Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Thought I Did But I Haven't.

I have just been out to put some stuff back in the van...And realized that I haven't cleaned it out from my trip yet. 

I was going to vacuum and wipe it over, shake out and wash the bedding, restock what needed restocking...after I got back because it was so dusty, I thought I had...But no...
Can't do it today because it is raining.  I am not home tomorrow.

Just watch, Hubby will come home and say "Let's take the van and go somewhere" and I will have to pretend that we can but knock him out for a couple of hours while I get it ready.   Not good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What Worked, What Didn't.

I've been thinking about my first trip away and what I need to change to make things work better and you know what,  not much needs changing at all.

What Worked:
Very comfortable and plenty big enough as a single.
Between the loo and my *Whiz* there was no need to worry, no matter what the time or where I was.
I had my *wee wipes*, a bottle of Vinegar and cloths for hand and body washing.
Like my nifty carrier?  Made from a 2litre OJ bottle.  keeps everything together and out of the way.
The little propane stove worked good.  It was only used to heat water for coffees and to heat up some frozen meals that I took though.  I have 2 extra propane cylinders in the van but  I was worried about them getting too hot and exploding.  Would they do that?  Anyway, to make myself feel safer I have them in a couple of stubby holders and then in a foam box.  This bit of insulating makes me feel safer.  I have stubby holders around the can of flyspray as well.

What Didn't Work:
ESKY.  This didn't have a handle so no way to hold the lid on tight and it got knocked off a bit the first night away.  Because of that the stuff didn't stay frozen which would have been a problem if I was planning on being away longer than 2 nights.
Hubby has now fixed that for me and all I need to do is check that I have enough *ice bricks* to put in there before I leave.  I didn't have enough this trip bcause I presumed the ones I had in the freezer would still be there.  They weren't.
I had plenty but the esky bottle that held 5 litres leaks.  Luckily I noticed as I was putting it in so didn't take it and put in another bottle but didn't use half what I took.
Took too many, as I always do.  A clean pair of tracky daks to sleep in would have been nice.
The curtains worked well except I wasn't happy with the back window.  The curtain on that worked when I was camped and had it up but it was down when I was driving but if I was just parked in town or a picnic area it left the back window bare and anyone could see straight into the back of the van.  I don't like that so I have bought a sheet of stuff from Auto 1 and will put that up.  I wanted some window tint stuff but they didn't have any but for $10 I am going to give this stuff a try.  Still to put it on though.

Updates to come.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

First Solo Adventure.

I am back from my first solo trip away and as you can see I survived it fine even with all the worrying  and  sooking that went on beforehand.

My first stay, Friday night, was in a sheep paddock not too far from Beverley and it was because of the generosity of a lovely woman that I can now call myself a *Solo Camper and Explorer.*  Thanks S.  She gave me the use of her property and so my first night was near some trees locked in so no-one could get me.  I know, the thinking was still wrong.
Calling it a sheep paddock is not fair either because even though there were sheep there they were not the focus.  It was a lovely peaceful block and though there was a house near the entrance once onto the block it was like being in a world on your own.  And not very scarey at all.  Really...

I set up camp in the shade of some trees, had a coffee then went exploring.  Back to camp, another coffee and discovered that I had left my book at home.  Sitting on the table with a few other things I wanted to take.  HoHum...

The netting did a great job of keeping most of the flies out.

Saturday morning after a walk down to the river I was wondering what to do with myself and decided to go into town and look around but Beverley is not very big and that didn't take long.  I remembered seeing a sign on my way to here pointing to Boyagin Rock so thought that I'd try and find it again and go there.  The good thing with a van, as opposed to trailer or caravan, is that once you are packed everything is with you and you don't have to go back for anything when you decide to go *off the plan*  So though I planned to stay at S's land 2 nights I didn't need to go back, I could go exploring. 

I have been to BR before, 3 years ago and we came in from the other side (I think)  but even so I still started worrying when the turnoff didn't appear 15 minutes after driving.  It was a lot further than I thought but soon it appeared and I turned where the sign pointed, showing I had 17 km to go.
17 km through the forest and farmlands along a dusty gravel road.  I was quite a way in before I noticed dust coming in the car so wound the windows up and kept going.  I need new seals around the back door.  Or don't travel on gravel roads. 
Even though I knew I had 17 k's to travel and I did look at the speedo at the start I still worried that I'd gone the wrong way when I wasn't there within 15 minutes.  Can you see a pattern here.  I need to be there real soon after starting or I lose confidence in if I'm going the right way.  Finally got to another sign and this road I recognised so hoping no-one was leaving the rock carpark I started in.   This is a narrow windy road with not much room for passing.
I get there and see 2 other camping groups.  I say groups, 1 was a young couple with a tent and the other was an elderly man with a great set-up on the back of a small truck.  He even had a motorbike.

But it's early and there are bound to be others.  After all this is a great spot and it's school holidays...(no-one else came while I was there)

I pick a spot and set up camp then climb the rock before I have a coffee.  

I am not far up the path before I am huffing and puffing and think that I haven't had any iron tablets since I left home.  So, low in iron after 2 days or so unfit still I can't climb theses rocks I want to without getting out of breath and  having pains in my chest?     I need to remember to take my meds and to get fitter.  It's not rocket science!!
I did make it to the top though and took a video of the place but it didn't work out.  I need to learn more about the camera before I want to record stuff.   I don't remember how high this rock is but the view from the top goes a long way.

This morning, Sunday 17th April 2011, I walked up to the top again, hoping to see the sun come up.  I was there while it did but there was quite a bit of cloud so it wasn't the greatest.   
I managed a photo with me as the sun peeked above the horizon.

Me at sunrise on top of Boyagin Rock.
Then back to camp for a coffee.

I spent some time going over the maps I had as I had come the long way to get to Beverley and thought that there would be a shorter way back.  But I am not very good with maps and it took me a while to get the names of the roads I needed written down.  And even then I went wrong.  But that wasn't my fault.  I think.  The road on the map that I wanted looked like it went straight then turned onto such and such road.   But in reality the straight road turned right and changed into gravel and continued a long way, with no signs... So I had to turn off but missed it and I went past quite a way before I turned around and found it.   I thought it was the wrong road and wondered how far does one go before they turn around again and look for the real road, a bitumen road like I was on before.
So I had no idea where I was, what direction I was going or even what direction I needed.  Blind faith, and being unsure when to turn around, got me to the end where I turned onto the road I needed. 
Hubby will come home and look at the map and say, "yeah, that goes here and you turn here"  (yep, told ya)
It doesn't seem to matter how long I think about something and work out what I need to do, or where to go, I'm very rarely right.  
But as this was an adventure I wasn't too worried.  I knew I had to end up somewhere...And this was an adventure...

But home now and I need to do all the stuff that needs to be done after adventuring.
Washing, restocking, cleaning all the dust out of the van...

Monday, April 11, 2011

First Solo Road Trip

I have a destination and a date set to leave here so it looks like I will soon be one of the many brave souls out there exploring.

Unless I chicken out but I'm thinking I can't as someone has gone to a bit of trouble for me and I would feel bad if I didn't show up because of Sookylalaness.

Wanda is having a service this week, I have Ultimate RAC cover, a mobile phone and UHF radio in the van.  I have a book of maps and money put away for fuelling up.  Enough water and enough *emergency* food.  I will take fresh and frozen food for three days.  A CC for emergencies.  What else could I need?

I am excited, worried, scared, looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things To Do While Away.

I have been wondering what people do at night when they are camping by themselves somewhere and apart from reading or playing cards I didn't think that there was much else to do.
But with maybe 3 hours to fill before *sleeptime*  I think I'll need something

I have been thinking about it for awhile and this week I have implemented an idea that has always been in place but that I was unsure of.  Having a bit of a win last week and then having the granddaughter out here and cutting, gluing and "making a card for Mummy" decided me.

I am not very crafty but I have set up a *craft box*  In it I will have different papers, scissors, pencils, glue, small stuff I find, etc.   I will try and make cards, decorate writing paper, make envelopes...
It will also hold a pad and stamped addressed envelopes as letter writing was one thing that I thought I would do.
In there I will keep a pack of playing cards, and a few small games that can be played by 1 or 2 people.

Has anyone any thoughts on this?  What do you do when by yourself and it's too dark outside for anything?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quick Look at Wanda.

I've been having a little play with the camera the last few days and trying to work out how to use it properly so there may/probably will be a few videos on my blogs.

Don't worry, the phase will pass.

Or I may get so good at it that they'll be everywhere.  All the time...

I realise that the wind is a nuisance, please bear with me while I am learning.

Eventually I will do a better one, one where I show a bit more and explain things better.

Nearly Sorted.

I "camped" out in the van last night.  Just in the driveway again but still...
It wasn't as scarey as last time.  Maybe it will get easier.

I am practicing here at home to see if I am not too scared to sleep in it by myself and to also work out what else I might need in there..

This morning I'm awake and up at 6:10, and know it's going to be another warm day here.  Over 30 again I think.
I might get a trip away in before the rain gets here...if I pull me finger out and go!

But back to what I was waffling about...

I pulled out the stove and the cooking box...had a think then grabbed a piece of board from the shed (I know, cheating)  and using the back of the van and the stool that goes with me I set up a small table.  It worked good and when it's not being used I will slide it under the mattress.  Too easy.

I realised that I don't have any cooking utensils in the cooking box...so need to raid the camping gear in the shed and see if there is anything spare to pinch.

I need to put in a few eyelets around the bottom of the netting and find and put in a few tent pegs.
I need to put some velcro around the top of the back door and on the netting there to hold the gaps shut.

So just a few things to do today to make it *more better*

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Will I be able to do this...

Yesterday, me and Hubby took Wanda up to the dam to check out the camping areas.  I drove, of course, it's my adventure.

First we went to the camping area at *Lake Navarino Forest Resort*  and asked at the office about camping there and the lakeside camping area then I drove all around looking at the place. It was quite busy but lots of empty areas in the unpowered, non grass area. 
To us this place is and always will be "Waroona Dam"

We left the securish camping area and drove around the dam to the lakeside camping area...This  is a long way from the water so no longer "lakeside" I have never seen the dam so low, it looks awful. The camp area here was nice and shady though and there were a couple of longdrop toilets. No water for handwashing in the one that I looked at though.
At the time we were there, around noon, it was quiet, 1 couple were setting up a tent as I was driving out.

Not sure what you would do here...bushwalking would still be good but I don't know about fishing or swimming as there is hardly any water.
It's a nice area in peaceful bush surrounds and when I go I will take my bike and a book.

BUT...the road to the park itself is bitumen, gravel tracks throughout the camping area then out of the park back onto bitumen.  Good decent roads. 
I drove over the dam wall turned onto another good road, looked ahead and started to cry. 
How the bleep am I going to be able to do this by myself. 
I want to but why am I so worried...If I start sooking when Hubby is with me and I am on a decent bitumen road how will I be by myself if the road gets a bit rough.
As it did on our way to this camping area...Instead of sticking to the main road we went down aound the dam itself.  The roads were nothing that I would not take the other car on and because Hubby was with me it seemed lik a good idea to test out Wanda.  I think she needs new shockies. 
But it was an effort not to cry again...We finally got to the camping area and it was lovely but I'm pretty sure I couldn't stay there by myself.  I'd be thinking about *dropbears* and other things that wouldn't happen.

I think I really need to *grow a pair*