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DEC 2001 - JAN 2002 - FEB 2002 - MAR 2002 - APR 2002 - MAY 2002 - JUN 2002 - JUL 2002 - JUN & JUL 2003
'Oh look - a corner'
Australia - JAN 2002
'Happy New Year!'
Tuesday 1st January 2002 Fremantle


By midnight Steve was very pissed, but we continued drinking until about 2:30 am when we had to leave to catch the last train back to Fremantle. On the way back the girls bundled Steve onto a garden sprinkler and ended up having a huge water fight. Beau and I where far too sensible to join in and where too busy trying to retrace our steps back to the train station.

Slept like a log. Sarena and I went to the beach and then went to see Lord of the Rings. The others where trying to get to the Races, but after suffering the crap service of the Taxi drivers decided just to drive to the beach.

My New Years Resolutions are to; learn Spanish and complete songs on Acoustic Guitar (not just intros)!

What a fab evening, Steve had a really bad hangover today which was very funny to see - the rest of us didn't feel so bad. Emma,Steve and Clare wanted to go to the races (bit like Ascot) whilst us 3 couldn't be arsed to go.

They ordered a taxi which unfortunately didn't turn up so they then decided to go down to a nearby beach instead with Beau.

Toby and I went down the local beach and then went to the cinema to see 'Lord of the Rings' it was a fantastic film!!!

Wednesday 2nd January 2002 Fremantle

Steve and Emma leave us today to stay with Emma's Auntie in Melbourne. So we dropped them off at the Airport. The 4 of us then headed of in Betty, North to the Pinnacles desert. A 600k round trip. I directed us up the coast at first only to find that the last 80k was across sand dunes and could only be attempted in a 4WD so after spending a few minutes on the beach we headed around the dunes which took an extra 2 hours to the Pinnacles desert.

The rock formations of the pinnacles was spectacular but only worth an hours visit so went for a swim on a nearby beach and headed all the way back to Fremantle.

Jon and Vicki offered us a bed for the night so Beau and Clare slept in Betty.

We all got up early to drop off Emma and Steve at the Airport as they were flying to Melbourne- Clare got very upset bless her but we were soon on our way in Betty to see a place called the Pinnacles which was 600k journer there and back again - took bloody hours to get there but was an amazing place - desert with hundreds of sandstone pinnacles standing everywhere it looked really strange and was incredibly hot. We then hopped back in the van and drove down to nearby deserted white sandy beach for an hour then drove back again

We stayed at Vicky and Jon's place that evening whilst Beau and Clare stayed in the van outside.

Thursday 3rd January 2002 Cotesloe

Our Aussie adventure is just about to start. The plan is that the 4 of us (Sarena, Beau, Clare and I) take betty all the way, anticlockwise, around the coast.

Betty needed a clean out and we needed supplies so we split up for the day each with a shopping list and sorted out our supplies for the journey south tomorrow.

We tested Betty's cooking equipment on the Lawn in front of Jon and Vicki's flat, while I fitted a radio cassette player, then went out for a drink with Jon and Vicky as they are leaving tomorrow on a 2 month tour of Australia before the return to England. Then camped over at a house of another friend of Beau and Clare's.

We spent the day shopping for supplies and getting sorted for our adventures in the van - Toby and Beau went into Perth whilst Claire and I stayed in Fremantleto do all our stuff.

Altogether we had sorted out RAC cover for the van and bought food and supplies so it was a very productive day - we were all really excited about getting going. We met up with Vicky and Jon and some other friends for there farewell drink as they were off for a couple of months travelling then back to England so that Vicky could have her baby boy. We spent the night over Buda's house (another friend) , us two in the van and the other 2 in the house.

Friday 4th January 2002 Walpole

The start of our Backpacking tour of Australia. I must admit that I was getting very itchy feet after spending the last few week sin hotels in Cities.

We left Perth at 10 am and headed south to our first Destination, Walpole. This was decided as Beau and Clare have been invited to a wedding there tomorrow. We made it to within 30km of the 450km drive when Betty Stuttered and ran out of Fuel just as it started to rain. What a perfect start to our road adventure!

We had also forgotten to fill up our Jerry Cans. So Beau hitched a lift into Walpole and returned an hour later. It's a good job it happened here and not in the middle of the desert! Betty started up first time and we cruised into Walpole...

...A one horse town, which doesn't seem to have a horse! We found a Backpackers that was full with other people attending the wedding but we where allowed to camp around the back. By this time we were starving and only just made the Cafe which closes at 8 pm.

Sarena and I slept in the tent as it was Beau and Clare's turn to sleep in Betty.

Well today was the first day of our big journey- we set off at 10.00am for our first destination of Walpole so that Beau and Claire could attend a wedding they had been invited to. It was a 450K journey and Beau drove all the way. The funniest thing that happened though was we ran out of petrol 20mins from Walpole so Beau hitched a lift into town to get some fuel whilst we sat and ate all the food from the boxes and decides we were going to call ourselves ' The B Team' the crap renegade's who got everything wrong - we ended up in hysterics! Beau caught a lift back by a lovely couple and then we were off again. We found a backpackers place for the evening which was a fab place but they didn't have any rooms left as it was full of other wedding guests. So we set up the tent in the garden and went out for some dinner only to find the restaurants shut at 8.00pm and could only get food that they could deep fat fry -mmmmm ended up with chips.

Saturday 5th January 2002 Walpole

Slept OK and tried to lie in and relax whilst Beau and Clare went to the wedding.

We had loads of washing to do and some other things to sort out, including updating the website. So Sarena and I hung around the backpackers all day. I managed to find a shop that sold cassettes so now we can listen to Deep purple and NOW 6 whilst we cruise the south cost of Australia.

I bought some Velcro to repair a broken zip on Beau and Clare's tent and spent the afternoon sewing it into place. Then we decided to buy our own tent. Bugger!

Didn't sleep so good as the ground was so hard but got up just in time to see Beau and Clare off - the wedding was at 9.30am they then had brunch, come back for the day then go back to the reception in the evening. Toby and I did all the group washing and drying and then bought some hooks for the van and some Velcro to mend the tent as well as buying a tent for us - never had my own tent before so I was quite excited, how sad is that!!

I then sat down to catch up with writing the Website which was now a week behind so it took me a couple of hours, meanwhile Clare and Beau had come back and gone down the pub - they then came back again at about 4.30 a little bit pickled, they were going back to the reception at 6.30 so it looked like they had a long evening in front of them.

We had also sorted out a 4 day trek starting on Monday for the 4 of us and I was really looking forward to doing some walking again.

Sunday 6th January 2002 Walpole

We have decided to do a 4 day walk through 'the bush'. So spent the day buying food and stuff. Beau and Clare popped of to to a Tree Top walk with their friend Kathy from Brisbane who was the sister of the Bride of the wedding they went to yesterday.

Really looking forward to doing a 4 day trek in the woods starting tomorrow so just spent the day packing bags and sorting out what food etc we would need whilst Beau and Clare went on a tree top walk with a couple of friends.

Monday 7th January 2002 Walpole

Simon, the owner of the backpackers, took us to an amazing beach where he dropped us off with a photocopy of a map and a small gas stove. We now have 4 days to walk back to the Backpackers hostel.

The route we are walking is part of the Bibbulum Track, a 963 km trail from Perth to Albany. We are only walking bout 80 km of the trail which is pretty easy to follow as it is marked out by yellow triangles with a picture of a black snake on it (encouraging). This time we had to carry our own rucksacks, mine was particularly heavy as it also contained a tent as well as food and clothes and the initial walk was quite hard as it was on soft sand. Beau offered to swap rucksacks on a regular basis which helped a lot.

We are still being pestered by files! and as I tend to have my mouth open most of the time I was managing to swallow quite a few, Infact I worked out that on average I was swallowing 3 flies per kilometre, which will total about 260 by the time I finish the walk. No need to carry the food then! Fortunately we bought head nets with us so I could be left to consume my daily allowance of protein from the tins of beans in our rucksacks.

The views and beaches are outstanding along this section of the south coast. And we came across a couple of kangaroos on some rocks right by the sea and managed to get really close to them. The trail turned inland towards the end of this days walk towards the camping lodge. The lodge was pretty basic, just 3 sides of a log cabin with a rain water butt, but ample enough for us. We decided not to set up mosquito nets but instead erect the inner part of our 3 man tent inside the lodge for all 4 of us to sleep in. Beau set about making tea and Smash, which tasted great, and 3 Aussies then turned up. They are doing the same stretch of the trail as us and seemed really nice. A father, Peter, with his daughter, Claire, and her friend Claire. 3 Claires! this could get confusing!

Well got up early and ate a hearty b'fast then grabbed our bags and loaded them into the back of Simon's 4 wheel drive, he and his wife own the backpackers hostel we were staying in. - they are a really great couple.

Simon then dropped us of at the beginning of the walk and we took some group photo's looking all excited and eager. We all had our huge backpacks with us but Toby's bag was really heavy as he was carrying the tent and I couldn't even lift it so how he thought he was going to walk all day with that thing on his back was beyond me... The first leg of our walk was along a coastal path so we walked on deserted beaches for most of the morning which was absolutely beautiful but extremely hard as the sand just slowed us down all the time. We were only doing a small section of the huge trail called the Bibbulum track which took about 60 days to walk from Albany to Perth (bugger that) I was quite happy with our small trail.

The fly's were really bad again and just didn't leave us alone but we luckily had some head nets which both Clare and I found a wonderful investment. Toby on the other hand had a habit of walking with his mouth open so ended up eating loads of the buggers!! it was very funny though as every few minutes you would hear him choking then coughing out another fly ........bless him you think he would learn to keep his mouth shut when trekking.We saw some kangaroo's near the beach which seemed quite happy with us getting close to them to take some pictures

We arrived at the first lodge around about 4ish and found the cabin to be a 3 sided structure with raised wooden floor sections for people to sleep on, we realised that it wasn't going to be a comfortable night. Beau and Clare didn't have any mosquito nets with them and they were essential if you wanted to get any sleep in the night. It was decided to erect the tent on the wooden floor and we all slept in it, problem was it was a 3 berth tent and Beau is a very large man so it was going to be a challenge!! We set up camp and settled down to a game of cards when another group consisting of , Peter and his daughter, Clare and her friend Clare - god 3 Clare's in the camp. We all got on really well and we loaned them our mossie nets for the night as they would have been eaten alive.

Tuesday 8th January 2002 Walpole

Sleep wasn't great as the tent is very cosy with 4 people in and the chipboard flooring very hard, but at least we didn't get bitten to death by the mossies.

We set off early after a couple of Kellogs breakfast bars and headed back towards the sea.. The path then started to turn inland and into the forests of Nonalup national park.Beau also managed to catch a glimpse of a snake on the way too.

The route took us deeper into the forest towards the valley of giants which is an area made up of huge 400 year old eucalyptus trees. The fly's are not so bad in the forest, but the hills are! one big hill led to the lodge, which came as a welcome relief..This lodge was near the 'tree top walk' tourist attraction so Sarena and dumped our rucksacks at the lodge and headed on for a further 30 minutes to the tree top walk in search of drink and chocolate. They didn't;t have any so we did the walk up to and along the tree tops and then trudged all the way back to Beau and Clare at the lodge. I did manage to see a huge snake on the way back though, not sure what it was, brown and yellow - a Tiger Snake I think - deadly!

By the time we arrived back Claire,Claire and Peter where there scoffing on their cans of cold beans and tuna, hmmmmm, tasty! We lent them our spare mosquito nets as we where all staying in the tent again.

Well I was the clever one who bought a blow up lilo bed with me that Beau was very jealous of and insisted he should have it! this was becoming a bit of a running joke now as everything I had or bought he complained because he either wanted half of it (usually food) or wanted to have it (my lilo). I had a relatively good nights sleep even though it was really squashed whilst the others were very uncomfortable on the hard floor.

We had a couple of b'fast bars and a coffee then said goodbye to our new friends for another day of hard walking. The path took us away from the sea towards the woods and the huge tingle trees' that towered high above us with massive hollowed out trunks you could camp in. The fly's seemed better in the woods and was alot cooler so walking was easier apart from really steep hills we now faced.. God I hate hills. We eventually made it to the next lodge and set up the tent again then got dinner on the go which consisted of instant mash and tinned meat, a good feast for the 4 of us. We had a little stove and a kettle and plenty of provisions for the journey so eating wasn't a problem - luckily we all eat well so had packed enough to feed an army. Peter and the 2 Clare's turned up in the evening and settled down to a small meal of tinned tuns and dried fruit as they didn't want to carry to much. Toby and I were told by Clare and Beau that there was a shop 20 mins away at the entrance to the treetop walk that they had already been on earlier that week. So when we arrived at our camp for that evening after walking 7 hrs, Toby and I dropped off our bags in search for this 'shop' to find some chocolate and yummy stuff to bring back with us, 30mins later we arrived at the 'shop' only to find it sold nothing but stuffed toys and postcards!!! mmmm we weren't best pleased as we were both looking forward to some treats. We went on the treetop walk anyway which was quite nice if not a little scary then marched all the way back again and told them they were a couple of dingbats only to be told that they had been selling chocolate a few days ago (seems they had just run out the buggers).

Cold beans and Tuna for dinner that evening which was actually quite nice especially when your starving hungry! Later on in the evening Peter and the 2 Claires arrived and we all settled down to a good game of cards

Wednesday 9th January 2002 Walpole

The tent seemed smaller than the previous night! but still managed to get just enough sleep to provide the energy to actually get up, although the hard floor was an added incentive. According to the map, today's walk should be the easiest, so we where in no rush to head off.

The walk was shorter but there where a few hills and my rucksack didn't seem to be getting any lighter. Beau and Clare spotted another big snake coiled up on the path, but it had gone by the time Sarena and I had got there. We made it to the lodge by 1 PM whilst dodging some rain showers. It is a great lodge, right on a river bank. If it wasn't for the rain and cold wind it would of made a nice refreshing swimming spot. By pure coincidence the couple that had dropped Beau off with the petrol on the day we ran out popped into the lodge for lunch then the 2 Claires and Peter arrived not long after. Peter braved the cold and went for a swim.

The evenings could of been very long if it wasn't for our new found Aussie friends, they where excellent companions and taught us loads of new phrases such as , 'ferrel', 'pearly' and 'spacaroo' ( which I think Clare W made up on the spot). They also taught me the card game, 'Arsehole', so I taught them 'Shitface'. It was a very pleasant evening! We ran out of Gas for our stove that evening and in desperation for a hot drink in the freezing rain Beau lit a small fire for the kettle which was against camp rules for obvious reasons but you can't deny the 'Poms' their right to a Cup Of Tea!

Just did not sleep well as all Beau could do all night is complain that he was cold and then steal Clares sleeping bag off of her!! that girl needs a Saint Hood...

Had another good days walk even though we were all tired apart from Toby who has the amazing ability to sleep through anything. Clare found a snake and was very brave - she ran as fast as she could!! into the arms of big brave Beau.... It had unfortunately gone by the time we got there so I still hadn't seen a snake, godnabbit. We found the lodge eventually and were all impressed at it's location which was right next to a pretty river perfect for swimming in, the only drawback for that was it had started to rain and had become very overcast so we decided to be British and just watch the rain. Peter and the 2 Claires appeared later on again and Peter went for a swim which he said was wonderful and then settled down to another evening of cards and teaching each other Aussie and English phrases we could use on our journey. They taught us some crackers but the only one they seemed to like from Claire's and I was 'Big Pants'? Toby taught them how to play Shitface and they taught him how to play Arsehole which by the end of the evening sounded like they all hated each other!

Drama of the evening was running out of gas and not having a hot drink..... so good ole Beau and Toby went and made a small fire (something we were NOT supposed to do) so that we could drink our tea, it also brought out the 'hunting and gathering' instinct for both men and pleased them no end for the rest of the evening whilst Clare and I just told them how brave and clever they were for making 'fire'

Both of us girlies went to bed early to read our books and ended up in hysterics for one reason or another - OK it was because Toby was acting like a fluffy puppy around the 2 Clares as he was teaching them cards and we could hear him from the tent!! Bless him. I have to thank both the girls as you have done his ego the power of good! oh and Beau is quite happy cause you told him he has skinny ankles and looks younger than 35..........Men

Thursday 10th January 2002 Walpole

The tent is definitely shrinking! but its our last night with the 4 of us in it which made it just bearable. Sarena was up very early with a bad stomach, the rain water I think. The rest us sonn woke and we packed up pretty quick ready to head of as the last day looked like a long one.

Claire, Claire and Peter also walked with us today and the time just flew by. Both Beau and I where suffering from blistered feet and with Sarena's bad stomach between the 3 of us we looked pretty pathetic as the others just marched on as fresh as a daisy. I had a particularly tough section of the walk as whack around the knees from Sarena's walking stick impaired me slightly after I agreed that one of the Aussie Claire's legs where very nice. We made through Tingle wood, back down to the coast and to our Aussie friends campsite by midday, just as the sun started to break through. Peter invited us in for a cup of tea, which we accepted and where greeted with the friendliest bunch of campers you could image, made up of friends and family, of Peters and where fed as well as watered. - Bonus. We said our goodbyes, which where actually a bit emotional and left the 2 Claires, Peter and friends at there campsite.

We then had our last stretch of 3km back to the backpackers which seemed really hard as I had become stiff from our rest at Peters campsite.Clare spotted another snake, a small black one. We made it back. I didn't feel that tired but my feet where giving me hell.

Sorted out some washing and food e.t.c and then settled down to an evening of videos and Pizza.

What another bad night.-.was awake all night with stomach ache then got up at 4.00 in the dark to try and desperately find the toilet which was situated bloody miles away in the woods (with snakes) and had severe dioreah for the whole morning which is always nice wondering if your going to get your arse bit by a nasty snakes or come face to face with a killer spider or even have another walker stumble over your pants whilst you empty the remnants of the last 3 days food - little that is was!

Oh well upwards and onwards we gathered our things and all decided to walk together for the day which was really nice and I found I struggled to keep up with them - but at least I tried. We arrived back at Peter and the girls campsite at around 1 ish all looking pretty rough what with Toby and his twisted ankle and Beau with his bad blisters. They very kindly invited us back to their cabin that they were sharing with friends and gave us some lunch and tea and offered to drive us back to our Hostel (being British we refused of course) they introduced us to all their friends etc and just couldn't do enough for us -they were all really nice people. But we had to march on so we all said our goodbyes and carried on for another hour to the Hostel, Simon said he thought it was funny how the girls just walked in looking fine whilst the 2 guys just dragged themselves in looking terrible!!

We all had showers and gathered our now stinking clothes to take down the cleaners and then I bought some chocolate and wine and some Video's whilst Clare got the Pizza's ready for an evening of slobbing. They all went to bed really early whilst I stayed up to 1.00am getting drunk with Simon.

Friday 11th January 2002 Albany

Back on the road again. But not before we all spend a routine couple of hours getting stressed as we try to pack everything back up into the van. Its only a short drive 150k or so, but still takes a good 2 hours in Betty.

We stopped off along the way in a small town called Denmark for an Ice-cream at a great beach, where we attempted some arty photo's. Then after some lunch in the town we drove to Albany and moved into a backpackers that Clare had booked for us from Walpole. The backpackers was great but not as friendly as Walpole and I'm starting to think that we should be saving money and camping with the van. Backpackers in Oz aint cheap!

Discovered some people that where staying in Walpole are now in Albany so after a cheapy roast dinner. We all went down the pub with our free backpacker beer tokens. I am trying to cut down on alcohol, more for expensive than health, but only lasted half the night before the beers started to go down. Unfortunately I started a little too late to be able to get into the mood of the pub. Sarena and Clare went on to a night club while Beau and I went to bed (can't take the beer!)

All had Quite a good nights sleep and woke up to a beautiful sunny day - we packed our bags and van and set off for the next destination of Albany where we intended to get my teeth done (chipped the front teeth) the journey only took a couple of hours after stopping at another wonderful beach with clear blue water and white sand.......mmmmmmm. Anyway we arrived in Albany in the early afternoon and checked ourselves into the local backpackers for the night then found out that they were doing a roast dinner with all the trimmings for just $8 per person - fantastic hadn't had a roasty for about a year. At 5.30 they dished out free tea and cake so we all made sure we got some of that then had our roasty which was delicious. We got chatting to a guy called Andrew who said he was going up the pub later so we all decided to join him as everyone was given a voucher of buy one get one free and who are we to overlook a bargain? Bloody bonus so off we all went down the pub, Clare and I ended up having a fab time and dancing around to the duke box music. I somehow bumped into a fantastically mad girl called Kelsie who dragged me around by the hand introducing me to everyone and buying more alcohol, we had to be the maddest person I have ever met in my life but one of the funniest as well. She talked us into coming down to the local nightclub along with Andrew whom we had met and made friends with and a guy called Mat but Toby and Beau were not enjoying themselves at all and decided to go back and go to bed ....

So off we all went down to the club and when it was our turn to go in they actually asked for my ID !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! don't think I have laughed that loud into someone's face before but could have actually snogged him for making my evening. We danced around for a couple of hours whilst being surrounded by young Aussies who were dancing like they were in some kind of competition and were all a little strange but added to the comedy aspect of the evening. We ended crawling back in the early hours of the morning after having a cup of tea in the kitchens with Andrew and putting the World to rights ( I was quite drunk) and snuggled up to our little tired poppets all snugly and warm...........

Saturday 12th January 2002 Albany

Time to start camping for real. After breakfast we packed the van up ... again! and headed into town for bits of shopping and search for a cheapy guitar for me and Beau. Sarena is desperate to get her front teeth fixed, although I can't quite see what the urgency is. Clare and I have have decided to run a half Marathon on the east coast in July so I also bought a pair of cheapy running shoes that may convince me to start some training (doubt it though).

After shopping we headed out of town in search of a free campsite for the night. Bingo! The first spot we found was great (apart from the flys). It was at Mutton Bird Island and was set on the cliff top overlooking the island and a perfect white sandy beach. The purposely built spot for the tent was on the right over the edge of the cliff. After Clare and I had erected the tent we returned to the camper van to find Beau was already interacting with the Locals. Actually he had met up with a guy called Mark with his dog Thorn who was also planning on camping here for the night. He is a really nice bloke and we all got on very well.

Beau cooked an excellent Beef curry on the gas stove and we all sat about chatting to Mark who had lots of interesting things to tell us about Oz. Sarena and I had the tent, which I was looking forward to as the view from it was perfect and we now had two air beds although the tent was still on a bit of a slope (over the cliff edge!).

Woke up and had some b'fast then collected our bags ready for the off again, we had decided to and stay in a free campsite about 25mins away from Albany which meant not having a shower or any toilets....First we decided to all go our separate ways to do some shopping for different things ( I went looking for a dentist) then regrouped to do some food shopping and buy some things for the camper van ( blow up mattress and some trainers for Toby. Beau was going to cook us one of his wonderful curries for dinner that evening which we were all looking forward to! drove to the site and were really surprised at how beautiful the place was - situated on a cliff overlooking a deserted white sandy beach and clear blue water, fantastic. We pitched the tent on a sandy clearing on the edge that someone had built and had decorated it with shells and fish and had a little water trough to have a wash in the morning. We got talking to a lovely man called Mark and his dog Thorn who were also staying on the site and started chatting to him meanwhile Beau was making a beef curry which he takes very seriously having to have all the correct ingredients and NO interference from anyone! Mark and Thorn came and joined us later on in the evening and we all got on really well - seemed he travelled around in his truck with his dog and was really a really chilled bloke. Went to bed quite early after just sitting in the dark looking at the glorious stars.

Sunday 13th January 2002 Albany

As our camping spot was so nice and that we had to wait until Tuesday for Sarena's appointment with the dentist we decided to stay here for another night. Sarena and Clare went off in the camper van for food and water whilst Beau and I hung round the Beach.Mark also took off into town for a few hours but arrived back way before the two Girls. We started to worry, but they returned 3 hours later after getting lost.

Whilst we sat around Betty we met up with a Dutch girl who was walking the Bibbulmun track that we had met in the backpackers, then Edward and Libby turned up, They where the couple that had got married at the wedding Beau and Clare went to in Walpole. Sarena and Clare had also met up with Jon and Vicky in Albany. What a small place Oz is!

Tonight was BBQ night and Mark was joining us. After burgers,sausages and Clares x-tra hot salsa we sat around the BBQ/Fire telling ghost stories whilst Thorn kept guard. It was our trun to sleep in Betty tonight, which due to a few duff springs in the mattress also feels like we are on a slope.

Liked the place so much we decided to hang around for the day, after b'fast Clare and I decided to drive back into Albany to buy some water and alcohol and BBQ food for that evening. Unfortunately we took a wrong turning and instead of a 20min journey it took us an hour!! we eventually arrived having laughed ourselves stupid grooving o some Stevie Wonder tracks... we then set about gathering our bits and pieces and went down to the Meat shop, but who should we bump into but Vickie and Jon! - we stayed and had a chat with them for half an hour finding out how their tour of Northern Aussie was going then set off for our journey home - forgot the water so had to turn around and find a garage to refill the huge water barrels we were carrying then found the correct way back to the camp.

When we got back to the camp we found that the boys were starving hungry and very thirsty!! OOPS

We gave them some food so that they didn't moan any more then set ourselves up for the evening BBQ that we had invited Mark to for the evening. Clare prepared a dinner fit for a king consisting of home made burgers and extremely hot tomato salsa whilst I video'd her doing her culinary delights - very funny. After a wonderful BBQ that we also shared with Thorn we settled down around the camp fire to tell ghost stories........ Beau ended up doing scary faces whilst Mark told the scariest stories out of the lot of us We went to bed later than our usual 8.00pm and had another shitty evening as the mattress is completely shot to bits with a huge dent in the middle which meant me waking up with a bad neck everyother morning.

Monday 14th January 2002 Albany

The two girls seemed to have a bads night sleep and both woke with aches and pains (not me and Beau!). Sarena was adamant that she slept in a normal bed tonight. We said our goodbyes to Mark and Thorn and headed back into Albany.

On the way back we visited a couple of the local tourist attractions. A huge naturally formed bridge on the coast and some blow holes which didn't seem to do much blowing, until I stood directly over one and it scarred the sh!t out of me.

Sarena checked back into the backpackers for a night and Beau and I went on another fruitless search for a cheap guitar. Then we went to the Cinema as Beau and Clare wanted to see Lord of the Rings. Sarena and I watched Oceans Eleven which I thought was great. Then we dropped Sarena off at the backpackers whilst the three of us slept in the van, I had to squash myself under the bed which was actually quite comfortable.

Well another night with only 5mins sleep whilst Toby had another wonderful peaceful sleep (bastard) I was really fedup and extremely tired so asked to sleep in the backpackers for the evening in Albany whilst the others decided to sleep in the van (Toby under the bed) we said goodbye to Mark and Thorn and drove back into town. We went and saw some blow holes which were quite scary! basically it was a natural hole in the rock near the ocean that would blast sea air at a tremendous speed and was very powerful. Beau got quite scared after he was sitting very close stating that it was crap and nothing was happening, then a huge blast came through and he ran off shitting a brick!!

When we got into Albany I checked in then we all went down to the cinema so that they could watch 'Lord of the Rings' and we watched 'Oceans Eleven' (mmmmm George Clooney and Brad Pitt - really good film. When we had all gathered back together again they went and dropped me back at the hostel whilst they settled down in the van outside for the evening. I was sharing a dorm room with 3 other girls, one of them snored which was really annoying!! so much for a peaceful night.......

Tuesday 15th January 2002 Albany

Horray Sarena, finally gets to see a dentist today, that should put us out of our misery! I sneaked into the backpackers at 6:30 for a free shower then we left Sarena in town and drove to a place 100km north of Albany called the Stirling Ranges, which apparently has the highest peak in Western Australia, Bluff Knoll.

We decided to climb it. Which was actually pretty hard in the intense heat, until we got around to the other side where the cool breeze made the rest of the climb very enjoyable. The views from the top where amazing, Just who you imagine the outback to look. On the way back down we met up with an old couple from Dorset (he was 72!) who where just taking a 'stroll' up the mountain. Click here for movie of beau's singing on bluff knoll (1.3mb).

We returned back to Albany to find Sarena in a Cafe with Mark and her teeth all repaired. We bought some pizzas and all headed back up to our free camping spot for one last night in Albany.

Ended up having chat with the young lady who had been snoring all night - she was talking about how annoying it was to be sleeping with a snorer which was usually due to being overweight - OK love (didn't have a clue she was one of them) I had a dentist appointment at 10.20am for a consultation to find out the prices of having my teeth fixed so I got up pretty early and dumped my backpack in the van and said goodbye. They were off to Stirling Range to climb Bluff Knoll the highest mountain in Western Australia, I wasn't too worried about not going as I new we would be doing plenty more climbs in the future. I used the backpackers Internet to catch up on some goss when Mark walked in to use the shower, we arranged to catch up later. Well the dentists went well and he turned out to be from Bradford!! really nice bloke who told me to come back at 1.30pm for a 2hr appointment for 2 fillings in the back and to rebuild my 2 front teeth. I went back to the hostel to catch up with our website in some peace and quiet when Mark came in to say hello and arrange to meet up for coffee later in the afternoon. Well my dentist appointment loomed up too quickly and off I trogged - two and a half hours later after 4 injection (could still feel the drill after the first 2!) we walked out feeling like I had done 4 rounds with Mike Tyson and was dribbling everywhere when I finally caught up with Mark for our Coffee and cake. The other guys got back about 6ish and were pleased to see Mark again so we arranged to get some takeaway pizza's and some beer and went back to the free campsite for the night (our turn for the tent) had another lovely evening talking shite then went to bed.

Wednesday 16th January 2002 Esperance

Said our goodbyes to Mark and Thorn, Again! Then we headed back into Albany to do some washing before our next leg of the journey. I sneaked back into the backpackers for free Internet and a shower.

We are now on the way to Esperance, 480km east of Albany. The drive was long and hot. The girls suffered particularly as they sat in the back where no air gets to. We didn't quite make it to Esperance, but found another free camp site at Mulingup Beach, this one had toilets, showers and everything, including other campers. An English couple puled there van up next to us and we discovered had already met Beau and Clare at a sailing club in Perth.

Had pot noodles for tea and tried our best to tie the tent down in the winds. A thunderstorm was brewing in the distance and we could see forked lighting getting closer. I didn't mind too much as Beau and Clare had the tent tonight.

Well I had another interesting night - woke up in the early hours screaming my head off (just like the movies) after having a really bad dream and then realised I needed a wee but was too scared to go outside for the rest of the night so just led their feeling very scared........ poor old me.

Mark said he heard a scream in the night but thought he was dreaming so went back to sleep again......lot of help he was if there had been something wrong!

We said our goodbye's again and went back into Albany to use the laundrette and for Toby to have a shower. Took most of the morning and Toby managed to loose his wash bag and my shampoo and razor.. plonker. We then all bundled into the van for an all day drive to Esperance, with the girls sat in the back getting very hot and bothered. We arrived about 6hrs later at another free campsite next to the beach only to bump into another couple that Beau and Clare knew! bit of a stormy night with sheet lighting and some rain.

Thursday 17th January 2002 Esperance

The rain was surprisingly sparse in the night, and the sun was out by the time we got up. It was very hot. I went for a walk and a swim out to a reef just off the beach and then we packed up again and headed off to Esperance.

Everyone has had enough of Camping, and I need a powerpoint to charge up my gadgets. So we booked into a backpackers. I then went off to buy a load of washing gear as I discovered that I must of left my wash bag in Albany. Spent the rest of the day updating the website. Beau cooked us Spaghetti Bolagnaise, then we went to the pub. It was skimpy night so all the bar maids wore where thongs. Disgusting ;-)

Didn't rain too much in the night but Clare had a really bad nights sleep - girls aren't doing so well at the mo! Headed off to Esperance pretty sharpish as the fly's were just intolerable and Beau was nearly having a coronary trying to kill them all.

We found the local backpackers and all checked in for the night - Beau was becoming more and more quieter as the days were progressing and i was starting to think he wasn't enjoying the travelling life as much as he thought he would.

Esperence seemed really nice and the Hostel was relaxed and comfortable so after we dumped our bags Toby and Beau went off for some lunch whilst Clare and I sat and read for a while then we headed off to the local pub where we had some 'buy one get one free' vouchers. They had skimpy night which basically meant one woman walking around behind the bar in a pink bikini and silver boots - not a pretty site so Clare and I didn't mind if that was the best they could do!!. We then went back and joined other travellers in a good old piss up outside for a few hours.

Friday 18th January 2002 Esperance

Sarena and I took the van out for the day with the intention to visit some beaches. But after we got side tracked at second hand shops, looking for a guitar, we ended up at an Auto Wreckers to see if we could get Betty's steering fixed. Tim, the Mechanic seemed amazed that she had made it this far as a ball joint was completely worn out. He was a really nice guy and said he could fix it on Monday and would give her a service.

After the garage we headed back to the backpackers and hung around until Beau and Clare came back from their day on the beach. Clare and I went for a jog along the Esplanade then her and Beau took Betty to a campsite for the night. Sarena went met up with another couple form the backpackers and we went to see a band that Tim had recommended. They where good fun, a standard rock cover band, but they did play a lot of AC/DC. Tim was also at the pub and insisted on buying me drinks all night and telling me of his stories of 18 years as a Gold Miner, and saying we should stay longer and go off-roading and skiing with him. Cool! after the pub closed (midnight) we went to another bar and actually managed to buy Tim a drink fearful that his tab may magical appear on betties repair bill on Monday.

Well we spent the morning looking for a guitar from some Pawn brokers which I found fascinating, they were huge warehouses full of everything imaginable. We then went to a garage (or should I say I made Toby go to a garage) as the steering on the van was shocking and Clare and I were constantly asking when we should get it fixed but for some strange reason both boys thought if they got it fixed then it would cause something else to go wrong....... bloody idiots.

They both thought it wasn't bad enough to get fixed and thought we were making a bit of a fuss! so when we drove into the garage and he had a quick look under the front of the van he was quite shocked that we had been driving it, as the ball joint had completely worn and was quite dangerous !!!! We then went round to a Auto Wreckers where we met a really nice bloke called Tim who again had a look at the van and just laughed telling us to come back in on Monday and he would fit a new part for us - his parting words were 'drive carefully'.........mmmm I felt a - 'I told you so' coming on.

We went back to the backpackers and waited until Beau and Clare came back from the beach so we could hand Betty over to them - they were spending the night in a campsite whilst Toby and I stayed at the BP for another night. Clare and Toby then went for a jog, a new health regime they had started whilst Beau and I just sat around and drunk tea.

Later that evening we decided to go to a pub and listen to a live band that Tim had told us about and went down with another couple we had made friends with. The band were actually quite good and much to Toby's delight played alot of AC/DC Watching the locals was the funniest thing though as they just went mad on the dance floor, people of all ages just hopping about - alot were real local country folk who looked quite peculiar but were really enjoying themselves. We met up with Tim and bought him a couple of drinks and then proceeded to drink more and more until both us ended up quite drunk and dancing all round the dance floor with the rest of them. We then all crawled down to another bar which stayed open until 1.00am (hey that's late for us!) and proceeded to drink more and then stumble home.


Saturday 19th January 2002 Lucky Bay

We had the weekend to kill in Esperance due to Betty's appointment on Monday so we drove to a place called Lucky Bay that had been recommended to us by loads of people. Unfortunately it had also been recommended to alot of other people so the (not free!) campsite was quite busy. The bay was amazing though, and I'm sure would of looked even better if the sun was shining.

Woke up a little later than usual......and then waited for Beau and Clare to come and meet us so we could set off to Lucky Bay for the day and camp there that evening - It was really very beautiful and were visited by local friendly Joey's who came right up to you looking for food, very sweet.

Spent a bad night in the tent as it was quite windy and the flap on the back just kept making the most annoying noise which drove me insane!! Once again Toby slept through the whole night.

Sunday 20th January 2002 Esperance

After a morning stroll over the rocks and around the 'roos on the beach we drove back to Esperance. We checked out the local sights and a pink lake, which wasn't very pink,and bought some supplies. Then checked into a campsite as there is no free camping areas in the area. We only paid for 2 people and nicked a plot with a power point. - ooohhh how naughty of us. Went for another Jog and this time saw some seals by the towns Jetty. Pot noodles for Tea, hmmm

Woke up early and went for a walk over the rocks and back onto the beach where we saw 2 kangaroos sat on the sand eating their b'fast and taking no notice of us. We then drove back into Esperance in the morning and organised a plot in a campsite for later that day only telling them it was for 2 people whilst the other 2 hid in the back of the van. The other 3 went off for a drive down Great Ocean Drive whilst I stayed in the town for a look around and spend some time on my own. I found a photographic gallery which was beautiful and a lovely cafe which I sat and read in for an hour then went down to the bottle shop to buy some alcohol and walked back to the campsite. On the way back I stopped on the Jetty to have a look at two Seals that were playing in the water and couldn't believe how amazing it was to just see wild animals in there natural habitat - the only time I had only seen seals were in Zoo's!!

Toby and Clare went out for another jog - I was starting to feel bad now as I could see me disappearing into a world of slobness whilst those 2 got all fit and healthy.... I then proceeded to drink a couple of beers and had a wonderful dinner of pot noodle and then went to bed.

Monday 21st January 2002 Norseman

Betty's appointment at the Auto Wreckers. Funnily enough she was very stubborn to start this morning. Met up with Tim at the Garage, he claimed he still had a hangover from Friday, I dunno thought these Aussies could drink. He said he tried to find us yesterday at the backpackers as he was taking his boat out water skiing, bugger.

Now desperate to get a guitar for travelling with I took a pair of Rollerblades that we acquired with Betty to trade at the pawnbrokers for one of there overpriced guitars they had. Unfortunately scooters are all the rage and no one wants rollerblades any more. - any offers?

We picked up the van after lunch. Not only had they fixed the steering and serviced her, but had also repaired one of the headlights and checked out the rest of the van. She drove like a dream (ish).

Time to leave Esperance, so we headed north to a small town called Norseman which is the start of the Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor plain to Adelaide in South Australia. Found a campsite and a great cheaper meal at the service station. Then sat around a picnic table and watched the video of our trek to Everest on the video camera.

Well it was Betty's big day and for some reason we couldn't get her started (first time) must be like going to the dentist! she finally did start and after we dropped her off at the garage we all had a walk around the town, Clare and I decided to stick together whilst the other 2 went there own ways - Clare was a bit irritable today and was finding everything was causing her to snap all the time so I took her to a lovely cafe and treated us to a huge fried b'fast and strong coffee. We then went and have a look in a sports shop for some trainers for me, I had decided to start running with them - stupid as I hate running. Met up with the lads and then did a bit more food shopping before we headed off for a couple hours drive to Norseman the first town before the Nullarbor where we set up camp and watched some of our travel video's which we all found very entertaining.

Tuesday 22nd January 2002 Madura

We planned to start our drive across the Nullarbor early as it gets hot pretty quickly, especially with 4 of us stuffed in a van. By the time we packed up though it was already 8am and getting hot. We have been warned about driving across the Nullarbor as Kangaroo's are very common and can but a nasty dent in the front of your car. We drove carefully and only encountered an Emu sprinting across in front of us. After 190 km we stopped at a roadhouse called Balladonia for a break and a coffee.

Halfway through todays journey we came across the straightest stretch of road in Oz. 146km!

By about 5 ish we arrived at a roadhouse called Madura that had a campsite. So we pulled in for the night 509km from our staring point, Norseman. Betty didn't even break a sweat so it looks like we might make it all the way. After we set the tent up Clare, Sarena and I went for a Jog through the bush. It was amazing loads of Roo's and Cockatiles and parakeets everywhere, with the sun setting across the desert. Perfect!

Well it was the start of our journey across the Nullarbor today and we were all quite excited about the whole thing! The journey was supposed to take 3 days across very hostile territory - a vast plain as far as the eye can see and very hot. We started the first shift of driving by sitting in the back of the van, we started driving early before it started to get too hot which is the only way we could get across or we would have melted away. We camped up at about 5ish in the evening all feeling very tired as the driving was very mundane - driving in a straight line for 10hrs whilst dodging kangaroo's and Emu's. We stayed in a Roadhouse campsite which was quite nice and then Toby, Clare and I went for a run!! can't believe how hard it was and how sick I would feel but the scenery was beautiful - so that made up for it.

Wednesday 23rd January 2002 Yalata

Actually managed to get an early start this time and left the campsite by 6 am. 182 km later we arrived at the South Australian border. This is where the most scenic part of the drive starts. So we detoured of the main highway at several places to take a look at massive sand dunes and the Bunda Cliffs that drop straight into the Southern Ocean. Very Impressive.

After checking in and out of one roadhouse camp site we turned up at a place called Yalata that is in the heart of Aboriginal country, and they gave us a free campsite. Bonus! The sunset was great and so where the insects that where intent on biting us

Oh my god.... woke up and couldn't move as my legs felt like they had been put through a meat grinder and I walked like a complete pleb, I'm very unfit. We set off very early again and were on the road for 6.00am where we passed more of the same landscape varying between wooded area's and vast open land with the road, as straight as an arrow piercing through it. We veered off the road a few times to go down to the coast to see the wonderful mixture of sights - sand dunes one minute then just a minute down the road we stopped at Bunda cliffs which was like being at the edge of the world, steep cliffs straight into the sea all along the coast line as far as the eye could see - absolutely beautiful.

We stayed at another roadhouse campsite which was full of Aborigines - bit of mixed feeling over the Abo's as the only ones I had seen were in the major cities and all of them had been very drunk and abusive. The people in the roadhouse seemed nice enough but seemed really poor and extremely dirty. Clare and I had had discussions about this later on as I sympathised with them, saying that the white Aussies had been wrong with how they treated the Aborigines ( bit like South Africa) but then Clare had a fair argument about how that was a long time ago but they were still abusing the system ( bit like NHS) and using drink and drugs. She had seen this first hand from working at the Perth royal hospital whilst being over here. I don't really know enough about the people or history to make a fair comment so made a mental note to find out a bit more.

Thursday 24th January 2002 Smoky Bay

Thought we didn't need to get up too early as we didn't have much of a drive to our scheduled stop, Ceduna. But today was the hottest day and everyone seemed to suffer in the van. We arrived in Ceduna by lunch time, 1185km since our starting point, Norseman Ceduna was the first proper town on the Eyre highway, I gave the girls a map of the town so they could find somewhere for us to camp for the night. They came back with a cool beach house for $40 a night. Can't be bad. It was in smoky bay 30 km south of Ceduna on the Eyre Peninsula. a great bungalow in a tiny hamlet on the beach so we decided to stay here for 2 nights.

I hadn't actually cooked an evening meal since the four of us have been travelling so it was planned that I made a Chilli. A few distractions meant that I got out of the cooking again, whilst I did some washing and phoned my friend Damien in Brisbane, so Sarena cooked it. The little darling. Walked along the beach to watch the sun set and saw quite a few sting rays swimming inches from the shoreline. Drunk a few rum and cokes then watched some Aussie TV, which seems to be all British programs.

Woke at a normal time for a change as we only had a few hours driving today and set off for the first town after the Nullarbor called Ceduna where the boys left us to find accommodation for that evening. We found an fab deal - a 3 bedroom house with TV, A/C infact every facility you could wish for only $40 per night!! so we did some food shopping first then hot tailed it down to Smoky Bay which was a tiny town/village on the sea. The sea was beautiful and had huge pelicans floating about near the shore, the house was a stones throw away and was soooooo fab, just what we could all do with after being cooped up for so long. We settled in for the evening whilst I cooked a chilli for dinner we then sat down and watched the latest travel video which had us all in stitches.

Friday 25th January 2002 Smoky Bay

It was so nice to be in a proper bed for a change that I couldn't be bothered to get up very early (the rum and cokes probably didn't help). Sarena did make it up and went for a run, but she seemed to get back pretty quickly.

I walked down to the shop/garage/post office/off licence place in town and bought some breakfast ingredients then set about creating one of my Toby Special fried breakfasts to make up for not cooking last night. It was nearly midday by the time we finished breakfast and we decided just to hang around all day.

I started on updating this website and actually found I had time to redesign some of the pages and create a gallery for some of our favourite photographs. After the breakfast had digested a bit (by 2 PM) I took Sarena down to the beach for a swim. She has not swam in sea since we have been travelling. The water was very warm but it was quite hard to swim as it only got to knee deep after walking out from the beach for 5 minutes. Nether the less, she actual got in and paddled around on her belly. Very brave!

Went for a jog, watched Video's and had a curry in between updating the web site in the evening.

We had all arranged (not Beau) to get up early and go for a morning run but I couldn't drag Toby out of bed for love nor money, and I couldn't wake Clare so I ended up going on my own. The weather was perfect as the sun hadn't come out yet and the sea was like a mill pond. Everyone was still in bed when I got back so I sat down in the piece and quiet for a few hours before the others crawled in.

Toby can't get out of cooking again today!! so he cooked a wonderful fried b'fast which Clare turned down (not a happy chappy again today) we worked out it must be the time of the month so have all been staying well away before she gets committed for mass murder...... had a lazy day sitting around and reading then went out for a swim in the sea, which was a real big thing for me ( scared shitless of fish and of any underwater living creature actually) the water was very shallow for miles out and very warm so it was quite pleasant. We then went back and all went out for a run in the evening which I found really hard, infact I couldn't walk! Clare and I then went up to a ladies house who said we could borrow a video from her collection - very friendly people, we got 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Something about Mary' we then ate a curry that Beau had made and then went to bed.

Saturday 26th January 2002 Port Augusta

Time to move on again. By the time we had packed up though it was midday and very muggy. We said our goodbyes to the owner of the house, Lois, who was living in the garage next door and headed off around the Eyre Peninsula. By the time we got to the first town, Streaky Bay, we all decided that it wasn't worth wasting two days following the coast. So we cut east across the peninsula to Port Augusta. It was a hard drive as it was very hot and muggy and the passengers in the back of the van suffered. The thing that kept us going was the fact that we had to drive through a town called 'Iron Knob'!

The town was dead, which seemed a bit surprising as today was Australia Day and I thought everybody would be out celebrating. We found a basic camp site and did our usual trick of hiding to people in the back of the van.

Slept like a log and just didn't' want to get out of bed but we all had to pack our bags again and be on our way. We said our goodbye's to Lois who owned the house and thanked her for all her help and kindness - such a lovely lovely lady. Reminded Clare and I of Beau's mum. On the road again! the weather was incredibly humid so the van was just awful to be trapped in for even 10mins but it took a good 6hrs to get to Port Augusta where we found a campsite and piled out for a cold shower a pot noodle and then bed.

Sunday 27th January 2002 Adelaide

Got up really bloody early (5 am) which seemed even earlier as we have recently moved our clocks forward 2 1/2 hours. It was pretty dark but we showered and packed the tent up and where off by 6 am as we didn't want to get stuck in the heat again.

Our destination was Adelaide, the weather was cloudy and drizzly and cool, so we could of had a lay in. We got to Adelaide and after some slight disturbances as to who was map reading us to a campsite we checked into a local one. The lady running it was not fooled for one minute by me and Beau hiding in the back of the van and gave us a plot opposite the reception. I had to go, tail between my legs, and pay for two extra people.

Spent the rest of the day updating the website. Then went for a jog and to a hotel bar at the end of the road to help celebrate 'Australia Day' weekend. - it was empty!

MMMMM what a crap nights sleep, it was so hot that I just laid there all night whilst listening to Toby's wonderful snoring! got up at 5.00am and were all packed and on the road for 5.55am - getting better. It turned out the weather wasn't as bad as the day before so we didn't need to leave at such a ridiculous time. The weather was very cool and made the driving so much easier. We drove down to in about 4hrs and found a good campsite where we tried to get away with paying for only 2 people again - didn't work unfortunately, they knew we were trying them on and gave us the camping spot right outside the office which meant they could see us very clearly. The boys couldn't hide on the floor of the van all afternoon so we decided to be honest and pay for them as well, which meant sending Toby in to come out with some cock and bull story of how they had just got there and wanted to pitch a tent next to us bla bla. Clare and I couldn't show our faces as the people were really nice and we felt pretty rotten so we will try again next time! Went for a run again with Toby, Clare had a headache and didn't come with us but i'm still finding it hard and still can't believe i'm doing it! We trogged off to find a pub for the eveing only to find everything shut so Clare, Toby and myself ended up in a bingo/slot machine place for a couple of run and cokes. Beau stayed at the campsite to watch the stars - seems alot happier again and appears to be enjoying the whole camping thing now.

Monday 28th January 2002 Adelaide

Its a bank holiday in Oz (for Australia day) but we caught the O-bahn into the centre of Adelaide for a look around, probably the best time with all the shops shut! The O-bahn is basically a flexible bus that has its on track of two concrete runners. We checked our emails and I found out that our friend Sally (Tom & Sally) from the Everest Trek is in Adelaide. So we arranged to meet up with her Tomorrow evening in a beach town called Glenelg.

Adelaide seemed just the same as any other city although the suburbs are really nice, all wide and tree lined. Sarena and I visited an Art Gallery, and were to late for the South Australia Museum so we returned to the camp site where Clare booked us on a ferry to Kangaroo Island for Wednesday. The two campers next to us Ron and Margaret invited us round for cheese and biscuits. Beau called Ron Allen all the time. Went for another Jog then retired to bed.

Forgot to mention that yesterday Clare and Beau went into town for a mooch around and came back with a couple of tapes which Beau purchased from a charity shop. The two tapes were Chas & Dave Xmas Jamboree....... and a Beetles tape - the latter being not so bad .....Clare was in hysterics telling us how on the way home they put the tape on and out came this awful noise and when Clare read the tape cover it turned out to the - 101 String Quartet instrumental of the Beatles, so very very dire I wish I could play just a small amount for you all to hear.

All caught the O-bahn into Adelaide to have a look around and check our emails etc. We then split up for the afternoon to go and do our own thing for a few hours so Tobes and I went to the Art Museum and then gave Sally (from the Everest trek) a call to see if we could meet up for a drink as she had sent us an email telling us she was in the area.

We met up with the other two and then went back to our campsite and were invited to come and have cheese and biscuits with our neighbours - Ron and Margaret who were a really nice older couple travelling around Oz in a lovely caravan (Beau kept calling him Alan though and ended up talking about his bowl movements!) I thought it was time for us to go for another jog and made a swift exit.

Found the run a bit easier but still sound like I'm 80 years old when I get back - at least I haven't given up.

Tuesday 29th January 2002 Glenelg

Packed up all our gear. We are getting pretty efficient at it now. Everyone knows their job. Then headed towards Glenelg. On the way the two girls dragged us into a sex shop! after browsing for a few minutes I think both beau and I where feeling a little inadequate judging from the squeals and comments from the girls so we headed out to a near by second hand shop to continue our fruitless search for a guitar. We expected the girls to be waiting for us by the van but instead we found them in deep conversation with the sex shop owner who was mesmerising them with is entire stock. Finally managed to prise the girls from the shop and continued our journey to Glenelg.

We are meeting Sally in a town just south of Adelaide so we have decided to find a campsite there, so we can drink! Unfortunately there are no campsites in Glenelg so we camped up at a nearby town called West Beach. The campsite was great and we managed to get away with only paying for two people again. Beau Clare and I headed into Glenelg to buy some Barbecue food then made it back to meet up with Sally in the evening.

It seemed quite strange not seeing her dressed in eight layers of clothes and a bobble hat, but she looked really great and full of energy. During a few Rum and Cokes at the Stamford Grand Hotel we caught up on what we had all been upto. Sally is off to meet Tom in Sydney on the 21st of February and is then going to the Melbourne Grand Prix on the 3rd of March so hopefully we will meet up with them at the Grand Prix. We introduced Sally to Betty and played her a bit of the Chas 'n' Dave Christmas Jamboree Bag tape that we are currently listening to. I think she was dead impressed!

Woke up early and packed the gear away very quickly and then went down to the sex shop on the corner for a quick mosey, the guy was really helpful and got all the toys out to show us how they worked and which ones were the best etc. At this point Toby and Beau had badgered off to go and look for a second hand guitar only to find us still in the shop surrounded by opened packets of vibrating and stretchy bits and pieces and looking completely transfixed. After purchasing a well thought about item we then headed off to Westbeach campsite with Beau in the van acting very put out, saying why would a woman want a toy when a real man is all they need............... no comment.

Set off for Westbeach so that we could meet up with Sally in the evening. Set up camp again and then the other three went out for a look around the town and do some food shopping for our evening meal. The campsite was extremely well equipped and had a huge outdoor kitchen with BBQ's so we had huge steaks and salad for tea and then headed off to the Quay - side in town to meet Sally.

It was wonderful to see her again and she gave us the biggest hugs - she looked fantastic and was full of life keeping us all entertained for the evening with her stories so far. She was missing Tom desperately as he was still in Thailand but was meeting up with him again on 21st Feb - lot of catching up I think....

Went back to the campsite listening to the Chas & Dave tape which we all ended up joining in with - the great debate is how do they sing the 'Rabbit' bit in the chorus so quickly? so we all gave it a good try and failed miserably.

Wednesday 30th January 2002 Kangaroo Island

Our ferry to Kangaroo Island is at 6 PM so we have some time to kill. We headed to Mt Lofty a so called mountain (75 metres) that overlooks Adelaide. The view was great, but the sun was burning so we didn't stay there too long before we headed south to the Ferry Terminal at Cape Jervis.

Arrived at about 4 so sat and looked over the sea for a couple of hours. The ferry was very smart considering the short distance it travels (12km). 40 minutes later we where on Kangaroo Island which is famous for its wildlife. We set up camp, paying for 2 people again, and headed out for a meal. It was expensive but worth it. We then went to the pub for a quick drink and met up with a Danish couple that where doing Australia and Off-road motorbikes, Jealous! He had rode motorbikes nearly all over the world. Once from Denmark to Nepal, how cool is that?

Headed back to the campsite but got side-tracked by the sound of Penguins on the beach, unfortunately it was too dark to see any of them. Then in the campsite we ran into several Wallabies scavenging around the tents

We headed off towards the ferry terminal stopping off at Mt Lofty for a swift looksy then bundled back into the van. We sat around waiting for the ferry for a couple of hours then boarded at 5.00pm for our 6.00pm departure time. Very nice ferry indeed, especially as it was only for 40min journey - we all settled down to a smooth crossing then chugged betty off on the other side straight into the first campsite we came across. Had dinner in a wonderful restaurant in the evening as it was to dark and late to start cooking anything, the lady who ran the place was extremely friendly and we were even entertained by the chef with his guitar and a couple of classics!! the food was fab aswell.

Went to the local pub for a swift half and met up with a couple I had been talking to at the ferry terminal (bike riders...) I had asked them how they were finding having Motorbikes around Oz and told them I was very jealous, I wanted a bike for a couple of months - they told me that I had to do it, even though the girlfriend was saying she found the 650 bike very heavy with all the gear on she was still having a fab time - THAT'S ME SOLD.

Bumped into a couple of Wallabies on the way home just outside our tent.


Thursday 31st January 2002 Kangaroo Island

We had been advised to get to Seal Bay early before the coaches full of tourists turn up. We didn't to that well as they started to arrive just after us, but I think we missed the bulk of them. Bloody Tourists! Seal Bay was amazing, jammed back with Australian Fur Seals I could of sat and watched them all day.

After the seals we headed to the far west side of the island, Flinders Chase National Park, and to a place called Admirals Arch, this place was inhabited by New Zealand Fur Seals. Saw some amazing volcanic rocks which have been imaginatively named, 'Remarkable Rocks', then headed off road to find a camp site. After 8 very bumpy kilometres we found a spot called 'Snake Lagoon' which had no snakes or a lagoon, but was full of possums who entertained us through the evening with their antics of trying to steal our food and break into Betty, which they managed to do on both counts.

The lady from the restaurant told us to head down to Seal Bay early before the coach loads arrived I got up at 7oclock to go and call my friend Allison then packed the gear away and headed for the bay. Absolutely fantastic!! there were so many seals sitting around on the beach with lots of babies ....arrr. We went on a quick tour which took us walking amongst them which was a wonderful experience even though the bloody Italians that were with us kept falling behind and then going right up to them to take photo's - after the guide told us to stay in a group and give the seals space - GRRRRRR some people are so very very stupid.

After the lubberly seals we headed of to Flinders Chase National Park - a dramatic rocky coastline inhabited with wild fur seals and then off to 'Remarkable Rocks' which were a huge group of oddly shaped rocks ontop of another large rock - sounds odd I know but was quite interesting. We then dragged poor betty off down yet another bumpy off road track to our campsite for the evening called 'Snake Lagoon'. We ended up playing a game which was a bit like pictionary but you had to draw in the dirt...... absolutely hilarious as the girls were very good and the boys crap. Possums joined in the fun and ended up getting in the back of the van and drinking Beau's coffee out of his cup whilst it was still by his foot - these things had no fear of people whatsoever, ended up having to physically push them away from everything as making a loud noise did nothing!! they were very funny and incredibly cute.



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