Thursday, 15 February 2018

Wandering down to the Warren

18-23rd November

Well after being cooked at Kunanalling, Warren decided he hadn't had enough of me and wanted to join in the fun of another 6 days away. Being November, going South was the only option. Leo also took the opportunity to get one night in with us and see some bits of the south West he hadn't seen before.

So I decided we would head down to Augusta, then follow the coast east from there. Where we ended up, we ended up. And seeing we had no real plan in place, I thought I may as well get some caching in too. Both Warren and leo hadn't seen what it was all about, so it was a good thing to show them as well.

Meeting at the "Ice Cream Cones" on Forrest highway,  I quickly showed the boys what this geocaching thing was about. A tricky little cache, Warren actually found how to open this hide. Not a bad effort for a first timer.

Slowly making our way South, stopping off at some pre saved caches filled in the day quite well. I picked up a couple of trackables and geo coins to be moved on later in the trip

Pretty sad, when we got to Fergus the Bull, he was having an ear replaced. Apparently, some of the lower IQ people in our society think its a great game to steal his horns, break his ears or just otherwise be a dick.

Some more caching whilst heading South and we arrived in Dunsborough. And here I came up with a good thought - Who wants an ice cream at Simmo's?

Well we all do. It was reasonably warm, we had time up our sleeve, so why not. It had been years since I had been there, so I went with the old favourite : A Liquorish ice-cream. Sounds terrible hey, but wait till you taste it:

From there we headed out towards Yallingup. A cache near here sounded interesting and I was hoping it might provide a camp for the night. Unfortunately it didn't. The South west corner here is absolutely magnificent. Brilliant coast, Wineries and breweries galore, a real tourist mecca. The Achilles heal is the lack of camping facilities. There is very little unless you want to spend +$30 per night in some commercial venture.

So out with the maps and we decided to head to Cranebrake Pool. I said it will probably be busy and seeing its a small place, we may not get in. Only one way to find out I guess.

So on the way, we come across more evidence of some of the diminished gene pool in the area. This thing was still smoking and hot. It hadn't been torched much before hand. A great way to find your pride and joy hey.

Upon arrival, as suspected, all sites were taken and it appeared like bogan central. So that was a win. We made our way to the overflow area and found we had it to ourself. Awesome. A pleasant quiet night was had by all.

Day 2 and after breakfast, Leo hit the road for home, Warren and myself headed further south.

More caches along the way took us to some obscure sites, this fire tower, we wouldn't have known about otherwise:

Warren actually found the cache before I had even got out the car. Mind you, it was pretty exposed, but I guess with a days training up his sleeve, he was well on the way to becoming level: Expert in geocaching.

Then slowly meandering our way further South, we stopped in at Margaret River falls. A pretty little place, but the cache here had us stumped. Mind you, the tree cover didn't help with the location accuracy of the GPS.

And eventually we made Augusta. Cape Leeuwin in the background:

Checking out the new marina, and wasting a couple of hours getting some more geocaching tally's we headed for Alexandra bridge. A pretty little place it is too, mind you, I would hate to have to rely on solar here, the tree canopy making an awesome shaded spot to camp.

Just after dinner, glass of red in hand, Warren and myself were sitting under my awning. I hear a noise above and felt wet. Bloody possums: Grrr. It had decided to piss all over my awning and I copped its spray...Grrrr. Lucky, it was only a light shower.

However later on, the furry bag of piss dumped a whole bucket load on my awning. I couldn't believe so much fur could hold so much liquid. Eventually it buggered off in the tree canopy to annoy some other poor hapless bastard. It didn't return for the rest of  night, thank goodness.

Out with the nanopresso in the morning, I made myself and a fellow camper a good brew:

It was a late start today, getting underway about 1030. We didn't have far to travel, only about 120 odd Km's, so it was nice getting a late start in. the target for today, Black Point. I knew it was a bit of a sandy track in, and this could slow us down, but we should arrive in plenty of time for camp.

And a slow trip in it was, but I'm sure Warren was loving it. Arriving at Black point about 1430, the weather had taken a turn and it wasn't looking great. We hung around Surfers cove for a bit to see what the weather was going to do. A few light showers passed and an hour or so later we drove to the other side: Stepping Stones. There was a cache about 1.5Km's hike up the beach, but the weather still looked very daunting, so I decided to leave this cache for another day

We took a look around both campgrounds: no one was here: And decided on the Seal Cove site. It had some timber left behind from a previous group, so that will come in handy. It also allowed us to have the campfire Olympics:

A nice night ensued around a cosy fire. Unfortunately a couple of hours in, the heavens opened up. We retreated under the awnings until it stopped, then came back out and finished the fire off - with another glass of red no doubt.

Morning dawned nice and sunny. The bad weather now gone:

My coffee clobber seems to grow every trip:

I thought I should take Warren to lake jasper seeing as we are passing by. But first I conned him down to jasper beach:

Getting down and on the beach wasn't a problem, but warren started to worry when I couldn't get off the beach. A bit more adjustment of tyre pressures and I was up on the second attempt. Warren took 2 goes too.

From there we headed out to lone karri beach. Stuffed if I know where the karri is:

And now having no plan on where we are to both travel and stay, we ventured into lake Jasper. There is bugger all camp spots here now, due to all the anti-social behaviour of previous years, Dpaw in their wisdom have made it low key, low volume.

It was only about 1300, a bit early to camp. So we had some lunch and pushed on. Some time later, bac on the blacktop, we ventured into a nice little place: Snottygobble campground. Now well later in the afternoon, timing was just right to make this out camp for the evening. A nice little fire in the fire ring topped it off.

For our last day on the ground, we just went exploring. No plans had been laid, we would just see where we ended up. First stop being Beedelup Falls where I managed to pick up another 2 caches:

From there we headed out to Lake Yeagerup and another cache I could not find:

And seeing we were in Yeagerup, it was time to hit the dunes and head for Yeagerup beach:

On the way out we took a back road for yet another cache:

It was a killer. In open shoes, peeling back vegetation in true tiger snake country. I almost quit 20m from the cache, it got that bad. But I couldn't let it go and soon enough, determination paid off with another find:

From there we headed to Drafty's camp. There was no sites available that was suitable for our set ups. I just don't get Dpaw. Lots these days have camper trailers and most Dpaw sites you go to are for tent based camping - they are either very small or you have to walk your gear in. No room for either camper trailers or a vehicle with an awning. Of course, when we arrived at Drafty's, the only couple of spots out of all the sites in the place suitable for us were taken.

So we ventured further on to Warren campsite. Again all the sites too small and no room for us. However, the carpark for river access had the room. With no "no camping" signage, we took the opportunity and set up or the night.

Here we met Verena, a German cycling across the world. Telling us her tales of cycling the Gibb River Road, she earnt our respect. What a champion. Warren and myself had another awesome little campfire to sit by tonight.

Unfortunately morning came around too quick. Some coffee and a last chat with Verena, and we were on the way for home. It had been a great 6 days and I thank Warren for being there.

Trip Stats:

5 nights under canvas
1153km travelled
144L fuel used
for an average of  12.5 L/100Km
cost of fuel $195
camp fees $42

The running tally of nights under canvas now stands at 41

And the trip vids below:

Friday, 19 January 2018

Kooked at Kunanalling

22 - 28th October

Well I am some 3 months and 4 trips behind in my blog writeups, so as I sit by the pool here in Bali, (yep, no dust or flies to worry about here), then it's best I get onto updating my stuff hey!

It was always going to be tough. Late October and a trip to the Goldfields. It was probably going to be hot, dusty and full of flies. So Sunday morning I met Warren in Mundaring and off we headed for Coolgardie.

Doing the long stretch between Southern Cross and Coolgardie, I couldn't believe my luck - yep more bloody wide loads

But we got around them pretty easily and plugged on. It looked like lots of rain was falling to the North and South of the highway, but on the highway, apart from a small shower, we seemed to miss it all. That said, there was quite a bit of water on the road, so we only just missed it.

It seemed like forever, but we finally hit Coolgardie, then headed North to a spot I had checked out on tenegraph before we left. Travelling up the Coolgardie North Road, you could hear half the road surface beIng transplated to the side of the vehicle. It was certainly a bit slushy and slippery. But we found out turn off for our predetermined camp.

Unfortunately, Google Earth in this part of the world isn't real current. What looked to be lightly vegetated country ended up being the opposite. It was heavilly wooded and this in itself posed some issues just getting up the track to out camp. As it was, I had to chainsaw a few offending bits out of the way. Then to make matters worse, we couldn't get up the trackTo our camp due to vegetation. So we spied a small spot that we thought we could all fit into and set to work getting camp set up for the week.

But set up we did and we had a quiet night by the fire, ready for some prospecting in the morning.

Well best laid plans go astray. After a very easy morning, stuffing around with coffee, then eventually some breakfast, Warren and myself sat under a tree in the shade gas bagging for quite a while. Warren and myself had only met for the first time up at Mundaring on the way here, so we had some stuff to chat about.

My mate Steve was coming to spend the week with us today. He was coming from Bunbury. I was just hoping he could navigate his way to our camp. By about lunchtime, I was in the couldn't be arsed in pulling out the detector mode, so Warren and myself cracked a beer and talked some more BS. About 1400 I suggested to Warren we should hike the 2km's out to the main road to see if we can get Steve on the phone - we had no coverage at camp. I was a bit worried Steve might not be real keen on abusing his new 200 series down the tight bush track.

Well it seemes like no time had passed, but we got out to the main road and found we did have some coverage.

With some luck, we got a few broken calls into Steve and let him know both where we were and what to expect. So Warren and myself being out of beer, we hiked back to camp and chilled out until Steve arrived:

Late afternoon Steve arrived and we discussed how all 3 of us would fit into camp. I moved over so Steve had somewhere to put his gazebo. Although I Carried one with me, with the limited space we had to play with, it just seemed easier for me to use the awning instead.

An awesome night by the bush tele, we retired for the prospect of some yellow in the morning.

Tuesday morning arrives and the ritual of stuffing around with coffee and breakfast takes place yet again. Steve is keen as mustard to get his 5000 on the ground and is into it well before myself. Warren, not being a prospector per'se became Steve's pick boy.

I wasn't real happy with the look of the ground. It consisted of soft loamy top soil, obviously deposited In times of heavy water flow. There was no rock, quartz/ironstone whatever to speak off and to be perfectly honest, it wasnt auiferous in my uneducated mind. But I pulled the 4500 out of the bag and gave it a crack.

I suppose the one advantage of this ground was the lack of rubbish to be found. Every now and then we found evidence of old cattle mens camps, broken bottles and bully beef cans, but they were few. Not like a lot of places where metalic junk keeps you busy all day.  We did stumble across one little pit and the only piece of quartz found so far. Discarding the large lump as nothing of worth, Steve ran the 5000 over it and it gave off a slight bastard, that was mine!

So some time was spent busting it up, but no colour was to be found. Obviously just mineralisation of some description.

The surrounds of the pit was obviously a large camp at some stage. A railway Used to run through here, maybe the camp wasn't From cattlemen, but gangers??? anyway, we found a few old Bits of interesting stuff:

So it was getting close to lunch and we headed back to camp where I had the find of the trip; an old tag that once belonged to a Dodge trayback truck:

What a piece of history that was, along with a couple of other small finds:

Once home I did some digging on Winterbottoms. I found a superb photo of their premises thanks to the WA Museum:

And a small piece from RACWA that's worth repeating:

After lunch, I couldn't be arsed, so I just followed Steve and Warren around. I think I had set myself to believe the ground was useless so I couldn't see the point dragging the detector around. Even just walking around, I was struggling, so I decided to head back to camp for a bit of a clean up. feeling a million bucks after a shower, I went downhill later that afternoon and evening. I just felt lethargic as hell and sat with my head in my hands. About 2000, I wandered off to bed without dinner, hoping I could sleep off whatever lurgy was making me feel pretty ordinary.

Felling a little better on Wednesday morning, after the coffee ritual, we headed out with detectors in tow. A couple of hours on the ground and we all came to the descision we were wasting our time here. So I checked my maps and found I had some ground marked a bit further out near Ora Banda. At about 1100, we decided to break camp and shift for different ground.

Via the old Kunanalling Hotel:

Finding a track heading up to the patch, we drove around a bit and found a suitable place to park up. The ground here looking far more promising: quartz and ironstone littered the ground. Salt and pepper - yeah!

Thursday morning dawned and I was now feeling much better. Moving camp on the Wednesday was hard work I tell you.

Running the detectors over the ground for a few hours, we returned to camp empty handed. The wind was starting to pick up, and the longer we sat in camp, the worse it got. It got to the point it was useless to go out again. It got so bad, I couldn't even cook dinner, so I had bickies and dip for sustenance. You have to see the vid to understand just how bad it really was. Another day written off.

Friday dawned and the wind had finally abated, somehow we all survived the night with little damage - I still cant believe my awning withstood the pace. Little did Warren know, but I knew today was Warren's 65th birthday - so Steve and myself went over and gave him 65 all the bests. So our last day on the ground and we got the detectors swinging. Coming back to camp empty handed (as per usual), we collected timber. Tonight was going to be special. A baked dinner from the camp oven for Warrens birthday.

And a brilliant dinner it turned out to be too. Warren even supplied apple pie for desert.

Saturday morning dawned. We were sort of over it by now, it had been a very unproductive trip. Up early, packed and back on the road for home, Warren and myself said goodbye to Steve at Merriden, and Warren and myself parted company in Midland.

Whilst it was not as planned, I'm sure we all enjoyed the company and a week in the bush. This prospecting business still eludes me......Grrrrr.

Trip Stats:

6 nights under canvas
1408km travelled
176L fuel used
for an average of  12.5 L/100Km
cost of fuel $228
9.5L of water used
17 beers, 1 cask of red and 5 cans of lemon soft drink consumed
camp fees nil

With an overnighter at Yanchep (not reported) and Sandy Cape in the last entry, the nights under canvas tally stands at 36.

And the trip vids:

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Squeezin in at Sandy

NOTE: This blog is currently undergoing works

All my pictures in the preceding entries have gone, thanks to Photobucket (my - now ex - photo hosting service), changing their terms of service without notice and requiring an extortionate $400USD P/A plan to allow 3rd party hosting. Some 7+ years of work down the drain.  Thanks for that, photofucket.

I will be working to resolve this, but as you can imaging, this is going to take some considerable time and effort. The text is still fine but there are no pictures, which sort of kills it - I'm sure you don't just want to read my drivel.

I will keep this text at the top of my latest post, (which is the landing page if you go to www., until all entries have been rectified.

So on behalf of photobucket, I apologise for the inconvenience, but I am determined to get it back to how it was - via an alternative photo hosting site. That's going to take some time to resolve.👎

September 15-17

Watching the weather during the week, it wasn't looking too promising. However, Thursday night, Leo and myself decided we would head for Sandy Cape on Friday afternoon and take the risk of the now predicted light showers and just live with it. Leo got off work early on Friday and I met him on the road about 1430. The plan was to head up to Jurien, have dinner at the pub, move onto the campsite afterwards and just take what comes from there.

Discussing the weather over the radio, I asked Leo to put his money where his mouth is. A pint was no on the offering for me should it rain. I would be buying if it didn't. Leo also wanted to play a game: how many cops would be see on the way up. Another pint on offer to the one who scores correctly. Against my better judgement, I elected 2, Leo, 4.

We arrived in Jurien about 1700. A slow trip up, we got stuck behind a line of half a dozen vehicles following a booze bus doing its legal speed of 100Km/h. Being the cops, no one would overtake it....go figure! which meant we had a leisurely stroll up the highway for about an hour. Time being on our side, it wasn't an issue anyway. But with 2 cops seen, I was feeling pretty chuffed - a free pint was coming my way. Winning!

Leo having never been north of Lancelin, I showed him a few bits of Jurien. It was way too early for dinner and we had some time to kill. But after an hour or so at the boat ramp, the sun getting closer to setting, we decided to forego the pub dinner, buy something to cook for tea at the local IGA and head on out to camp in time to watch the sun set over the ocean. And a good idea that was too. Leaving town, we were tested by the slow moving booze bus. The female copper laughed when I told her we had been stuck behind her for the last hour.....Oh the irony.

Arriving at Sandy Cape, the place was heaving. It just seems to be getting more popular as time goes on. I guess, with the restrictions Dandaragan Shire has put on free camping on the coast, then the very few legal places to go will only get busier. We managed to squeeze into a spot for the night, a mere 50m from the beach:

As is quite often the case in a public campground, you have no choice over your neighbours. A large group across the road was carrying on a bit, swearing, driving around all night and just generally being a pain for others. The neighbours in the van next to us made some comments about them earlier on to us. All in all, it could have been far worse than it was. By 11pm, with a few beers and reds under the belt, we retired for the evening. Not a bad effort for me, seeing as I had been up since 0330.

I was woken about 0600 in the morning. The sounds of Leo snoring and the dew raining down on my swag had pushed the bladder into action. Peeling back the covers of the swag revealed a pretty amazing sight:

Fog. And wasn't it thick:

I took a stroll down the beach with the camera. You couldn't see either the South nor the North heads:

Killing time for an hour or so, Leo decided to raise his weary head. The underside of both our awnings were as wet as their tops. So we had a slow relaxing morning, waiting for things to dry out. It was about 1030 when we had finally cooked breakfast and packed up for some explorations for the day. At this stage, we hadn't decided where we would camp tonight. We would just wing it and see what the day had in store for us.

First port of call for the day was to take Leo out to one of my fave little places: Stockyard Gully Caves.

A relatively minor track to get in, I was surprised by the amount of cars in the car park. I had never seen so many. Donning our caving gear, we headed off down to the gully.

The bee hives at the entrance creating quite a loud buzz in the air:

And into the cave we go:

A flat walk on soft sand inside of some 250-300m, and pretty soon you are in complete darkness. Turning of ones head lamp and taking in the blackness is a surreal feeling. As you will see in my vid, I mention the bad habit of souveniring cave flow structure. I know it happens in other caves and I find the practice abhorrent. However, upon reflection, I have to admit, some (most?) of this damage could well have been caused by flood damage. You see, the cave is really just a tunnel. Its a creek bed, and in times of high water (no doubt that was some time ago), then it could well be possible these structures were removed by water and debris. At times gone past, the whole "tunnel" could have been under water.

Anyway, this time around I found evidence inside the cave that some movement monitoring is going on:

And before you know it, the rays of daylight start poking your eyeball's:

On a hot day, its a remarkable place down here. The river gully, vegetated with large gums is a cool little oasis. The vegetation so far removed from the scrappy salt bush that lines the coastal plains in this area.

The cave itself also provides great relief from the flies and heat on a hot day. With a couple of hours of exploring done and lunch now baking in the oven, we hit the track out, this time heading for Green Head.

Arriving in Green head at Dynamite Bay, the Pie and Chicko roll was ready for the Eating.

Poor old Leo had to go to the store for lunch and had a chocolate ginger scone with a choc milkshake to wash it down. Yuppie! A nice little store it is too, if you are in town, I recommend it.

From there, I took Leo up towards a little tourist track to see some of the other coastal scenery about the place. Venturing in to the new Milligan's Island camp ground to see if that's where we would like to spend the night. Quite different to the Cape, there was no one here. Whilst it seemed a nice, new campground, it just didn't have the appeal of Sandy so we decided we would venture back there for the night.

We drove down to the beach and spotted the most amazing contrail. A B777, on its way to Singapore at 36,000Ft, leaving a phenomenal contrail and a black exhaust plume parallel to the cloud. I've never seen that before:

From there we headed out to Point Louise:

Time now starting to get on, we decided its best we head back to camp in time for the sunset. However, a drive along Anchorage Bay back to Green Head was in order:

Returning to Sandy Cape, we found the place to be even more packed than when we left. With slim pickings to choose from, we managed to squeeze into a small site among the vegetation:

And just in time to grab a beer, a camera and a GoPro to watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean:

Dinner again a simple affair. A pre made chicken parmigiana, garden salad and some dressing. Too easy:

However, once the sun went down, boy did the mozzies come out to play. Over a few drinks, leo decided to look up the International Space Station to see where it was. With pretty flakey coverage, He turns and says, would you believe its right above us......No way, I shit you not. So out into the darkness we ventured and watched as the space station zoomed on by. A Cosmonaut and an Astronaut or two, flying over, right above us, some 400Km above. Here we were wishing we could be where they were, and here they were wishing they could be where we were!

Come the morning, we helped a couple with some issues trying to fill their water tank on a rental troopie, packed up and headed for home. Leo made note of the fact he was now due a pint, due to the fact no rain had fell over the weekend. So, with that and the cop bet, we ended up even.

The only really thing of note coming home, was coming across an accident scene with a lucky escape. An older lady, trying to open a drink bottle, lost control in the dirt, spun and crossed to the other side of the road, backwards, burying the commodore arse end in the dirt. A lucky escape, a fella towing a boat coming the other way, only just missed her as she reversed out of control right in front of him.....

So a nice couple of days adding to the nights under canvas, now at 29 nights for the year.

A measly 560Km weekend, 210Km from camp to home, made it a pretty easy weekend. One we both dearly needed, since it had been nearly 3 months of being locked in at home and work since we had last been away.

The Tab seems to be doing the job nicely and the multi odometer function is a handy novelty.

In a month, I get a week off, so I'm thinking I may go and have a ferret again with the detector. Will this be the time I pop my nuggetty cherry???

And the trip vids:

part I-

and part II-