Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Albany – Part 3 – Why We Went

The impetus behind our trip to WA was the Ulysses AGM.  We try to get to every second one.  This would have to rate with the best.  The events hosted by smaller centres always seem to be the friendliest.

The only rain we had on our way over was about 1km from the registration point, so we had to stand in line in the wet!  The camp grounds had lovely soft green grass (the first we’d seen for quite some time) on sandy soil.  Perfect for camping. With about 1200 campers on site, the organisers did a wonderful job.  The amenities were the best of any AGM we have attended, and believe me, good amenities make the world of difference.

We put up our tent with the group from Rockhampton.

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Mick has been toying with the idea of building a camper trailer to tow behind the bike.  We saw lots on the way over and he was checking them all out and he reckons he built it 100 times in his head while riding.  We had a look at the display of camper trailers at the AGM and decided, blow it, let’s just buy one.  So on Tuesday we dismantled our tent and as Mick put it “We have an erection!”

Meet “Paris”. We are so pleased with her.  There was no shortage of helpers to put her up.  Here we are, all set up.

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We had several day trips.  Visiting the Valley of the Giants.  We had our photo taken in this tree last time we were over.

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We went across the Tree Top Walk.  That spot halfway across is me.

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We visited Elephant Rocks.

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And the beautiful bay where they are located.

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We visited a Banksia Farm.  There are 78 varieties and this is the only entire collection.  We learnt so much about banksias.  We had no idea they were such a varied and clever plant.

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Of course we had to visit Whale World which was the last commercial whaling station in Australia.  It is really well done and is still intact. The Cheynes IV was one of the chaser boats.

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Another fascinating place we visited was Mt Romance Sandalwood Factory.  They are the only sandalwood processing plant in the southern hemisphere.  As sandalwood is becoming rarer, there is no waste and they are aiming for a sustainable industry with advanced practices.  They also did a delicious dinner of a regional tasting plate and collected you in a free shuttle bus.  How could we refuse?

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The week was not long enough to see all the local attractions.  There were plenty more we couldn’t get to see.  The town itself has a thriving town centre, which I think did rather well out of the Ulyssians.  I know the patchwork shop owner was amazed at how many quilters there were among us and how much fabric found its way into already well packed panniers.  I know I brought some home.

On the Saturday morning we had our Grand Parade through the town.  The locals came out in force and the whole route was lined with spectators.  Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly.

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On Friday and Saturday nights there were official dinners, with about 1000 at a seating.  The theme this year was Pirates.  So, of course, Garry and Linda and us had to play along.  Mick failed pirate school, so has to wear two eye patches.

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A big storm went across during the Saturday night dinner and our camper handled it very well, phew!

We had a wonderful time in Albany and must visit the area again in wildflower season.

Then, sadly it was all over and time to come home.  Lots of farewells to new and old friends till next time. Funnily, it was also raining when we left Albany.

I flew from Albany to Perth and then then next day onto Sydney before driving the rest of the way home.

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Meanwhile, Mick started the long ride home, getting here on Friday.  He had a hot trip.  The trailer towed well. 

Back at that sign again.

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We seem to like photos of Cocklebiddy Roadhouse, this time at sunset.

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I’ll share my treasures soon.

3 comments:

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Awesome photos Janice...love the new trailer...

jknee said...

what lovely photos you have inspired us to travel to the other side of our gorgeous country thank you for sharing

Sandi Butler said...

Wow, what a trip you both had. Yes I did grab a cuppa and enjoyed reading all about your fantastic trip away, - what an adventure! Thanks for posting!