Today is the day where we complete our coast to coast… a short drive to Busselton. Still not the furthest west we will go, but as one of our friends said when we told them what we were doing ‘head west and stop when you hit the water’.
The morning started by being woken by logging trucks driving along the highway at 5am, and then the garbage trucks at 530 – definitely back in civilisation. We all dressed and set off for a breakfast out at a cafe – a bit of a treat – but low and behold the cafe we wanted to go to wasn’t open until 830am (it was only 730am!), so we went a bit further down the road and found another. We then headed to the butcher to get some meat (they advertised that they cryo-vac) and bought some gourmet sausages for tonight and a few steaks for the fridge.
We had been told by a few locals that Donnybrook is the place to go for fruit picking, so I called up one of the main ones, and we are completely out of season – spring picking is over and summer picking doesn’t commence until April, so having promised the girls that we would go fruit picking we then had a deep discussion about why we couldn’t. So we have now promised them that they can go fruit picking with Mia and Charlie when its next fruit picking season in Sydney (Amy is always on top of these things – aren’t you Amy?). So seeing as the drive isn’t that long i decided to google for a playground in Donnybrook as we cant check into the Busselton Big 4 caravan park until midday, so we need to stop. I came across the ‘Apple Fun Park‘ – the biggest free entry playground in Australia. It was seriously impressive – equipment for all ages from baby through to teenagers (which included electronic interactive games) as well as adult gym equipment. The children (which includes Lachlan) were having a ball – up and down the castles and spiral slides, until Ava ran across a rope bridge and slide between the ropes and now had a big ouchy rope burn on her thigh – this didn’t however stop her for long, within 5 mins she was back up the castles. We seem to have done well to find two amazing playgrounds in WA in as many days – I hope the girls expectations aren’t set on having us find one of these each day.
Today we arrived in Busselton for 2 days, at a Big4 park, so the girls are excited about the pool and the bouncy pillows and also staying in the same park for 2 days. This is where we slow down and stay at parks for a few days at a time to give us time to explore the areas and to relax and soak up the region. Coming through to Margaret River – the back way as the Lady said yesterday – is definitely a different experience to the last time I drove to MR with mum 12 years ago which was highway all the way down from Perth. Hitting the Bussell Highway at Capel we both commented that this is the first highway we have seen since Port Augusta 11 days ago.
We had some sad news today that a great friends of ours dog passed away, Maggie, who was Jacks playmate for the past 5 years, and we used to look after her when Matt and Donna were away. It was heartbreaking news, although we knew that doggy heaven would be welcoming her soon, as she was old and had been unwell for a while. Telling the girls was really hard, and we told them over a milkshake. After I had explained what had happened, Ava asked me to tell the story again so that she could listen properly this time. Audrey is sad and says that Maggie is sleeping and wont wake up, but Ava understands what it means, and has taken it really badly – the first experience of death she has had – and has spent most of the afternoon sad and telling everyone that Maggie has died (the lady in the pool didn’t know how to react). She then transfers her sadness to what is going to happen to Jack as he is old and he will die soon – then her face lights up as she knows that means that we will get a puppy. So sad for the Dubsky’s – we are thinking of you all xx
Arriving at the Big4 was fantastic – a certain level of knowing what standard the facilities are going to be is really nice. Yes, the park is more than double what we have been paying at other parks these last few weeks, but worth it for a couple of days. We ate lunch and then went straight into the pool. They have two pools – one heated to about 31degrees, and the other unheated. Audrey and I were both straight in – the heated one of course – without any hesitation, it was beautiful. Lachlan reckoned it was alike a Spa, and for the first time all holiday Ava didn’t turn blue within minutes. Audrey did her first proper swimming today, swimming off the steps to the noodle on her own – about 1.5m distance – she then realised it was fun and we had trouble stopping her. Ava spent the entire time underwater, but is now suffering the consequences as we reckon she swallowed too much water. We drove into the town centre, having come across our first snake slithering on the campside entrance road – to work out our plans for tomorrow and also to visit the Tourist Office – my favourite place in towns now! The jetty is pretty impressive – at 2km and the longest wooden jetty in the world – so tomorrow we will get the train along the jetty to the aquarium at the end, then likely to have more swimming and a relaxing day…..I saw a Fish n Chip shop on the way into town and now all i want is fish n chips – maybe I can persuade Lachlan for Fish n Chips tomorrow night.
One of the ladies we were talking to in the pool mentioned that WA Is extremely expensive and that the eastern states (when they went to pick up their caravan from Melbourne) is so cheap – up to 50% cheaper for some items. Eating out she said is so expensive here – that made me think that maybe we wont be eating out as much as we had hoped whilst over here….Lachlan better get fishing!