We left Perth on Sunday 1st November and headed to Busselton, some 250km away. The departure time for most caravan parks, like this one, is 10am. And at this park we actually left before 10am! I hope that the site owners were chuffed. It was about 09:59, but hey, we did it.
Below is the site that we'd been at for the past 5 weeks. We arrived at the end of September and now we were leaving on Sunday 1st November. This is the car and caravan and on the right is mum's cabin.
We travelled through Perth and continued South on our way to Busselton and picked a place at random for a short break, down a side street, then another side street, stopped the car and by chance we'd stopped by this (derelict) model village. My mam told us it was a replica of a castle in Germany - Neuschwanstein Castle - which happened to be where she visited a few years ago. But she doesn't remember the graffiti and broken windows...
It was a nice drive there, but we thought "should be fantastic. It's a coastal drive". But for most of the journey we were between 1 and 5 km from the sea and often that 1 and 5km contained a hill. But there was the occasional glimpse of the deep blue sea.
We stopped off at Bunbury, famous for the dolphin centre, where you can get charged a lot of brass for the privilage of something that used to be free. Dolphins in the wild swim (and have for many years) to a particular location in Bunbury. But now rather than wandering down to see them, you can pay to see them. A glance at the visitors book (that's as far as we got), often said "no dolphins today".
In Bunbury though, there was a great (free!) lookout tower. There's the boys up on top waving to us "c'mon, get a move on". Great views.
We arrived at the site in Busselton at about 5pm and within the hour we were all unhitched, awning, annex etc all up and inside the caravan was sorted too. It's probably about the 50th time we've done it though so we've got a good routine. Here's the caravan and annex.
There's Kaya, the black shape in the photo on the right. Just beyond those trees is the sea. There was a park to the left, where the children often played as a break from their school work.
There was an abundance of big lizards around here. This one below was typical - about a foot long.
One day we had a drive around several sights...great (deserted) beaches, with sparkling white sand and the clear blue ocean.
After a day of teaching, Alexander and I had a dip in the sea, right by the caravan park. It was a bit nippy though, so it was great to get back and leap into the hot shower. At least we know there's no crocs right down in this part of Australia. Jellyfish were out of season. Just the sharks to watch out for...
Another day, we travelled around Margaret River, Dunsborough, cow something and various other villages and towns.
It's a very pastoral part of Australia and there were many fields of cows, sheep, vineyards, the odd cereal factory and even chocolate factory. Where they often had free samples.
So the trick was ... to go into the shop, appear genuinely interested in their chocolate, cereals, sweets (lollies to the Australians reading this) etc. surreptitiously fill your mouth with as many as you possibly can (having children here helps - "have you tried this one Rosie?" he says shovelling 4 into his mouth?"...and then the difficult bit...trying to leave with a "I'll be back in a few minutes when I've retrieved my wallet" look on your face. Phew!
And we rounded the day off with a walk and a play on the beach and ...well here are the children going quite mad.
We stayed in Busselton for a week and then headed off to Albany, another 400km further on our round Australia travels.