a while. Each visit they add to the murals they are painting on some of the old buildings.  
Jean creating her masterpiece

A work in progress

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cervantes to Gingin

We are now staying at a farmstay caravan park called Willowbank Farm about an hour north of Perth. The main reason we have landed here was because way back earlier in our trip this place was recommended because on Sunday mornings the owners, Lil & Bill put on Scones, Jam and Cream. Now who couldn't turn up that opportunity!! So tomorrow morning I will be enjoying some treats, I will let you know how they are. I really like it here, the farm has a really good feel about it and we are camped on the most luscious grass I have ever seen. Today we took ourselves off on a drive to a couple of the seaside townships in the area, so I thought I would share a couple of the photos I took.
Mother Nature has dumped another heap of seaweed here too!

Luckily she left some spots nice and clear

Another strange rock formation

Mother Nature smiling :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Port Denison to Cervantes

 Cervantes is a very small beachside village with a population of just under 500. The town was named after a ship that was wrecked nearby. The principle industry in Cervantes is fishing, mainly Western Australian Lobsters. The main attraction in this area are the amazing Pinnacles in the nearby Nambung National Park. I was amazed when we got there just how big the area was that the Pinnacles covered and also that we could drive through them. The Pinnacles are made from limestone and over thousands of years Mother Nature has created them into various shapes and sizes. Apparently there a several streams of thought as to how they were formed, all I know they are pretty amazing.
The Pinnacles

Davine and The Pinnacles
Closer to Cervantes but still part of the National Park is Lake Thetis, which contains stromatolites. For my regular readers you may remember I saw other stromatolites back in Shark Bay. These ones are different shapes and a lot easier to see.

Sort of reminded me of burst pimples!
As we were walking out the see the Stromatolites Shane stopped and said - Is that a Snake? I was to busy looking around the surrounds and didn't see it slithering across the path in front of us. I freaked out a bit as I am very very scared of snakes and this one was a Brown Snake which is very deadly.
The snake that freaked me out - he was at least 5 foot long!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Melbourne Cup Day in Dongara

Today being the first Tuesday in November is the day the famous Melbourne Cup is run. Now I know in Melbourne we all stop to look at the call of the race, in fact it 's a public holiday there. They (whoever they are) say it's the race that stops the nation. But it wasn't until today that I have realized it really is the race that stops the nation. Even though the shops etc. were open they must have been running on minimal staff because they were all dressed up in their finery and making a day of it at the various pubs in the area. When the race was being called everyone stopped what they were doing and just watched the 3200 metre (2 mile) race being run. This year a horse called Fiorente won, which is an Irish born horse and is trained by Gai Waterhouse who is a bit of a racing favorite. I'm not a huge horse racing fan, but I like to watch the Melbourne Cup. After watching the race I headed out to do some exploring while Shane stayed at the pub. He loves horse racing and today turned out to be quite profitable.

Lime Green suite with a t/shirt and thongs - good look

Some just came straight from work
I actually like walking around old cemetery sites and reading the headstones. In Dongara cemetery the first white woman to die in Western Australia is supposedly buried, but I couldn't find her grave. There was also a tiny grave that was just a mound of dirt and covered with little boys toy cars. It was very sad and I just couldn't bring myself to take a photo of it. I would like to know why in days gone by they put metal fences around the grave site. I've tried googling it but can't find the answer. If anyone knows why, I would love to know.
The main street of Dongara is lined with some magnificent Moreton Bay Figs

I love looking at the ocean when it is rough

Monday, November 4, 2013

Geraldton to Port Denison

Well we certainly didn't exert ourselves on this journey as we only had to drive 72kms (44.7 miles). So you would think we wouldn't be tired in the afternoon, oh no we still had to have our Nana nap in the PM. Port Denison and Dongara are twin towns divided by the Irwin River that have a real seaside village feel about them. There isn't a huge amount of touristy stuff to do, but then sometimes that's nice. It's nice and relaxing just to spend some time enjoying the sounds of the waves and doing nothing. We decided to stay on Port Denison rather than Dongara for no other reason than someone had recommended it to us. Travelling around Australia you soon get to learn to listen to peoples recommendations - word of mouth certainly is the best advertising. Port Denison is the home of Western Australia's largest rock lobster fishing fleets. Unfortunately the season doesn't start until after the Blessing of the Fleet is conducted next week. As with a lot of the villages we have visited along the WA coast there is a lot of history and historic buildings all built around the 1800's.
The Old Dongara Post Office

Dongara old Police Station, Courthouse and Gaol
Once again we are right on the Indian Ocean with beautiful white sand beaches - well normally that is. For some reason Mother Nature has decided to dump a huge amount of seaweed on the closest beach to us. Some of the piles would be at least 2 metres high. Not only does it look really unattractive it really really stinks. Needless to say I'm glad I bought a can of Eucalyptus spray to keep Myrtle smelling nice. I would presume all the would need would be a really high tide and most of the weed would be taken back out to sea. If I lived here I'd be down at the beach collecting some of this smelly stuff to use on my garden. When my Mum and Dad lived on the coast in St. Helens, Tasmania they used seaweed all the time on their garden and  their garden was fantastic.
I wonder why Mother Nature decided to dump this on shore -
doesn't do much for the beautiful beach
Last night we once again we had a beautiful sunset. But when I turned around to look back at the township, the sky was equally as striking. The clouds looked a bit dark and ominous. Then during the night there was lots of thunder and lightening and I got quite excited that we might see some actual rain. Haven't seen rain in a very long time. But no Mother Nature had other ideas as she only gave us about six drops of rain and then it all moved on.

Sunset over the Indian Ocean

Don't forget to always look over your shoulder
For my regulars you may remember I have been running a lucky draw for one lucky person who commented on my blog during the month of October. I thank you all for you lovely comments, but there can be only one winner. Drum Roll........ and and the winner of one of my pieces of chainmaille jewellery is Filip Demuinck. Filip if you could email me on we can work out which piece you would prefer.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Geraldton is a thriving regional city of around 40,000 people. It is situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean and has a very Mediterranean climate. The town is an important service centre for regional mining, fishing, wheat, sheep and tourism industries. Our first day here made me realize that deep down I am a city girl. I came to this realization in the Coles supermarket in one of the two shopping centres. Walking around Coles I found myself getting excited and saying (to myself) how nice the fruit and vegies where, how much stock was on the shelves. I also found myself smiling and enjoying walking around the supermarket - this doesn't normally happen.
You could tell I hadn't been in a large supermarket or shopping centre for a while.
For a bigger city I have found there is not a huge amount of touristy things to see, but it's quite a nice place to spend some time. Needless to say, what there is to see we have seen.
This is yet another location that has a memorial for the HMAS Sydney II that I wrote about back in another post. But I must say this one is the most impressive. I think the reason so many towns have memorials for the ship and it's crew is because for so many years the authorities didn't really know where it actually was bombed and sunk. This beautiful memorial pays tribute to the 645 men lost in the battle in various ways, one being the silver dome being made up of 645 silver seagulls.
HMAS Sydney II Memorial

To the north, a bronze statue of a woman gazes desperately
out to sea as she awaits news of the ill-fated Sydney.
The Moore Point Lighthouse was the first steel tower built on the mainland of Australia.
It is also the oldest surviving Western lighthouse under Federal control.
The Moore Point Lighthouse
Just south of Geraldton is the historic hamlet of Greenough. We wandered through the Central Greenough Historic Settlement while getting a glimpse of how life was back in the 1860's.
The stone buildings were part of a once thriving pioneer farming community.
Wesley Church built 1870

Central Greenough School built 1886

This is the door handle of the court and goal - oh the stories it could tell
At Walkaway Wind Farm you can watch as the almighty turbines churn through the winds high above as they produce enough energy to power 60,000 homes. I find these huge wind turbines utterly fascinating. While there I almost got picked up and carried away with the flies.
I have never in my life been hassled by and landed on by so many little flies.
Wind Turbines are far as the eye can see

One of the turbine blades - BIG
With all the wind churning those turbines it's not surprising that all the trees in this area have also been affected. The leaning trees of Greenough are red river gums and as a result of being buffeted by the prevailing southerly winds they have taken on a bit of a lean. It's quite funny as you drive along the road all the trees are leaning in the same direction.

Leaning Trees of Greenough