We’ve been busy since we returned home from our trip to Northcliffe. We watched a rising moon from our driveway one night.
On January 26th we went up to Albany Highway to a car yard to watch the fireworks. We couldn’t be bothered to go closer, but we still enjoyed something of the experience, albeit in a very Victoria Park way (standing in a car yard overlooking another car yard with fireworks low on the horizon.
Very hot weather was forecast for the rest of the Australia Day weekend. Eversley organised for a group of us to meet yesterday morning at Mullaloo Beach. Stephen and I went up the night before to see whether we could get away with staying in the car park overnight.
We couldn’t find a level parking bay, and settled for one next to trees with a north/south slope. This allowed us to have our head higher than our feet in bed.
Getting away involved some preparations. We had Matt to tea on Friday night and I experimented with cooking a chicken in the pressure cooker. It sits on a trivet in the pot, allowing the fat and other juices to run out. We cooked the vegetables in the oven and when the pot cooking was finished we put the chicken in the oven to brown. The result was a beautiful tender chicken with browned skin.
Matt ate a big meal and we counted this as a success.
The chicken served us well for a couple more evening meals. On Sunday I made up a salad, a fruit salad and a plate of chicken for our evening meal. We took a little tub of fruit flavoured yogart, plus chocolate. We didn’t need to take food for breakfast on Monday morning and, apart from our evening meal, we only needed to take our various tea bags and a little container of long life milk for my morning cuppa.
We headed off at about 4.15 and took the long way up Wanneroo Road to Mullaloo. This was due to navigation errors and trying to avoid a hill start in East Perth. It is much easier to go on the Freeway. However, by the time we arrived the car park was clearing and we had a choice of parking bays.
Our first thing was to have a ‘happy hour’ of diet cola, some crisps and salted almonds. We had small serves so as not to spoil our evening meal. We were in stealth mode, so did not use the slide out. This makes things a bit more cramped and is a reminder that being in a small van is not as nice as being in the larger space.
Then we went for a walk to check out the area. There are a number of cafes and a hotel. We walked down to the beach and sat on the sand to watch the sun setting. There were no clouds, but the evening was mild and the wind had dropped which made for a lovely experience. We needed light jumpers even though the day had been hot.
We walked along a little further, then slowly went back to the Winnie. We noticed a tree in bloom on the way. Plus a very ugly house, made uglier by a messy power pole in front of it.
There is an extensive picnic area with pine trees, picnic shelters and beautiful green lawn.
We enjoyed our evening meal and eventually settled in for the night. We were undisturbed and the emergency plan of going to a nearby church parking area wasn’t needed.
We were to meet our friends at 8.30 a.m. for a swim, but after a leisurely awakening and cups of tea we felt ready for our swim about 7.45. Afterwards it was back to the Winnie where I had a shower and Stephen just got dressed, I guess the swim was having a bath, or something. Our friends arrived before I was dressed, so hid behind the screen door wrapped in a towel.
When we were ready we went to the cafe to wait for the others to have their swim. There was Eversley, Joan and her son Philip, plus Colin and Robyn. The cafe was noisy, but Stephen and I had a very nice cooked breakfast to share, plus a good catchup with friends, so we enjoyed it despite having to speak loudly to be heard. Philip lives in Germany, but was brought up in Australia and travelled to other states with his family as a child. We were fortunate to meet him as he is only here for a short time.
The others had to leave at about 11.00, we decided to stay for a while. There was a cool breeze and the inside of the van was a comfortable temperature. When we arrived home at about 1.30 it was about 40 degrees, such a contrast.
We had Eversley and Rae over in the evening to watch a movie. I had chosen “First Reformed”, because it appeared to be about some of our common interests. It was a failure in a sense – the ending was very unsatisfactory. However, we had our shared meal afterwards and debriefed as much as possible. Eversley said she had a disturbing dream last night, probably related to the film – clearly we didn’t get rid of the discomfort. However, it was lovely to see Rae again, she has had some physical problems and is using a walker at the moment, but is undaunted.
This morning we took the Winnie to Queens Grove Caravan Park for storage. This is a new thing for us, it usually goes to Roleystone. However, we will probably continue to have some very hot weather and I am hoping we get a chance to stay overnight at a beach again. QG is only about six kilometres from here. There is a cost, but it is quite reasonable. They gave us a bay near the office where they can keep an eye on it. We left hatches open slightly and it is close enough to go and close them if we have heavy rain.