Honesty update

I know that I have been lax in updating this, but I have little space for photos still, and honestly, things have been a bit stressful with life doing what it does and throwing a  massive curve ball, but a friend mentioned following our travels, so in the interest of her enjoyment, I thought I’d post a bit of a review of our travel experience over this year.

All in all it’s been such an amazing experience and has really opened my eyes to a lot of things and has helped me understand more and see further. Things are not always as they seem, sometimes they are better, sometimes worse. I’m glad we did it and I hope the kids take much away from it. At this point Kya has decided that she never wants to be poor. Lily has worked out there are lots of different people, and what counts is not if they’re your friend or not, but if they’re worth being your friend based on personality and values. And Evelyn has worked out just how much she loves learning and being a confident, ‘big’ girl. All 3 have discovered there is a difference between city and country people, and that they prefer country people as they are kinder and less judgmental, accepting people on merit rather then on what material belongings they posses.

I believe it is something everyone should experience if they are able to…as in keep the thousands of dollars and fake holiday-ness of going overseas, instead use it to do a little bit of family traveling around this wonderful country of ours.

I read about Jandamarra in the Indigenous unit for uni and I got to go to the actual cave he had his last stand at. I went to the place he lived in and stood on the land he used to help conceal him from the authorities. I went and saw the Prison Boab tree in Derby. I saw how mining has affected our country, and how it alters the land. I felt the scorching heat of the north and the deadly dryness of the long roads between towns. We smelt the weather as it changed and the rain before it fell. We felt the breeze of the ocean and the land and lakes and dams. I’ve seen all sorts of rocks and soil types and weather patterns and plants and wildlife. We’ve had terrible days and amazing days and I’ve seen the red sun of the north, opposite to the yellow sun of the south. I’ve seen every colour of the rainbow play across the sky during sunsets, and I’ve seen pure water in catchments and water falls and rivers and streams and mineral pumps. I’ve seen polluted water and still water and areas that should have water but is soo dry there are only the skeletons of the trees that are left behind. We’ve climbed trees to collect and eat the fresh, wild mangoes, figs and coconuts. We’ve bathed in the warm artesian waters of the earth and swam in the cold ocean of the south and the warm waters of the north. We’ve been cramped and we’ve snuggled, we’ve hated and loved and shouted and cried and laughed and lived in many different ways, talking to many different people. Ones who live out of skip bins behind grocery stores and ones who have a car that barely works but own multimillion dollar houses and businesses. We’ve met old people that need help to walk, and old people that play the fiddle while tapping their foot on a handmade wooden jig doll. We’ve met people our age, older, younger, with kids, without kids, with 10 kids, with 1 kid. We’ve met people from many other countries and noticed the difference in their values and beliefs, appearance, mannerisms, even noticed how different people are from north to south and east to west.

After all that, we know now what we want in life. We want good soil to grow plants on. We want happiness. We want that country feeling, where you know your neighbour’s name and call out a hello when you see them, chatting about the little things in their life as a friend would. We want our kids to see and to feel and to think. We want our kids to have the opportunities to think for themselves and make informed decisions. We want values and beliefs and morals that help our society to flourish and is supportive of others, rather then a me, me, me approach. We are all here together, this land truly is our mother. It cares for us and provides for us and teaches us. Why would you hurt your mother? would you pick at a sore? would you create a wound on your mother or would you help to heal it and fix it? We are destroying our mother land.

Traveling has shown us how important this land is and has given all of us a deep appreciation for the earth, so we want good land so we can help keep it good and grow good food to share so others can be happy and healthy too. We want health and happiness, and this can be achieved by loving the earth, loving ourselves, and doing this through nourishment. We nourish the land and she provides nourishing food. We eat the food and live happy and healthy. Mufasa was right, it’s all part of the great circle of life. We are the soil and the grass and the trees and the animals that eat the grass and the animals that eat them. We are all of this and everything. Hurting the land hurts everything in the circle. We want to stop being part of all that garbage.

You only start to win when you stop racing.

We have stopped racing.

We stopped racing for this year and we have since won. We don’t want to enter the race again, and not racing, on our own patch of mother earth, loving her in happiness, that is what we want and what we hope to achieve.

Kununurra

(sorry, no pics for this post just yet, I only have 2% space left to upload images, so I’ll have to figure something out)

Let’s see.  As Australia Post decided to make us the 1% (again) of parcels that seemingly get misplaced, we found ourselves stuck here for almost 2 weeks. This meant we missed out on catching up with our Karratha friends, Carlie and her kids, of which myself and the girls were bitterly disappointed. Booo Australia Post!

 

We stayed at a roadside stop for 2 days and caught up on our exercise which was nice, but it was intensely dry and hot, and as it was just dirt, we were not exactly spoiled for choice over what else we could do. We decided to head to Molly springs for a dip, and that was lovely really, so we did this twice. When the due delivery day came we went into the town and asked the ladies about our parcel, of which it was not there. We also asked them about printing so I could send the girl’s home education assessments away. They gave me the run around, so apparently, they don’t know anything about their own town either! And it’s not like it’s an overly large town. We found a National Office shop ourselves, got our printing done and headed back to the stupid post office to send it away. Lucky for us though, the National Office lady told us about the caravan parks in town, gave us her recommendation, and so off we went to spend 9 nights there. The caravan park, Ivanhoe Caravan Park, was excellent. It fit within our budget, as in it wasn’t a rip off like the Big 4 or Discovery Parks, and the kids had a pool to swim in every day, we used the camp kitchen to cook so our van didn’t get hot and we saved on gas, and we had a/c the whole time! Definitely recommend this place. We met some really interesting people, Evelyn started to teach herself how to swim, we had Evelyn’s birthday here too, so it was all in all not such a bad experience.

However! What was due on the Wednesday still had not come by our check out day the following Friday, so we left and hung out at the Ivanhoe crossing. This wasn’t such a bad place, except for the 7m salty that had been spotted by a drone and fisherman, dragging a whole beast, in the local area. We took all the precautions we could, only going for quick dips in ankle deep rapids. The locals seemed to have no issues with it though, jumping off the bridge and everything!

 

In any case, we had missed our friends, lost 2 weeks, and used up some QLD caravan park time in Kununurra where petty theft was rife and crocs were common. The Coles was not only overpriced but not very well stocked, and Australia Post was to blame for it all.

We finally, finally got our whey, which was what we were waiting on in case you were wondering why we bothered to expend soo much effort into waiting, on the Monday. This, after Brendan had made several “Brendan style” phone calls.

 

But let’s close this on a positive…thank you Muscle Coach for our new singlets! We asked for these as we religiously buy their whey protein isolate, a staple in our diet, and wanted to represent them as we travel. We frequently get asked about our Mr. Supplement shirts if we are reps for them, which we are not, so I decided to ask Muscle Coach for shirts so we could be a rep for them based on a quality product. So, thanks Muscle Coach!

 

And now off to the NT!!

 

Windjana gorge and Tunnel Creek

Do not miss this place! Ok, so there is a tad-bit of driving to get there, and it is kind of a bit of the Gibb, so maybe not at the end of the season when the road has had lots of traffic and is in the middle of road works, but still – worth every bit of it!

There is not much to Windjana, but it’s a lovely walk and makes you appreciate the planet soo much more when you see its history on display in the rocks as it is there. We were there early enough that the sun was not on the banks for the fresh water crocs to be out, but we saw a fair few eyes and noses on the water, so definitely no swimming! We also got to see a birds nest, a chap said it was a lyrebird, but I think it might be a bower bird…I’ll have to look it up and find out.

But! Tunnel creek has so far been the highlight of this trip. You park the car, walk down through a rock crevice, over some boulders, then into another crevice where you stand in a cave with a pond of water. Turn on the torch, duck down low and step over some large stones, across a teeny trickle of water and across to a sandy bank. Follow the sandy bank and you will start to hear a little waterfall. Across from you is a small waterfall coming from somewhere above in all the rocks. Continue on, cross the small stream that is flowing and step into an opening in the cave. Take a few more steps in and hear the bats chatter to each other. Follow the sandy bank until you reach a deeper section of the creek traveling through the cave, and wade in unitl you reach the other side…I guess at least. It was at this point that Evelyn started to quietly whisper to daddy that it was ok if he felt he wanted to go back because she did too. The sounds, the smells, the feelings. It is literally just the most amazing place ever. It also has some incredible history! Look up Jandamarra, this is the cave he had his last stand in. If you ever travel, do not miss this!

Oh yes, you will need to travel on the Gibb for this part, but keep your speed down and lower your tyre’s PSI and you should be fine. It’s worth every bump and jolt, but do make sure you have a whole day to appreciate and explore both places.

Derby

Oh what a lovely town! I found myself this time saying, “I like this place, I could live here”. I can’t put my finger on why, but I just liked it. We did the tourist things and saw the Prison Boab tree, turns out I love boab trees, went to the information centre and purchased some mementos, and went into the local gallery. Some lovely paintings in there, but more then anything, the customer service was fantastic. The lady who greeted us gave the girls some fossilised sharks teeth and set them up with their own drawing station so we could wander through to see the pieces. There were some really unique items in there, but aside from look, there was not much else we could do with it all. But still, it was lovely to chat to such a happy person and for the girls to wander through an art gallery/shop.

Broome

First impressions were not good. It was now getting quite hot, the town seemed to be swarmed with foot-traffic that put themselves in the position of right-away, which meant you really needed to keep your eyes peeled. There was no reasonably priced accommodation, but this is the story we had been told by travellers from everywhere, so we were not surprised. We went to check out Willie creek but the road was just not caravan friendly, let’s say that. There were plenty of road works going to on fix that, but as it was the end of the season we had 3 options, just-graded road, move-off-the-side-so-they-can-work road, or end-of-season-corrugated road.

 

Second impression, because we were waiting on a letter and had to return, amazing! We decided to do a tourist-thing and walk through the town looking at their wares. It was a nice stroll through town, and it was great to see the pearling history, and there was a local artist that had his own shop we purchased cards from to remember the place (another consideration for wall hangings) but the best part was the beach! There was sand, the water was lovely, the sun was shining…all-in-all it was an excellent beach. We were tempted to stay an extra day based on the beach alone, but we had freshly stocked up at the excellent Coles, filled our water tanks and fuel tanks, so really just needed to move on. It also didn’t help that the weather was increasing in heat rather quickly, and we still needed to get to Darwin!

The end vote for this place was good, and we would love to return if just to spend a few days at the beach. It is at this point that Brendan is starting to enjoy both the countryside and the weather. He keeps saying, “I could live here, I like places like this”…hmm

Karijini

This place was beautiful! We went in from the east-end and only saw one part of it because of time constraints, so we did the circular pool-Fortescue falls-ferny pool one. The tracks all say they’re hard and take x amount of time, but Evelyn had no troubles with any of it. Mostly it was just lots of stairs – natural rock ones and metal one. Brendan, Kya and Lily swam in all 3, Evelyn swam in the first 2, and I went in the last one. It was a wonderful day actually, and the swim was refreshing and cleansing. I could have spent an entire day in that water. Unfortunately, hubby lost his ring in Fortescue, so I guess there’s always going to be a little bit of him left there. Maybe in thousands of years time they will find it in a rock and wonder what our civilisation was like?

Port Hedland

There are 2 parts to this place. Port Hedland was like any other port, lots of stuff coming in, and basically just a run-down industrial area. The Woolies was awful here! The upside was the beach, it was actually quite lovely.

Then there’s South Hedland. This is the home-base of all the workers, as in proper houses and no humpy’s. The Coles in here was fantastic, so we stocked up for the next leg of our drive…Broome!

Karratha

This one is a hard one to place in the like or dislike category. Jo, you are right, it is an awesome place, but it’s still not the greenery of Qld, which I feel like I’m starting to miss.

Let’s see, how would I describe this place? It’s a mining town, with lots of mining workers. There’s shops, K-mart, Coles and Woolies, the WA version of the reject shop called Red Dot, a few fashion shops and a health food/fitness sup shop. There’s coffee shops, a really great library and even a fitness centre. They had outdoor gym facilities and car shops galore. All-in-all, just about anything you might need to live here indefinitely. Because of this there’s more or less always something to do…if you like that sort of thing. I don’t mind it for a short while, but really, there’s only so much small town shopping any one person can handle, and I think I reached my max at around week 4 of our 12 week stay.

The beach was both amazing and not soo amazing. It was all shells, literally! The kids and I had an awesome time collecting shells, to the point that hubby banned any more shell collecting in fact, and there was one time the water was bath warm so I had a swim. Problem is, there is always a gas plant or other mining plant somewhere in the background. The other factor of the beaches here, the tides! Oh they go out for kilometres, so if you get it wrong, no beach for you! And sometimes the wind was unbearable.

Actually, the whole second half was windy to the point of making life very hard for Kya, who gets terrible sinus problems in dusty, polleney wind. Lucky for us, the caravan park we stayed at was awesome in what it provided, so we plugged in the power and put on the a/c to help filter the air for her. We had the buffet dinner there too. It’s certainly no restaurant meal, but at $20 for all you can eat roast dinner with all the trimmings, there is no way I will give the meal anything less than an awesome! I did a crazy-mum-on-a-mission clean of the caravan, then we went out for dinner and the van stayed clean…for the whole day!

The other greatest thing about Karratha, we made some incredible friends. Carlie and her beautiful kids, a girl Lily’s age and a boy just older then Kya. They were very calm and well behaved kids, honestly, and I loved chatting to Carlie about our various hiccups in life. I think of them often and miss them more. So, here are some links to Reif’s photography sites because he really is a sweet young man and deserves support for his hard work. I’ll certainly be asking him for some shots to hang on my wall when we stop, that’s for sure! Really do make sure you check out his Instagram pics…amazing!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqFsi_k2agylwk_Rb_i0wtQ

https://www.instagram.com/reif_watson/

And Carlie knows a ton about stones and crystals, sharing her knowledge with the girls about how a rock is formed and at what layer, in which year. She has a site that you can purchase goods from, and she also sets up markets during her travels, I’ll post a pic of one of the stones she gifted me with. Here is her faacbook page that provides contact details if you’re interested in such things as I am.

https://www.facebook.com/moonstonefeltandcrystals/

Now, this post has become quite long, so I’ll stop here, but when doing a family vote on yay or nay for Karratha, the verdict was yes 4-to-1, with Kya being a no on accountability of her sinus. Brendan and I both see the work opportunities there, and Lily and Evelyn just love Seisha!

I should also mention Dampier…and unless we missed the actual town and there was more somewhere else, there really was not much there at all. A pretty good playground for the girls, an icy-cold beach for a swim, and a lovely view of salt exportations. But it was the site of the famous red dog, so we took pics of that before heading out. Unfortunately we missed Point Samson (sorry Jo), but by the time I had finished the full-time part of my prac we really just wanted to make tracks and see more then the same-old-same-old…and to make sure we were across the top before the wet season.

Here are some pics I missed that were on Bren’s phone

heading north

There’s not much to say, and there was little to see, but here are some pics of the trip to Karratha all the same. Lucky hubby is great at his job, making it to our destination in excellent time. I will say though, the sunsets were amazing to see. I only wish my phone camera could do it justice.

Geraldton and Canarvon

Geraldton was actually a really lovely place. We stopped here just for the day, a refuel and water top-up, but it was a great chance to stretch the ol’ legs out and let the kids burn off some energy…all ready for the long drive north.

Canarvon was also a pit stop, and a very quick one. The weather was not good swimming weather and the town was kind of bleak. We drove to the point to take some pics and off we went again.

Perth

What a lovely city, but therein also lies the problem…city. It was nicely spread out, there was a large parkland we hoped to see while driving past, but the walls and fence were too high. We saw several emergency vehicles race around, some boats on the water, tunnels, and roads – lots and lots of winding roads. What was meant to be a ‘turn right here’ became a ‘oh you missed it, take the next right instead and we’ll circle back’. Followed by, ‘oh dear, that was it there, you missed it again’. Hubby mentions something along the lines of ‘just doing a U-turn’, but only when we happen to be on a one-way street. And the next right hand turn is only a left-hand turn from the other side, which you can’t cross because of the median strip. Yes, Perth was lots of fun…one word for it at least. I took what photos I could while simultaneously directing us past each turn, always a second too late. There was much we wanted to see, but not only was my navigational skills put to the test (and found failing), but we also had time nipping at our heels as I was already a week behind my 13 week prac in Karratha. So we came, we saw, we left rather quickly I’m afraid to say.

Waroona, I left a small piece of my heart behind right here in this town…

What a place! I very nearly told hubby we should stay, but the weather just did not agree with me, the kids, and mostly with Bren. His leg was aching and he couldn’t even do minimal exercises by the end. Ally, Kyandra, Sinead, we are still on track for a return lol. This town is exactly as a country town should be! The townsfolk are friendly and welcoming, the caravan park was very affordable, and the were kangaroos that Minty had fun barking at every afternoon. I may also be somewhat biased though, I do have to admit…I did my prac here in the local school. I have never been soo warmly accepted. The school literally made me equal and one of the team from the minute I walked in the door. This is me driving out, just so you know…

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However, this is the kids…it may also be because they are sharing in one of my delicious gifts, some Ferrero Rocher…according to Evelyn the are classed as MMMMM. When I asked what she was doing, grunting and moaning like that, she said she couldn’t open her mouth because it was too yummy. Yes, this was her first experience with such deliciousness

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I am going to miss this place, and if you ever do travel, just as we are, then I will say definitely stop here. To do the city, stop here. Drive to Mandurah and take the train the rest of the way to the city. Pinjarra is just up the road for a big shop, so too is the potato shed. There is a local IGA, pub, fuel station, library, skate park, rec centre, coffee shop…all you need really. But it’s the people that make the town, and this town is made on country.

Here are some pics of the inside of the school, a little something from that precious noggin of my mentor (pretty much on here so I don’t forget and can steal it for myself later) and I managed to complete something of an inquiry based project. I think if I had more time and def. more experience I could have gotten much more out of it for the children, but that is the best part of it! I started something that I really want to revisit and improve on…I am really excited to just finish this degree and start really putting into practice all I am learning. Once more, thank you thank you thank you to Jo, Annette, Bron, Bec, Cath, Sue, Vicky the bug lady 😉 for showing me those beautiful bugs of yours, and Lisa, or as everyone seemed to call her ‘our Lisa’, so thanks our Lisa for helping me on my big day! And thank you Carl for saying yes to the office at Curtin so I could meet those lovely ladies! Thankyou Cath for the dinner, and listening to us for hours, and the fruit and vegies!

Collie, Darken, Wagin

A quick summary of these 3 places as we only really popped in for the day, except for Darken. Stayed there for 2 days. It is the greatest, kid friendly place with the greatest playground. They had natural swings and equipment along with the generic ones, 2 in-ground trampolines, ping-pong tables, half pipes, bike jumps, BMX track and skate trick equipment, air gym, a shed, picnic tables with BBQ, and really cute local kids that our girls really enjoyed playing with. We didn’t stay at the caravan park there, but it was well priced so maybe worth a visit. Also, Wagin was the sweetest town. The Wagin mayor (Bren said he’s the mayor, Mr West was his name too! hahahaha) really knows the area and had lots of tips about what to visit. The accommodation is cheap and the coffee shop there was good, do visit. The owner is someone worth stopping to chat to if you think as we think on all things life. I had a dirty chai and it was delicious. This town is also the gateway to Wave Rock and many of the dams. Collie…just a big. fat. skip! We also stopped at a dam or creek or something just near there, stayed for a day (or was it 2?) before the ranger came and let us know that dogs were not allowed as it was a national park. It was nice there, we do have pics, but stayed for such a short time that I can’t comment much more then what I already have. Just, skip Collie, it’s a mining town that’s slowed right down so is just run down and past its used by date. Not RV friendly at all.

Australind

Now here’s a town to write home about. Another little old Ipswich away from Ipswich, same kind of girls dressed in the same un-girly clothes, but the people were at least normal(ish) and down to earth. They had your usual gorcery shops, and a nice little retail block with your oldies but goodies (Best & Less) where we stocked up on the ol’ cheapy pluggers. I don’t know how, but our girls churn through pluggers like they grow on trees. In any case, we stayed at Australind Tourist Park, and the caretakers were the friendliest, nicest people. We chatted to Brad for ages, he is soo regular, and normal, and talks about nice normal stuff….and wouldn’t you know it, they’re from QLD, Townsville in fact. So there you have it. We head to the other side of the country, and the only people we really enjoy the company of and are accepted by are Swiss and Qld’ers.  I am afraid to say I didn’t get much in the way of pics of the place, except for the playground. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, they had a really awesome playground with a trampoline and everything! I relaxed the reigns on schoolwork for the 2 weeks we were there so they girls could spend as much time on H.P.E (the trampoline) as they could. A quick mention also about the fact that the amenities were squeaky clean, toilets, showers and washing machines. If you need a place to stay, stay here. It is cheaper, and yes, it is on the main road, but big deal. That is part of the fun of being on the road. We also had Kya’s birthday here which ended up being nice after the Bunbury drama (gotta call me for that one). She opted for chocolate porridge for breakfast, pizza for dinner and Peter’s icecream with M&M’s, maggi topping and Nutella on it.

Bunbury

Ahh, now Bunbury…hmm, how can I put this nicely? Let’s see….how about, I. Hate. It. So far it would have to be the worst place we have had the *pleasure* of visiting. Now, I’m terribly sorry to all those that live there or disagree, and I can’t say that it is the actual town and not attributed to our experience because really that is all we have to go by, but in our experience, it was awful! The people are not terribly nice, and the shops were atrocious, (Coles, do you know what you are even doing anymore?) and they didn’t stock any size 8 or 10 black pants as I had to purchase some for the prac I had to do there. The beaches were horrible, horrible! says hubby over my shoulder, so yes, maybe don’t bother bringing your togs for this town, save it for our old mate Busso I’d say. I don’t really want to go into it, but let’s just say we went in there, we left there, and we are happy that we do not ever have to go back there again. Here are some pics all the same. Not much, because it’s all just a built up city anyways.

Northam

This is the place where we spent Easter. Beside a beautiful, tiny river that was in actual fact toxic…not even Minty was allowed contact with the water, as per the warning signs. And if you know Brendan, you can imagine how much he enjoyed that…not at all. In any case, we were parked up next to some really lovely old Swiss people, Hans and Vrani. I have all their details, so if we ever decide to pop over that way for a visit, we are welcome at theirs. Oh to visit Switzerland, a good dream at least. The Easter bunny visited the girls, of course, and we really did pretty much nothing for a week, or was it 2? It’s hard to tell when we have those pockets of sitting around doing nothing, the days just blur and time just passes as it does. There was also a line of hairy caterpillars when we went to leave the little place we were at when we left plus the painted silo’s we saw on the way there…posted here for your viewing pleasure hahaha.

 

The only other thing we can say about Northam is that there was a place to wash the caravan and car, which we did as it was waay overdue, and they had some unusual metal sculptures in town. Oh, yes, the laundromat in there was really great too; Bubbles and Suds. Clean, and staffed by a very friendly gentleman who has great aspirations I must admit. If you’re in that area, make sure you pop in, use their facilities and tell him that Brendan and Sarah from Qld, the one doing the studying to open a child care, said hi.

Busso!!!! (Busselton)

Where to start. I suppose we can begin with the first time we went there as we went there quite a few times. The first time was, so far, the best weather and day at the beach we’ve had in WA. The water was amazing and the sand was clean and soft. It was not crowded at all and the kids could all 3 swim easily. In fact we used it as an impromptu time for a swimming lesson for the girls.

We also happened to meet the really awesome couple from Bridgetown I mentioned before. They told us about themselves and how he was a musician so they had a teeny little pod trailer/van type thing (adorable and very elegant, perfectly suited their purpose). They were in the area as there was some music gig on (yet again) and he was playing in it. They gave us their card and we talked for quite some time on all things life and health. Definitely people to visit some time again if there ever is the chance.

We also met a lady who was amazingly helpful and she texted me a bunch of info about Dunsborough so we decided to visit that town. It was an awesome place with a really cool, natural pharmacy. Kind of like healthfood-meets-naturopath-meets-alternative treatments all rolled into a legit chemist. Really interesting and awesome, helpful staff. Anyway.

There was a pretty good playground there, and the usual water fill/poop empty stations. They too had some show or something going on so alot of the road was blocked which was annoying. There is also some place you can visit where you go 8m under the jetty and look at the pylons and the sea life there but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I suppose some days the fish are there, other days it’s just blue water.

We did stay at an old historical pine plantation not far from the beach as it made it easy to explore the area from there. This is where the term “crazy lady jacket” first was coined. I did tell you it was a story for later. Now, what the kids mean is, this also happened to be a high traffic area for backpackers. Now, I don’t have much in the way of experience when it comes to meeting people from other parts of the world, so I took it as a grand opportunity to start asking questions, meeting people, and just generally finding out what it’s like in other countries. Most of them were French or German, but there were some Scotts and Irish with a few English thrown in. Whenever a new car would pull up, we’d all take a guess on their nationality (Brendan pretty much always got it right), and then I’d go out and ask and inquire what it’s like where they’re from, why there decided to visit Oz, how long they’d been here and what they liked about our country so far. You know, general chit chat stuff. As it was generally morning or late arvo, I would pop on the nearest jacket, of which happened to be aqua. The same colour as the lady that would always hang around us to talk to us in Greenbushes. Now, let’s be fair here, it was someone new just about every day, so I wasn’t bugging anyone (I don’t think), but nevertheless, I’d come back to the van to everyone laughing at me because I “had the green jacket on again” which meant I was off to talk. We all know I love talking so, 😛

This was also where we met one of the most interesting people so far, however, that story is not mine to tell, you’d have to ask Brendan about ol’ Stewey. He was the one who we first heard call it “Busso” as he was a local, and so “Busso” was what we called it from then on. Given that both that man and hubby were involved in “man talk”, the full term actually includes and expletive, but as I’m a lady I shan’t repeat it here.

The shops were really quite good, a big new Aldi, and lots of parking. The beaches were really quite nice, and if you don’t mind the odd wacked out bum strolling along the path picking up dumpers (that is the term for a used up, old, dirty, squashed cigarette butt found on the ground), then it’s a pretty cool place to be. I was shocked to see that sort of behaviour, but hubby just let me know that growing up in the ‘Switch (Ipswich) he was used to it….??? Maybe we should move in if you feel soo at home. Yes, Busselton so far seems to be this side of Perth’s Ipswich. We liked the town, sadly. Make sure you visit.

Nannup and Marrinup

These 2 places don’t have pics, and we didn’t do much; infact Nannup was literally a pass through, but I just wanted to put a quick shout out to them. They are not even remotely close, but, meh, can’t win ’em all.

Now, Nannup happened to have some music gig on, so we opted to stay out of the way until it was done. Unfortunately, this meant when we did pass through it was a Sunday so all the shops were shut for the day. I did manage to purchase some desperately needed dishwashing liquid at an exorbitant price from the servo when we stopped for fuel. We also saw that bikie looking dude that was in Bridgetown (remember him?). He gave us an a-hoy, and we stopped for a chat and to say hello. He was a pretty funny guy and told us how he was just stalling for time, not wanting to go home cuz wifey hadn’t started work yet. Hubby and him had a giggle about the unfortunate part of life that centers around wifey’s, and off we went.

Marrinup, that was interesting. It seemed to be the resting spot for quite a fair few n’er-do-wells (for those that watch Adventure Time). There was terrible reception there and I had classes and uni to do still, so we stayed for as long as we felt happy to. Mostly leaving because more of the ne’er-do-well crew came, and it being a Friday, noticed they were in no short supply of party supplies. That and also another friendly chap informed us of the pattern these people kept in regards to Fri/Sat night activities. We followed his lead and went somewhere quieter as well. Probably skip this place if you’re traveling through as it really doesn’t hold much interest unless you’re a keen mountain biker or are into old war stuff as it was actually an also POW camp from WWII. They were very friendly people, I have no issues, but just not a kid friendly environment, that’s all.

Capel

Now Capel is a really fine example of a country town at its finest. It has all you need, dual servo/hardware store, laundromat, pub, overpriced IGA, tattoo shop, coffee shop x2, library, and that strange mix of oddballs-that-stare-too-much with good-ol’fashioned-helpful-country-folk type ones. The library, I do have to give credit where credit is due, was actually really amazing. We spent nearly an entire day in there! They also had some books for sale, and we did purchase some. The town has an incredible playground there, the equipment was fantastic. We backtracked to this place quite a few times actually, pretty much for the playground. We could workout and the girls could do what kids do best. Play. They had a 24 hr rest stop there, and we could fill our water tanks and empty our poop. It really wasn’t a bad town at all. The rangers there were also really friendly, stopping for a chat, particularly Jason. It’s really cool to talk to a local and ‘avachat. It’s for this reason also that we returned so often. There really isn’t much else to say about it though outside of that.

One night we did see a few drunkards attempt to stumble down the road to their roof-top tent. That was funny. Only 1 of the 3 made it. By that I mean 1 decided he just couldn’t work out the whole ‘walking’ concept any more so gave up and rested in the gutter. The 2nd made it to where their car was, but not inside. The 3rd did make it though. We know this because we could hear him struggling to find his way around his whole few feet of space. Made us laugh in the least, and I’m certain there are a fair few number of you reading this that may also understand the imagery I’m trying to create and laugh too. Capel is also the place where we set up Lily’s bike she got for her birthday, and where I tried to save a shingle back lizard from being run over in the middle of the road. He wasn’t really happy, but I managed to move him off the road all the same.

Donnybrook

Now, I should point out that I am not actually doing this in the order that we traveled. If I did it would surely not make sense. We went north, then towards the coast, then inland a small bit, then a few hours north, then further inland to the east a few hours, then back south again in a line, then back towards to coast and south, then up north to the next town, then south to a town, then south again to another town, then north back to the previous town, then north once more to the next town up, then east for an hour. Like I said, confusing. So instead I’m just going to discuss the towns as they appear on the map, more or less in a sensible order. There was a reason for this weird traveling pattern. We were avoiding the cyclone-turned-low as it was causing high winds with strong gusts and poor weather. We didn’t want to risk our caravan so went everywhere it wasn’t.

So, Donnybrook. This was a town we passed through, but I am putting it here for 2 reasons. 1, it was quite lovely and country, and they are big on their produce, so if you want farm to table, give this place a peek. And 2, they had a ripper playground for the girls. For these reasons, Donnybrook gets a spot on my blog 😉

Bridgetown and Greenbushes

Bridgetown, what can I say. We did from the get-go think the people were a tad on the unusual side. We needed to do about 20 million loads of washing (ok, I think it was more like 6, which is still a lot) but no one wanted to give us change for the washing machines which was annoying. Eventually hubby had to sweet talk some old lady shop keeper to get some gold coins, and we all laughed…hahahahaa. We saw a guy sitting outside the pub who had the good old fashioned bikie look, sorry to sterotype, but just saying for visual purposes. Any way, there was also a guy in there with “summer teeth” who was very odd indeed, but helpful all the same.

IMG_3756

Anyway, turns out, after talking to a local that managed to escape (later on in our travels), he informed us that the town was indeed, in hubby’s terms “a yokel-backwards town”. The best part though was yet to come. When we went on to Greenbushes to stay there for a gig, there was a terribly strange lady that was always there, ready to pounce and pretty much never left the shelter of our awning. I may go out on a limb here and say she was just lonely, traveling on her own, which is why we were never rude or told her to go away, but we suddenly became a family of 6. She also wore the same aqua coloured jacket every day, of which I happen to have one in the same colour. Whenever I wear it now the girls call it the “crazy lady jacket” (but that’s a story for the pine plantation later on).

To be fair, there were some really awesome things about the town, there was an amazing community garden that I ran around taking pictures of.

There is also the most coolest couple from there, but, once again, that is a story for another time. All the same, they were very much like us, though slightly older, and were just amazing people. They gave us some liquid gold (pure water, straight from their own rain water source), and have welcomed us to their place for some amazing fresh-picked and organic, from their own garden, fruit and vegies.

There is also a pretty amazing place to stop for a few nights in Greenbushes. This is the place we camped at for some R & R.

The kids met some other girls their age and had such a great time playing all day for nearly a week on the play equipment, and they also went for a swim in what they called in that area a “pool”. Now, for us QLD’ers, I’d be more inclined to call it a dam or something along those lines, but, swimming hole is a swimming hole no matter the name. The weather was pretty nice and we did have a good time all the same. Don’t give this place a miss, it really isn’t all that bad, I do jest in good fun.

Manjimup

As a town it was nice and country-feeling. The shops were what you would expect from any large town, and the people were just as pleasant. It was the next biggest area to go shopping this side of the coast so infrastructure was pretty well looked after. They had a large heritage timber park that was actually pretty cool, and hubby got pulled into going on the slide with Evelyn as it was not my turn up to bat hahaha.

Just before the town there was the fire departments Diamond tree. This is a tree of which you can climb around 50m in the air, and was built for the firies to climb and keep lookout for any problem fires in the past. Now as much as I am willing to give most things a try, there were just a few issues with this one.

First and foremost, the way up was just a bunch of metal poles stuck into the tree in a windy kind of way, with a few metal strands around the outside as a way to stop you tumbling off the side. Nothing to stop you falling between the metal pegs, but at least a strand or 2 for the sides. Not feeling confident so far.

Problem 2 the kids decided they really wanted to have a girly fight about who knows what young-girls-that-know-everything argue about. In any case, climbing such a structure while refereeing a verbal battle between a 12 and 9 year old was not on my list of things to accomplish.

The final thing, and really the biggest problem was the march flies. Now if you have never had contact with one, don’t go looking for them. They are flies, yes, but about 4 times (literally) the size of a house fly and they bite! Hard! ( they are also known as horseflies for those in the other parts of Oz) There was no way, I mean no way, I was climbing that tree while simultaneously fending off those horrid creatures from hell. I’m not talking the odd 1 or 2, I mean we had to take it in turns to get back in the car, shooing them from the door, someone jumping in, then slamming the door shut behind them, while we shooed and prepped the next person for the dive into the car. In the end we still ended up with 4 of the blighters in the car, but yup, step outside that door and you were looking at between 5-10 of them jumping on each person in moments. So yeah, I took some pics and off we raced. No thank you.

No updates just yet…

I’m sorry all, but I have 2 assessments and my prac upcoming so I really need some head down bum up time which means blogging must really simmer on the back burner. I am still trying to take photos of things as we go and remember all that goes on, but there’s just been soo much going on. We’ve had Lily’s birthday and Easter and my birthday is upcoming and next week I am to go to the school I’ve been assigned for the prac for a quick meet and greet and to make a start, which is followed by 2 weeks of school holidays where I will be going hell for leather to get these asssessments completed. Once they are done it will be onto my 3 week prac block, and as soon as that is done we will need to move as fast as we can onto the next place so that I can start what is essentially a 13 week block of prac. After that things should settle to a more manageable pace, and I can hopefully catch up (in that week between I hope actually), and you will find out all about Bunbury and the surrounds, along with the places between here and my next placement. The good news is I have all my units planned out and I have only 1 year left of my studies. Additionally, those that are considering it, particularly a bachelor of early childhood, I would say just go for it! The staff at Curtin have been soo amazing and helpful, I doubt this would have worked without them making sure I have all I need when I need it (I’m name dropping… thank you Jenny and Glenys).

In any case, this pretty much means I’m all hands on deck for uni for the next 6 weeks. Sorry. If I do find some time to scratch my nose (one of my Nonna’s sayings when we used to work together), then I will use it instead to update. But in the meantime, uni must take priority, it’s just one of them things.

I do have to update our oat bars also at some point. They have been a work in progress now since SA I believe it was, and we have been making changes and, sometimes improvements, sometimes not, until we have exactly what we want…a nutritious breakfast/snack/dessert cakey-bar-thingy that satisfies our belly’s need for food, our tounge’s need for deliciousness and our brain’s nagging for sweet, sweet dessert…mind you without the sugar! So when we finally have exactly what we are looking for, I shall include the updated recipe post haste.

So, until then dearest friends and family, I have little choice but to leave you in anticipation, of which I am sorry.

Walpole

Walpole…not much to say actually. Here’s some pictures of stuff I saw while we filled our water tanks, but really, the info centre was closed for repairs and the road was all but blocked from road works. So, tanks filled and off we went…to more road works. Enough in fact that we decided to stop on the side of the road for dinner, showers and a sleep. Tomorrow is a new day, and the next town on our list, Manjimup. Hopefully it fares better than what we have seen so far, but I feel positive because really, it’s all been improving as we’ve gone…weather aside of course! Do these people even have a summer? Sheesh!

Denmark (the WA version, Dad)

On to Denmark!

What a lovely town….on the outside. Beautiful shops. Wonderful produce in the IGA that was fresh and local and all very well priced. I shall restate, the fresh produce and the meat…mwah! The coffee was the best I have had in….hmm, I can’t recall. Maybe since I used to make my own? There was a total of 4 people with actual dreads and many others dressed like…I’m going to use the stereotype for mental imagery purposes…hippies, and it all seemed casual and chill. But it really was only skin deep. Only 2 types of people seemed to be in the town. Legit cool peeps that were happy to chat and share places of interest, and the snooty ones that act all organic/hippyish for the sake of saying they are “cool” (or ‘for sales’: direct quote from hubby). C’mon guys, pretending to care about your health and the benefit of the land we live and farm on is not cool, it’s dumb and makes you look snot nosed and nasty. But let’s move on as it’s clearly a topic that gets my goat. The locals (the good ones) said it was a town big on home schooling and Steiner schools. We even found a really neat little naturalist park for the kids. There was a health food store we tried to get into, but me and my bad directions led Brendan up a steeply inclined one way street, the wrong way…it was unmarked in my defence! As we tried to reverse into a little carpark to turn around, some lady rushed out in her car in order to yell at us that it was a one way street. If she had even a small amount of common sense she would have realised she had in actual fact blocked us from being able to reverse and go back down the street, so in true Brendan style he gave her his sweetest smile, a big thumbs, up and headed straight up the hill, in the wrong direction. Really, we had no choice as she had blocked our path with her car to yell at us. So, once she left we went into a carpark, reversed in the street and went back down the hill as we were indeed trying to do from the start. Now that we had drawn some unwanted attention we thought it might be an idea to just head on off to the next town. Somewhere along the way we discovered a meadery!

 

What? What is this meadery? Those that know us know we like mead, and this was a honey/mead/icecream shop all rolled into one. We sampled soo many honey flavours! Chocolate, hazelnut, chai, vanilla, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon! We looked at a live bee hive encased in glass, and I took it upon myself to find the queen…of which I did! We sampled some meads and even bought a bottle! I can’t explain the taste, and if you have a penchant for sweeter white wines then I can tell you, the flavours! You know when you read label’s on wine bottles that say there’s flavours of this and aromas of that and really it all sounds quite silly because it all just kind of tastes like wine. I don’t taste “chocolate flavours” or “berry flavours” or “rustic autumn flavours”…whatever that means anyway. But this! This really had 3 layers. White wine, then honey, then flowers and sweetness and summer in a flowery field. Ok, ok, I’ll stop. We also bought he kids icecream. Kya picked rose, almond and honey, Lily had cinnamon honey and Evelyn of course had chocolate honey. Then we moved on from Denmark.

 

Albany

Next up was Albany.

This was a much larger town by far, we even managed to buy some organic foods, the first in such a loong time too I might add (shame on you SA). I have to note here, in the organic shop we bought some Everymite. It is sort of like an organic, everything free, substitute for vegemite. Now, I’ve never tasted vegemite, and that is pretty much because it smells like pure grossness, but this smelt kind of ok. It was still black, and the lady assured me it tasted different, so I gave hubby the sample stick to determine if we should purchase it. He said it was actually quite nice, and he has mentioned many times over how much he misses buttered vegemite toast, so I bought this very expensive jar of pretend vegemite. As it was a treat, and we spent a stupid amount on it, ($15) I decided I’d try it. People, I have now found my new favourite spread! Better then peanut butter and honey on toast (peanut butter, honey and banana the kids tell me to write). Everymite, tomato, cheese, spinach, purple onion, chilli, all on a corn cake/cracker…nom nom nom.

Anyways, I didn’t mind the town and it had a lot going for it if you were a backpacker or non-caravan owner with all the hostels available. Lots of coffee shops, lots of touristy shops which once again were overpriced. Hubby words “the museum there should have been the museum of highway robbery”. The only thing they had on sale really was property after property. Another direct quote from the man himself “How can a town that seems it’s in such an economic downturn maintain such high prices?”. Lots to see and shops to visit but we are not your typical tourist as I’m sure you will know of us by now, so nothing there for us. And so, with that we bought our weeks’ worth of groceries and headed out of town to Cosy Beach camp.

Here we stayed for another week. It was such a horrible time. Out of the 7 days only 1 was actually sunny. The rest was overcast and windy and cold! The sand had that awful black stuff mixed in with it that made the souls of your feet insta-black. I really should have taken a pic to be honest. And of course, all the regular issues with living in a sandy area. Turns out I have a particular hatred for sand in the van and I turn nasty quick…long story short, miserable time filled with lots of cooped up time hiding out under the cover of our awning or our blankets. Also, terribly busy. We didn’t get a spot the first time we went there, having to sleep next to the nosiest road thus far the first night, but lucky for us we got one of the best spots (#4 for reference) the second night we rocked up. I guess that’s something at least. While we were packing up some old man came over and told us he wanted to check our spot and move his van there once we were gone. Not only had we not left yet, but were only ½ way through packing before he was there stepping and measuring out the space and putting his fishing gear all around to mark it as his own…pfft! We did plan slightly longer then a week, but I just couldn’t handle a day more so off we went!

 

Esperance

We have made it into WA proper.

The first town up to bat, Esperance.

Now, the town itself didn’t have much in the way of choice when it came to staying the night outside of the overpriced caravan parks…and it they were smelly too, not sure what it was exactly, but definitely not for us! So we stayed at a place called Gibson Soak. It was actually quite nice. I didn’t really take photos as it really was just an open field, but I collected some gumnuts and hubby helped me smooth them and put a hole in them and I painted them and turned them into dread beads! (albeit likely too large to sleep comfortably in). We were in walking distance of a park and only 20-30 km’s from the town so we left the van there to go and explore. The beaches really are the brightest blue. If you look them up online and see the colour of the water and wonder if it’s been edited, to some extent sure, but the ocean really is that colour! The down side, it was just soo terribly windy! It was also cold and overcast for 90% of the time we were there. We decided to venture a trip to a beach for a few hours, but it was just too cold to swim. Brendan did go in for a test run…but came out just as fast. I assume you’re wondering what the town was like? It was an ok town, nice actually, but it was kind of expensive; things were just expensive for what they were. Hubby referred to it as a town of newlyweds and nearly deads.

We left Esperance and camped for a week at a tiny little place called Norman’s beach. It was just soo lovely and quaint, we really enjoyed it. Despite the few days of rain we had, it had it all. Beach and fresh water along with peace and tranquillity. Kya even caught a fish that I cleaned and cooked then and there. We all shared in her success and it was literally the most delicious fish we had ever eaten. I wonder if I can ever go back to eating fish that is anything but a few hours old ever again? It really was yummy and she was soo happy and proud of herself! I don’t get it but fishing is just something Kya loves to do.

Time for an honesty update

It’s a long one, better grab a cuppa first…

I suppose you’re wondering once more what I think of being in a caravan now that some time has passed. Do I still like it? How is it all going? Are the kids still doing school work? Is it working, are they learning? How am I managing kids and uni and traveling? Don’t I miss everyone? Am I ready to stop and make my way back to QLD?

For the most part I am still loving this, but today was the first time since we started that I felt a real pang, a genuine doubt that this will work out. Today, as I talked to a good friend about girly things like hair, I felt a loss and I missed being around these people I love. Rather than texting pictures and little tid-bits of info, I really wanted to be there, with her and her family having a cuppa or some drinks and some nibblies. But strangely, the unease I felt at giving this up and tucking tail was also bad. I feel a stronger pull to see this through, to explore all we planned to explore, to do all we wanted to do, more importantly, to learn what we set out to learn. The simple fact that I know we really are still at the start of our learning journey is just too obvious to make such an emotional decision. So, to be honest, yes, I miss friends and family, I really miss the time we stayed at Ethan’s house, with his chooks and his wonderful cooking skills and his happiness, I miss our chooks too, we all do. I miss having another female to chat to and complain about things with because husbands, turns out, don’t like to hear it…or at least mine doesn’t.

The next part I’m sure a lot of those with kids want to know is, how are the kids going with their school work? When I first started, I thought it would be simple enough, I’d been creating lessons plans for a while and I even had some small 3 weeks of prac under my belt. And besides, these are my kids and I know them so how hard can it be right? Of course, that’s a big fat wrong! They didn’t like my lessons plans for a few reasons, but mostly because I didn’t do it like the teachers did so I was the wrong one. Of course, they would know, they’re kids and kids always know everything. The other problem was that I knew exactly what I was doing, why and where I intended it all to end up. They didn’t. I feel into the trap of mother mode and so it pretty much fell into a case of ‘do it cuz I told you cuz I know best’. But further research, and exasperation I might add, lead me to realise the importance of them knowing what and why just as much as me. So, I had to explain what I wanted them to learn, and how the activities they were doing was how I hoped they would learn it. Wrong again. Nope, nope, nope. It did not work. They hated it, they hated learning, they hated their new version of school so I had to find a way to change it.

I knew that they needed to follow the curriculum, and I knew that they needed to like doing it too so there were no arguments about learning and doing the work. After much thought I realised that the curriculum was the last thing to worry about, and the most important thing was in actual fact a desire to actually learn. To achieve this I outlined 1 thing I wanted them to achieve in each subject and let them do the rest themselves. I integrated as much technology as I could while still ensuring they were developing their writing skills too. For example English was write out a page from any book they want with a focus on neatness, read, and complete 1 page in their activity book. Math was 1 page in the activity book and an online game that is math based. Science was research any topic you find interesting and write really good notes so you can show me later, art was to research a style of painting or drawing and do one, music was to make a song or music on garageband and language was Duolingo online. I left the rest up to them. What language, what topics, what math games, but as long as each activity was half an hour I was happy. After a very short time they started to ask every day if it was time to do school work. They were loving it, but it wasn’t guided learning, and the curriculum was not included at all. I had achieved stage 1, get them to want to learn.

Stage 2 now needed to be put in place, the curriculum. I am now at the stage that they go online and pick one piece out of one subject and work towards mastering that. If they do this every day with each subject they will eventually master all of them just as the kids will be doing in school. This still allows them to pick what they are learning and how. After a week of this they realised they had no idea what any of it meant and that they needed help.

Stage 3, teachers are actually ok to listen to…in comes me! So now I show them how to learn, how to teach themselves. First, they need to know what questions to ask, then they need to know how to find the answer, then they need to record the information they find. This needs to be compiled to present a reasonable description of what was learned along with an example. This can be used in all subject areas. Once they have this pattern down pat, they will need less and less help from me, or any other teacher for that matter, and bam! My kids are now able to be their own teachers, they will be lifelong learners and actually enjoy learning. So far it is working, but until they work out how to research and note take, it will be very, very slow.

So the next part, how do I manage all of this while traveling and studying full time? With lots of stolen time doing the readings, support from hubby who cooks healthy and delicious dinners, and our share of arguments also…arguments between everyone. I know that sounds strange, but an argument means not only do we voice our opinions immediately rather than bottle it up, we get our irritants out, and it also means we care enough to say something in the first place. When I’m frustrated and feel like I don’t have the support I need, I say it outright and we make the changes that need to be made. It might be I’m tired and need a break, it might mean I am doing more than I am able at that time, I might also mean we are all getting cabin fever and need to go for an hour long walk. That does happen. We start to hate the place we’re at as we’re stuck inside for whatever reason and we start to turn on each other. It is happening right now in fact as it is windy and raining and cold and horrible outside, and has been since we got to WA. At first it was nice after the heat of SA, but it is now old and we are all over it and hubby is hating the trap he feels he’s been ensnared in. The kids are all being niggly and picking on each other and I am finding it hard to concentrate on the unit readings. We have made the decision to stay at this place until Thursday, but I think we will end up going by Tuesday. We are not far from where I will be doing my next prac, so we are going ever so slowly, but in the meantime, we are sick of the same scenery and the bad weather we feel we can’t get away from. And to top it off, all this cloud cover means we are on power restrictions. I mean we could get out the gennie, but the intermittent rain means it’s more trouble then it’s worth. So, no power, no snuggle days in bed watching tv.

Today was not a fun day. Yesterday was not a fun day. Apparently tomorrow will not be a fun day either. This, this feeling stuck is what none of us like. This is a down side to the caravan life.

A note from the kids on their learning.

Kya hates the curriculum and says it’s boring…not surprising that she agrees with pretty much every kids ever on that one I guess.

Lily loves learning for herself and teaching herself, especially learning another language…of which she picked Turkish.

Evelyn likes writing out words and using her Ipad…always gotta match her big sisters!

Crossing the Nullarbor

We left Port Pirie, or the place near there we were staying at, with the intentions of staying in Port Augusta for a few days, then heading south to Port Lincoln and back up to the Nullarbor. Trouble is, when we got there we were just soo tired of being in SA, and were sick of the weather and being soo dry that even little Evelyn had wrinkles around her eyes that we decided to linger no longer. Besides, the town was too unsavory for Brendan’s liking, so we fueled up, fooded up and legged it. Off to the Nullarbor we went!

We managed to sit behind a larger vehicle that Brendan says helps with fuel economy so he was well pleased, until I remembered the sunroof was still open a bit so we pulled over and lost the vehicle. He was annoyed but glad I remembered before we had gone anywhere. We drove for a while and reached the apparent half way point of the country, so of course stopped and took some pics.

Off we went again! However, as we had spent the morning emptying toilets and getting groceries and filling water and what not, the day became hot quick so we all agreed to stop and wait out the heat of the day locked up in the van with the a/c pumping. Once it cooled we packed it all up and went off again!

Turns out the kids need to stop every 1.5 hours for a toilet break. I know this because we timed it over 3 full days. Anyway, we stopped again later on to cook dinner and eat and have a wash, then head off again for a few more hours until it turned dark. This side of the country it doesn’t get dark until about 8:30-9:00 so we snagged a couple more hours. We pulled over for the night, slept, woke up and had breakfast and repeated the same pattern again.

We did see a big galah, but because we were stopping soo much for this that and the other, I just took a pic as we rolled by.

By dinner time on the second day we had made it to the border at Ceduna, and as we could not take fruit, vegies or honey, we decided to eat what we could and cook the rest. We made a massive batch of oat bars that were pretty much dripping with honey, and the kids ate fruit for dessert. We also made our pasta sauce for dinner so the vegies were cooked. We could have gone on, but as we still had fruit left, we decided to wait the night there and cross the quarantine station the next morning.

Fruit again for breakfast, top up of fuel, and off we went. We passed with no troubles, except for the dirt on the car floor mats…of which I was given a hand held vacuum cleaner to suck up. The lady was really lovely, and we took some nice shots of the place and then moved on.

There were a few places reminiscent of the great ocean road that we stopped at to take some pics, and aside from that there really was not a lot to see…surprising, I know. In any case, it was quite a nice drive.