Fairbridge 2017

in the Chapel.jpg

We arrived here on Friday morning at about 9.20 a.m. and joined the queue. We had left home at 7.30 a.m., Stephen’s suggestion, and we made it! We had set up the Winnie in the preceding days, including getting the fridge cold using gas. I had some cereal while we were waiting. I didn’t notice the coffee van until it was too late to go and buy one. We finally started moving forward at about 10.20 a.m.

When we chose our spot the Rivergrounds Camping was fairly free. We wanted sun for the solar, so chose a good spot and set up. We put out the awning and Stephen put down the big mat. That was mainly in case it rained. We took our time setting up and stayed in the van until music sessions started.

Our first afternoon and evening were spent getting into the spirit of the festival, essentially a process that takes about a day.

This year we joined the ‘mass choir’ set up for the 25th anniversary. We enjoyed Kristina Olsen, but haven’t actually found other acts that we rush to see. Having choir rehearsals, culminating in a little concert at 5.00 last night, has kept us feeling involved. Also, we have many friends here, current and past Working Voices choir folk, to enjoy as well.

Rivergrounds campground
beside the chapel.jpg
A circus style tent for music

The Winnie gets a bit warm during the day and the the first couple of days were very humid, with possible storms forecast. But, we have had no rain and yesterday (Sunday) was more pleasant.

This year is unusual, the first year when it is a three day festival. There are fewer acts to see, but we are hoping there will still be lots of food options, etc. to make the extra day worthwhile.

We have the fridge playing up, with the flame being blown out by gusts of wind on that side of the van. But, it is has basically worked to keep our food at the correct level (1-5 degrees) to be safe. We put the awning in Saturday afternoon as the wind can be particularly strong and gusty in the early evening. We only had it out a short distance, with no ropes, so it didn’t give enough shade to make it worthwhile. Anyway, we haven’t spent very much time inside during the day.

We notice quite a few changes here, more people, no meals in the dining room, but more food kiosks, different setups with tents.

Amazingly we are able to go to sleep despite the noise. I have a two fold theory, that we are less stressed because of retirement/semi retirement and we live in quite a noisy area in Victoria Park where it is probably never completely quiet, so we are used to tuning things out. Plus getting very tired from all of the fresh air and walking we do from campsite to the main area.

Easter at Jarrahdale

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Sunset from our campsite at Jarrahdale

Easter Friday was a quiet day. We went for a walk in the evening in our neighbourhood looking at a special type of gum tree with drooping branches and peeling bark. We found it was quite common in our immediate area. I wanted to go away for one night at Easter, the weekend is very busy at most places and driving on Friday and Monday is usually very fraught, so it seemed sensible to go a fairly short distance overnight so that we were driving on Saturday and Sunday.

We were pretty sure that the free camping site at Jarrahdale would have plenty of room for us, and it has, although there are a lot more campers than when we came during a cool spell in summer. Still, it is a big area, and we don’t mind the extra people. We are camped on the hard stand area, although we don’t have it to ourselves this time.

We arrived at about 12.00, checked out the camping possibilities, then drove out to Serpentine Dam. We had lunch in the Winnie, then coffee at the cafe, then walked out across the Dam. It was a lovely day, although the weather continues a recent pattern of starting out cool, then getting quite warm by late in the afternoon.

Serpentine Dam - detail (1 of 1)

There are some lovely tall trees in the dam area, the above photo is a detail of leaves and blossom.

Serpentine Dam - No Entry (1 of 1)

Standing on the Dam, it’s not possible to get near the edge because of the wide area out of bounds.

Serpentine Dam - water2 (1 of 1)

A partly cloudy day, with lots of sunshine.

It was an important day – Stephen drove the Winnie for the first time – the 9 kms back to our campsite from the dam. Well done Stephen!