Monday, September 7, 2015

First Week Completed, September 7th, Denham, Western Australia


It’s been a week today since we picked up the RV and headed north.  And we’ve been without wifi for several days.  We were actually in towns which were out of power (due to improvements being made).  At the most western and northern point of our trip, we have a fairly speedy wifi if we sit in a bench just outside the office before 9pm.  I’m writing this post in the RV, will cull down the photos for today (lots of sights of things that swim), and then try to get it all up to date before it shuts off.

Every day, the flowers along the road are spectacular.  We’ve got four-week passes to the National Parks, and we’ve gotten our cost back in this week.  

I’ve mastered the ability to drive fast enough to cover a reasonable daily distance, and still be slow enough to spot flowers we haven’t cataloged yet.  It easier if they are not green, as the background everywhere is a variety of green hues and textures.  The dirt is usually red, but coastal white to dark grey sand competes well.  The water is turquoise to dark blue, except in the great lagoons, where it can be deep pink to orange.  There are also large circular pans, like we saw in Africa, where everything is red.  The sky is always blue, and the sun has been hot.   We’re thinking of including sunblock in our morning regimen.

We took the advice of a visitor center volunteer in Dondaro, and detoured inland for a few hours to the Irwin River Valley, and the CoalSeam Conservation Park.  All of the literature in the small coastal town emphacized the wonders of the wildflowers there, and the fact that you could view the layers of coal in the riverbed from the fossilbed picnic area.  Geology, botany, and paleontology – all in one place!
No one mentioned the flies.

If you’ve ever had the experience of driving at night on a dark road with few oncoming cars, you may get what I’m talking about.  Driving this wide RV on narrow dirt roads feels very much like using high beams on a dark night drive on remote roads.  If you are like me, you use your high beams until a car approaches, switching them off as he passes, and then back to high beams.  Chances are they are doing the same thing.

These roads can be ragged on the edges, as are the nerves of anyone sitting in the passenger seat.  The trick to driving a wide van on a narrow road is to stay as close to the centerline as possible (maybe even crossing over a couple of inches) until another van approaches. At the very last minute, you each move back into your lane about a foot, hold your breath, and pass each other.  Again, back to the safety, and piece of mind, of the centerline. 

Our RV length is causing some problems finding places to stay.  It’s just a little too long for most RV camps.  We figured out how to describe it (8 meters), and then cringe when we hear that pause as the camp owners try to figure whether they have room for us.  You do not see the huge 40-footers here, which are common throughout the Western U.S.  Most RVs we see are either connected to tents, or are popups.  We see RVs and tour busses our size on the road, just not in the caravan parks.  Not pushing our luck, and realizing that we want to spend a full week below Perth, we’ve decided not to go as far north as we had planned, and have stayed longer at the places we have found. 

In the next three days, we’ll be heading south a bit inland from the road we came up on, aiming at a town a day or two southeast of Perth.  It’s called Hyden, famous for Wave Rock.  Geological formations meeting tourist adventures defines the town.  And it’s on the way to Esperance, which Pat is hoping we can visit.  Whether or not, we’ll swing west somewhere near the southern coast and wind our way through Albany and a myriad of other parks and towns in the region before ending back in Perth on September 20th.  Then, fly to Adelaide, rent a car, and figure out what’s next.

I’ve decided it's futile to try to write posts long after the fact for each of the days in the last week.  And I can hear Steve saying that no one is going to look at 400 photos.  Of well, view as much as you can.  I’ve tried to cut out bad shots without losing the content.  Here’s the link to the past week’s photos (I'm still uploading these, but I'm running out of wifi time on Monday evening, September 7th).  I'll finish them when I get to another caravan site which has wifi)

Friday, September 4th
Murchison River
Jake's Point

There is a video I created for Jake's Point.  Hope you enjoy it.


DustyMac said...

I'm the geek who looks at 400 photos (sorry Steve). Great to see you up & posting again. All is great at the casa. love you

DustyMac said...

I'm the geek who would look at 400 photos (sorry Steve). Glad to see you back up and posting. Everything is lovely at the casa. love