Out of Home Adventures: Day 12

Our week at Roleystone

Matthew came to dinner on Sunday evening. He arrived here with Tin at about 3.30 p.m., to our surprise as he was picked up at 3.00 p.m. Glenn was assigned to the task of providing entertainment. He used his Wii and kareoke singing and we enjoyed seeing the videos and enjoying some old songs. I cooked a meal in our crockpot and we spent the time in the enclosure at the back of the house where there is plenty of room.

Monday was a very wet day, enjoyable because it was cool and misty here. Stephen went to German at Trinity and got home at about 4.00 p.m. Geoff picked him up because of the rain. Stephen went to choir via bus and train, then we picked him up at about 10.00 p.m. I had tea with Marie and Geoff. It was Geoff’s turn to cook and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Marie and I went to the Tilda workshop and had a good day with me learning to make little zippered purses. We came back and picked up the children from school. They stayed with Marie for tea, then were dropped home.

On Wednesday Stephen was meeting Les and some other colleagues in Midland, so Marie and I dropped him off and went to see Mum. We took her to Midland and had toasted sandwiches and coffee at Coffee Club. Things went quite well.

Afterwards we called in at Spotlight in Midland. I bought some things for the Winnie and some cushion filler.

Stephen’s coffee morning ended up finishing at about 3.30 p.m. and with all the changes of trains and final bus ride, he did not get home until 6.00 p.m. I cooked a pressure cooker meal to share.

Yesterday Stephen and I took Marie’s car to Cottesloe to meet with his family for brunch. $10 breakfasts at the OBH. We had a good time catching up with everyone’s news. Afterwards we went to City Subaru to pick up Stephen’s prize of a box of Easter eggs. He bought a raffle ticket when we were having repairs done last week. I saw a GP to check on my imunity from blood tests last week. All is looking good. Stephen waited in the library whilst I saw the doctor.

Then we headed home where Marie had prepared her special dish in the pressure cooker. We had desert with them, then headed ‘home’ to relax for the evening.

With full hookups here we are very comfortable. We are leaving the hot water system on all the time and Stephen has at least ventured to have showers in our little bathroom.

Today is a quiet day for us, though we plan to pack up and go to Victoria Park for tonight. Our house guests have invited us for a meal and we will stay in our van overnight somewhere so that we can see Matt on Saturday. We went for a walk this morning, not particularly early, but it was still quite cool. I spotted the Red Capped Wanderer in the bushland.

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Glenn was up at the same time as us, catching the bus to Kelmscott for breakfast.

Glenn and Stephen at the bus stop (1 of 1)

We are hoping that the family will help us to eat up the box of Easter Eggs and will take something with us when we see Matt tomorrow as well.

Out of Home Adventures: Day 6

Pinjarra to Roleystone

I switched the alarm off, and we woke up quite late this morning, after 8.00 a.m. Stephen said there were about three trains in the night, but I didn’t hear them. We took our time over breakfast and packing up and were ready to move off at about 11.00 a.m. We stopped by the dump point on the way to the shopping centre. Parking was easier than expected, it was Saturday morning and there was a craft fair in progress, but still managed to park across from Coles.

We found the store very well set up. Stephen said there were types of fruit in the store that he hadn’t seen before. When I spoke to Marie she said that Roz used to go to that shopping centre when she lived in Serpentine. The whole place was amazing for a small village in the south west.

I wanted to visit the Dome and made the excuse that we needed a break before driving and should have morning tea. We bought hot drinks and smuggled in some small hot cross buns to eat. Stephen had the Weekend Australian and I had my ipad for reading news.

We had lunch in a parking bay just north of Byford after stopping in Byford for fuel. We were only about 20 kms from Roleystone, but thought we would be busy setting up when we arrived and didn’t want to get there hungry.

Stephen and Geoff worked on setting up electricity and plumbling. Marie and I discussed Matt’s birthday celebration for tomorrow, we had a cup of tea, then I set up the inside of the van for living and did two loads of washing. Marie had a section of the outdoor enclosure as my designated area, and some spare airers for drying clothes.

The weather has been reasonably cool and cloudy today, with some attempts at rain that haven’t really led to anything substantial. We watched the final episode of ‘Howards End’ tonight, and were glad to see things resolved, though the series was quite odd. There was something unlikely about the story and characters that was rather unsatisfying.

Out of Home Adventures: Day 5

Busselton to Pinjarra

Today has been partly cloudy and warm rather than hot. We spent time packing up this morning. Stephen had three hookups as he set up the grey water hose to empty, as well as dealing with the water and electricity. The tank was pretty full as I gave up on going to the caravan park showers after the first day, it was so much easier to use our own shower.

We got away at about 10.10 a.m. We spent most of the journey on the direct road to Perth as it seemed easiest with lots of overtaking lanes in the first section, plus double lanes later on. Towards lunch time I was wondering about somewhere nice to stop that wasn’t just off the highway. We settled on Waroona, which meant driving through farmland to a little park near the information centre. We enjoyed the last of the German style bakery bread. We went to the Pinjarra Bakery (has branches in Waroona and Maddington as well as Pinjarra) and found their bread to be disappointingly ordinary. Even Coles bakery has nicer bread.

We were thinking of sitting outside in the little gazebo, but there were too many spiders!

This is the gazebo from outside.

High viz vests mean they were brave enough to ignore the spiders overhead.

Including this one on the roof!

There was some artwork in the park.

We stayed for a couple of hours, having lunch and a rest, plus going to the information centre and the bakery.

As you can see from the photos, it was sunny in the middle of the day, but it was quite grey by the time we reached Pinjarra. We are staying the night in their free RV parking area. It is next to the railway, with good toilets a short walk away. Pinjarra has quite a lot of public toilets for such a small town. We had a cup of tea and read our books for awhile after arriving. There wasn’t much of a breeze and it was warm and humid.

We went for a walk across the suspension bridge into town and checked out the shopping centre. We then walked back across the road bridge, past the Premier Hotel and back to the van. We have two other RVs now, a little village of 3.

Just across the road from where we are staying there is a paddock with a couple of horses. There was only one around when we walked past at the end of our walk, so the black one ended up in the featured image.

On our walk we saw that one house had gargoyles on the fence posts. The next door neighbour, obviously someone with a sense of humour, had a frog on his fence post.

We are hoping for a quiet night with not too many trains overnight. In the morning we plan to stock up on fruit and vegetables before heading for our home base for the next three weeks in Roleystone.

Out of Home Adventures: Day 4


We had a few adventures today. We got up fairly early and went for a walk along the beach.

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morning walk 4

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We were ready to go out at about 11.30 a.m. and followed the map to find a nearby French bakery. It was closed, and we didn’t know whether to believe alternative information we were given on the web and in our local map.

Stephen consulted our local map and found a restaurant in the bush, the Goanna Gallery Cafe. The meals were a bit expensive, so we shared a meal and a pot of tea afterwards. The atmosphere was lovely. We read our books for quite a while. It was getting quite cool by the time we left at 3.30 p.m.

We were not sure what to do next, but decided that a beachside location where we could have tea (in the van) would be a good idea. We chose Meelup Beach as it wasn’t too far to drive after the meal. When we arrived there, the weather was mild and sunny and the sea beckoned. We had a swim and the featured photo is of Stephen waving from the sea. We had cold showers to wash off the salt. Later, we heated up our meal and enjoyed looking out of our window at the ocean.

We had hoped to head home whilst it was still light, but it was quite dark when we were leaving. There were kangaroos coming onto the beach and as we drove out one sat in front of us for a while, before hopping off. Fortunately it was was highly visible and we were going very slowly when we saw it.

Arriving home in the dark we appreciated the ‘street lamps’ in the caravan park, which helped us to do our hook ups and hang our wet bathers outside. Stephen went off to do the dishes in a small campers kitchen nearby and I set up inside.


Out of Home Adventures: Day 3

Potters Gorge to RAC Caravan Park, Busselton

As usual, we made slow progress today, with only about 94kms to travel. After packing up and leaving we drove to Wellington Dam nearby. The day was clear and sunny and fairly hot, even here well south of Perth.

We went through Dardanup, where we found a lovely German style bakery. The pastries, etc. were very tempting, but we just bought a loaf of bread and took our hot drinks back to the van to have lunch. We want to go back on a cooler day to look at some of the interesting buildings.

We drove into Capel, which has lots of cafes for a place that small. We needed to do some shopping, so took advantage of the IGA, forgetting that there is a new Coles quite close to the caravan park where we are now staying. Capel has free overnight camping for RVs, but we couldn’t see any signs and as we didn’t want to stay there this time, we headed off after the shopping.

By the time we arrived at about 2.30 p.m. we felt tired and washed out by the heat and humidity. It was still hot when we arrived, and the breeze wasn’t doing a very good job of cooling things down. We had our air conditioner going for an hour or so.

After a cup of tea I explored around, looking at the campers kitchen and swimming pools and nearby pond. We thought we would go for a walk to the beach towards sunset, but felt too tired. After rejoicing in having 240v power and running water, we got the news that the water would have to go off at 9.00 p.m. We had our showers early so that we didn’t miss out. At the back of the park there are individual ensuite bathrooms that anyone can use, as well as a couple of normal shower blocks. Of course, we do have our own little bathroom, but after three days it was nice to have a normal shower.

I got out our pressure cooker and made a meal of mince, beans and vegetables. We had a slice each of the delicious fresh bread, then fruit afterwards. We have enough of the cooked food left over for three more meals.

The last couple of nights have been humid and warm when we were going to bed, and it was uncomfortable because we didn’t have a fan. We are glad to have the fan for tonight as although it has cooled down, it is still humid and the breeze has dropped.

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Busselton – RAC Caravan Park
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This morning at Potters Gorge
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After sunrise – Potters Gorge

This is not a very lively blog at the moment – we seem to be always tired, and it doesn’t help that I leave the writing to the end of the evening. We watched TV this evening, the SBS news, then Michael Portillo on another railway journey, then Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell. A bit of a TV binge. Rather nice when we haven’t had TV at all for a few nights. Michael’s show is pure escapism, of course.

Out of Home Adventures: Day 2

Potters Gorge

We were both a bit under the weather today, with headaches and feeling lethargic. We woke up at about 7.30 and didn’t finish our ‘showers’ until about 11.00 a.m. It was lovely to have a good excuse to really relax today.

Yesterday was quite cloudy and humid in the late afternoon/evening, but became chilly overnight. In the morning it was mostly sunny, with a stiff breeze, very nice weather indeed. By evening today it had clouded over, the wind dropped,  and it became warm and humid again. Unlike last night, we had a brief, bright sunset, and I took the featured photo. I had to run out with my meal half eaten to get some shots, but it was worth it.

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About 8.00 a.m. Potters Gorge

We didn’t orginally plan to be here two nights, but we really didn’t feel up to moving on. We did a quick inventory of our food and drinking water, and decided we could go another day without doing any shopping. We have rain water here, and the signs say it is drinkable if boiled for a minute or more. So far, we have just used it for washing.

I took a couple of panadol and had a sleep for about an hour this morning. When I woke up I still felt rather ill, but we sat outside for most of the afternoon and that appears to have helped me to get better. If the weather wasn’t so humid I would probably have quite good energy!

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the final colour
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We went for a walk before tea. The light was quite dull, but a closeup photo of a mossy branch was possible.

The ranger came around at about 10.30 a.m. this morning and we paid for two nights, $7.00 per person per night with our National Parks pass and senior’s discount ($28.00).


Out of Home Adventures: Day 1

Victoria Park to Potters Gorge, Wellington Dam National Park

We spent our first night out of home parked near Oats Street Station, just around the corner from Sommerset Pool. We had spent the whole day getting packed up and finishing cleaning the house. We went to the airport to collect our guests and gave them a fairly quick handover before heading off. We were very tired indeed and slept very well. The trains stop overnight and there was very little traffic. It was cool, with a minimum of 12.

In the morning we had cups of tea, then dressed and walked around the corner to the pool. It was quiet in the inner pool where I swim, Stephen said the outdoor pool was very busy. It was good timing as there was to be a school carnival for the rest of the day.

Back at the van we had breakfast. A parking inspector came at about 9.00 a.m. He was quite friendly and said that we could stay a couple of hours from the time of his visit. We were packed up by 10.00 a.m., so didn’t need the extra time.

First thing was going to Beaurepairs to have the tires checked. They were slightly down. Then we put our destination into Google maps and took the Roe Highway over to the Forrest Highway, apparently the quickest route to Wellington Dam.

We had tossed around lots of ideas for our first destination, but settled on Potters Gorge in the national park. It has clean drop toilets, BBQ areas and very nicely set out camping bays on the edge of the water. We chose a spot a little bit away from the water, but with good views. The fee for us is $14.00 per night, but we haven’t seen a ranger yet, so haven’t had a chance to pay. A sign says you can pay at the kiosk, but the kiosk doesn’t open until Wednesday.

It is very peaceful here. No one is using a generator or making other noises, and we have only heard one odd sound, a frog or bird, we are not sure. We walked along the edge of the dam for a while, oddly there is no birdlife on the water.

We made two stops on the way, the first one for fuel at the Baldivas Service centre. We had hot drinks and some toast. Forrest Highway always feels very safe because of the two lanes for each direction of traffic, well separated by the green strip. Having service areas and rest areas is very helpful. Close to Bunbury we cut through to Great Southern Highway, and onto the road to Collie. The turnoff for Potters Gorge is fairly close to Collie.

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Campsite at Potters Gorge
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Rest Stop on the Forrest Highway
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Paved walkway, Potters Gorge
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Tree stumps on the shore at Potters Gorge

Today is Matt’s birthday and we had a Facetime session to wish him Happy Birthday. They had a birthday party at his house. We reminded him that we are having a second party at Roleystone next Sunday. When we saw Matthew on Friday evening he was quite agitated – very different to his normal ‘Mr Cool’ self. I thought it might have been because Stephen went out to sing in the concert and I didn’t follow the same routine. However, when we saw him tonight he seemed very agitated again – apart from initally when he was smiling and obviously happy to see us. We are not sure what is happening.

Jenny, one of the staff just contacted us about a health matter and I asked her if she has noticed anything going on with Matt, but she said he seems fine. We will follow up next week when we see him. Perhaps he will be happily back to normal.

We have lots of tiny insects flying around us at the moment, picking up on the lights. We are not sure how they can get in as our insect screens are normally quite adequate. No mosquitos anyway.