FRIDAY 21 MAY WALPOLE
On our only other visit to these parts, in 1993, we gave up on the wet and stormy south west, and hightailed it from Albany direct to Perth. On our long trip, we had intended to spend the summer and early autumn of 2001 exploring the area south and east of Perth. That was before we had to, unexpectedly, go home.
This time, we were determined to see more of this area. However, the elements were definitely not on our side, yet again. We were just too late for these parts – again.
Steady rain had set in overnight and this continued into the afternoon, when it cleared, a little.
Daughter texted in the morning, asking to borrow more money. We were not really happy about it, but found it impossible to refuse, under the circumstances.
We drove into the town, arranged the money transfer. At the tyre place, had a new tube fitted in the latest flat tyre.
Then we walked around the town, seeing what it had to offer. As it was a small township, this did not take long. The town is situated on Walpole Inlet, but our caravan park, just out of town, faces onto Nornalup Inlet. The two are joined by a narrow stretch of water. In turn, Nornalup Inlet empties via a narrow opening, into Grace Darling Bay, with its attractive sweep of sandy beach.
It was an attractive little town, with its watery setting. In better weather, we would have been wishing for a boat or a canoe, to explore the inlets. This would be a great place to stay, with a canoe.
Back to the van, and lunch. After that, we ventured out for a walk on the Bibbulmun Track. This long distance walking track extends from Perth to Albany, some 1000 kms, sometimes through the great forests of the south west, sometimes along the coast. Here, the track followed the coast and went between the caravan park and the sea. We were able to walk out of the park and onto the Track, which we followed for some way to the east. However, we got rained on, and retraced our route. It was a very pleasant segment of exercise, despite the damp.
In the caravan park were two ladies, widowed sisters in law, travelling with a Phoenix van. We had seen them in the caravan park in Esperance too. Both had lived on Queensland pastoral properties, one in the Lakefield area, years ago. We’d talked with them at the fish BBQ last night. Tonight, they had power problems in their van, and came across to ask if John might be able to help – in the dark and the rain! They fiddled about for quite some time, trying to find the source of the problem, until eventually realizing that it was a faulty electric jug that was shorting out their power. Sir John to the rescue!