Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Our journey around Oz is drawing to a close now with the final few days on the road spent dodging some stormy weather around the Capes of Leeuwin and Naturaliste and watching dolphins, whales and seals enjoying the dramatic conditions. The breaking waves at Conto were spectacular - understandably rock fishermen are advised to rope up to anchorage points as rogue king waves have claimed many lives.
We spent our first night for many months in a motel room at Augusta as a cold front brought in chilly winds and heavy rain but things then settled down as we headed north.
At Rockingham we spent time at a car wash getting the van as clean as possible and then giving it a good polish whilst enjoying the hot sun on a campsite and clearing out various obsolete items of kit and clothing. We travelled via Mandurah with its million dollar houses - each with a private jetty and large boat to Fremantle for a meeting with the shipping company. All seemed in hand although we were informed that payment would need to be in cash entailing a run on the ATMs over the next few days that we feared would trigger a security alert. A quick look round Freo itself gave us a chance to wander round the large and vibrant markets before heading in to Perth.
A night at the vintage Melbourne Hotel gave us a chance to experience the buzz of Perth on a Friday night and a good Indian meal before arriving at friends in Kallaroo who had very kindly offered to put us up for the last few days. After a final clean out the van looked as good as new - surprisingly so after 2 years and 40 thousand miles so with everything packed away and cupboards labelled we delivered it to a large warehouse in North Freo where dozens of businesses were dealing with thousands of containers heading to and from the enormous vessels moored nearby.
We took the train back in to Perth for a look round once more before returning to Kallaroo feeling very relieved that there had been no last minute hiccups.
Yesterday we returned to Freo for a pleasant day visiting the extensive prison complex, a tall ship captained by a friend's daughter from Pembrokeshire and arranging to cruise the Swan back from Perth at the start of our final chapter - a two day visit to the island of Rottnest.
A few pics appear here but now we are in civilisation we have suspended the use of our SPOT device.
The slides look back at our time in the Red Centre.