Who sleeps well with highway noise?

The answe is: us. We’ve slept next to busy roads quite a lot when travelling and it doesn’t seem to be a problem for us. Of course, the traffic does die down overnight, but there is likely to still be some road noise. My theory is that because we live in the city we have learned to filter it out.


After a fairly warm day we weren’t sure whether the night would be cool enough to snuggle under a doona, but at around 9.00 p.m. the temperature dropped noticeably. Just as well as I had only brought winter pyjamas with me.

We had a leisurely morning, taking time to enjoy our first cups of tea, then washing, then a slow breakfast.

We went back into Toodyay for coffee and the papers. We stayed at the bakery so long that eventually it was time for lunch and we had a pie and a pasty. Somehow, the cakes weren’t tempting. I think it’s because my appetite changes in the warmer weather, thank goodness.

We found a shady spot next to a park and had a rest before heading off to Clackline. I wanted to have a look at an overnight place that we found on Wikicamps. Unfortunately the way in was a steep, rutted gravel road. Just as well we didn’t rely on being able to stay there overnight. We found a Lions Park, with a lion statue nearby, worth a short stop.

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Our last stop of the day was at Lake Leschenaultia. It was still pretty warm and we wanted somewhere cool to stay until it was time to go home. We took the righthand turn after the entrance along a drive with parking spaces. When we got to the end we realised the only way out was to back a long way. Still, it was time for afternoon tea. Stephen got the chairs out and we stayed until after 6.00 p.m. We were completely boxed in soon after we arrived, so just as well we wanted to stay.

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After the cars around us were driven away we were able to back into the nearest bay and turn around. As you can imagine, this is a two person job, with Stephen outside directing me. Not too difficult. We stopped in Childlow to clean the windscreen. A man came over to admire the Winnie and Stephen told him we were selling. Stephen said we had a firm price of $67,000 and the man took his phone number for future reference.

By the time we were heading down the hill it was after sunset. We arrived home when it was quite dark and after a few trips up and down the drive had unpacked most of our stuff. A light meal, some relaxation, and off to bed.

We made the most of having one night away. The Winnie had a good run and we were able to really unwind and enjoy it.

An unexpected Pizza delivery

We are spending the night at a lay by about 8 kms from Toodyay. When I said to Stephen that the Winnie needed a run we began to explore all sorts of options. One was to stay a couple of nights at the Coogee Beach Caravan Park and go to an opera film in Fremantle. When that turned out to be fully booked Stephen suggested Toodyay.

We consulted WikiCamps and found that the place where we free camped last time has disappeared. It was rather nice being near a bridge and the Avon River. But, there was this place, a gravel site just off the road. It only has one review so far, a not very flattering one. But, it means we can avoid staying in a caravan park (we like free camping best).

A Ute pulled up close to us shortly after we settled in and offered us some pizza. Well, we don’t usually say ‘no’ to free food. What a kind thought indeed. We had some small tuna and pasta bowls to have with salad for tea, but pizza will do instead.

On the way here, we went to Noble Falls for our lunch break. We spent so long there that we didn’t arrive in Toodyay until about 4.00 p.m. We went to the IGA to buy some fruit, salads and butter. At lunchtime we realised I had forgotten to pack butter, but we had melted cheese on toast, which doesn’t really need butter, so it wasn’t too bad.

Our plan is to visit the wonderful Toodyay Bakery in the morning and stock up on some of their bread, as well as have coffee and whatever. Hence camping just out of town, we didn’t want to go too far away.

We have been busy with choir things and generally catching up with life. I went to Matt’s pop up bar yesterday for a lamb and salad roll. He took me out to show me the Community Garden project they have all been working on.

Stephen and I have been to the local pool a couple of times. This will be part of our summertime exercise. Eversley organises a Sunday morning walk once a month, which we also enjoy. Plus, took ourselves out for an evening walk on the last day of the first heatwave for November this year.

Stephen and I have road tested a couple of Camper vans. David, from Dove Campers brought a van to our house to see if it would fit in the parking spot under the kitchen window. The 6 metre van was a good fit and our neighbour had a chance to look at it as well to confirm it wouldn’t get in their way when they reverse into their garage.

The other van is a brand new van, 6 metres in length, being brought out by Jayco. It was lovely to drive and is a pretty complete package. We would lose being able to walk through into the cab area from the living area. Of course, this could be changed on the new van, but would add to the cost. For a brand new Campervan it is a very good price and includes a combination shower/toilet and a sort of ‘starter’ solar set up.

Sadly, we would get quite a bit less money for our van than we thought, at the moment we are adjusting our thinking and keeping an eye out for a second hand van that would meet our requirements for being able to free camp in places that require us to be ‘ fully self contained’. We want something reliable and not too many kilometres on the clock.

A compilation from today. Flying a drone is permitted here and I had a first pass at actually flying it around. I’ve made the classic mistake of turning it around too quickly. Everything to learn. It takes off and lands automatically at the press of a button.

Water where it shouldn’t be

This morning I woke up suddenly with the sun in my eyes. It was about 5:30, just after dawn. I got up, took some photos and went back to bed after closing the curtains. I slept until our alarm went off. That is two very good nights sleeps in a row.

We didn’t hurry, just enjoyed having washes and breakfast, listening to the radio on Stephen’s phone. The internet works well enough for that. We found some water leaking in the bathroom, but I just couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Everything seems dry again now we are home. Very puzzling.

We had a few little stops on the way, one for refuelling. Our lunch stop was at Pinjarra at the 24 hr camping. Stephen was phantasy good that we had a couple of weeks to wander around the area, coming back to Pinjarra from time to time. We can only stay for 24 hours at a time.

We arrived here at about 3:30 and I started making cups of tea whilst Stephen went to switch on the hot water system. I heard a noise and when I went to investigate saw that water was pouring out of a bathroom cupboard. The plumber, who arrived in about half an hour said he advises people to not switch off their hot water systems when they go away. If there is any weakness in the system the sudden pressure will make it burst.

Stephen quickly switched off the water at our mains tap and I was able to contain the water using pretty much all of our spare towels. I couldn’t help thinking of when this happened at my sister’s villa. Neither she nor her neighbour were able to turn off the mains water tap which had seized up. She had to sit there waiting for the plumber whilst the water went pretty much through put her house, causing thousands of dollars worth of water damage. It was covered by insurance, but still a bad experience. We felt lucky that we were at home when this happened and we able to so quickly stop the flow.

Energised by this, we have unpacked all of the vulnerable stuff from the Winnie as in food and electronics. There is still a lot to come in, but nothing urgent.

The new bed pad has really helped with our problem of the bottom sheet being difficult to tuck in and having to remake the bed every day or so when we are away. Pinning the sheet to the pad means we don’t have it coming off. The pad itself does slip down the bed a bit overnight, but is easy to put back into place each morning. We also find it very comfortable as we are used to a fairly soft mattress at home.

Stephen has WASO chorus rehearsal tonight, whereas I can relax and basically supervise the washing machine and dryer, getting all of the wet towels done. It will take three loads. Then I will start on our clothes washing. Well, maybe tomorrow.

Collie and Potters Gorge

Note: The walk to Wellington Dam from Potters Gorge takes about 25 minutes.

The temperature dropped overnight. We had everything open (windows and hatches) and it got quite cold in the van, very good for sleeping. We made a slow start in the morning and I actually used the heater for warming up the bathroom before having a shower. We asked for an extension of time until 11.00 a.m. We spent time with Marie and Geoff working out what to do for the day, and checking out their caravan in more detail.

At the dam.

I won’t attempt to upload more photos as the internet is so slow.

We drove down the Visitor Information Centre, having noted that there was parking for longer vehicles available. We spent time in the VIC where there were gifts and some posters with information about the history of Collie. Outside there are some steam locomotive engines. There were some interesting stories from those times. The others then went to the museum whilst I enjoyed the fresh air outside.

From there Stephen and I drove to Potters Gorge. A ranger and a man from the kiosk came by, but no one asked us to prove we had a booking. They must have access to the vehicle registration details from the online booking to confirm that we are legitimately camped.

Marie and Geoff came by later for afternoon tea. I made coffee and they brought Anzac biscuits. We sat outside at the picnic table which comes with our site.

Later Stephen and I walked through to Wellington Dam. I’m not sure of the distance, probably about 5 or 6 kms return. It is a fairly easy walk, uphill at first, which meant downhill coming home. We watched our feet very carefully on the gravel, especially coming downhill. The day has been fine and sunny after a cloudy start to the morning. The temperature is ideal, probably about 25.

We had a better phone signal at the dam than here, where we only have one bar of 4g. It was useful as we could see quite a lot of smoke from a fire on the other side of the dam. I was able to check and find that it was a prescribed burn. Seems odd to do it when we are having strong winds here near Collie.

This evening we were going to have another meal of leftovers, but as I took it out of the fridge (it had been in the freezer and I changed it to the fridge this morning) the bowl split. It is Pyrex and we have been using these bowls for freezing food for years. We didn’t like to eat the food with the risk of glass slivers. Instead we cooked up some frozen vegetables with bacon and eggs, with bread lightly toasted under the griller. Plus a little icecream and the last of our rhubarb.

We listened to a Desert Island Disk about an American lawyer working in Afghanistan. Very interesting though we didn’t care for her choice of music.

In an update I can post some photos from yesterday on our home internet.

Some photos from Collie Visitor Centre.

And some from Potters Gorge and our walk. I mentioned the smoke on the other side of the dam earlier.

Dunsborough Songfest – Days 1 and 3

We took it rather easy on Saturday morning, staying at our campsite at the caravan park until lunchtime. We then headed to the boat ramp area in Dunsborough to have a picnic lunch. We were due for a warmup at 1.30 p.m. and made it in plenty of time.

Our 20 minute concert appearance had it’s ups and downs. Stephen and I weren’t well rehearsed, having only been to a couple of practices before the Songfest. I took time out during one song to get some photos for our Facebook page.

Stephen and I stayed for the whole afternoon concert and were therefore onsite for a brief session with Voicemale rehearsing a couple of the songs in preparation for our joint concert next month. Then it was off to the Old Dunsborough Hall for a quick meal before heading off for the Saturday night concert at the school. We stayed for the whole concert this time.

This morning we weren’t required until 10.30 and were able to have a fairly relaxed morning before packing up. We had a warmup session, then sang our two songs, and felt free to do what we wanted. That involved staying long enough to listen to some of the other singers and have a cup of tea(me anyway).

We went back to the Busselton foreshore for lunch, setting off for Collie at about 2.00 p.m. Owing to some conflicting advice from Google Maps and Stephen’s physical map we did not get to Collie until about 5.00 p.m. It was too late to drive to Potter’s Gorge in fading light and we booked in to stay at the caravan park. We are just across the street from Marie, Geoff and Glenn.

We had our FaceTime session with Matt this morning because we expected to be at Potter’s Gorge where the phone reception is patchy.

We are pretty tired from the drive and glad to be able to relax and have a meal of leftovers. Stephen is reading about the Collie area and has a sightseeing day planned for tomorrow. We may go to PG in the afternoon.

When we were in England I booked two nights there, dreaming of a peaceful couple of night at PG. I hadn’t reckoned on the weather, we are already having hot temperatures. Fortunately we have a cooler couple of days to come, and will be home again before the temperatures rise to over 35. Yesterday’s heat was a bit of a problem, even in Dunsborough, but it was about 40 in Perth and the temperature in Dunsborough only reached about 33.

Dunsborough Songfest Day 1

It’s a miracle. All of our tiredness and feeling unwell has disappeared and we woke up feeling ready for the drive to Dunsborough. We used the car to trolley all of our stuff down the driveway to the Winnie and were away by 9:15 am. We had a couple of short stops for toilets and fuel, plus a morning tea stop at one of our favourite rest stops, the John Tognela Rest Area.

We pushed on and diverted just a little to have lunch at 1.30 pm on the beach at Busselton where we stayed for about three hours having a rest and wandering around enjoying the sunshine and beautiful sea.

We left Busselton at about 4:30 pm for the Dunsborough Lakes Caravan Park and were all set up at around 5:30 pm. We ran into friends from choir on the way down whilst refuelling and have other friends, also from our choir, camped close by us here. Catching up with people we know is all part of the Dunsborough experience.

We made it in to the evening concert, a little late due to having showers, a delicious meal of leftovers, and desert of rhubarb and icecream. We didn’t score seats in the hall at the concert and gave up at the interval to come home. We had seats outside, but it was very noisy with lots of people socialising and not listening to the music.

Suddenly, we are very tired indeed.

The Winnie is ready for pickup

But we had a few things to do in town first. I’ve bought some safety pins for making up the bed, a new sun stopping hat, some lingerie and lens cleaners. Stephen has registered at Trinity School for Seniors to sing a song at their Christmas Concert. He is now spending some time going to the exhibition we saw last week. Because we went on the tour it means he didn’t get enough time to linger on the things that interest him.

This photo is for Eversley. I couldn’t resist getting a little keyboard like hers. It is very small and light, the keys must be pressed firmly, which is good for my typing style, and it is actually almost full sized, so fairly comfortable for typing when I’m at a cafe.

When we were travelling light in Europe I just had my iPad with me, leaving my laptop at the apartment in East Croydon, and would like to be able to leave the laptop behind entirely next time. Although the iPad is still a bit limited in what it can do it would make travel a bit easier, especially at airports going through security, but also in terms of weight. Having a small and light keyboard is another step in that direction. I can do some editing of photos on the iPad, it’s more a matter of being able to back up all of the photos and video.

The PadOS now allows for a physical connection to a backup drive and some small hard drives have an SD card reader. We are not planning another overseas trip at this stage, so no decisions need to be made. However, I don’t want to have as much stuff as I had on our last trip.

Our visit with Matt last night went well. I could hear him chatting away to Stephen outside as they were doing some gardening. It’s good when he is in the mood where he forgets we can’t understand and just wants to get it out.

We had Eversley and Rae over for a movie night on Friday night. Rae asked about our trip and she got the lot, with me taking her through the blog, mainly to show the photos. Eversley could add her part as well. We then started the movie, had a break for tea, then finished it off. Juliet, naked is a romantic comedy starring Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke. The last movie we watched together a few months ago also starred Ethan Hawke, but was very serious, so this time we enjoyed seeing him in a non serious role.

Rae says she is happy for us to choose the movies as she likes to broaden her mind. Not that she is stuffy in any way – she is a little older than Mum and I think we forget that that generation wasn’t really very conservative, or at least the women weren’t. Especially after they gained some experience of life.

Stephen was falling asleep in front of the TV last night and went to bed early, not feeling all that well. But he has bounced back this morning. We usually wake up early and it certainly makes a good start to the day. Maybe it has to do with getting light so early.

Our plan now is to have lunch at City Place before catching a bus out to Welshpool to pick up the Winnie from Ken Peachy Caravans.

Saturday morning catchup

At our committee meeting on Thursday night we decided to do a survey of members to have some data on what people do and don’t like about attending choir practice. It was my task to work out how to use Survey Monkey. It isn’t intuitive, but the survey has just this morning been sent out to members. Our Chairperson wrote the questions and covering letter and our Secretary gave me the list of members. We have worked out some options for next year to take to the AGM.

Mum’s visit to the clinic at Royal Perth went off well enough, just some complaining at the end. I stayed with her whilst she had her meal on our return and she brightened up and ate most of her food. The reason I stayed was to do a handover with the RN. It was tiring, but felt satisfying to leave her looking happy and settled.

We went to Caravanland to look at the new campervan, which had arrived earlier than expected. I like it very much, though it isn ‘t quite as small as I was hoping. However, since my minimum requirement is having an ensuite I don’t think we can go shorter than 19ft and the ceiling height inside is also important. Basically, I love it and would like to make a decision. They produce 10 vans each month, and they have to be ordered. It could take 2 or 3 months once a decision is made.

We will go to Dove Campers when we have a chance to look at different sized vans as Stephen is wanting a smaller van with all the comforts. Our plan is to go back to Caravanland after Dunsborough to do a test drive, so this one is still under consideration.

We went to Yeoman of the Guard last night, with a largely amateur cast. Three of the younger members had good singing voices, the rest had to make do with being in tune, more or less. A small orchestra did a great job and the Dolphin is a very nice, small theatre where we can feel part of the action. The weather has been very wet and windy and we dodged showers in the morning down in Fremantle where Stephen went for a rehearsal for a solo at the TSFS Christmas concert and I went to a Cat Cafe#. It was still windy with showers in the evening.

The Winnie is with Ken Peachy Caravans having a little work done on her. They are waiting on a part and the work will carry over until Monday. We had booked her in for a vehicle service on Monday, or so we thought. When we rang them yesterday there was no booking for Monday, so just as well we needed to change it to Tuesday.

I’m in a photography drought at the moment – not feeling like taking photos of ordinary life and not getting out on walks where I would enjoy photography. Once again, we will have to make do with a photo from our time in England/Europe.

A view from the apartment in East Croydon.