What better a night to have a baked dinner so I cooked a roast chicken dinner in the van for the first time and it turned out really well. The oven works as it should and I even managed to make some gravy just like at home. Having the oven on kept the van nice and warm too! Its not a very big space to heat.
We left Geraldton at about 10am after going into town to buy a doona as it had been so cold the night before. Thankfully the wind had died down quite a bit and it was another lovely sunny day. We stopped at the small towns of Dongara and Leeman and had lunch at Jurien Bay. The sea was very calm here, very different from the day before.
Soon after leaving Jurien Bay a strong headwind took hold. Mike was unimpressed as it makes towing the van much more difficult and impacts on your fuel economy quite significantly.
We saw some amazing sand dunes which were huge.
The Swan Valley is famous for its vineyards and we were right amongst it!! Excellent. Its a very pretty area.
The caravan park was quite nice but a bit too close to the airport. I dont think they have a curfew in Perth because there seemed to be planes coming and going all through the night. Once again it was really windy the first night we were there and again on the the last night. Not very conducive to a good night's sleep.
There were lots of permanent residents in the park and many of them had lovely little gardens. The one that caught my eye was this one. Not really a garden as such but a collection of pots.
We started the first morning in Perth with a visit to Carols of Midland. Midland is a really big centre and not far away from where we were staying. There are an enormous number of businesses here and a big shopping centre. This is the first patchwork shop I have found on the whole trip and boy was it a good one. Its a huge shop and has a fantastic range of fabrics and lots of other sewing notions and supplies. I could hear lots of chatter and laughing from the back of the shop where the classroom was. I could have stayed in there for hours. I picked up some lovely fat quarters and after drooling over all the beautiful quilts on display and all the kits that went with them I extricated myself reluctantly from the shop. It was so nice........
We then drove to Fremantle and had a look around this historic area. We went to the dock area and there were these poles with all sorts of lovely sculptures on top. This was my favourite.
The port area is huge and there were these enormous cranes there which are used to unload all the containers from the ships.
We also visited the historic area of the port called Arthurs Head which includes the Roundhouse. It was opened in January 1831, just 18 months after settlement, and was built to hold anyone convicted of a crime in the settlement. It was used as a gaol until 1886.
|View of the roundhouse from the city side.|
|View of Arthurs Head from the beach.|
As we were leaving Fremantle we passed the docks again and saw a huge ship which had been unloading cars.
Anyway we had a nice time wandering around in Perth and did some people watching over coffee and waffles in the mall in the centre of town. The we caught the train back to Fremantle again then drove back to the van. It was a lovely day.
The next day we set off to explore the local area and visited Jane Brook Winery. It was nearly midday so we decided to stay for lunch which was a fantastic platter of cheese, pate, cold meat and olives. Of course we bought a bottle of nice wine from the cellar door so it made for a very pleasant lunch. The restaurant overlooked a brook (as they call creeks over here) and some grape vines.
After lunch we went exploring again. We drove up hill and down dale and then unexpectedly came upon a level crossing which had the boom gates down and bells ringing. A very long train carrying some sort of mineral crossed in front of us. It was a bit like the trains we saw in Port Hedland. It was really really long....
Anyway we ended up at a place called Bells Rapids and while we were there a rescue helicopter arrived, circled overhead, dropped a paramedic (or some such person) down into the gully nearby and then came back again to pick up the person in need of rescue. It was all happening!!
After all that excitement we headed back to the van. We stopped at a place called Lilac Hill which had a lovely park next to the Swan River. It was very pretty.
|One of the original lilac trees after which the area is named.|
|The bridge over the Swan River|
|The flowers on the lilac tree had a beautiful perfume.|
|The Rose and Crown|