Monday, 30 May 2011


Well we arrived in Perth during the biggest down pour that they have had in months, so much for arriving in Perth for some beautiful weather! We have had a great time in Perth, enjoying all that this beautiful city has to offer. The first week was spent relaxing with Dave and Sue, we shopped, finally got an eyebrow wax and purchased some presents for my little man’s 7th birthday. The kids also enjoyed spending some time playing with sue’s grandkids, Maddy and Mitch. For Oscar’s birthday on the Sunday we went to Whiteman’s park for a bbq, kick of the footy and off course a play at the playground! I am sure that we are discovering every playground there is in each town! As we drive along as soon as the kids spot a swing in the distance, the cry from the back of the car is deafening “PLAYGROUND”, Mike and I have tried distracting them as soon as we spot one in the distance, but it appears the kids ‘playground radar’ wins out every time! Lola is even getting in on the action, calling out and laughing with the kids everytime they do it! To match their playground cries, Mike calls out ‘BUNNINGS WAREHOUSE” everytime we approach one, and my cry is ‘COFFEE SHOP” 

So after visiting every playground we saw we also enjoyed a beautiful day at King’s Park, we loved rottnest island, (well I loved it, mike was upset about paying 8.50 for a stubby and the kids cracked em over riding bike’s all day) I loved cruising around on the bikes, I just wish it could have been the old red Gove!!!
We had a great day at Fremantle, wandering through the market, munching on beautiful food and enjoying the atmosphere of this gorgeous area.

We have enjoyed relaxing at Dave and Sue’s having a few drinks and eating some awesome dinners that Sue prepared. I think Oscar is going to miss Sue’s cooking, as many nights he has ended  tea with a ‘That was delicious!!!’ Sue was also wonderful and babysat the kids so Mike and I could go out alone, we had a great dinner and then went to the movies, it was nice to get out without the kids and watch a very funny film.
We were lining up to purchase the tickets and because we were unorganised we didn't know what we were going to see, well I said lets just wing it and go to Insidious. Luckily I googled it whilst we were waiting because OMG it was a horror, imagine me, the romcom queen even attempting to watch a horror! I would have been out the door as soon as the first scene opened!!! Mikie was pissing himself just thinking of my reaction!!!! Instead we saw the hangover part 2 and considering we haven't seen the first one, we though it was hilarious!

So after a great two weeks we are ready to get on the road again. We have stocked up on supplies, finally had the very minor problem with our car fixed again (only took them two weeks to fix it!), the weather has turned again to rain, rain and more rain, so I think this is our cue to head further up north to the warmer weather! Coral Bay here we come!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pemberton and Margaret River

So on Tuesday we packed up again, something we are getting vvery efficient at and headed off. We had an amazing day driving through some beautiful national parks. We stopped at the Valley of the Giants and I overcome my fear of heights (just very briefly)  to walk the treetop walk. At the highest point I was 40metres high OMG I was shitting myself. I think I held on for dear life, it was the sway of the structure that was scarier than anything else. I loved the views. This was an amazing thing to view, the tindle trees were huge! And so interesting. We are finding out so many amazing things about Australia as we venture forward. It is reigniting my passion for Australian history and every night I am regailing some strange fact about Aus to Mikie (he is so greatly appreciative too!!!)

It is amazing to think that the 6th largest continent in the world is so densely populated in such a small amount of land. We truly are a harsh, but amazing country. The wildlife is amazing and to think that in this harsh land we have such an amazing and unique array of wildlife and plant species…..Ii am loving what I am learning!

We have pulled up tonight in Pemberton, after meandering our way through such a beautiful country side (definitely a favourite of mine) we are staying in the gorgeous Caravan Park that is set right into the national forest. I can hear the singing of the froggies and lots of different creatures. The parrots and bird life is amazing tomorrow we are going to feed them, apparently they will land on your head and feed from your hands….so cool.

Tonight we also had the pleasure of meeting up with the grey nomads from Ceduna, again they settled into the camp kitchen, bottles of wine and nibblies in hand, it was great to hear their journey again and to have a laugh at the ladies having a bitch whilst cooking tea, apparently travelling together for 3 months in a big group can cause some issues. It’s funny to watch the same ‘issues’ do not dissipate over time, they still annoy you as you get older!

Wednesday 11th May
In the morning, the kids got to feed the parrots, they went beserk and flew in from everywhere, Oscar was loving it, and after her initial fright so did Scarlett, Lola liked to try and catch them, it was so funny watching her chase the ducks  as if to say ‘I’m gonna get you!!!!’

Today we went to the big trees in Pemberton. It would be safe to say that this was the highlight of  Oscar’s trip so far. It was here that a foolish mother allowed him to climb the 61metre Gloucester Tree. He was so excited, his eyes were shining with adrenalin and he was off, I have never seen him scale the pegs so fast, he was going full ball and Mike was yelling at him to slow down! I watched for a while and then my heart palpitations became too great and I took the girls for a little wander around, whilst they reached the very top of the tree. There was another older couple watching Oscar and they were amazed that he was not scared at all, they were also scared for him. It was funny watching people start the climb get about 10 pegs, then come straight back down (ok so not other people but me!!!!)
By the time Mike and Oscar got down Mike said his legs were burning, just trying to keep up with Oscar and for the next few days every time Mike tried to bend he was feeling the pain!!!!

Then after lunch we went to the ‘other’ big tree (I can’t remember what that one was called), that was a 78metre climb with no branches to assist. Oscar was bitterly disappointed when I firmly put my foot down and said that this one was a definite nono. He was so cut and tried to climb it before I pulled out my sternest mum voice and made him stop. (Oh and I felt so old actually realizing that I have this stern ‘mum voice’

That night we had a fire back at camp and kicked backed relaxing around the fire (eg constantly getting up and stopping Lola from getting too close!) As much as we are relaxing and having fun, we are constantly on the go, chasing Lola as she runs down the roads in the caravan parks, stopping her from falling into rivers, oceans, etc etc. One of us is always on  ‘patrol’. The kids loved having marshmallows in the fire and Oscar and Mikie had a little dad and son time just chewing the fat in front of the fire! It was great to finally be sitting outside at night as we haven’t done a lot of that yet. Mostly because it’s been a little too cold but also coz Mike and I have been going to bed at 8.30!!!!)

Thursday 12th May to Monday 16th May
Today we headed to Margaret River and Mike started his official designated driving stint. It is very beautiful here, the river is gorgeous, the shops are gorgeous, the wineries are gorgeous!. We picked a few wineries that have playgrounds attached to them so that we could all enjoy the experience, unfortunately for me my lack of taste has not returned so I am tasting all these wines, without any idea if I actually am enjoying them or not!!!! Very disappointing! We are having a great time though, the kids loved the chocolate factory and especially loved the fact that they could keep going to the free bowls of chocolate and help themselves!!! I particularly liked the fudge factory, mmmm choc orange yummy!!!! We have visited more foody  places, providores, choc factories, icecreameries in  the last 3 days then in the last 5 weeks, YUMMO!!!


Our next stop was Albany. We stayed there for 4 nights and again had an awesome time.
We stayed right on the beach and met another family travelling around. It was great chatting to Kate and the kids and hearing where they have been and what they are doing.. In Albany the days were a little cooler, so we did a lot of touristy things. We explored the Brig Amity and learnt all about the settling of Albany.  We wandered around the town, went to the farmer’s market and got some fresh veggies and strawberries, I think Scarlett ate nearly the whole punnet in one sitting. The kids founds some great old trees to climb and had a ball seeing how far they could get.

For mothers day the kids woke me up to fruit loops and lots of kisses, Mike had again outdone himself in finding truly amazing mother’s day gifts and I loved loved loved Oscar’s card that said ‘ You look like love’ I think that was my favourite favourite thing! We then took the kids to the playground nearby that was huge, they loved it!  For lunch we went to this old pub that had a beautiful beer garden and we kicked back having a yummy meal and a few drinks. What a great day!

That night we were visited by the bandicoots, who came right up to our camper door. Osc and Scarli were delighted to feed them some bread, they even took it right from Sscar’s hand!

On the Monday we went to whale world. I found this so gruesome yet so fascinating. What we used to do to those majestic creatures is truly disgusting and the jobs that some of the men had were just horrible to think off. The history of whaling in WA is such a big part of it’s history and I found it so fascinating, but feel much happier to know that we no longer take part in this savage hunt.


Well today is another beautiful day, even though it has been raining a little, it is still lovely to just sit there and watch the comings and goings of the park, I already feel like the nosy parker checking out the coimings and goings off the park. My favourite thing is NO MOZZIES can  this be my camping dream! I can put up with the flies if there are no mozzies!!!! Oscar is happy playing with his friends, scarli is consoling herself with oscar’s ds as her friends had to go this morning, we are off to explore today and check out the playgrounds in Esperance.

Well not long after we  arrived in Esperance poor little Lola got a perforated ear drum and was a miserable little camper for a few days, then to top it off I got the flu and ended up having to go to hospital. There is usually no doctor on call at the hospital, but fortunately for me (and unfortunately for the poor bugger) the ambulance was on it’s way with a man who had an incident with an anchor, so the doctor had been called in. he said to me, if this guy wasn’t coming in with serious injuries, you could have had his bed, but sorry just go home and see how you go! I guess an altercation with an anchor beats crazy man flu with ridiculously high temperatures!

So this has been a very testing week for all involved, I have been so sick all I could do was sleep and try and help Mikie as much as possible! Mikie had the joys of entertaining the kids which was certainly hindered by the rain everyday…….so instead of moving on to Albany on Tuesday we are going to have a few days more in Esperance and try and see some of the sights that we missed out on last week.

Tuesday 3rd May
So after a week of going stir crazy in the camper, today we went for a drive around the beautiful coastline, it was still raining so we didn’t stop but it was still an amazing view. We then wandered around the town did a little shopping, had lunch and checked out the museum (better known as the cemetery for all old shit in Esperance!). the kids are having a great time making friends, we are very lucky to be staying at the same park as our new friends the Heath’s, so Oscar is happy playing with Dylan and Josh again (and Scarli is too!) Scarlett has made a new friend, Bonnie, and is having such a good time playing at her ‘house’. Bonnie’s family are staying at the park in a unit whilst their new bus gets built, they too are travelling around Aus. It is so lovely to meet all these families and hear what they are doing, how they are doing it and why they are doing it. We are having the greatest adventure! Even when we are sick of each other and full up with the flu!

TOMORROW we plan a big boat trip – can not wait ………

The last two days in Esperance were my absolute favourite. On the Wednesday we went on a boat trip out  to Woody Island, the trip out was amazing we got to see so much more coastline and sea lions, seals and although we searched no dolphins! We then spent a few hours on Woody Island playing in rock pools, going for walks and generally enjoying the spectacular view!! This was a really special time for me as I was feeling better and again could really appreciate the time we are spending with the kids. I am enjoying their company (and Mike’s) so much. We are having so much fun, just hanging out, stopping at any playground Scarli can find and generally not caring where we are and where we have to go. I love going for walks with Oscar and hearing about his big plans for the world. I love listening to Scarlett make up songs about anything…her latest is about eating poo! (disgusting, but so very very funny! And I just love watching Lola’s delight in just being outside and sitting in the dirt, she is truly at peace. That expression of pure joy, will always be etched in my memory. Lola is changing daily, her expressions are priceless, and the look of sheer bliss on her face is glorious . This is the most important thing that Mike and I could be doing right now, just being with the kids and sharing this with them!
Now you may be a little surprised to hear that I am enjoying my time with Mikie as well. This time has been awesome for us, away from the usual stresses of everyday life, the little annoyances have dissipated and we are again enjoying each other’s company so much more. I love to watch Mike interact with the other camp dwellers he has such a knack of finding the weird and wonderful characters in this world. At the latest caravan park mike has a new friend, he affectionately calls the blue raven….the blue raven I hear you ask….well this is Mikie’s story,

This lovely old dot was very taken with our little Lola and would often wander over for a chat when we were outside with the kids. She was missing her grandies and we encouraged her to have a fill of our kiddies….(anything for a moment’s peace). Well the blue raven then took a little shine to my Mikie, and would bail him up whenever she could. She gave Mikie her life story and told him that as a surprise when they purchased their new caravan, her dear husband had a ‘blue raven’ painted on her caravan as she likes them so much…..(well mikie can’t actually remember if it was a blue raven, but because she ‘raved on’ so  much, mike decided that was what is would be!) so the blue raven waschristened!, every day she would tell mike a new place we should visit on our travels and each day she would describe this new place as ‘ooohh just lovely, what a great little spot that is!’
It’s even funnier that her friends that they travel with, also got a blue raven painted on their van….so they could be part of it!!!!! So look out if Mikie pulls up to a car detailing shop with the camper than I think we might be joining their gang!

The last day in Esperance we went to Lucky bay. This was an absolutely magical spot, I think one of my favourite spots so far. We drove through a beautiful national park to get to this idyllic location. When we arrived the water was crystal clear, I couldn’t  keep the kids out of the water no matter that it was not a very warm day. But the water was beautiful, as we played in this beautiful bay we watched fish leap out of the water and so very close to us! Oscar was so excited to see it. We then went for a big walk up the beautiful white beaches exploring the bay, we were so lucky to see a big pod of dolphins just swimming out in the deeper water, they were awesome. Just being there restored my soul and I felt so very peaceful and relaxed. It was gorgeous taking Lola to see the kangaroos that were sleeping on the beach and then later that afternoon, we got so close to them whilst they were eating at a camp site, Lola was so excited watching them only half a metre away eating some bread that someone had given them.  Mikie then whipped up a big feast on the bbq and we sat and ate half a cow watching the world go by. We couldn’t help but laugh at some tourists in a very very over packed mitsibishi bus who ignored the sign that said “no 4 wheel drive access’ and immediately got stuck in the  sand, the more they tried to get out the deeper the wheels went. I couldn’t help but think that some expressions are cross cultural, the lady with them had obviously said it was not a  good idea, and the man had obviously ignored her, so when they got stuck her expression said it all, and he sheepishly had the look ‘you were right, I was wrong’ aahh the international look of a man!. Luckily someone was able to pull them out with a big 4 wheel drive, but it was very amusing to watch. We then went for a big walk  around the bay, through the bush to the look out. It was gorgeous to see many of the native wild flowers around even though it isn’t really the season for them. We were well and truly zonked by the time we got back to the camper for our last night in Esperance.
It was a sad farewell in Esperance to the Heath’s who we had enjoyed spending time with, it was a shame that I was so sick for most of Esperance as we would have enjoyed a few more evenings together. Scarli was also devastated to say good bye to Bonnie, however we all have email addresses so hopefully we can catch up  as we continue our travels.

Our next stop is Albany!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Across the Nullabor!

20th April
So today we made our way to Port Augusta, we arrived at about 4 and  didn’t leave the camp site, after a quick spag bog for tea we tucked the kids in bed nice and early and got organized for the next day. We aim to get to ceduna tomorrow which is 500 km away so  a long day of driving for the kids. We have learnt to ensure that there is always snacks in the car as we headed off this morning and had left the picnic bag in the camper …. unhappy kids for the next few hours. I must admit that the thought of staying here tonight is not too appealing, we are locked into the caravan park after 9.30pm and it feels a little strange to have 10ft fences around the parameter. The caravan park is basic, lots of dirt and concrete……I ma just waiting for the resort style caravan parks in queensland with beautiful pools and pool boys bringing you drinks, servicing your every need….oops sorry was off in a little dream world…..

Oh the other thing I am impressed by is that so far there has not been one mozzie bite I am sooo happy, I am just waiting for the blood sucking varmins to find the Watson girls whose blood seems so inviting for them.

21st  April
Port Augusta to Ceduna was a great drive. We stopped mid morning at Kimba to see the big galah, mikie most certainly enjoyed ‘frockin’ up for the event. A special mention to Prue for the ‘loan’ of the dress, I thought she would enjoy knowing it was sharing this special journey with us…and who knows what mischief the dress will get up too….or should I say the people in the dress!!!!! We then drove on to Poochera where Mikie decided we didn’t need to stop for petrol and we had the feeling of dread that there was no petrol station at Poochera, luckily the old duck out the front of the pub sent us in the right direction and we didn’t have to look like fools who run of out fuel across the Nullabor!!!!

Ceduna was a nice little town, very pretty. That evening I thought I would get organized and cook up some tea for the next night as we would be having some longer days in the car again. I took the kids over to the camp kitchen so they could run free a little whilst I prepared some meals, The kids were a little ratty, Mikie was off getting the very important beer for the nullabor trip, so I was trying to keep them amused and get tea ready when at the stroke of 5 this amazing thing happened. I was sitting in the camp kitchen and they appeared out of no where THE GREY NOMADS… I had obviously heard of these people, the grey haired oldies who travel the land in search of empty bowls to throw their keys into! Well a swarm of the Grey Nomads in their matching outfits (white or beige ¾ pants and a crisp pressed tshirt for the ladies, and for the gents beige shorts with polo shirt) they all came carrying nibbles, dips, cheeses, crackers, and beer and wine….their nattering soon became a roar of laughter as they descended for happy hour….I am sure that Lola was looking around trying to recognize if any of these oldies were her Oma, Opa or Nanna…but it didn’t matter…within seconds the kids were the centre of attention, Lola  was scooped up by anyone close enough to catch her, Scarlett was amazing people with her hand tricks…constantly saying “watch this…. I can do this….watch my magic fingers!  was hilarious! Oscar was amazed by their fishing stories and I was just happy to get my cooking done with a little peace!

22nd April
Ceduna to Eucla
Today Mike made a very big decision …he has decided to an author….his book you ask a little skeptically????, 101 different ways to wave whilst travelling the Nullarbor, Very specific indeed, but he has definitely nearly got 101 down pat. He has been amusing himself with the different wave techniques we can come up with and love it when we get an enthusiastic wave back…the truckies how ever are not too receptive to the waving game! We also decided to fill up whenever we could so that we didn’t revisit what was nearly yesterday’s misfortune!

Scarlett also learnt the harsh lesson that if she doesn’t listen to mum and do as told then her milky way gets thrown out the window. (aka eaten by mum). Scarlett told me that she would just jump out of the moving car and go and get it so there mum! Shall I remind you all how much I love that child!

Today we saw the amazing cliff drops, they were breathtaking, the colour of  the ocean was nearly turquoise at  the cliff edges, needless to say we held the kids hands very tighly when we were looking at them! They were certainly a highlight of the day.

I enjoyed watching the changing scenery and amazing colours as we drove the nullabor, the landscape changes to quickly and I loved how it went from spectacular bushland to dense scrub. It was really green too, and so many varying shades. We also had lots of showers as we drove, so one minute the sun was shining then the next it was stormy and cloudy, such a changing view!

Oscar’s favourite thing was the big kangaroo at Bordertown village nd the cliff tops, he really wanted to stick his head over….but with a scaredy cat for a mother that was never going to happen!

We are now set up at the Eucla caravan park for the night, it is certainly very full with lots of people travelling across to wa. We met another couple with three kids who are doing the same thing, I think we may end up spending a few nights at the same spots.

Scarlett’s favourite thing was singing, ‘Major Mitchell for nearly 3 hours straight, and let it be known that my daughter’s singing ability is passed down from her mother, that’s right folks, she is truly amazing, the notes that that girl can reach are mind blowing!!!!!

In the morning we went and visited the old telegraph station which was pretty cool, then were back on the road again!

23rd April
Eucla to Caiguna,
Again another great day of driving, I really dreaded the drive across the nullarbor, I thought I would be bored, irritable and stressed, but I am totally loving it, I am very proud of myself for ‘sucking it up’ when our environment isn’t the best,  Caiguna was definitely not the nicest overnight stop we have had, but  it was were our kids got to have easter! Oscar decided it was the bestest easter ever as they found the eggs left by the bunny throughout the camper. At Caiguna we arrived quite early and tried not to leave the camper for most of the day as the stench from the septic tank was horrid, the toilets were average and I knew we were in a classy place when ‘please keep door closed to keep out the flys’ was written on the door, I couldn’t help myself to change it to flies!!! The other thing I noticed was that they said be careful of snakes, particularly in the toilets, but then the tiles on the floor were a snake skin colour!!!
So after a pretty sad stop at Caiguna, we waited for the bunny to arrive (at a very early 5.30 in the morning) and said a hasty good bye! ( the kids did enjoy going to the older couple we met, Bob and Robyn’s and giving them an easter egg and saying happy easter, and I think Robyn enjoyed it too!)
The best thing about Caiguna  the kids all agree it was the CHOCOLATE  and Mikie and I agree it was the sex….ooops sorry STARS….the worst were the FLIES, OMG they were everywhere!!!

24th April
Caiguna to Fraser Ranges
So with the kids in a chocolate induced coma, Mike drove the 90 mile stretch which was a very very straight drive and I entertained him with my witty repertoire of songs…..(he so enjoyed it!)

Today was a relatively short trip to Fraser Ranges, it was truly beautiful there, very out back bush feely! We met up with our new friend the Heath’s, and set up camp next to them, oscar and scarli had an awesome time playing with the boys, josh and dyllan and mike and I enjoyed the company of Kylie and Neil. Poor Lola once again was on the receiving end of being the littlest, as their gorgeous girl Brianna, towered over her. It very much reminded me of the dynamics of  Tilly and Lola..
We had a relaxing afternoon at the station and headed off again in the morning
Mike had a hit of golf with Neil, until the march flies drove them back to camp. At night the grasshoppers decided to pay a visit and we spent the night squatting them away as they jumped all over us.

a very dirty scarli!

25th April
Fraser Ranges to Kalgoorlie,

We excited finished off the last stretch of the nullarbor plain and made our way to Kalgoorlie, we visited the super pit, which was just amazing the size of the trucks and the immense hugeness of the superpit were so amazing to see, I am really glad we made the journey out this way to see it. We pulled up at a caravan park with a pool that made the kids very happy. It is certainly getting warmer as we move further west. (Mike also enjoyed the hookers LOL),

So after a quick trip through the redlight district of kalgoorlie, we were off, we headed back through Norseman to the sound of the wiggles in the back of the car, even Lola is starting to enjoy them, I have really enjoyed watching the kids play together, the older two really love Lola and take such good care off her (most of the time)

Oscar and Scarli are really forming great relationships which I hope will last a lifetime, they create so many magical worlds with oscar’s gogo’s and my favourite thing is listening to them giggle together.I love watching Lola as she mischiviously steal’s ocar’s gogo’s and hides’ them on him, she just waits for him to notice and then in her glee takes him to were they are hidden.

Lola is being such a great girl, she for the most part is excellent in the car, sleeping lots and usually lasts with the distractions we have for her (eg food). She is loving being outside and if you close her in the camper will yell OUT at the door till someone takes her outside.

Oscar is slowly working on making new friends, his favourite spot is the jumping pillow, as many kids will congregate there.
Scarli is being her usual self, mixing with everyone, tonight in the pitch black she has made friends will some girls across the way, she is busily playing hide and seek and chasey, I love watching her run around so free and happy.

 Mike is so relaxed already, he isn’t as tired, or his tired is happy tired, he is so funny in the car with his constant kilometer counting and is great at keeping the kids entertained. I am really enjoying this time with mike and I think we are both trying really hard to not be snitchy over the small stuff

I am feeling so relaxed too, I think I must be slowly unwinding, my mind is turning off and I have stopped checking work emails and facebook all the time. I am truly happy having a yak to anyone who walks past, the kids are a beacon for old people missing their grand kids and they love to come and see them. It’s lovely to hear all the positive comments from people when we say we are travelling with the kids. Just now a real estate guy from mandra came over for a chat and told us about coral bay and a few other stops that are beautiful, it’s great to hear the good and bad places to stop. 

We have reached Esperance, set up camp and had a huge dose of veggies, after nearly a week of nullaboring I am looking forward to staying here for the week and relaxing, we are going to do lots of day trips, visit the beach and relax, our friends the Heaths are here too, so osc and scarli will be ahppy to have friends around.

The best thing about today”
Scarlie and Oscar – the jumping pillow
Lola – OUT
Mikie – having his crazy  morning tea with both kids crammed next to him so that he can’t even eat in peace! (oh and the fact his pies are so hot he can’t even eat them!)
Theresa – knowing we can relaz for the whole week

Just a quick side note, this photo is for Frank I have found where the dunder heads come from…..