Esperance to Busselton - The Final Chapter

January 4, 2015 - Busselton, Australia

I know yes I know. It has been such long time since I last wrote and by now, I’m sure you have been wondering what on Earth has happened to us all. Well last time I wrote, Pete had just put his back out and we were about to leave Esperance.

Well we left Esperance and headed to the small camp spot at Munglinup Beach. Our plan was to stay for about a week, but we only stayed a couple of days.  It is a nice spot with defined camp sites and a couple of long drops. The local caravan park manager came by each evening to collect the fees and for a chat. Some people tried their luck at fishing from the beach, but the waves and current were quiet strong. You could have a nice walk along the beach to a rocky area with many rock pools and tiny fish. Pete had a snorkel around the reef, but didn’t see too much.

One day I was climbing the sand dune to get phone reception and one of the very friendly bush bees thought my ear looked like a great place to fly into. He got a little upset that he got stuck so gave me a sting. Oh my god! The pain of a bee sting in my ear was amazing. I raced down the sand dune to the caravan and found Pete who had to pull the sting out. The sting caused swelling and pain in my lymph gland near my ear which stayed swollen for a week. I couldn’t sleep properly so I even resorted to taking the kids Pain Stop to help me sleep.

After a couple of days we left and headed for Cape Riche which is near Albany. It is a camp spot that is run by the Albany shire and has no contact details so you can’t book. We thought if we arrived on the Wednesday before the Easter long weekend, we’d be able to get a spot. Thankfully when we arrived there were a couple of spots left and we moved in. It is right on the beach with free bbq’s, cold water showers and flushing toilets. We found the local kangaroos very friendly and they came by each day for breakfast. We ended up camping next to the mum and dad of people we knew from Donnybrook. It’s such a small world. We fished, walked along the beach and generally relaxed.

The Easter bunny found us again this year and didn’t disappoint the kids. He didn’t leave anything for me though!

One beautiful day, we decided to go for a beach walk and on the way back saw a garfish washed up on the shore. We thought that was a bit odd, but when we had a look around, there were probably hundreds all coming ashore! We walked around the next corner to see almost everyone in the campsite on the beach with their rods in the water. The salmon had decided to come in really close to shore and feed on the garfish. They ended up getting washed into the rock pools and the salmon ended up getting caught by very keen fishermen. Zac was even there with his rod in the water. He caught about 4 salmon and kept 2. That was plenty for us. We chased some of the garfish into the shallows and wrestled them into a bag. It was so much fun. We ended up with 2 salmon and 40 Garfish. Now we just had to fillet them all. We probably should have thought about that before we decided to keep so many! After 6 nights we left for our final destination, Busselton.

A big day of driving and we made it to Kookaburra Caravan park. From here, the kids went for a sleepover at Nan and Pop’s house for 5 nights. They loved spending tie with Nan and Pop. It had been a long while since they had spent time in a house and really enjoyed the selves. They played with their cousins that they hadn’t seen for over 2 years, went to the ANZAC service and generally had an awesome time. We began the hunt for somewhere to live and tried to catch up on 2 years of being away with the kids.

Now we find ourselves settled into something that resembles “normality” for everyone. Zac is in year 6 and Zoe year 4 at West Busselton Primary School. We are renting a house within riding distance for the kids to be able to get to and from school easily. Zac has joined the local scout troupe and a local hockey club. Zoe has joined gymnastics and the tennis club. They are really settled and have made plenty of great friends. They are excelling at school academically, socially and physically with both doing exceptionally well at sports carnivals. Pete has started back doing electrical work which is slow going, but will get busy no doubt. I am getting a little bit of relief work at a local primary school as an Education Assistant and am hoping to make it full time next school year.

We are looking forward to summer to be able to explore this beautiful part of the country and to get to the beach to fish, crab and swim. The beach is only minutes away from where we live so I am hopeful we will enjoy it to the fullest.

After being on the road as close as we were to one another, I can’t help but think of the things that we learnt about each other. I guess that most of all, we all learnt what it takes to be in such close quarter to each other and to respect each others differences and each others space. There were definite highlights along the way like making new lifelong friends (you know how you are!) and seeing the most amazing country side. The stark contrast of the ocre red, dusty earth of central Australia to the turquoise blue of the oceans and bays, it was truly amazing and we enjoyed each and every square inch that we saw. We learnt a little of the history of Australia from the early settlers of Winton and Longreach in outback Queensland to the war years in Darwin and Katherine to the modern mining and aquaculture industries of South Australia and Western Australia . We also learnt practical skills like how to set up camp in minutes, how to fix dinner with few ingredients, how to read weight compliance plates on the caravan and how to improvise during school science experiments.

Of all the things that we now know, one thing is for sure, this will not be our only lap around the country. We plan to do so much more like Tasmania, Victoria, the snow fields, outback tracks and gorges. There is just so much to see that I wonder if you could ever really see it all. I’m not sure that you could, but we will sure give it one hell of a try!

EPILOGUE

It has been quite a while since I wrote this entry and with everything going on, I never got around to actually publishing it, so here’s a little update.

Things have changed a little since then, so here’s what’s new.

Firstly we bought a house. We are loving Busselton so much, that we bought a 1 acre property with a lovely established house and garden. It needs a little TLC, but it is just perfect. There is heaps of room for our traveling friends to stay with us (and they have already!) and is only minutes to the perfectly white sands and turquoise waters of Geographe Bay. The school is still close enough for the kids and the area is quiet and peaceful. The school year is over again for another year and Zac has graduated from Primary School. Next year he heads off to year 7 at Cape Naturaliste College – a local high school. Zoe returns to West Busselton Primary as a year 5 and can’t wait.

Pete’s business is growing each week and he is already getting recommendations and return clients. He bought a 6.1m boat (a bit bigger than the dingy) and takes it out as often as possible. Just this week he went fishing and skiing in it with the family. He is painting the house and putting our own touches on it and is planning the outdoor extension as soon as we can.

I am working for the Shire of Capel as an Administration Assistant in Planning and Development. It is full time with an RDO every month which suits me just fine. I really like the work and is very similar to work I did in Darwin.

 

Life is going well for us at the moment and we are enjoying each day as it comes. We do miss the road and plan our next family trip away for Easter just north of Geraldton. After that who knows, but we do still intend on hitting the road again…one day.


Pictures

Amazing Lucky Bay - Esperance
A friend visited us for lunch
Zac and our new friend at Lucky Bay
Lucky Bay
 
 

1 Comment

lyn Richards:
January 18, 2015
Tammy I always enjoyed reading your blog you have a good way with words.

Remind me to ask you more about Cape Riche where thinking maybe next January last 2 weeks of hols going for maybe a couple of weeks. Can we put a boat in??
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