Tuesday 29th April 2008, Perth.
We have spent the past two days looking for another caravan park as we are not completely happy with the one we are at. We have decided that parks in Perth have over-inflated prices for what they provide. It seems that if one wants a decent park they must be prepared to pay for it. This seems to be the general trend around the country nowadays, but capital cities are really going overboard in my impression. We did find one park though at Gwelup that has a price structure with a difference: they have a fee for a van with only one occupant, this is not often found anywhere else as there is generally a minimum fee that covers two occupants. This means that while Linda is in Melbourne I get a caravan park that I consider near the top of the range, but only paying the same cost as the cheaper parks, in fact the price is about the same as we are paying where we are now. It will cost us a little more for the first two weeks while Linda is still here but this will be subsidized by the group discount we receive for being a member of Top-Tourist.
During our travels around caravan parks we took it as an opportunity to see some of the Perth area, so seeing we were close we went to the coast for lunch. We did notice that the walking tracks along the coast in Perth are probably the best prepared of any we have seen in the rest of the country. It so happens the park we have chosen is close to the coast so I should be able to get in a lot of walking along the tracks. We also noticed that there are a lot of parks and reserves within the Perth boundary and during our travels it was a little hard to believe that we are actually in a capital city. We did travel close to, and got a glimpse of the city area but will venture in there at some later stage.
Sunday 27th April 2008, Perth.
I wonder if many travellers are as indecisive about their travels as we are. We intended heading off from Albany today and going about 250K to a small place called Wagin (pronounced wage-in), staying overnight only and then moving on to either York or Northam which are about an hour east of Perth. We were then going to have a day trip to Perth and check out some caravan parks and make a decision which one we would stay at. After we headed off a thought was made that, why stop at a place an hour out of Perth then make that lengthy trip just to have a look only to return with van a day or so later, why not rather go to a park in Perth and have a look from there at our leisure. Then: why go the long way to Perth via Wagin, why not just go all the way today? The rest is history because we are here at last. It now seems, after ringing a few parks, that some of our choices, due to price range, are booked out so our choices are now very limited anyway, so we will have a look anyway, but will probably stay where we are.
We did notice today a big change in the scenery, up till Albany since being in WA, the flora of the area was different than we have seen anywhere else, but the trip today was like we could have been almost anywhere in Australia that has tree growth, then the last half of the trip was very reminiscent of the Asbestos Ranges in Tassie via the road between Exeter and Devonport. Perth so far has been a different experience as well, as while on the roads we traveled for 20K or so within Perth’s boundaries it seemed as though we were still out in the country. Maybe we were on the outskirts, or they hide the housing areas well with tree growth, I guess we will find out more after being here a while.
Friday 25th April 2008, Albany.
We woke up this morning, late as usual, looked out the window to see the sun shining brightly and wondered whether we were going to have a fine day for a change. This would be good as we had planned on pulling down the awning walls while they are dry so our departure would not be hindered on Sunday, I even decided to put on my shorts. That was the only good thing that happened for the day, as not long after having breakfast the clouds came over again and rain once again threatened, we decided to dismantle the walls anyway before it did rain. Then the caravanners nightmare happened: An infestation of ants was discovered. This is about the fourth time this has happened to us during our travels, but this time they seemed to have taken over the entire caravan instead of just nesting in one area. Needless to say just about everything had to come out of the van so we could attempt to eradicate the offenders. We have, we think, succeeded in getting them, but there will no doubt be a few of the blighters appear over the next few days that we missed, but we are armed with the old spray cans. So after all that, and managing to get the awning down, we had had enough of the day so it was an easy tea, take-away, and just sit and relax for the evening, and that was it for another exciting day.
Wednesday 23rd April 2008, Albany.
We experienced the noted WA winds today, well we have been for most of the week we have been here, but rather we ventured out in it today. We had to go out touring today as we can’t stay here forever, so we ventured down to Whale World and the Peninsula it is situated on. Whale World is a well worthwhile attraction and is a must do when in the area. It is an actual old whale station where they used to process whales in years gone past, and some of the working are still in good order and give a good idea of what the machinery was like and worked. They also have several small movie theatres, converted whale oil storage tanks, a very novel idea, giving a good representation of what happened here. While in the area we had a look at some features of Torndirrup National Park such as a blow hole. This is where we experienced the noted westerly WA winds, we nearly got blown away. If we get a chance on a finer day before we leave we will have another trip down there to see what it is like in sunny weather, and to visit another attraction we gave a miss due to the wind and rain.
Saturday 19th April 2008, Albany, Rained in.
It is pleasant seeing decent rain since it has been a while, but the unfortunate part is that it is not very good weather for sightseeing. Never the less we will wait until Wednesday, if necessary, until the weather improves to see what we want. There are a couple of things, like Whale world, we can visit in the bad weather, and other than that I have my car racing to watch over the weekend. We can afford to spend an extra couple of days here as we have decided to basically travel direct up to Perth getting us there a little earlier than planned.
I have had a couple ask what happened with Kay and Adrian for us to part company: We had only originally planned to cross the Nullarbor Plains with them for company, and then part and go our own ways. It does turn out that they ended up coming to Albany as well, because where they did intend going wasn’t very welcoming, but they are in a different park than us. We did go and visit them yesterday while we were out their way looking around.