Waroona to Sea Bird Western Australia 25 January 2007
22 Feb 2007
Our journey today would give us a chance to travel the coast road leading to Lancelin which is the town above Sea Bird. This would ensure we were well placed to join the rally tomorrow. We had successfully travelled through Perth on our way to York in early January so there would be no problems traversing the west side of Perth to drive north along the road we needed; would there.
With my intrepid navigator by my side we travelled along the Albany Highway until meeting a sign for Perth which directed us to our left to join an alternative route. From then on the only signs to leave the road directed you street names, or numbered highways. As we did not have a map which informed of the numbered highways, we did not know when to leave the road.
Signs for the town of Midland gave us a clue; we were travelling north east of Perth instead of north west. Onwards and upwards. My navigator guided me around Midland and towards the west, still trying to make sense of the exits which all had either street or road names. Passing by 'The Great North Road', which we will be travelling on in two to three weeks time, we knew we were on the right track.
Just when Sylvia had worked out where we should leave this road, she discovered a map in our book of the major streets and roads of Perth. This confirmed when we would need to turn right. "You need to be in the right hand lane, our turning is half a kilometre away". Using the vans size to muscle into the traffic, with all the abandon of care shown by a tourist, I moved into the second, (outside), lane. This must have been the only right turning in Perth for which you had to leave your road on the left to join a road going right. It was a good job the traffic around us had realised we should be given a wide berth.
The road to Sea Bird continued to be busy for over 40 miles and I was hungry; it was now 2.30pm, so we left the road at what should have been a small town named Quinns Rock. After travelling to the town, and by some new housing estates, we worked a convoluted way to the harbour and enjoyed great scenery whilst eating lunch. There should be an easier way back to the main road. We headed straight up the hill past more housing estates until over the brow we found even more estates. It turned out there was only one road into Quinns Rock. I have never seen building on this scale before. I not only got the chance to visit existing housing estates, I even managed to drive around one where the roads and infrastructure were being prepared.
With her unerring judgement, my navigator guessed correctly and we abandoned plans to stay the night and found our way back to the main road. After visiting other towns on the coast, where house building to a much lesser extent was also taking place, we arrived at Sea Bird. There was only a residential caravan site at Sea Bird and we were advised the site at Lancelin would be full as it was a holiday. Tomorrow is Australia day. Sea Bird is a small town which is also destined to grow. We spoke with the owner of the café and shop which sells everything, (he even does lawn mowing), and learned he is the son of some of our friends from the rally.
"Why don't you camp on the oval, last year the rally was at the north end"; so we camped on the flat ground at the north end. Most towns seem to have an oval which is invariably a cricket ground with pavilion and toilets. First we headed for the local modern pub which had views over the sea and were later joined by Thelma and Ron, two great people who must be nearer 80 than 70. They would be joining in the rally but staying with their son, the shop/café owner.
Just us at the oval tonight. At eight the next morning we were awakened by a heavy shower of rain on the windscreen which soon past by. Four minutes later there was another heavy shower of rain; this did not bode well for the rally. When it occurred for the third time I got out of bed and peered through the front curtains to learn the sprinklers were operating. I had to leave the van by the driver's door and using perfect timing dodge between sprinklers to walk across to the pavilion.
By 9am another van had arrived. By 10am we realised that the site for this years Sea Bird rally would be over by the pavilion, so we left our soggy site and moved to join the friends we made during the New Year rally at Mandurah. Yesterday had been hot; the next three days are forecast to be very hot.