Friday 7th May we caught up with Lloyd & Heather at their home in Streaky Bay, they are Bushtracker owners as well as owing a nicely set up new V8 Toyota ute, we have met them previously and we looked forward to catching up again and comparing news on the towing ability of the ute's. Lloyd & Heather were leaving for WA to visit one of their daughters and that evening had planned on visiting long time friends Glen & Libby who have a 4000 acre farm out at Wirrulla, we were invited to come along and it was suggested we all leave the next day and travel together to WA. That was fine by us as i was keen to see how their new ute travelled towing their Bushtracker.
Dog Fence Road
It was a 40klm drive along a corrugated dirt road before we arrived at the farm, we met Glen & Libby and their son Jack and settled down and had a few drinks before Lloyd & Glen got into shucking dozens of big juicy Streaky Bay Oysters. We must admit we were not fans of Oysters, I thought when in Rome do what the Romans do and give it a go, i had previously tried Au-Natural and Kilpatrick and i certainly wasn't a fan of them straight out of the shell, BUT i did give it a go and Eeeeww yuk! It was everything i remembered but i did swallow it followed by a big drink to wash away the flavour. Vickie wasn't game to give it a go but said she would try some cooked, Heather & Libby got a few dozen and did 1/2 as kilpatrick with cheese & bacon and the others they did as sweet chilli flavour, cooked in a home built professional looking stainless steel BBQ that Glen had 'knocked' up the smell was very tantalising. We both tried a few and must admit we quite liked the chilli flavoured oysters, enough so that Lloyd & Heather made up another batch for us when we were camped along the Great Australian Bight, but that is getting ahead of myself.
Libby, Lloyd, Heather & Glen and young Jack
We had a lovely night and the biggest surprise was a cake that came out with some birthday candles ..... Yes it was my Birthday and Vickie had got sneaky with Heather and bought a cake when they went to the shops at Streaky Bay, it was a lovely surprise, thanks Babe. Dinner was lovely with huge steaks & snaggers and a few more drinks before Vickie & i hit the sack. The next morning we had a look around the machinery sheds where they have a huge John Deere Tractor / Harvester, big machinery for big properties! They are also going through a mouse plague and there was evidence of thousands of mice, Glen kicked a compressor that was covered in a hessian sack and dozens of mice scattered everywhere, the sand was littered with millions of tiny foot marks, i'd hate to fall asleep drunk as i think you would literally be carried away and eaten ...
A quick look at Harris Scarfe ....... the dump where all old machinery and plant go to die revealed some old treasures, and it was interesting looking around at the history of the place.
Old Relics of the past
It was time to head off, so we said our goodbye's and hit the track, we passed though an old siding at Nunjikompita and had a look around and continued on to meet up with the Eyre Highway and head West. The trip was very relaxed with Vickie generally out in front driving our 'new' Toyota Ute, me behind towing our van with the F250 and tail end charlie was Lloyd & Heather, with the three of us doing different speeds it was interesting to see that when we stopped their wasn't much of a time difference in everyone's travel.
Silo's at Nunjikompita
Our 1st day we drove through to the Great Australian Bight and a scenic lookout at the 133klm Peg, [CAW5 #669] We stopped in the parking area along with a few other caravaners and i quickly got the 'Kimble' pot out and got it fired up whilst Lloyd & Heather got a few more Oysters cooking in their Weber Baby Q. A few drinks and chat with some other campers and we hit the sack after a long day. Up early the next morning to greet the sunrise and get some photo's, it was freezing cold but a lovely view looking over a relatively calm sea.
Camped along the Bight
Pulling into the Eucla Quarantine check point i was annoyed that we got the treatment with just about every cupboard being checked whereas Lloyd & Heather were waved through without so much as a glance. Vickie and i have been through the check points dozens of times and knew what we could and could not take through and already had a small bag with some honey and a banana to hand over, I had already eaten two other banana's and an apple and wasn't worried about eating a 3rd. We just got out of the check point and next we were pulled over for a licence & breathalyser check, all ok there so we finally got away and headed further West, stopping along the way for coffee breaks we spent that night at Domblegabby Rest area [CAW5 #16] where we had another nice camp fire and lovely sunset & sunrise the next morning.
Domblegabby Rest Area, & Evening Sky
Our 3rd night out we stayed at the Gorge just out from Coolgardie, it is a lovely spot far enough off the road to be quiet and a large lake with plenty of Bird life, Heather was in her element as she is a keen Orthamologist and her bird book is well covered in notes of where she has spotted different species of birds throughout Australia. Another camp fire and Heather treated us with a beautiful Lemon Merangue Pie for desert, Yum these people can travel with us anytime!
Nature's Artist, another stunning Sunset
We stopped at Merriden for lunch at the Bakery and our last coffee stop was at Meckering where we said our goodbyes as they were soon heading to the North of Perth and we were going South. With Vickie in front i just cruised along behind but we soon got seperated with Vickie scooting up the hills and around trucks all i could do was watch and hear her dissapear into the distance, gosh that Ute sounds lovely with it's 3" exhaust! Everything went well as i listened to my Ipod untill i got onto the Roe Highway it was starting to get busy and by the time i was near the Kwinana Freeway turnoff i was down to a bare crawl. There had been a traffic accident along the freeway and it was a frustrating snails pace as i stop started inching along. After 45 mins or so i got passed the accident and speed back up the freeway limit. Soon i was back at Safety Bay and greeted by our Daughter and Granddaughters, It's lovely seeing them again.
Now i have to get the F250 cleaned up and get it advertised for sale, hopefully it sells quickly so we can then depart and head to one of our favourite places in Australia, along the coast at Ningaloo Homestead, between Coral Bay & Exmouth.