We couldn’t get enough of Greenough 

The word ‘enough’ gives a reminder of how to pronounce Greenough (‘Grenuf’). But let’s start at yesterday’s first stop; leaving Eurardy we drove to a well-known free camp beside a bridge on the Murchison River. As Wikicamps users had reported, it was very popular although some of the ground was damp.

  
Leaving the Great North West Highway, we took a scenic route to Geraldton and then down the coast to the historic settlement of Central Greenough, a National Trust set of properties.

They had been carefully restored in the 1970s and we spent an hour going between school, churches, gaol and convent between the llamas, who kept the grass down.

   
 This gave time for the group of bikers to be served their lunch, although they had used up the supplies of cottage pie, so we were left with lasagne, dearer but delicious.

We watched surfers tackling the surf at Flat Rock, and I am filled with admiration for photographers who cover surfing events – apologies for the poor focus – the camera couldn’t adjust fast enough!

  
Last night’s sunset view shows the pretty reflections at Port Denison marina. We have spent the night at a caravan park and are now using the free wifi on the foreshore before we head further down the West Australian coast.

  

Northampton has cool capuccini, quilters and historic buildings

Little Pickle’s Kitchen in Northampton was a great spot for a cappuccino during a town walk of Northampton, one of Western Australiaimage‘s oldest towns.imageimageNorthampton has a Quilt Festival in October and we saw a local embroiderers’ guild at work in a shop.

Many of the historic buildings are in the rich rust-coloured local stone. I’ve chosen the Sacred Heart Convent designed by a famous bishop/architect Monsignor Hawes in the early Twentieth Century. It now offers accommodation and function facilities.

President of the United States in Outback Australia 

Herbert Hoover, who later became 31st President of the United States established the Sons of Gwalia Mine and celebrated his 24th birthday in the partially completed manager’s house. We learnt this when we visited the mine site (which is now a modern underground and open cut operation. The house now provides accommodation to visitors and we enjoyed a cappuccino on the shady verandah after touring the mine museum, which is south of the goldfields town of Leonora.

 

 

Museums at Kalgoorlie

The Museum of Western Australia has a Kalgoorlie branch with tours at 10.30am. Sue, our guide, showed us Australia’s narrowest pub and the relocated panelled office of a wealthy Perth entrepreneur. Here, two students were rehearsing The Crucible by American playwright Arthur Miller. They posed for a photo. We also toured the Vault, and admired gold bullion.

  
   

The courtyard had relocated cottage, complete with outhouse and a bank.

   

 This armchair made of packing cases is an example of ‘making do’ in remote areas.

As our tour of the Superpit was cancelled, we drove up to the lookout again. A historic trolley car was taking tourists to view.

   
 

Let down your 4WD tyres to Eyre Bird Observatory

Today we visited Eyre Bird Observatory in the old Eyre Telegraph Station, near the coast to the south of the Nullarbor Plain. We had to reduce the pressure on tyres to travel down a scarp and over sand dunes. The volunteers manning the observatory provide accommodation for a few paying guests, monitor birds and conduct daily weather observations for the Bureau of Meteorology. Lorraine and Mick we’re welcoming and took us on a walk across the sand dunes. It was a good day.

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Go West young (?) Nomad

The Bunda Cliffs are spectacular limestone cliffs that stretch along the far west coast of South Australia. They have two distinct strata coloured grey above and white below. Near the Eyre Highway are several lookouts which afford a great view of Bunda Cliffs. The coast forms part of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park, protecting the breeding ground of the Southern Right Whale and the habitat of Australian Sealions. The cliffs rise to a limestone plateau which is the treeless Nullarbor Plain. The effect of sea, sky, cliff and blue- green saltbush is soft and spectacular.  

  

   

  
Singing honeyeaters perch atop the bushes. Beyond the cliffs, we crossed the state border and are camped near the deserted ruins of old Eucla Telgraph Station and pier, now home to pied cormorants. The evening light cast long shadows – always a lovely hour for photographing.

   
     

Sheep droving, deserted beaches, dunes and Tommy Roughs 

Driving west from Squeaky Beach, we passed a flock of sheep being driven along the dusty roadside.   We called in at a coastal development called Eba Point, where we were the only humans on a vast beach. We found a sandstone well, possibly made by the nineteenth century explored Eyre. The sandunes behind the beach obviously teemed with life as they were criss-crossed with animal tracks. A stone circle may have been old or maybe left by recent fisherfolk – we just don’t know. a fence post lying in the sand was covered with large barnacles, even though it was well above high tide. Why?

We continued to Smoky Bay, photographing cormorants, terns and pelicans on the fenced sea swimming pool (put in to protect swimmers from sharks). Locals fished from the jetty and had caught a good haul of Tommy Roughs (Australian herring). The shimmering light made it hard to see the screen of my little camera and I longed for a visual viewfinder. At the Ceduna supermarket, we stocked for our coming journey across the Nullabor Plain.

  
          

Horse-drawn tram, sea, birds and history: Victor Harbour and Goolwa

The coastline from Victor Harbour to Goolwa is steeped in history and affords sea vistas. We crossed the causeway to Granite Island, following the tram tracks of a horse-drawn tramway. 

   
         

Lunch was pies at the Heritage Bakery, Goolwa, where the chef had a range of home-made chutneys. I chose quince. Yum.

Coorong morning and Ulysses in the afternoon

We awoke to a spectacular dawn as the sun emerged behind the sheokes and the roos grazed between them and the rose sky. At Chinamen’s Well, we took a short walk and leant how residents of Hong Kong had rushed to reports of gold in Victoria in the 1850s. To avoid a discriminatory tax by the Victorian government, they landed at Adelaide and travelled overland along the edge of the Coorong. There are archeological remnants of limestone wells skilfully built to provide fresh water. I found a fragment of porcelain (“Chinese?) and carefully replaced it after photographing it.

We spent more time exploring the salt lakes and dunes of the Coorong before crossing the Murray River by ferry at Wellington. At Strathalbyn we met members of the Fleurieu Ulysses Club out for a ride. Their bikes were lovingly cared for and wonders to behold.

   
         

French soldiers commemorate 200th Anniversary of Waterloo at The Briars

Yesterday was the 200th Anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat by the allies at the battle of Waterloo. To mark this date the 21ieme regiment of French reenactment soldiers are giving a demonstration and gave a talk at The Briars, Mt Martha.

The uniforms were of wool and dyed with natural pigments such as indigo. Gaiters were high with leather buttons and took 20 minutes to put on. They had a natty backpack of hide to put their worldly possessions in, including the book to keep tab of what pay they were owed. In some campaigns, there was a shortage of boots and many were barefoot, possibly with tallow to seal out moisture.

Sometimes soldiers would sleep in their uniforms without a change or washing for six weeks, day and night. Although it was a good idea to put on a clean shirt for battle to reduce the chances of gangrene and subsequent amputation after an injury.

The guns were muzzle-loaded and could only fire three rounds a minute. The army depended on large numbers of soldiers to provide a steady stream of fire.