Thursday, September 29, 2011

WA road trip 2011 - days 6 to 8

With the sun deigning to make a return, and the canvas sealant applied, we were able to pack up a dry tent on day 6. That day we went as far as a little seaside village called Cervantes.
We just overnighted there - and enjoyed a bargain seafood platter at the local bowling club thanks to a voucher from the caravan park. Honestly, where would this country be without its bowling clubs?
From there Paul and I made a quick trip into a mad little pocket of coastal land called The Pinnacles. It's a funny little mini-desert, virtually right on the coast, and completely dotted with small rock formations rising out of the ground. Quite intriguing. And as I was feeling very lazy-bonesy that morning, I was delighted to learn you could drive through it, instead of having to walk. Hurrah! (You can walk through it too, if you're feeling even remotely energetic.)

Various shots of the Pinnacles. See, I didn't just sit in the car the whole way.

At one point we advised a gent on his camera, who wanted to know whether megabytes or gigabytes were bigger.
The road from there took us north, toward Geraldton and through beautiful lush farmland. Until, just south of Geraldton, we found a gorgeous stretch of beach and decided to make it home for the following few days.
We were happy with it, anyway. I can't say the same for the fish that ended up in our bellies. Other campers who came along and discovered we'd nabbed the best spot may not have been quite as impressed, either.
We'd been on the move almost every day since leaving home and it was finally time to kick back in one spot for a while. And kick back we did. There were walks along the beach, a brief, ankle-deep paddle in the wintry Indian Ocean, drinks as the sun went down over the water, fishing expeditions and morning sleep-ins.
I made a dent in the stack of magazines that had been building up at home and I'd bought along. I baked a cake. And, with the smidge of network coverage available, I even caught up on a couple of emails.
The most arduous part was trudging through the thick sand to get anywhere. Well, it was until our final night there. Then circumstances became decidedly more arduous...

Beautiful Flat Rock beach. Photos courtesy of my mother. Thanks Mum.
The orange tent is ours. No idea who the surfer is - quite a few turned up during the weekend we were there.

To be continued...

Friday, September 23, 2011

WA road trip: days 4 and 5. Part II

Once back in New Norcia, where we spent our fifth night, Mum and I trotted off to photograph what has to be one of the country's most photogenic towns, and Paul and Dad got to it with applying the sealant to the roof of our tent. (I'll fill you in on the success, or otherwise, of the exercise later. Suffice to say, it was not the last damp night of the trip.)

Inside one of New Norcia's glorious
churches (above and below)

Photographing this amazing place wasn't enough, so the Thursday morning we joined a guided tour of the town.
As a fact generally only stays in my head for as long as it takes for another one to enter, I don't recall 100 per cent of the info our guide imparted. Some of the more interesting bits I do remember include:
* New Norcia is Australia's only monastic town. It was created by Spain's St Benedictine monks.
* currently eight monks live there. They employ about 70 people.
* miracles involving bush fires and an angry Aboriginal man come in handy when you're a band of pioneering, missionary monks working to convert the local indigenous population.
* the early monks didn't agree with the government-appointed term of 'orphanage' for their home for Aboriginal children, as many of the children did have families living in the area.
* the monks have to get up before 5am six days of the week (meaning I shouldn't complain about having to do it nine days of the fortnight).
* but they get to maintain the Spanish tradition of an afternoon siesta (which I do not).

I cannot express just how amazing this town is. If you ever go to Perth, make sure you get up there for a look.
Some more photos:

Coming up: we head to the beach!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WA road trip 2011 - days 4 and 5. Part 1

Right, so I managed a whopping one holiday post while on holidays. Whoops. Click here if you'd like to read it. This one follows on from it.

Have you ever been camping in a leaky tent? Yes? No?
Nor had I, until this road trip.
I had once spent a wet weekend camping when someone, who shall remain nameless but whose initials are Paul Mayall, decided we didn't need the tent. And subsequently got dripped on all night thanks to a leaky tarp hastily erected over our swag.
But I'd never had a tent leak on me. Not even when the most ferocious thunder and rain storm I've ever seen cracked open over us while in Kakadu late last year.
The same tent that survived the Kakadu downpour decided enough was enough this time, and began to leak on night three of the holiday. We were not impressed. Though there was a couple of saving graces - we noticed before we even got the swag unrolled (putting a tent up in the driving rain is handy that way), and we had just enough room in my parents' camper to sleep.
We were near a place called Bindoon that night, and were on our way to Perth for the Wicked musical/show.
So, luckily, we did sleep warm and dry, and were able to book into a cabin for our night in Perth. Where it continued to rain intermittently, I might add.
Mum and I saw the show and loved it. If you didn't get around to seeing it, give yourself a smack. It was worth it.
First port of call the following morning, on our way out of the city and back to the fascinating monastic town of New Norcia, was BCF (Paul's second favourite place ever, after Bunnings) for some canvas sealant.
Second port of call, and almost as important, was morning tea at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory near Midland. If you're ever in that area and are even a mild chocoholic (though I have my doubts that mild chocoholics actually exist), make sure you visit this place. Beautiful chocolate, a huge range, and the best hot mocha Paul says he's had in years. Dad gives the thumbs up to their ice cream, too.

The front of the boys school at the
monastic town of New Norcia.

Some more photos of New Norcia (exteriors. Stay tuned for pics of the insides of these beautiful buildings).

To be continued...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out with the funk, in with the blog (again)

Hello everyone, 'tis me again. Sorry for not posting for so long. Despite appearances, I didn't actually forget that I had a blog. It just got pushed a little towards the back of my mind for a while.
Don't worry, not by anything major. Not anything minor, even.
Firstly, I had about a week with no internet coverage while traipsing about the WA never never on holidays, which kind of broke my blogging (reading and writing) habit. Then I got a bit wrapped up due to my parents visiting, and organising the final stages of settling the purchase of our house. Not that either of those made me busy, but they sound like convenient excuses so I'll run with them.
And I was in a bit of a funk - you know the kind where you go back to work after a couple of weeks off and subsequently lack motivation for anything because you wish you were still on holidays? I was in that kind of funk.
But, lately I've kind of been hovering around the fringes of the blogosphere. Have read the odd post here and there and checked in with twitter and Facebook occasionally.
And now I'm back to feeling like myself so hopefully can breath some life into this blog again. I have a couple of posts already written about my holidays, which are obviously outdated now, but I'm going to use them in the very near future anyway. It's my blog and I'll make it look old and tired if I can't be bothered doing otherwise want to.
Hope you enjoy!
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