We have had a number of emails over the past few days wondering if we had dropped off the face of the earth as there have been no blog updates. While there can be no excuses, we have to say our Perth layover has been very social. With having friends popping in to see us plus having grandchildren staying with us, by the end of each day the last thing we have wanted to do is to get the laptop out to update the blog. We are positive it is not our age showing but the grandchildren seeming to have much more energy and requiring more of our attention.
Rod returned to New Zealand early last week and brought the three oldest grandchildren back with him. The navigator was most relieved last Wednesday night when he arrived back at Perth airport with all the children in tow and in good health. There was no luggage, ipads or camera’s lost. To be honest, the captain looked slightly jaded but a relieved man there was no disaster on his watch.
After a couple of days of acclimatisation in Perth, and with a full day last Thursday at the Perth Royal Show, on Friday we loaded four grandchildren and ‘Auntie Nicky’ into the motorhome and made our way 220km south to the town of Busselton. The original plan was to stay at Bunbury and attend the annual Kids Festival but unfortunately it was cancelled at the last minute so we felt Busselton, voted Western Australia’s top tourist town in 1995, 1996 and 2005 was probably the next best thing. We made our home for two nights in Busselton at a local beachside holiday park. The kids absolutley loved it. The Park had a great playground, sports field, games room and pool complex and with it being school holidays over here there was no end of children of all ages for them to interact with.
Busselton is home to the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere stretching almost 2km out to sea. Construction of the jetty began in 1853 and was continually extended until the 1960s when it reached its current length of 1841 metres. It was closed to shipping in 1972, and maintenance was discontinued for a time. It has since been restored, and is now the site of an underwater observatory and an interpretive centre. The plan was that we would catch the small train that ran along the jetty from the shore to the very end and back. Unfortunately the train was booked until 3pm so Nana and Poppa made the decision that we would all walk it – much to everyone else’s consternation. However with the promise of a ‘fish and chip’ lunch when we got back to shore, the 3.5km ‘stroll’ was made without ‘hardly’ any issues.
On Sunday morning and in the pouring rain, we packed up camp and made our way back to Perth again. In Perth we have made our home in a Park that is set up for kids. It has great play areas, heated pools and lots of other children to play with. This makes our lives so much easier. We spent today at the Caversham Wildlife Park. Kiwi kids normally have very little opportunity to interact personally with kangaroos, wallaby, snakes, lizards, wombats and a huge variety of birds. This wildlife park has it all. Wandering among the wildlife with no fencing between the kids and the animals was super exciting for them. They were fizzing at the end of the day.
So where to from here? We still have a couple more days with the grandkids before they fly back to New Zealand on Friday evening. We have a very busy programme for them over the last few days so sleeping should come easy for them, and us, at the end of each day. We will let you know how things panned out in the next update. After they depart we will remain in Perth until Sunday. We plan to visit the Wildflower Festival in Perth on Saturday and will use what is left of the day to replenish our stocks and generally get the motorhome ready for the next three months of our journey in the southwest quarter of Western Australia. We are not quite sure at this point where we will end up on Sunday night but it is our intention to visit a friend who has a fruit winery in Dwellingup so we will see what happens from there.
We are back into the ‘no plan’ mode. Our next firm appointment is Christmas time in Adelaide.