Storm Clouds

On Saturday we went down to Floreat Beach and had lunch and dinner there. Stephen rang his sister and brother in law who joined us for afternoon tea and a walk. The idea was to excape the heat and it mostly worked, although in the evening the breeze dropped and it became intensely humid. The next day, Sunday, promised rain and perhaps thunderstorms, along with a few days of cooler temperatures. I took some photos close to sunset – the clouds look almost more intense in the photos than they did in reality. That evening was the first time we have had the air conditioning on at night – I found I couldn’t sleep despite our overhead fan, and switched it on at about 4.00 a.m. We have had rain for a couple of days now.

The Winnie at home

Our neighbours left for a two week holiday on Thursday. We already had the Winnie booked in to try to find out why our fridge emits an odour when we are using it on gas, so we picked it up on Tuesday evening, stored it on the vacant lot nearby during the day, then in a parking bay in our street for the night.


Ken Peachy Caravans said that our fridge did not have a flue, and as there were no gas leaks, this must be why the odour was coming back into the ‘house’. They put in a flue and I tested it, there is a certainly a great improvement. However, as I was looking for a smell I was able to detect it lightly. Mike also said he would get us a quote for repairing the damage to the rear panel. It may be quite expensive and we are still waiting. When we get the quote we can work out whether it is worthwhile to claim it on our insurance.

When cleaning the windscreen yesterday I was able to confirm that a mark on the outside is in fact a small crack. These days they can be repaired without having to replace the whole windscreen, so it has gone on my list of things to do.

Having the Winnie at home gave us the opportunity to take it out for a picnic meal yesterday evening. We decided on a visit to the North Mole at Fremantle. That worked well although I did not want to take it past the section of road that has two lanes. There was a strong wind which made walking along the Mole quite challenging. It felt like my cameras were bouncing all over the place, but I still managed to get some photos that I am happy with.


A different view of Cottesloe, taken on the 70-300mm lens and using the dehaze feature in Lightroom to get some clarity. There were no clouds, but there was quite a lot of haze. The setting sun changed shape from round to square because of the haze distortion.


Stephen suggested that we watch the news whilst eating. We didn’t want to put up the TV antenna in the wind, so tried using it with it flat on the roof. The ABC din’t work well enough to watch the news, but we watched some tennis, then got involved in a movie on a commercial channel. We had a lovely meal of cold chicken, rolls and salads, followed by watermelon. I had other ‘goodies’ but we were quite full, so just had a hot drink.

We stayed until 9.00 p.m. before heading home. We were able to watch the sunset from the van, and I got some photos of yatchs and sea lit by the evening light.

This morning we had a walk before breakfast. The Sunday morning Farmers’ Market was smaller than usual. Cherry, who was having breakfast there, said there was something else on which would have attracted buyers and sellers, and would account for there being less stalls and customers. We enjoyed talking with her for awhile, then headed home for scrambled eggs, toast and coffee.

bike rack at the Farmers’ Market
our street corner

More duct tape and Coogee Beach

I picked up the Winnie on Monday after travelling to Roleystone by bus. I had a talk with Marie and Geoff, and then drove home. Stephen and I went out to get the tyres checked, we were looking for the Big Wheels in Welshpool, but settled for Beaurepaires. It turned out that Big Wheels was on the opposite side of the road, but we drove up and down and hadn’t seen it. Beaiurepaires were very good and checked the tyres, but we had parked out the front at first, and when backing managed to clip an overhang. Stephen was watching lower down as I backed and hadn’t noticed. I didn’t check the damage to their place, and although someone came out, she didnt appear to be worried.

The Winnie damage was on the moulded plastic part up near the roof. It missed the light and didn’t damage the awning, thank goodness. I checked later and the lights still worked. I sought advice at Bunnings and bought a pack of very heavy duty garbage bags and a tape called Tarzan’s Grip. On Tuesday morning as we were getting things ready to leave, we put a patch over the damage. Stephen didn’t feel safe on the ladder, so he handed stuff to me. I felt OK because I took Geoff’s advice to put the ladder sideways. I had our driveway wall close by as well as the Winnie wall to hang on to.

Although we did most of the sorting out for our three nights away on Tuesday morning we still managed to be ready to leave at about 10.30 a.m. We had been doing the usual dance with our neighbours who share the driveway, thank goodness they are ready to help, and will work around our needs. During the day the Winnie is parked on a spare block of land that lots of people use as a carpark. But we dont like to leave it there overnight.

I booked the holiday here at Coogee Beach Caravan Park last year. We have stayed in Busselton during school holidays, and found it quite full of children, but this caravan park has mostly park homes, with lots of older people (walking frames, powered scooters, and bingo nights), with a few travellers. Although we have seen children, they are older and well behaved.


When we arrived on Tuesday it was warm and sunny and Coogee Beach was fairly buzzing with visitors. There are good facilities for picnics, the cafe, and the state trial of a shark net on part of the beach. We waited until later in the day for our first walk and also went out after tea to see the beach in the last light of the day.

Wednesday was also promising to be a warm day (its cooler here than further inland, of course). We started off with a swim in the shark protected area, and after a good breakfast and some time reading, etc. we caught a bus to Fremantle. We had lunch at Old Shanghai, very cheap little meals from the Japanese place, very good value we thought. We then went to the Luna SX to see La La Land. Stephen wanted to see it, and although it was very silly, the main characters were appealing and the music was enjoyable, especially the jazz.

the shark proof fence

We had a coffee at a lovely little cafe run by a woman from South China, then caught the bus home. We knew the weather was going to change, and our evening walk on the beach was made interesting with the clouds coming in and the wind building up. We put the awning away after sunset, a bit challenging with not much light, but we felt safer.

Early this morning we were woken by wind and rain. The rain was all over in about half an hour, although it has been windy, partly cloudy, and quite cool all day. Eversley had a free day as her car was in having a service, so she caught the train and bus to join us for a walk and lunch. It was good to catch up and really have time to talk. We caught the bus with her when she left for home to go to the shopping centre. We didn’t need much, but had run out of chocolate, so it was definitely time to go.

Stephen had to drag me out for the evening walk, we went north back to the shopping centre, then on to another area where there is a Dome cafe and sheltered beach area. The Port Coogee precinct is being developed with houses and apartments. The little shopping centre seems quite new and has a small range of useful shops, a Woolworths, newsagent, bakery, chemist and cafe. All within about 15 minutes walk of where we are staying. We caught the bus back, only about 2 stops, but we would have been walking into the wind, which didn’t seem like much fun.

The first couple of nights we had salad and some beef that I sort of stir fried in our electric frying pan. The meat was cut into chunks rather than strips, so took a while to cook. Tonight we went for our standby meal of tuna and rice, with salad, followed by fruit and yogurt, and, of course, the chocolate with our peppermint tea. We have started watching The Crown, I have a Netflix subscription and this is one of the shows that can be downloaded. We link the ipad to the TV, the show doesn’t play fullscreen, but occupies as smaller window. I like the small file sizes that don’t clog up the ipad.

Our first evening here
Wednesday evening, with clouds coming in
the sea went from very calm in the morning, to quite choppy by evening

It has been quite a contrast to our time at Jarrahdale. Here, we have water, power and a drain for our grey water, lots of things running off the van. It was much easier to drive the Winnie out for the day at Jarrahdale, but here we can catch buses, so don’t really need to. It’s interesting to have the contrast. On the whole, I liked camping in a more rural location best, but having the sea a short walk away is lovely too.