I’ve always liked Perth, it’s like a big country town. A pretty city with nice wide streets, a great vibe and really friendly people, flat roads and hardly any traffic, just ideal for the rocket and I to be buzzing around.
After all this driving and bumping around the country plus a couple of test drives from rather large mechanics – the command chair on the bridge of The Rocket collapsed and needed replacing. Every time a semi passed me on the road the wind rush would rattle the rocket and because the seat was so saggy, my bum would slide off the command chair and end up perched on top of the hand break! There was a bit of a squeal in gear box too, so time for another trip to the mechanic.
Paul and Russell at Phillips Mechanical Repairs state on their website that they provide the same service and dedication to high standards of work to all their customers (no matter what they drive). Well I thought these guys sound like the men for the job.. They found two new seats for me and set to work on the gear box. The main bearing had gone, the gear box had to come out, so the whole motor had to come out too, this meant a couple of weeks off the road for the rocket.
The timing was uncanny, I was heading back to Sydney and then to Borneo to climb a mountain for my great friend Cath’s 50th birthday. So while I was up Mt Kinabalu, the rocket was climbing her own mountain with Russell and Paul to the top of their hoist.
“What goes around comes around!”
These guys did a great job, they knew their VW’s, had a great team of blokes working with them, had all the right contacts and all the right gear. I cant thank them enough, a great job and really great guys.
When I returned to Perth I set up digs at Ocean Beach Backpackers at Cottesloe- really good value and good energy.
Ocean Beach Backpackers – Cottesloe
I was gallivanting around town on the free busses in the CBD, visiting the mint and the library and catching a few days of Sheffield Shield Cricket at the WACA. Howzat!
My great travelling buddies Nick, Emma, Scarlet and Jack rolled into town. Emma runs The Blockshop website so every time Nick rings its ” Rocket 1, Rocket 1……..this is Blockshop 1, Blockshop 1…….Where are you Rocket 1?”
“Blockshop 1” – it was fun catching up with these guys again.
Time to get back on the road with my new driving seats, I left Perth, heading south to Rockingham.
Over 25 years ago when I was working at Beashels I met Ian Weaver, he was an established B team member now a minister and living in Rockingham. It’s been years since I’ve seen him, it was so good to reconnect.
Rockingham is a large town, lot of beaches but with lots of industry. I reckon they could manufacture almost anything at Rockingham with the industrial set up they have got going on in town.
After Rockingham, it was off to see Margaret River via Busselton and Dunsborough on the Old Caves Road. A really pretty drive, it has been really wet on this part of the trip, probably the most rain I’ve seen since Mission Beach. Not so good for driving but great for the agriculture in this part of the world. Margaret River seems to be the agricultural capital of Western Australia – there are sheep, alpacas, deer, horses, grapes, forestry and a variety of vegie crops.
Lurking in the vineyards
Just out of Margaret River is a place called Prevelly famous for its really good surf break but unfortunately because of the weather the surf was all chopped up, but it was really pretty.
Trying to keep to 70 kms between the vines
I visited a stingray conservation area at Hamelin Bay. You cant go swimming here as the water is full of these giant black majestic stingrays.
View from the Flinders Bay Caravan Park
Next stop was Augusta. I stayed at the Flinders Bay Caravan Park for 3 days, the weather was a bit overcast but it was a good to have a base to do some sight seeing.
Sunrise Flinders Bay
The historic Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is situated at the most south westerly tip of Australia, standing at the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet – 8 kilometres west of Augusta.
Ray was my tour guide at the lighthouse – filling me in on all the history and facts. I discovered that the walls at the base of the lighthouse are 2meters thick and at the top 1 meter thick. All the steel used in the construction was all forged in England and shipped out to Australia. On the windiest days it can gust up to 153 kms per hour.
” Get a gust up ya in Augusta”
It was so windy……………………. it blew the camera sideways
And the cows!!
Te rocket taking in the views of the lighthouse.
Just out of Augusta east of Walpole is the Valley of the Giants where you can walk 40 meters high through the canopy of the tingle forest and take in the amazing views to core wilderness areas.
This was an incredible experience. The trees are so big you can drive your car through the base of some of them.
You could drive the Rocket through here
This guy got stuck!
40 meters “up”
I passed through Peaceful Bay and Denmark and lots of towns ending in UP:
Just to name a few!!!!. I did a bit of research (Google) and the suffix UP originated in a dialect of Noongar an indiginous language, where “UP” means “place of”.
At Peace at Peaceful Bay
This stretch of coastline is really pretty, really windy and full of very fit flies.
Arial shot of Albany
Albany is the oldest town in Western Australia – established 2 years before Perth and is full of some really old historic building. I stayed in the oldest building in town, The London Hotel 1849 Backpackers: great room, great energy and great pancakes for breakfast.
The next day was Remembrance Day, I was fortunate to attend the Remembrance Day Service which was held outside the Anzac Centre overlooking the bay where the first two Australian ships left to go to Egypt and to Anzac Cove. At 11 am everything in town stopped, pedestrians, traffic the lot. It was a moving one minutes silence and service.
View over the bay from the Anzac Centre
The Whale Centre at Discovery Bay is worth a visit. The whaling industry was huge here until it was shut down in 1978.
A Port and Starboard with a whaling ship
The Bridge at Albany – Amazing
The Gap is an impressive rugged granite channel carved by the waves of the Great Southern Ocean crashing against the granite coastline forming a spectacular sheer drop of almost twenty five metres.
I really enjoyed Albany, great architecture, bays and beaches, beautiful gardens and bushland.
It feels good to be lost in the right direction.