This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2004 Travels August 28


We were driving out of town about 8.30am.

There had been some short but heavy showers as we finalized the pack up – a personalized farewell from Carnarvon!

Today’s was a fair old drive, in terms of distance, but routine. All done before.

There was a head wind, all day, which was a bit tedious, and chewed up the fuel.

There were wonderful wildflower displays all the way, which made the drive more interesting.

There was quite a lot of surface water still lying about.

The Galena free camp area, by the Murchison River, looked pleasant for an overnight stop. It was very large.

We passed a stone wall/”gateway” at the turn off to Shark Bay and Denham. Was that there before? I could not remember.

In view of the head wind, thought we should top up the fuel at the Billabong Roadhouse – $1.20cpl. Not too bad.

At Geraldton, went into Sunset Beach Caravan Park, for the night. It was a Big 4 and after discount cost $17.65. It was really nothing special. I thought Drummond Cove might have been a better place to stay.

The mandarins we bought from Morels a couple of days ago were all going bad. It looked like we got a dud lot. They were probably windfalls. I was very annoyed about that – hate feeling that I’d been conned!

Refuelled and also filled the jerry can – $1.12cpl.

Bought fish and chips for tea. We’d had to unhitch anyway – no drive through sites – so going out to buy these was not an issue.

It was a really cold night – down to about 4 degrees! We were not used to this.

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2004 Travels June 10


After breakfast, it was back into Geraldton again, so John could do a tour of the cray fishing factory that he’d found out about yesterday. I did not want to do it – would feel too sorry for the crayfish!

John said the tour was great and he learned a lot about the Geraldton based industry. He also bought two crays – cooked! They would be for tea tomorrow, as I had prawns for tonight.

Whilst in a “tourist” frame of mind, drove across town to view the memorial to the “Sydney”. This was an Australian battleship that was sunk in late 1941, by the German vessel “Kormoran”, off the coast of this part of WA. Geraldton was the last Australian port the “Sydney” visited, before being lost at sea. Plans for this memorial took shape in the 1990’s, and it was dedicated in 2001 – on the 60th anniversary of the Sydney’s loss.

The memorial was most impressive. To begin with, it was high on a hill – Mt Scott – overlooking the town and the sea. Its central feature was a dome shape, made up of an open weave pattern of silver seagulls – 645 of them, to represent the 645 men lost on the Sydney. In older times, it was believed that the souls of drowned sailors lived on in seagulls, hence the symbolism.

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Apart from the dome, there was a very evocative sculpture of a woman waiting, looking out to sea. The intent of this was obvious.

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Watching….. waiting……

I was very glad that we had made the effort to at least see this place, even if we hadn’t done much else around here.

After lunch back at the van, drove to the Greenough Woodworks Gallery. We were not particularly impressed with what was on show there. I thought John’s work was as good as what we saw there – whereas in the galleries we visited down in the south-west, there was much that was clearly better than he could do.

I made honey prawns for tea – excellent.

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2004 Travels June 9


We drove back into Geraldton again. Fortunately, it was only about 20kms away.

Walked around looking at the fishing harbour area. It was much bigger than we’d expected – most impressive. Hadn’t known that Geraldton was base for a fishing industry, but discovered that the crayfish season was really significant here.

We bought some fresh fish and prawns at the fish co-op.

Back at camp, I texted daughter, offering her the back part of our house to live in. I was trying to head off a Bendigo move!

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2004 Travels June 7


John’s face was no better this morning. We decided to drive into Geraldton so he could go to Casualty and have the face checked out.

It was a long weekend, with less traffic in town, so finding the hospital was easier than it would have been on a normal day.

I am not a fan of emergency rooms, especially on a public holiday, so sent John off to wait and take his turn with the medico on duty, whilst I waited in the healthier environment of truck. No point in two of us being exposed to assorted, possibly contagious, ailments!

The diagnosis this time was an infected parotid gland. The remedy – a stronger anti-biotic.

We refuelled Truck – $1.04cpl.

Whilst in the town, we took the opportunity to check out a couple of the caravan parks there. John was looking ahead to when the Olympic Games would be on. He was determined that we should be somewhere, then, that had good TV reception. Whilst our park at Greenough was pleasant enough, the TV was pretty marginal, so it wouldn’t meet John’s expectations. This was a repeat of what happened in 2000, that saw us end up in hot, dusty, boring Karratha, for the Olympics then.

Either of the parks we checked out – one near the port area and one on the coast on the north side of town – would be alright to stay at, in terms of their apparent quality and surrounds, if their TV situation checked out.

In checking these out, we drove along the foreshore roads, just looking at the town in that area. Geraldton is a small city of some 30,000 people, so there was variety in both land uses and ages of the sections we passed through.

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Geraldton – and rain

Neither of us was particularly cheerful today – John affected by his health, I was depressed about my daughter.

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2004 Travels June 5


After rather a late start, and breakfast, we drove into Geraldton. This was a place that had really grown, and was quite hard to navigate around.

A trip to the Information Centre was necessary – if only so I could get a detailed map to help get around the place!

Then it was to the Library, where John tried to access the Internet, but afte much fiddling around, couldn’t. He actually said I could try to borrow some books while waiting for him! The Library staff were very nice, and helpful, so I was able to borrow some novels. As I’d also been able to buy a Weekend Australian, would now have a lovely lot of reading matter.

We bought rolls to fill for lunch, then headed back to the van.

At the caravan park, the lovely, helpful, boss lady let John plug into her phone and access the Internet that way. He transferred the loan money to daughter.

After a late lunch, we walked down to the bar across the river mouth. It was pleasant walking along the road that runs beside the inlet – cottages on one side and the river on the other, and no traffic to speak of.

The sand barrier was a substantial one. We could walk right across it, so the river was fully blocked off.

John’s face seemed to be swelling up on the left side, in front of his ear and down the jaw line!