Archive | May, 2013
30 May 2013

Gone sailing

and we’re still in Perth.

With all the repairs and servicing out of the way we started to explore a little more. Mind you the Winnebago repairs were pretty much a non-event given the usual excuse that parts are two to three weeks away so ‘we didn’t think you would want to wait’, even though I gave them a weeks prior notice of the parts required. Also I suggested that if they needed two or more days to complete the work we would either live on the premises or find alternate accommodation (and George & Ina had offered to put us up) but they called us late in the first day to say it was ready but on pick-up we were told that some things weren’t done because they ran out of time. We decided there was no point in trying to get them to complete because we had no confidence in their ability to actually do the work properly – a usual experience with Winnebago. At least the Isuzu and Suzuki dealerships seem to know what’s what, even though they also know how to charge.

Any way, onto better things. We have had the welcome company of Judi and Robert Dey over the last couple of weeks and this led to a few road (or boat) trips, not the least of which was a trip to Rottnest for a game of quokka football. Am early morning cruise down the Swan River to Fremantle then a white water crossing to Rottnest Island (well Jude would have you believe it was a white water experience but the pills did their job). Rottnest is fascinating given its history – starting out as a prison for indigenous offenders, ultimately becoming a WWII defence facility. The infrastructure developed for all of its uses has been faithfully preserved…….

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and the views along the swan are superb – $57m mansion, Swan Brewery, city-scape all taken from the boat on the cruise out to Rottnest.

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The island has some magnificent seascapes. It also served as a pilot base and a replica of the pilot boat sits in a subterranean boat shed. The streetscape is as it was in the mid 1800’s and then there’s Lomas’ cottage


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The 1840’s prison is now a four star hotel but the two churches still bring some people to their knees. Then of course there’s quokka football but the little so and so’s bite …….IMG_0059














and after he got a taste he followed me everywhere. There are thousands of the little jump-rats on the island and they know they’re protected.

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The trip back up the river in the sunset was spectacular, as were the boats at the marinas. The Fremantle Maritime Museum building is also very different from the water.


The multi coloured building is council chambers back in the city and it is a moving display – I’m so pleased the ratepayers can afford the electricity bill.


Oh there is so much more to tell!






22 May 2013

More Perth

PICT0981 IMGP2319 IMGP2311 IMGP230813 days in Perth. We’ve grown roots.

We could live here after all, as long as someone can put us in their back yard. Here we are with George and Ina and the days just keep getting better – like Georges friends or Ina’s kids just dropping around for a chat and to show off their Bentleys or Harleys or talk about the rest of their automotive collections and motoring experiences. We might yet go back to Albany for the first weekend in June for the “70 houses” street circuit historical meeting – 180 entrants for the Saturday hillclimb and Sunday street races. Unfortunately our expected whale watching experience in Augusta for the same weekend has been cancelled through lack of interest, so we find ourselves otherwise at a loss for those few days.

Several days have been lost in getting various repairs and servicing done – truck serviced, Suzi serviced, Winnie body serviced (poorly), generator checked and there went another $2200. Repairs and servicing continue to be the greatest costs of the journey so far.

Nevertheless we have been and seen a few  things – so far a couple of days in Perth City, a couple of days around Fremantle a couple of days just travelling around generally sight seeing and getting our bearings. This is a lovely city.

A very interesting day at the Fremantle maritime Museum…


and around Fremantle generally….IMGP2264




PICT0974 IMGP2278 IMGP2274(Little Creatures Brewery for lunch, Fremantle harbour with 13 similar ships at anchor, the Roundhouse [gaol] and one street of old Fremantle)











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and a few more bits from the maritime museum













Around PerthIMGP2232 where you may meet the strangest creaturesIMGP2234 in some interesting placesIMGP2235 and some fantastic sights and weird vehicles (3 wheeler Morgan)













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Now off to Rottnest!




13 May 2013

Perth, finally

Well we’ve made it to the city of streets paved with gold (or is that iron ore et al?). Everywhere you look there is evident money. In Kings Park Mothers Day, people and children everywhere all enjoying blissful weather and with all the toys. Around the streets real estate to die for, beaches crowded with people, restaurants chock-a-block but yes, it was Mothers Day. What does an ordinary day yet bring? Well it certainly doesn’t detract from the real estate nor from the bountiful luxury cars nor from the busy shops that I have experienced this morning (Monday).

It  appears that the  woes of the eastern states have been held at bay by the Nullarbor.

We are presently camped out in the back yard of Ina and George Webber, friends of Judi Dey’s father and her uncle Ray in Perth. Had breakfast out with George and Ina Sunday morning after they arose at 6 to go to a local swap meet. Then we were treated to an all day guided tour of Perth and surrounds. The back yard is perhaps a bit of an understatement cos its 10 acres of prime land about 20 minutes east of Perth near the airport. We’re surrounded by trees, sheep, horses, alpacas and collectable motor cars,  motor bikes, tractors and a Swagman motor home. George is a collector of not only motor vehicles but other ephemera that belies description – juke boxes, musical marionettes, coins, money boxes, petrol bowsers even bits of sky lab and he dabbles in a bit of historic motorsport with an ’84 Reynard (which I might add fits me beautifully). I have rarely seen such a comprehensive collection of motor bikes and unusual motor vehicles.

Before arriving here we spent a couple of nights back in Albany then moved up to Donnybrook where we spent the night parked at the front of Glenys and Wayne Fergusons new/old place. Glenys is a long standing past school mate of Maggie Laytons with whom she has shared a number of travel experiences over many years. We had a great night comparing notes on mutual friends. Wayne too is a collector of miscellany and took great delight in taking me through an incredible collection of Aboriginal artifacts, rare coins and miniature demonstration brass guns/cannons. Fascinating what some people collect and can recognize value in. I know all of these things exist and have marketable or collectable value but I never seem to be in the right place at the right time to find them or even recognize them.

Judi and Rob Dey arrived here Saturday, caught up with us for dinner last night and we’re about to meet Judis’ father today. So, off to lunch – ah the social whirl. As evidence that we are here (and not there) I tender these photos taken on the I-Phone in and from Kings ParkPerth 001  above PerthPerth 005 Perth 006







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We’ve yet to start exploring Perth but now that I have new orthotics and can walk again we’ll get going. Meanwhile the Winnie has to go to the doctors for an electrical check-up, a service and some repairs. The Suzi also needs an electrician and a service cos I haven’t been able to sort and install the winch electrics and its now 3 years old and under terms of the warranty has to have a service every now and again. So, I think a lot of walking is in front of us.




6 May 2013

Manjimup I hear you say

Found a little slice of heaven a long way from home and whilst I might have used this phrase before when referring to most of southern WA, “Fontys Pool” is as close as it gets. Look it up at rather than me bore you with the historical details but it is very photogenic……..Fontys Pool 013


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Manjimup itself is not a ‘home’ choice being a small country town with few features but we’ve tried truffles and truffle derivatives, picked our own apples and even bought some local wine.

Bridgetown, going back a day or two, was a nicer small country town than Manjimup but the caravan park was quite low key by comparison to this one. Bridgetown did however have some quirky little things though including its winter festival (the locals call it fridgetown) – a full 3 month program of winter activities We also tried tea and scones at Horty Towers and if that seems reminiscent of a famous TV show it definitely fits the bill even down to the principal character (but without the silly walks)……003


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Bridgetown is the administrative centre for the area but Greenbushes nearby is the  work centre and the real history. Notable for tin mining back in the late 1800’s it has continued as a mine site both underground and open cut and today is notable for the continuing underground mining under the open cut . Tin, tantalum and lithium are the spoils of todays mining but the old open cut is impressive ……….IMGP2161


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Theses photos are actually of Greenbushes, nearby township to Bridgetown and the original mining centre of the area. Its history dates to the late 1800’s wherein it commenced as an underground tin mine (or 2 or 3) and developed over many years and ownerships to an opencut and now to an underground mine under the opencut. Current mining is tantalum and lithium as well as tin and is operated by “Sons of Gwalia”. If you look closely at one of the mine shots you’ll see a 90 tonne ore truck, four of which we saw travel up the stope and unload within the 20 minutes or so that we  were at the viewing platform, so it is obviously still a very busy mine. The pool is an old sluicing pool converted in the 50’s to a swimming pool.

I’m very pleased that we don’t run on gas (LPG for the overseas readers) as the price as we move further away from Perth ever rises – here in Manjimup it’s 99.9 c/l whereas diesel is “only” 1.52 c/l. Our economy has however improved a bit. We’re down to 22.2l/100km (12.786 mpg for the Americans[ but don’t forget that our English gallon is 8 pints]) for the entire 8000 km so far of the trip. I can say I’m also pleased that we drive the truck we do – each of the tyres for the aforementioned ore trucks costs $12600.00.

From here we’re back to Albany to pick up new orthotics so I can walk again thence slowly back to Perth for a couple of weeks while we catch up with visiting friends and new acquaintances then back down to Augusta for a Winnebago Club whale watch safari then back to Margaret River for a farm stay. Oh! life is so tedious.





























3 May 2013


Can’t afford to liveIMGP2131 IMGP2132 IMGP2133 in Mandurah. Land and house costs are more than Toorakky. This is 60 K out of Perth. Please explain!

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Whoops, that’s Abingdon Miniature Village.




The houses in Mandurah are lots bigger…PICT0900




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The block for sale above at $560,000 is way off in the old back blocks amongst some of the original old beach houses. Where does the money come from?  – this place is amazing and I love it but we’ve moved on.



We found the place we could afford though but it’s standing room only ……..PICT0860


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Gnomesville – about 30 K out of  Bunbury, started with a  protest by placing some gnomes at a road work site that the locals objected to. Its grown to a community of thousands over the last 10 or so years even though the roadworks were completed. You’ve gotta love it -it’s fantastic and weird. These shots only hint at the magnitude of the show but I think there’s still space for us.

By the bye – thanks everyone for the Birthday Wishes. A solemn reminder of the ageing experience – you all got a year older.