Southern Escape: Albany to Manjimup

We faced choices. To travel home over a couple of days heading directly north or to divert through Manjimup, Margaret River and Bunbury. Stephen has been wanting to stay at the Olive Hill Farm again, so this gives us an opportunity. Plus, we are wanting to try out the free camping provided by Bunbury. But, perhaps the main reason is that this route has cooler weather.

On Thursday afternoon, despite cloudy conditions and cool weather we had a short swim. We drove down to the carpark near the beach so that we could have a warm shower afterwards. Later, before tea, we drove to our usual spot overlooking the bay. We were the only campers on our second night there and a police car drove through on the morning we were leaving. Perhaps the other campers knew something was up, although rangers are more likely to ask people to move on. Anyway, we were packing up at that stage and the police didn’t stop.

From cloudy Albany we drove into sunshine and warm weather. A stop at Mt Barker to empty and fill tanks, and then down the Muir Highway to Manjimup. Although we planned to stay at the caravan park last night we didn’t want to be caught short without water if we didn’t make it. The heat was a reason to keep going in the end. We had a stop at Muir Lake, dry of course, on the way and didn’t stay out of the van for long because of the heat. It was looking beautiful in another way, the vegetation bright green, which suggests there was underground water anyway.

Manjimup Caravan Park has a little cafe that does fish and chips, our plan for tea easily settled. We shopped at the Woolworths across the road, filling up on fruit and vegetables for the next few days. We had a good spot in the park, absolutely level. Towards sunset it really cooled down. I did some washing, rushing out to do it right away and forgetting things left, right and centre. After doing a second load I realised I had still overlooked things. Message to self: no need to rush to get the washing done as soon as we arrive. The laundry had many washing machines and only one other machine was used during my time there. By taking my time I would have had it covered.

This morning we had showers and then packed up quickly. Stephen wanted to go to the local museums and there is a cafe where we have had breakfast. We weren’t expecting it to be so elegant, it’s a lovely spot to do this blog. The Museum complex includes two museums, a visitor centre with shop, and a lovely park. I’m going to take a walk there after finishing here. Our breakfast was reasonably priced by the time we shared, $12 each, plus our hot drinks extra.

We had a little bit of washing out this morning and it was beautifully sunny and cool when we woke up. Later a fog rolled in and I put the washing inside as the air was very damp, almost raining. It came up so suddenly that I walked over to the toilet in sunshine and walked back in fog a few minutes later.