We were chilling out here Sunday night when Murray’s son Raymond turned up to visit. It was so good to see him and Murray was extra delighted to have him come around.
Monday began with the guys hollering ‘Everyone up! Outa bed everyone!’ at 7am. I dragged myself through the bathroom and appeared in the kitchen looking I thought wide awake and busy tailed. But judging from the comments from my bros I musta looked a bit sleepy still. We loaded up the boat and headed on down to Mindarie Keys. We stopped off to pick up Raymond but no sign of him. I was blown away at the development at Mindarie. When I was over here 17 years ago it was a new development. It is amazing what has happened in that time. The houses are – well, I hesitate to call them houses – more like mansions, sitting on the edges of the harbour. Absolutely amazing!
We steamed off out to Quinns Rocks and Duncan and Murray jumped in to snorkel on the reef. When Murray climbed out I decided I would go in and have a look see. It was really neat, such clear water and the fish life was so cool. I found very quickly though that I am not swim fit. I was trying to get over to the reef to stand on some terra firma where Duncan was, but with the current etc I just couldn’t get there and soon ran outa puff. I could see the distance from the boat and the distance to Duncan and I couldn’t make any headway and started to panic cause I was getting so tired so I made a bee line to the boat. Very glad to hop back on board. I had seen enough for the day and was happy to stay above the water while Duncan careened around like a submerged whale enjoying the caves and crays and fish life. We zipped up the coast to Eglington Rocks and then over to see the Alkimos wreck. An ex WW2 liberty ship. There is not a lot left but enough to see that it was huge. Then back down the coast to Burns Rocks. Finally got back to Mindarie Keys where we tied up beside a coffee shop and bar and sat in the sun over some drinks before trailering the boat and heading home.
Hamish & Michelle stayed put as he had to get to work by 4pm. We went and found Raymond – unfortunately he had walked to meet us in the morning and we had missed each other. So he joined Duncan, Murray and myself and we drove down the West Coast Highway. Once again the houses – mansions – along the coast were most impressive. Raymond kept pointing out which ones he had laid carpet in. Got down to Scarborough and had lunch at Plakos while Raymond did a spot of girl watching J
On the way back we called in to Craigie to see Amy. The guys had a swim in the pool and Raymond collected some of his gear. Took Raymond home and then came back for a rest. On arriving back Murray was immediately on the phone with some mates and so the rest went out the window and we collected up some snacks and gear, picked up Jason the Pom and headed north. Took ages but we eventually got to Regans Ford on the Moore River. It was a beautiful spot far from the madding crows. The stuff that picture books display as the epitomy of an Australian billabong. We explored the area while waiting for Jeff & Vicky. Donna stayed securely up on the bonnet of the Landcruiser well out of the way of snakes and ants and spiders J
Duncan took me for a walk along the river and we crossed at a rocky weir and on the other side there were heaps of ant nests. I have never seen ants like it before. There were millions of them, to cross there road we had to make running leaps to avoid them climbing us. There were also bull ant nests which Duncan had fun invading. Finally Jeff & Vicky arrived and the guys set the marrin traps along the river. I have decided the guys just never grown up. They were like boys as they zipped up and down the river banks setting and pulling the nets. A very large ant climbed Murray’s leg and bit him on the thigh – he wasn’t too amused. The night went on, the 3 of us girls finally hopped in the Landcruiser to keep warm and continue chatting. Finaly the guys pulled all the nets around 11pm and with the grand total of one small marrin we headed off down the highway to home. We were all nodding by the time we got here at midnight and slept soundly till nearly 8am this morning.
Midmorning Tuesday we loaded up into Murray & Hamish’s 4WD’s and headed east into the Perth hills. Our destination was the John Forrest National Park. Our maternal grandfather and his sister had called into Perth on their trip by ship to England in 1938/9. Duncan & Murray had found a booklet about their trip to the National Park amongst old papers that Mum had. They had previously been there and re-walked the area they had explored. So today we returned so the 4 of us could walk in their steps. Duncan was able to show us the same trees in the pictures of all those years ago – true to Australian style they had not grown a lot more in all those years. It was quite hot up there but a breeze made it manageable. Duncan had lots of fun running across the ant nests and stirring up all the ants. He then was chased by a hornet – as he is severely allergic to bees he wasn’t hanging around to be polite!! There were also heaps of kangaroos, magpies, pink & white cockatoos and other green parrots hanging around to entertain us.
We then took refuge from the heat and had a lovely lunch at the local pub and spent a great hour or two reminiscing about all the antics the boys got up when they were young and talking all about Kiwi war history – a passion of Duncan’s and my Nathan – so therefore I absorb a lot of it too! After lunch we went our separate ways and headed back home. On the way we detoured to a wee shop in Midland called ‘Jack Sue WA Skindivers’. Barry Sue who runs the shop is the son of Jack Sue. He played a big part in Australian was history because of his Asian blood and looks. He was able to infiltrate behind enemy lines in Borneo. Fascinating stories. The two of them have also written a book about the Wreck of the Alkimos which we wanted to read after visiting it yesterday.
It was a long trip back home – mind you anywhere is a long trip around here!! We had to get back as the dog washer was coming to bath the Keeshond. The city development and road developments are mind blowing over here. They just don’t stop. Certainly a land of opportunity with work for miles for those that want to. Personally it is way to dry and arid for me. Nice to visit but I prefer to have a bit more greenery around. Living in Perth is like being in a giant sandpit!