Sat 9 Nov
We drove to Kokerbin Rocks and got there by 9a.m, but that was too late, as it was too hot for us to go up. They are the 3rd biggest monolith in the country, and we had enjoyed Hyden Rocks and The Humps, so were a bit disappointed.
We did see a seed-cleaning operation still working, and vehicles still unloading grain at an uncovered silo. In the high wind it was getting a bit of separation while being conveyered in.
It's currently 37° here and we're in the c'van with the air-con on.
Local farmers were advised by text yesterday that today's fire danger is too high to have vehicles in paddocks, with the high winds, so some of them are in town with the kids at the pool.
We're hoping it will settle down by about 4p.m when we'll duck over.
Lynn is a little concerned about the littlies calling out "Mum! there's an old lady on the waterslide - and she's older than Grandma!
Besides the memorials for Dubs1&2, there is also one to the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" (the islanders who assisted wounded Aussie troops to evade the Japanese on the Kokoda Trail), Korea, Vietnam, (a seperate one for the Nashos (compulsory National conscription rather than volunteers), U.N Peacekeeping missions, Salvation Army soldiers, Female combatants, Red Cross staff.
Along the main street there was a row of mosaics, which displayed people in the community for the last 100 odd years, from farms, businesses, sporting and community contributions. It's one up on the Hall of Fame at Southern Cross.
The waterslide was closed by the time we got there..goldurnit.
Heating for the pool is a couple of 100m2 of black tubing lying on a concrete pad in the sun. Our pool lady doesn't let it get over 27°C or it's too warm for the lap swimmers. Solar panels all over the roof provide the electricity for the complex - the pump only needs a 2hp motor. When they dump the water it goes back to the stormwater dam for park irrigation.
The complex has a mini-golf area and a large fully netted area for ball sports where you don't annoy the other pool users. With this and the rec -centre there are such amazing facilities for a population of 700 town and 1200 catchment. There's a scheme called Royalties for Regions led by the Country Party, which has led to a lot of mining royalties being returned to country towns. We've certainly seen some amazing infrastructure for small rating bases.
A supplementary question that I had been saving for our Pool lady was "what are the flies like up north to Broome." Unfortunately she responded that they're similar to what we are currently experiencing here. She estimated that she had about 8 up her nose today. We'd hidden in the caravan for most of the day.
As Broome goes into summer the little sticky flies reduce and the blowies come out.
On our Bris to Darwin trip we don't remember flies being an issue. This trip they started at Kulim, were extreme at Hyden/Wave Rock, and have been a problem since. If you get a cool evening you might be O.K 1st thing in the morning. Last night was warm, so they were annoying before 6a.m.
Sun 10 Nov Bruce Rock to Cunderdin
Coffee at Quairading. A great bull statue made out of all things steel. Also a house on the main street with all sorts of decorations and some excellent quotations out of magazines We arrived at Cunderdin 11ish and chose a campsite under some spectacular gums, where there was a little shade. We checked 1st that there weren't any branches that looked as though they wanted to fall on us.
After the lookout we went to the museum, which is built in the original steam pumping station for the water pipeline - number 3 of the 8 originals. It is operated by the National Trust. They've re-built the enormous brick chimney and have installed a steam pump from one of the other stations. To feed these boilers 24/7 with firewood explains why such a vast area was denuded of trees.
We went to the Ettamogah pub for a beer, but didn't rate it for dinner, so the Ziggy got another run, and rated well in a breeze.
Windscreen. A passing vehicle shared a stone with our windscreen. I pulled into the next town big enough to have a windscreen repairer just to get a little transfer to keep dirt out until I got around to repairing it. "Mate" he said "that's all right if you live in town, but out here you can pay me $100 to fix that and 10 minutes later get another one. While you're travelling I'd wait 'til I got a few more to make it worthwhile replacing the windscreen instead. I had a bloke in last week who had 8 of them. They're all laminated, it's not going to come in on you."
In our gorgeous gums at first the only birds we saw were a family of noisy miners, but at dusk heaps of galahs arrived to roost. Between the two groups they have been pretty loud, but still well worth seeing. The whole flock of galahs took off again, I do hope it wasn't because of being harassed by one pair and baby miner.
We had a silo road behind us and it's the middle of the wheat harvest. We had the main east-west rail line behind us as well, and felt very fortunate to get a good night's sleep. The freight trains are impressive as they double up the shipping containers - I guess there's no need for tunnels out here.
Mon 10 Nov
On arrival at White Gums bush camp we were met by Derek, on a gopher (mobility scooter). His old dog, 3/4 blind, was on the floor of it, chewing on a (cured) pig's ear.
Tues 11 Nov
Walked up to the lookout past the 4WD track. Gary's obviously had a lot of fun building that. Some of those needle-sharp peaks you'd have to be moving fairly quick (blindly) to not be cast on the top.
The next door neighbour must also be involved in the airfield, as he has a Boeing 737 fuselage for accomodation.
We went into York for the day. It's near the head of the river Avon, which is how it became the first sheep producing land for wool and meat for Perth.
I didn't notice the English pronouncing theirs differently to ours, but here it's Av-vin, not Ay-von.
It was the run-holders request for prisoners from England as cheap labour for road-building and general work that led to W.A bringing in 9,720men between 1860 and 1878. None of them were for petty offences, they were all serious and/or repeat offenders. No women prisoners to be sent to W.A. as they didn't want a "tide of prostitution."
Not really York related, but before that, the Parkhurst apprentices, juveniles from a reformatory attached to Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight, were sentenced to "transportation beyond the seas" and transported to Australia and New Zealand between 1842 and 1852. Either before leaving England or on arrival at their destination,they were pardoned on the conditions that they be "apprenticed" to local employers, and that they not return to England during the term of their sentence. In the ten years between 1842 and 1852 nearly 1500 boys aged from twelve to eighteen were transported to Australia and New Zealand from Parkhurst Prison.
One hundred and twenty three Parkhurst apprentices were sent to the Colony of New Zealand in 1842 and 1843. These had not been invited to the convict-free colony, and were a great surprise when the first ship arrived. After the second ship, the colony successfully petitioned that no more would be sent.
Others were sent to Tasmania,but South Australia said they didn't want any as they wanted to remain convict-free.
Parkhurst apprentices were employed by a broad cross-section of Western Australia's businessmen and officials, including many of the colony's ruling class.The assimilation of Parkhurst apprentices played an important role in the later acceptance of convicts in Western Australia.
Wed 12 Nov White Gum Farm via York to Karrinyup Waters, Perth
As we completed our big wonky circle back into Perth we had to go to Mundaring Weir to see the beginning of the amazing water pipeline and pumping stations. It has had maintenance and upgrades, but is essentially the same as the visionary project completed in 1903. Some of the original sections of locking steel pipe are still in use today.
We had dinner with Trevor and Frances, after a swim in their pool. It was lovely to catch up with them, and seems a long time since Scotland.
Fri 15 Nov
Looked at 2 storage places then went to Burns Beach for a snorkel & swim 37C
Birds: There are wetlands in and around Karrinyup and the most common birds that we have around the camp are Pacific Black Ducks, dusky moorhen, Australian Wood Ducks, Eurasian Coots, wattle birds, peewees and Australian White Ibis. The moorhen have a raucous call. During the day it's novel. During the night, with all our windows open, not so much. Also the ubiquitous crows, whose call carries particularly well.
In the neighbourhood there are also pukeko, or purple swamp hen as they are known here.
Sat 16 Nov
We were up at 5.45 which gave us heaps of time for a 7p.m departure, hopefully without waking too many neighbours. Many of them have young'uns who want to go to the playground before then.
The reason for our early start was to get down to Shawn's for some jobs on the 'van. He's in a southern suburb, and we're northern, with 63kms between us. We made it in under an hour, but during the week he said that the same trip can take him 3 hours each way, even though it is all motorway.
We had a few jobs for him:-
Supply and instal a diesel heater
Check out why our tank indicators don't work and blow out the breather lines.
Supply and fit a fridge shade.
Flush the hot water tank and check the anode.
I asked to borrow his ladder to clean the solar panels and he insisted on doing that too.
While at Abba we got the good oil on blowing out the filler lines, shifting the shower door catches, and got a good deal on replacement cupboard latches.
While Shawn was working on the 'van we went to the Freo Markets, then Gino's Italian Café. To beat the heat we thought of an air-conditioned mall with a movie, but there was nothing we wanted to see at the right time.
Just as well that we've left Kalgoorlie - they were up to 44° today. We supposedly got to 41 in Perth, but Fremantle was a few degrees cooler. We don't even have many flies this evening. I lit a mozzy coil about 6.45, but the zubzubs don't seem to mind it, I'll have to get some roll-on.
Sun 17 Nov
Domestic day, laundry and prepping Ranger for storage. Remove and wash seat-covers, Armour-all anything plastic.
It's a great drying and ideal out-door caravan day - fine and mild breezes, 27°C, minimal flies. We'll head down to the pool shortly.