Yep, ha ha ha, how is it going you ask? Well, we are staying true to form and being a bit slack on the training. We did have another Warmshowers guest, Chris, who came and stayed with us for a couple of nights. As it was, the weather turned a bit wintery, well quite wintery, with rain all day and blowing a gale, so we got out of cycling for one day. We did ride along the lovely coastal path, to Golden Bay, with Chris on his departure day, doing a pleasant 25km round trip.
Chris has ridden from Melbourne (on this tour) and is heading to Cairns. He is a very interesting person, teaching English to Chinese students online, and enjoying the flexibility this affords him. His Blog
We showed Chris around Mandurah, and were very lucky to see one of the local dolphins and their brand new calf. Of course they are camera shy.
It’s always a pleasure riding along the coast of our area. Today we had no wind and the ocean was quiet. It looked amazing.
Since Harper’s Camper Van, Agnes, is pretty much ready for adventure, we all decided that Harper needed a test trip. So we packed our Vans (took all of an hour) and headed off to the Lol Grey National Park. It is currently one of my favourite places to go for a quiet few days with nature. It is only 150kms from Mandurah, on nice, cruisie back roads, through the wheat belt area.
Can’t beat a short break at the Quindanning Pub, a cold beer and a “Quinny Burger”.
Circling the wagons, and getting the tops up. Too easy in these babies.
The Dryandra Woodland is one of Western Australia’s best wildlife refuges. After it’s history of logging, and having much of it cleared for farming, it is now being protected by CALM, and a number of species of threatened fauna are rebuilding populations through the removal of introduced predators like cats and foxes. We were lucky enough to have a visit from a gorgeous possum, we named Pat. He didn’t mind dive bombing our Camper and running all over the roof, after we went to bed.
Check out all this training we are doing. Huh! This certainly is not getting the job done, is it? Note to self: We may need a light weight hammock on our bicycles. Handy having the BBQ’s and very clean “Bush” toilet. There is also a water tank for campers to use, but is prudent to treat or boil it, with all the birds and animals about.
I did ask Pat if he minded me using his photo’s on my blog, and he was happy for me to chuck these two in. So very cute, and he came within a meter of us, just foraging in the leaves for bush tucker.
Congelin Dam was about half full, and looked very peaceful, you could wash in there if you were keen, but it would be bloody chilly. We tried to catch some Yabbies (small fresh water crustaceans), but had no luck. They are nocturnal, and we did try in the afternoon, so really, we weren’t surprised.
So it was a great little adventure for Harper’s first one, and we enjoyed a lovely camp fire, the peace and quiet of nature, and a few good stories of old. Not to mention, Red Wine and Port. Oops, that is not helping with the fitness, health and training, is it?
After two nights in the Dryandra Woodlands, we decided to head to Collie, and have a look at Black Diamond Lake. None of us had been there, but we’d heard it was lovely. Unfortunately, as we were researching the whereabouts of it, we discovered it was no longer a camping option, so instead we headed for Potters Gorge, at Wellington Dam. It has recently been upgraded, and as of May 2018, you need to book online. It was a bit of a pain, and even though you could have a fire in the pits provided, we couldn’t get any wood. Bummer! We did use the camp kitchen and the toilets were pristine.
The short walk to the dam was lovely in the morning, and the little wrens flittering about us were fun to watch. We enjoyed the slow morning before heading on towards home.
A beautiful rest stop along the Leschenault Inlet, near Australind. Another hidden secret, check out Cathedral Drive.
Mothers day for our little family, has never been a huge deal, as I think it has become a marketing, consumer trap. Everyday should be mothers day, and you should tell your mum as much as possible, how much you love her and appreciate her (and your Dad, and your kids, and each other). So this year, when Will told me he had a surprise for me, I was very intrigued. Two surprises in one year, this is very unlike Will, but it is fun.
We’re going sailing on this! WOW!
On the day, all I knew, was that we had to be in Fremantle by 8:30am, take our own lunch, wear flat comfortable shoes, and take a hat. The weather was going to be lovely, and it was going to be a long day. I guessed sailing, and Will was shocked that I had got it first time. He had been following a group on Facebook, and spotted an opportunity for a free day on a 62ft yacht, learning to be crew. Cool, and a new experience for me.
Dr Andrew Dunn and his wife Nancy, own this lovely yacht, “Quattro”, and enjoy taking people out and teaching them to sail. Big on safety, we had a very comprehensive briefing, and then we were off.
We motored over to Carnac Island, as there was very little wind, and we were all getting our sea legs. This island is a short boat ride from Fremantle, and is home to a bunch of lazy Sea Lions. All males, just flopping about on the shore. Will was convinced to have a dip with Andrew, but there was not a hope in hell you’d see me in there this time of year. Brrrrr!
We hoisted the sails (all by hand, not easy stuff on this lady) and I was chucked on the helm under the watchful eye of Skipper Janet! She was very patient (and forceful, as required) and allowed me to guide us all the way, to just before we lowered the sails and moored in the marina. It was a fantastic experience, and if anyone is interested, check out Perth Ocean n River Cruising Sailclub on Facebook.
A few days later, Will and I are off again. This time on our motorbikes, heading back towards Collie, for an Horizon’s Unlimited Western Australia, meet. If you like adventure riding of any sort, and you are looking for like minded people with a wealth of experience and knowledge, then this is the group for you. Check out the website, and the facebook pages.
Here we go, here we go, here we go……back at the Quindanning pub for a Steak sanger to share and a lunch time beer. There goes that training regime again! Doh!
The weather in WA has been particularly mild for the end of Autumn, and I am extremely grateful. It is usually getting pretty cold, both night and day, and the rain is usually starting to increase. This year, however, the days are stunning! Beautiful blue skies and deliciously warm temps in the mid twenties. The nights are beginning to get cooler, but have still been in the mid teens. In Collie, though, the nights dropped pretty quickly, and we were super happy that we had chosen not to camp, and got ourselves a room at the Yourdamung Road Retreat, 19kms east of Collie.
Yourdamung Road Retreat -what a great place! Russell and Tania have a beautiful spot, with a dam, a vast camping area, dorms, a cottage, pizza oven, several bars, and cheerful personalities. With just over 70 people, more than 50 bikes, they were not fazed. Check out the website
Pizza, beer and bike riders! Dangerous combinations, right there!
It was a spectacular weekend of socialising, sharing adventure tales, tips and I especially loved the rider training day. Thanks to a Perth business, called Western Moto Park, (Steve and Justin) who came down to get us all a bit more confident on our bikes, doing all sorts of slow maneuvering and control work. I believe even those who were very experienced and skilled gained from this experience. Meeting so many new people, and spending some good quality time with them, was fantastic.
Rider training with 33 bikes can’t be easy hey?
Feeling accomplished after the big day of training, it was great to chill out with the other riders. A few beers and a huge fire is always good.
Yep, that is ice on my poor Little Bubby! -3C was ridiculous, and heaps of the poor campers came into the pavilion in everything they bought with them. Until the sun reached a decent height in the sky (about 10am) it was chilly.
Xander gave us a very indepth lesson on tyre repairs. Both Tubed and Tubeless, with lots of advice on products and techniques. Very helpful for me, for sure.
No, this was not an accident! We were also given a display and plenty of great tips and techniques, for lifting your own bike. We all know that it will happen one day right? And, what if Will isn’t around?
There was a fantastic obstacle course, Xander had set up, for us to practice all those new slow maneuvering skills, and then we had a race! Who could ride the slowest, stay upright and in the lane. It was so much harder than it sounds, and great fun. It was really clear, that I was not as good as I thought, at slow motion. Go figure?
Aside from the little trips here and there, we are still slowly plugging along with the finishing touches to the Travel Home Base. I have been nurturing and encouraging my veggie patch, which is rewarding us nicely, and Will has been sorting out the last area around the shed/garage, and our water tank. Not to mention the southern side of the house, (which is never used) is just sand at the moment, and I hate it. So still we try to get it done. Nearly there. All the while the Cycle Training is being pushed back and put off and excuses are being made. Nothing unusual for us hey?
A late season of tomatoes, shows you how good the weather has been, and the Broccolini almost ready to eat. They wouldn’t mind it getting a bit cooler.
Two more garden beds for me to create in, and the Water tank platform. Nearly there, a lot closer than our cycle training success……ha ha ha ha! Oh well, nothing like training on the job I say! (Thanks to one of our favourite contractors, Rohan of Antime Earthworks).