Monday 30th April

We had a quiet day.

I stayed in bed till about 9am.

Hamish went to get some parts for his truck.

Corina cooked another huge breakfast.

I did some washing.

It rained and blew a bit.

Cooler temperatures – nice happy

We went into town for a shop.

Stopped off at info centre.

Came back and chilled for the arvo.

Tim had a nana nap.

I was very happy to stay put for the day.

The guys went off to fuel up the trucks.

Corina and I chatted.

Then we cooked dinner.

I made banana caramel – it set very hard!

Corina roasted a chicken and veges.

We watched The Voice – I’m hooked!

Tim went to sleep on the sofa.

Had dinner – yummy.

Watched some more of The Voice and then off to bed.

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Sunday 29th April

I woke early enough to see this gorgeous sunrise.

And because we were up early we were able to be on the road by 8am!

We drove past the back entrance to the nickel mine where Hamish & Corina work.

Met up with this humungous harvester – it took up all the road and according to Corina it was just a small one!

Hamish took us in a SE direction on Jerdacuttup Road.

The gravel roads are all pretty well maintained.

They are long and red and straight!

We then headed off south along Fence Road.

It follows the southern end of the Rabbit Proof Fence which you can see along side the road.

Not so rabbit proof anymore, but still an amazing feat.


We then turned along the Southern Ocean Highway.

Starvation Bay where the fence finishes – looking west.

Starvation Bay – looking east.

There were heaps of these wee crabs in the rocks but this one was out in the midday sun and not terribly impressed by us disturbing him.

Me holding the remains of the end of the fence.

Tim got lose with my camera – but I did think having a ‘rabbit’ sitting on top of the last remains of the wall was appropriate winky

 Corina spotted this baby Tiger snake on the road as we left Starvation Bay.

The baby ones are far more lethal than the adults because they haven’t learnt to control their venom.

The adults will give a warning bite before they release venom but not the babes!

We kept our distance and it shot off the road into the bushes pretty fast.

Billie kept a look out from Tim’s shoulder most of the way.

We stopped at Mason Bay.

It was beautiful there.

Huge rocks and surging seas.

Anson called us up and we had a quick chat.

It was hard to talk cuz the coverage wasn’t great but he did say that Mahalia needed to talk to us.

Tim surveying the scenery

The sea water intake plant for the First Quantum mine’s desalination system.

We stopped at 13 Mile Beach.

It was beautiful.

But it was getting too hot for me!!

I would love to have gone down tot he beach but I knew I wouldn’t have coped with walking all the way back in the heat.

I was already beginning to feel a bit headachey and yucky.

The Ravensthorpe Range in the distance.

We got to Hopetoun around midday.

There was a long white beach along to the east

And a large man made break water with launching areas and jetties.

The town was rather sleepy.

Being a Sunday not a lot was open.

We stopped in at the general store and got ice creams and then Hamish took us for a tiki tour of the town.

There were heaps of new homes built by the mines for the mine employees,

We headed back home stopping in to visit Kundip.

It is on the heritage walkway and was a reasonable sized town in the early 1900’s but there is nothing there now apart from the historical notice board.

I was quite glad to get home.

It had been a great day and a good look around but I was getting really sick from a headache.

Finally had to succumb to Panadine which helped me make it through dinner.

Corina’s parents came to eat with us.

After they left Hamish put on a movie called Red Dog.

I couldn’t stay up any longer so left them to it enjoy it.

I will watch it another day.

 

We finally made contact with home.

I had picked up that there was something wrong by some comments that had been made on Facebook plus Anson’s earlier remark.

We talked to all the children and discovered that Mahalia’s horse Diesel had slipped down a wet slippery bank and broken his back and was dead.

She is heart broken.

It was very hard to hear her crying on the phone and not be there for her.

We talked to Leeann and she said all was well apart from the demise of Diesel.

Then talked with Marah.

I am so glad she is there for Halia.

They are busy painting rocks to build a memorial place for him and when we get home I will buy a special tree for her to plant there.

In the meantime they will ride Olly and keep him calm.

He was very attached to Diesel.



 

Saturday 28th April

We were a tad slow this morning.

Hamish & Corina were up and ready to take us sight seeing and we were still trying to surface.

Corina cooked up a huge breakfast to keep us going for the day.

Billie made herself comfortable on the back seat with Tim & me.

First stop was to go see the town house.

Hamish has done a fantastic job transforming it from a basic miners cottage to an up-market home.

We were suitably impressed.

We headed across country and up to Mt McCahon on the Ravensthorpe Range

This is the view looking towards Ravensthorpe.

Then we bush bashed across country and eventually found the pools at Woodenup Creek.

This is the parking area winky

It is a pretty area with lots of mineral colours in the rocks

The water is low at present but comes up a lot further during the wet season

Then we followed the fence out to Nindilbillup Road

An emu ran out in front of us and got such a fright it literally flew off and then got tangled in a fence before disappearing into the undergrowth.

Long red roads that go on forever…….

We drove along the Heritage Walkway

Then got out to walk along the old railway line.

The gum trees shed bark and mixed with other fallen foliage it made a really pretty carpet.

 

We then drove up to the bat cave.

It was an old mine shaft – Hamish didn’t have a torch so used his phone to light the way.

Tim went with him but Corina and I stayed outside – didn’t fancy meeting up with bats in the darkness!

I went in far enough to see the colours.

We were rather dismayed to see that there had been some drilling & sampling done up there.

If they find enough mineable minerals the place probably will be closed off and mined again.

 There were several old open mine shafts nearby.

The colours were gorgeous.

Hamish took us to the old Copper Smelting place on the way back home.

It was a huge area of ruins.

Such a shame they don’t preserve it like they have done back at home.

 

 

 

We headed back home then as the day was getting on.

Checked out Hamish’s man cave on the way up the drive.

Then after a wee rest I drove the guys into town to get some juice at shop and then up to an old mine head nearby.

Corina had made a delicious casserole with mashed potatoes and veges.

We made short work of it and then devoured her cheesecake.

It was magnificent – so full!!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 27th April

I got up at 5am to say goodbye to Murray.

Then I worked on my blog and photos, getting them already to load when I got to a wifi access.

We packed up and left after 9am.

Drove down the road to the Warnbro Maccas.

I spent an hour or so there getting my blog all caught up.

Then we zipped through the shopping centre and got some snack food and fuel.

Finally left just before midday.

We had a long drive ahead of us and had planned to leave earlier but sometimes plans just don’t work out.

We followed the green line on the map Murray had lent us.

Tim drove for the first two hours.

I must say that it was the longest, most boring drive I have done in a very long time!

The scenery was brown, the farms were so incredibly brown and dry.

I cannot understand anyone wanting to farm there.

We drove through acres and acres of wheat belt country.

There were paddocks burning along the way.

The burn the stubble off after harvest.

The bush is very scrubby.

The earth is red.

The colours are red, brown, grey, dark green at times when there are trees,

It is so flat

We stopped for a quick break at Cuballing.

Gorgeous old Post Office.

 

But the food was terrible.

I drove from there for the next two hours.

 

The roads are unbelievably straight and just go on and on and on and on and on….

We swapped drivers again at Tarin Rock

This is Lake Grace.

Well part of it.

The part on the south side was huge and contained some water.

The rest was just salt flats.

Something like 85kms straight from Lake Grace to Lake King

It was getting dark by the time we arrived in Lake King so I took the wheel again.

Tim does not cope with city or night driving.

I am happy to do both so we make a pretty good team.

We finally arrived at Ravensthorpe just after 6:30 and managed to find Hamish & Corina’s place without too much difficulty.

It was lovely to get out of the Land Cruiser and just stop!

Corina had made a delicious dinner – lasagne and a pineapple/mango meringue pie so we fed well.

Then chatted a wee while before heading off to bed.

Tim was going to sleep in his chair so he was very ready for bed

We hade driven over 560 kms in just over 6.5 hours today.

We are allowed to be tired!

 

 

 

Thursday 26th April – Fishing

Murray had gone to launch the boat while he waited.
We quickly changed clothes and Hazel drove us over to the launching ramp.

It was unusually cloudy and a bit breezy but we were happy with that.

The water here is very very shallow for a long way out.

We negotiated our way through the sandbanks and reefs and finally about a nautical mile offshore the lines were dropped.

It was still only 17metres deep!

The fish they were catching were whiting.
They are quite small but give a good feed.

Murray is quite the expert at filleting them quickly.

Hazel pulled up a flatfish.

They have lethal spikes on their backs so have to be handled with extreme care.

Finally there were enough fish in the bucket and the daylight was disappearing so Murray headed over to Penguin Island.
We beached the boat and went off for a walk.

There were birds everywhere.
Penguin nesting boxes were hidden all around the undergrowth.
There is a penguin viewing building
The Camp School where hazel works takes care of the penguins during the winter months.
This is the largest population of penguins in Australia and the northern most colony in the world.

Masses of seagulls, terns, rails, and pelicans!!
Pelican viewing is a treat for us as we don’t get them anywhere at home.
This island is one of nine breeding areas along the Western Australian coast.
This colony consists of over 500 birds.

There are limestone caves which are now signposted to stay out of due to their instability.

But during 1914-1926 a Canadian, Seaforth MacKenzie squatted in them.
In the 1920’s the island was a popular holiday destination.
MacKenzie operated a library and small store where customers could help themselves and run their own accounts.
He decked out one of the caves with roughly made furniture and rent was paid with ‘comradeship and jest’.

Nowadays the caves are only inhabited by sea lions.

It was an interesting walk.
The 2km of board walks have been well built to prevent destruction to the flora and fauna.
There is a lot of dune restoration.
On the outside of the island the tide alters the sand levels heaps.
Where we were walking on the beach Murray said last time he was there it was mostly rock, he had not seen as much sand there before.

Light was dimming so we hoofed it back to the boat.
Hazel navigated the very very shallow waters over to a neighbouring island to see the sea lions.
They were sleeping so were just blobs on the beach amongst the birds.
We did see dolphins and heaps of penguins heading out to fish for the night.

This is how Murray scales his fish!

It was dark by the time we got back to the jetty.
Murray loaded the boat on the trailer and we all headed home.

It was a lot later than he anticipated getting back and we had a lot to do to get ready for tomorrow.
First thing though was to prepare the fish and cook it.
Murray makes a delicious Whiting omelette which we enjoyed with salads left from the previous night.
As it was our last night with Murray & Hazel we talked till quite late.
Tim & I were nodding off so called it a night around 11pm.

Thursday 26th April – Morning with Jamin

Murray went off to work early as usual.
Hazel was stung on the foot the night before and her foot was very swollen and sore so she took the day off work.
She loaned us her wee car so we left around 10am and drove into Rockingham
I had discovered that a friend from the USA was on the ‘USS Michigan’ which was docked at the Stirling naval base for a few days so we arranged to meet up for coffee.
Jamin was at Dome having a breakfast coffee with 3 of his shipmates so we joined him and sat and talked for the next 3 hours.


It was so good to finally meet in the flesh.
We have known his wife’s family for many years and I had stayed with them when in Montana 6 years ago.
In fact it was his wife Havilah who introduced me to xanga and blogging!!

Finally we had to say goodbye as we had things to do and he and his mates had the very important job of shopping for their families.

I took Tim to see the memorial area.
It was quite different to see it in the daylight.

Tim was finding it a bit too hot in the car so he left all the doors open & reclined in the shade while I explored the fountain.

Then we went off to find the shopping centre and get my glasses fixed.
It took a while to figure out where to go as it was a bit sprawly.
Finally found it and left my glasses to be fixed while we found food.
Tim is really on a busman’s holiday!
He wanders along at the pace of a snail and makes decisions even slower.
Finally he ordered a falafel wrap and sat to eat while I zipped back for my glasses.
Then I got one too and managed to do a little interneting at the Food Court.
But it was limited to emails and facebook which was not actually what I wanted to do.
Then we realised Murray was at home waiting for us so we headed back to the house.

He had gone to launch the boat while he waited.
We quickly changed clothes and Hazel drove us over to the launching ramp.