Southern Escape: The Cosy Corner (East) 7 Day Challenge

In the morning yesterday we discussed what we are going to do next. We explored going to stay in Denmark, or even just to go there to dump the toilet and get water, but the reviews of the dump point were discouraging. I am also concerned that if we head west there are fewer options for cheap and free camping near the coast and we are heading towards another heatwave which will affect places such as Margaret River. The coolest place to be is still Albany and surrounds.

We have become a little accustomed to our campsite here are Cosy Corner and we have many facilities that we need, including 2 bars of 4g internet on our phones. We have decided to take up the option of staying here for the full 7 nights. That is, provided we can last in terms of water. That gave us an excuse to head into Albany yesterday. After the usual business of emptying and filling tanks we parked up behind the IGA at the bottom of the hill and walked up to find a cafe. Dylan’s had a table for us upstairs, plus a friendly waitress who took care of us. We shared the first course, which was delicious and not quite enough, so followed up with cake and icecream. I think our waitress was worried about us having enough food because the slice of cake was definitely large enough to divide between two people. Stephen had a chai tea and I had my usual flat white coffee.

Afterwards, Stephen headed off to have a shower and wash his hair at the Womens Rest Centre and I took care of the shopping, stocking up for the duration of our stay. We went to Lawley Park, just a little up the road, and Stephen went for a walk up to the beginning of the boardwalk whilst I read my book. We had walked a lot the previous day, first to the cafe, then we went out along the Bibulman track in the evening, total of just over 11,000 steps.

We arrived back here are about 5.00 p.m. and had a restful evening, with a light tea. We had left our mat and chairs out to keep our spot, plus I had done some hand washing in the morning. It was still a little damp and as we had put up the awning when we got home I put the washing under the awning for the night. There was a bit of moisture in the air, not really raining, but it seemed good to have it under cover.

Another reason for the trip yesterday was that the batteries were a bit low and it seemed a good idea to give them a good charging by driving to Albany. It was cloudy this morning again, but we should have some sunshine in the next few days to keep them charged up. We are partly in shade so the solar mainly has a chance to work well in the mornings, by afternoons the solar panel is in shade. Yesterday, with the van parked in the open, we had 540wh, today with the cloudy conditions and now shade we have had 190wh so far. The batteries are at about 85% at the moment.

The Bibulmun Track goes through this campsite and gives us the opportunity for some walks. We don’t want to keep packing things up to drive and it will be interesting to see if there is enough to do on foot. We came in on Wednesday 13th January and if we stay for seven days we will be leaving on Wednesday the 20th January. I’ve asked if we can have one more night at Frenchman Bay, then the plan is to head back to Perth with one overnight stop on the way. I don’t know what the weather will be like at the time we are leaving, but it is likely to be hotter as we head north, which means there would be no reason to linger on the way.

Today I cooked a one pan meal of beef stirfry with lots of vegetables. We have leftovers for two more meals. Cooking in the evening is a problem because it’s a good time for going out for walks and I don’t feel like it when we get back. But, we’ve been hanging around today, watching a livestream with John and Mandy on Tour after the event as it streamed at 3.00 a.m. Perth time. I rarely watch a 2 hour livestream after the event, but Stephen was interested in it as well. We were able to stop and start as required. Towards the end I was able to listen as I prepared our meal, then we watched to the end whilst the meal was cooking.

We have been able to put out the hose for our grey water. It’s not ideal as we are on a slope the wrong way for a good flow, but that is something that will keep us going. I’ve also checked out the dump point. It doesn’t have water for washing down afterwards, but doesn’t look too bad. Our drop toilets are cleaned daily by a team of cleaners who do a number of camp toilets in the area of Albany. Quite a lot of driving involved. These facilities work in our favour.

Being partly in shade, whilst bad for the solar panel, is good for comfort for sitting in the van and our awning also means we have a shady spot to sit outside.