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.
Little Pickle’s Kitchen in Northampton was a great spot for a cappuccino during a town walk of Northampton, one of Western Australia‘s oldest towns.Northampton 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.