Day 232 – 238: Whitby
Spring has sprung! The flowers are all singing and dancing in the rain. We are hoping that the weather is going to fine up and the nights will become warmer.
My best friend from Mission Beach (Linda and her hubby Phillip) are coming for lunch today. It’s quite windy, cold and drizzly, however, we are hoping for some sunshine throughout the day. We’re making them pizzas. We are a bit addicted to the pizza oven here at the property. It’s a lovely few hours spent chatting and having a couple of wines before it’s time to say goodbye again. I’m not sure when we will see each other again, but I am sure that we will remain friends for years to come.
It’s cold this morning and Cinta has seen a window of opportunity and jumped up on our bed. We have a barrier that Andrew made before we left home so that she can’t access the bedroom section of our van. Generally she has been very good and not taken the liberty. I had to take this pic before I made her get back down again!
I’ve been tracking our journey on the Wikicamps Trip Planner and when you see it on the map of Australia, it’s unreal to see the amount of land that we have covered in 34 weeks. The black circles with the numbers in them represent the amount of places that are in the app. I wish they didn’t come up on the tracker, so perhaps I should suggest that too them.
This morning we are heading out to Wireless Hill Park, a 40 hectare park that is the location of a former Applecross Wireless Station; an early radio station in Western Australia. The park is also a significant urban bushland area and is home to numerous wildflowers. There are three walking tracks, one of which is the wildflower walk. Along the track are many concrete pillars with illustrations and names of the wildflowers. I’ve taken a photo of each one so that we can try to find them in the bush land and also identify them in my photos when we get home.
Most of the orchids are so small, if you are not looking really closely you’ll miss them. Some are no bigger than the size of a 20 cent piece and some even smaller than that. My zoom lens was working overtime. I was lucky to have eagle eye (Andrew) spotting the orchids in the bush land for me. There were so many beautiful flowers, I took hundreds of photos!
We spent over 2 hours wandering around the bush lands and finished up with a bar-b-que lunch in the picnic area. It was a great day, even though the winds were howling through at times making it extremely cold. We were all pretty tired when we got home.
I’ve been waiting for Spring to see the tulips at the Araluen Botanic Park. This year the park will feature; 150,000 tulips, 20,000 daffodils, 4,000 hyacinths, 4,000 ranunculus, 4,000 anemones and 2,000 grape hyacinths amongst thousands of other bulbs.
The tulips have been planted at Araluen since 1930 with the bulbs imported from Holland until the war, when they were then imported from New Zealand. Today the bulbs are brought in from Tesselaar Bulbs in Victoria after being grown in Tasmania.
The bulbs are actually refrigerated for eight weeks until the ground temperature reaches 12 degrees when horticultural staff and dedicated volunteers plant the bulbs, two in each hole, to create an ever-changing display of colour. At the end of the season, the bulbs are dug up and composted in order to reduce the risk of disease. An amazing story.
The entrance fee is $15 and we used our National Seniors Card and paid $12. The train ride takes you around the park and there is an interesting commentary about the history of the park. The train ride is only $5 and $3 for Seniors. Definitely worthwhile to sit back for 20 minutes and enjoy the ride. During spring, the park hosts many events and has pop-up food vendor stalls & musicians in the picnic areas. We spent four hours wandering the park, some areas are hilly and some with steps. It was a fantastic day out, we all had sore feet by the end of the day.
After having two wonderful days exploring the wildflowers and the tulips it’s time for me to catch up on some work. Andrew is off to do some grocery shopping and I’m busy tapping away at the keyboard. We had a very cold start to the day at 3 degrees when we woke at 6.30am. We’re hoping for a sunny day and a high of 16 by mid afternoon.
Mr Squeaky; (Cinta’s favourite toy) has had his leg almost amputated today, so he’s going to have a sterilization treatment before having emergency surgery to save his leg! We are constantly amazed that Mr Squeaky has survived 2 years of treacherous treatment however still provides comfort to Cinta when she is left alone in the caravan.
The back paddock where we are camped in our van has burst into flowering wild daisies. Luckily we are not allergic to bees because they are working overtime. In the very back paddock there are small wildflowers and orchids flowering in amongst the tall grasses. They are so very tiny, but so pretty.
Waking up this morning it’s 4 degrees and the heater is working overtime again. We’re meeting our friends Greg and Alison and heading out to The Left Bank for lunch; a pub located on the banks of the Swan River. It’s a lovely sunny day, however, the breeze is still a bit fresh! I’m excited to see Barramundi on the menu and can’t resist ordering it. The meals are all lovely and complimented with a bottle of wine for the ladies.
After lunch Greg takes us for a drive to the Roundhouse. It’s the oldest public building in Western Australia. Opening in 1831 it was built to hold anyone convicted of a crime and was used until 1886. It then became a Police lock-up until the 1890’s, then used as water police accommodation and later a storage facility for Freemantle Ports. The building is now property of the City of Freemantle.
One of the volunteers at the Roundhouse tells us that you can get a great photo if you stand behind the doorway. The photographer needs to take the photo from behind the well and you can then see all the way down the street. We try it out after her persistence! There was a photo shoot happening at the Roundhouse while we where there, I couldn’t help myself photographing the photographer doing the shoot.
I’ve been inspired by all the beautiful wildflowers and tulips this week and I’m desperate to do some sketching. With 3 nights of football on tele, I get my sketch pad out and do a few YouTube tutorials. I’ve got the bug again…
The week is coming to a close again and here I am tapping away to finish the blog, complete the budget and get myself organised for a board meeting at 7.30am in the morning. I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks ramblings.
Wildlife: galahs, horses, alpacas, llamas, cattle, sheep, ducks, black cockatoos, wrens, goats.
Week 34 total expenses: $402.71 well under budget again!
That’s a wrap for Week 34 of the Lap of the Map.
PS: Don’t forget to leave me a comment!