Jeff's account; 2nd to 4th January 2007
We now have a disjointed itinery in order to cover all of the areas we would like to travel in the south of Western Australia and also be in the right places at the right time for the rallies we have been invited to.
Before heading north we visited a 'Camping Gas' specialist. He had a look at the regulator repaired during the rally and pronounced it all right and said, "It is enclosed in a sealed box and if any gas leaks it will go outside and not into the van", so that's all right then. He filled our empty gas bottle and informed he did not have a regulator to sell to me, however he showed me a broken one so I would know what type I needed to buy. I just hope I don't end up buying a broken one
Having taken the tourist route up the coast to Rockingham we found the front to be very touristy and the main view to the right across the bay was of a large industrial area. We moved on, upwards and inland, heading for a favourite 'home' town of mine, York, the former capital of England. With by pass roads of Perth safely negotiated, (what a jammy navigator I've got), we avoided the city centre and drove to York through some very nice country side.
Like its English counterpart, the Australian York is also a Historic town and has many restored heritage buildings adding to its charm and character, including a pub licence which is believed to be the oldest surviving in Western Australia. The river Avon passes through the town centre and there is a lot of play and picnic areas along the river banks.
We booked our site for two nights. The weather was wet and windy. In the north of Western Australia they have a cyclone. Our weather was much better than the weather news from the North or the South who had their own storm; we counted ourselves lucky. The morning was spent catching up with some of our writings and after lunch we walked round the centre of York, dodged a few showers and took lots of pictures of the historic buildings.
Australia is proud of its historic buildings and there are many information tablets to make you aware of the history. On a main street near the cross roads was one wall plaque which I just had to photograph and reproduce for the blog site. A York 'hair dresser' now qualifies for a plaque on her wall as I had my hair cut for the first time since leaving Scotland. I thought I was looking distinguished but Sylvia thought I was looking scruffy, and she has more voting rights.
After a restful stay we left York and drove up stream to Northam, the largest inland town, where I counted over 100 moorhens floating past the Tourist Information Office window. We placed more accounts on the blog site, had a walk across the longest single span pedestrian suspension bridge and travelled on towards Kellerberrin.
On our way we came to Meckering which in 1968 was the centre of an earthquake that had a 438 mile radius; the strongest earthquake recorded in Australian history. The town was decimated, a few were injured but no lives lost and the pub was open for business 24 hours later, (see information photograph). Well on our journey from South Australia we passed where the largest meteorite landed and down through the path of the debris from Sky Lab, so why not an earthquake. I have been driving about looking upwards; I can see I will now have to look downwards as well.
Having read all about the earthquake on the information boards, and viewed the buckled water pipe and railway line, we drove a mile to see the only remaining fallen down earthquake house, which did indeed look like a fallen down house. It was time to journey onwards to our destination for the night.
After staying the night at Kellerrberrin at a local council site behind the sports ground, I paid the council man the site fee and was told we were lucky to visit whilst the tail end of the 'up north' cyclone kept the temperature cool, normally at this time of year, at 9.30am, the weather would be 35 degrees C, (95 degrees F). It still seemed pretty warm to me, I guess the term cool depends from where you are looking from.