It is a very sad time for us as Paul's mum has passed away. She went quietly in her sleep after a fairly aggressive illness, she would have been 90 years old next month. Our love and condolences go to Brian, mum's partner for over 30 years, and Andrew, Paul's brother, and all the rest of the family in England.
On a happier note my Dad has just celebrated his 90th birthday. According to mum the door bell was being continually rung as cards, parcels and flowers arrived all through the day. We hope he enjoyed his special day. The kids in Sydney and us two in Western Australia also celebrated by raising a glass in a toast to Dad.
We were leisurely driving along the highway, watching the heathland pass by when an emu ran in front of our moving van, frightening the life out of us. It was quite a scary moment. He came from nowhere. Luckily for Mr Emu and for us we did not collide but it was a close thing. The next bit of excitement was Paul swerving twice to miss a couple of stumpy tailed blue tongue lizards taking a slow stroll across the same road!!
Paul gave fishing another try while we were camped at Port Denison. He threw his line in from the beach then later from the wharf and had not a nibble. He was just a little demoralised when an 8 year old boy showed him how it was done by landing a nice sized Bream. He is thinking of giving up this sport for good.
On our way south we stopped in Cervantes with its dazzling white sands, so bright it blinds you. Then we spent a few days in Guilderton, a fantastic spot for families as its on the river estuary so has the calm waters of the river for canoeing, swimming and the raging surf for the more adventurous. Our next town was Two Rocks, named for the two limestone rocks just off the beach, both bird sanctuaries. Paul and I found the best charity/op shop there. We came away with a bag of CD's and DVD's for only a few dollars.
Not far from Cervantes is Nambung National Park where behind the heathland is an area of golden sand dunes were thousands of limestone pillars stand, some stand 4 metres high, known as 'The Pinnacles'. How they were formed is still a mystery, scientists can't agree even after many debates. When walking around the pillars there are signs to warn you of the dangers of getting lost. I must admit that we could see why as it was so easy to lose your bearings when you are in amongst these tall structures with the sun baked sand all around. Billy Connolly danced naked around The Pinnacles for his TV show 'World Tour of Australia'. I asked Paul if he would do the same for my camera but he declined!
We are still passing rolling meadows of wild flowers, white, yellow and purple blooms. Even the parks in the towns are dotted with the starry faces of yellow and white daisies. It is a delightful sight and one that I am not tiring of.
We have now left the heat and found the cold and rain. The southern half of WA has had a very wet and windy winter. It is cold enough for Paul and I to don jeans and jumpers. The wind was whipping up the waters of the Swan River as we sat in the shelter of our van enjoying a tasty lunch, while watching kite and wind surfers battle the elements, the wind filling their sails and taking them zipping across the water. The wind here never seems to cease. The trees are bent at grotesque angles as they are continually buffeted.
We camped for a few days in Fremantle, a bit of a funky, buzzy town with so many coffee shops one of the main streets in the heart of the town is called 'Cappuccino Strip'. The town is full of old buildings, well old by Australians reckoning! Timber built hotels and shops line the streets while surrounding the town there are many homes built in the late 19th century of rocks and brick as well as timber with the most attractive frontages. I found the most delightful deli and a providore that displayed all its dry goods, flours, oats, nuts, spices, etc in wooden barrels so you could purchase by the scoop. The tantalising sights and smells from these two shops had me spellbound.
We have a few chores to do. I need new glasses, the van needs two new tyres and then we need to get a safety check done so we can renew our registration and our insurance so we will be staying put for while.
That's all our news for now.
Liz and Paul x