Off to the Indian
Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
42Trip End Apr 24, 2013
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Apart from 2 occasions here and in NZ the wifi experience on the trip has been crap and that is being polite. We both spent over an hour opening a few emails. Morse code will be more efficient at the moment.
It was an estate agents 1.5km into the centre of Albany, a town of character and very neat parks. Known as the first place of settlement for Europeans in the West of Australia and presently a centre for the export of wheat,timber and wood chippings. Apparently it's also well known for the quality of its fish and chips.
Despite trudging around town for ages we found 2 chippies and they were both shut
The Brig Amity transported 23 prisoners along with 19 soldiers plus officers and crew. 61 people all together for the 6 week voyage from Sydney in a boat just 28m long. Not forgetting the animals and stores sufficient for the journey and initial settlement. Rather them than us.The boat itself is a replica and was built in the 70' s to celebrate the 150 th anniversary of the landing. The tour was well worth the $5 entrance fee.
Once again there were hardly any other visitors and (For Galf info only) despite a good search Wally could find no sign of Abandos but understands why they enjoyed the odd tot of rum or two.
Wally decided that Albany was just the place he would settle in Australia until the curator of the Amity told us that grey wet days were all too familiar in Albany.This negative point was highlighted when we watched the weather forecast the next morning. Ceduna WA 41, Perth 30, Albany cloudy with showers 18C the coldest place in Oz that day.
Back in the 1800s the initial settlers were told to decamp and move to the Swan River and Perth due to the better conditions found there. The current explorers decided to follow their example and abandoned their plan to visit the Pemberton tram to run for the sun! So we left the Southern Ocean and headed for the Indian Ocean, with Jan making a tearful farewell to her new skippy friends.
In all probability the initial settlers made a better job of their navigation than the current Knob and Dick. Messers Head managed to misread a signpost and took the scenic route back to where they had started. This despite a conference to agree that the signpost had indicated our destination. It was the best part of 50km later when we passed the signpost again and noted that it clearly pointed to our origin via an alternative route!!!!Still in 8500km (Oz Nz) that is our first major navigation hiccup and we didn't get the GPS out more's the pity.
A pleasant surprise was the road from Denmark to Manjimup pure biking heaven through the magnificent giant forest. It did make you think though of the consequences if we miscalculated our trajectory on the winding undulating road no wider than the old A414. Some of the trees must have circumferences of at least 3-4 M
Yet again we experienced the great Aussie tradition of outside living when we pulled off the main road and headed to the village of Quinninup. Not a soul about and in the grounds of the Primary School is a toilet block, shelter and most importantly a free gas BBQ next to the table and chairs. Just what we needed to heat up our chapatis and to enjoy another picnic on the road.
The clouds from earlier on the day had all but disappeared and visors were changed from clear to dark as we set off on the last stage of the trip into Bunbury on the coast. The helpful folk in the Tourist office sorted out our accommodation and we are now tucked up in a 2 bedroom apartment on the sea front. It's still WA though and despite being a major city the shops shut early and we had to run round the supermarket to pick up dinner before they shut at 6.With Perth our final destination less than 200km to the north the biking element of the trip is nearly complete. We now need to find a decent wifi to figure out where we have to return the bikes. If past wifi speeds are anything to go by we might be paying overdue fees!