Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Harvey Harvest Festival.

This festival is on every year.  I went once, many years ago, not long after it started.  I remember it as being fun and something that I'd probably go to again.  But I didn't and I'm not sure why.  I always intended to but I rarely knew about it beforehand, because I don't read newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio much I miss out on a lot of good stuff.    This year though I saw it mentioned somewhere and thought it would be nice to go again.

A harvest festival promoting the go for 2 & 5 theme, that's something I want to be at.

You can read a bit about it here http://harveyfest.com.au/.   It sounds like a great day out doesn't it.  To most of those there it probably was.  I however went with different expectations and was disappointed when they were not met.  It being touted as a *harvest* festival and *go for 2 & 5*     I expected to see barrel loads of fresh fruit and veg. Truckloads even. At least a few stalls selling yummy, fresh produce.   I went with the intention of stocking up on heaps of local grown, freshly picked fruit and veg.  The event was advertised as being in Snell Park.  We found Snell Park easily enough, it was the area full of stalls selling nothing to do with 2 and 5.  We saw lots of stalls selling all kinds of stuff.  A lot of it *local* but that depends on what you call local I suppose.  A lot though was just the everyday big market stuff.  And there were rides and bouncy castles if you have small kids that like that sort of thing.   

After walking and looking the length of the street a couple of times I finally asked someone where the grape stomping was and headed up a short alleyway to an area behind some shops.  The Piazza? .  If that's where it is then tell me please.  I may be a bit dense but I'm sure I'm not the only one...maybe I was though as I have read only good things about this event.  And I'm not saying it was a bad event just not what I went for.

We found the grape stomping, that's fun to watch but it's a small area and was quite crowded.   We walked all around this area and found some trestle tables with fruit and veg on.  Local?  Freshly picked?   I didn't get that impression.  It was in plastic bags and it all looked like anything that could be bought from the local IGA.   There didn't seem to be much there either.  I didn't buy anything.  

I would have liked to have watched a bit more of the grape stomping too but after seeing them throwing the stomped grapes into a rubbish skip I was very disillusioned about the whole event.  Those grapes would have been a welcome food for the chooks of the area.  Why weren't they being kept separate for the chook owners to collect instead of being wasted by being thrown into a big bin with rubbish?   I found that very sad and not quite right.

An event like this would be a massive stream of income for the whole area.  The work put in to have something on this scale would be huge and the organisers did do a good job but...  It's that "but" that will make me reconsider going again.

If I do go again I will go with different expectations, I will take more time to listen and sit and watch things more.  I will take a big bin to bring home some stomped grapes to give to my chooks.  It is things like this that make me see how different I am to most people, no wonder I don't have many friends to do stuff with, I'm too bloody whingey...but really I'm not.

If you went I hope you enjoyed it

I have found this on that link that I put up top. ***Heats will be held from 10am in the Go for 2 & 5 Piazza and the Grand Final stomp off will be held on the main stage in Snell Park around 1pm.***   I saw nothing, no signs anywhere there to tell me this. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nannup Caravan Park.

I stayed here early March 2013.   I rang and booked a site by phone but it was a quiet weekend so there was no need to as there were heaps of vacant camping spots.  If something was happening down that way though it might be a different story and a call might ensure that you get a spot.

The park is on the Blackwood River, close to town and easy to find.   The weekend that I was there the office was moving into the Information Centre and the managers were away but the young couple manning the place were friendly and helpful.

The park was tidy and the ablution block was clean.  There is a laundry out the back of the showers in the same building.

The campers kitchen was well set up with plenty of tables and seating.  A fridge, kettle, microwave,  toaster, gas barbie...a small TV.

I didn't use it but it looked liked you could get a decent meal from using the facilities in there.

There is a big area for tents, not powered and a fair way from the toilet block.

There is a nice looking playground for the kids.

The unpowered site cost me $15 for the night which I thought was OK but...If my daughter and grandaughter came with me it would have been an extra $10 and $7.  I think $32 for an unpowered site is a bit much but as I haven't stayed at many caravan parks maybe this is normal. 

Nannup Caravan Park
ADDRESS: 4 Brockman Street
CITY: Nannup, WA 6275
PHONE NO: 08 9756 1211

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Two Days In Nannup.

I camped.   Alone.  By myself.   With no-one else.    I was with Wanda. and even though she is old and decrepit I did feel pretty safe.  Like I was told, there are no boogiemens in Nannup.

I stayed at the caravan park on an unpowered site.  Go me.   Mind you, once it was dark I set up the light inside and locked myself in but we all have to start somewhere don't we.  And it was only the1 night there but still...

I rang early in the week and booked a site as I was umming and ahhing about going down and figured that once I booked I had to go so that's what I did.  Glad I did too, I am not using Wanda as much as I want to but do hope to use her more this year.  

I went the long way down to Nannup, turning off at Boyanup and going through towards Capel to the Bussell Highway then onto Sues Road.  I have done this a couple of times now, it adds an extra 10-15 minutes to the trip but if I am feeling SookyLaLa it somehow adds to my peace of mind.   I came home our usual way, through the hilly windy road across to Kirup and back through Donnybrook even though it was raining and there was more chance of 'roos.  Go figure.  It's hard to understand myself sometimes.

Anyway, once I signed in at the park I found my spot and set up.  Not a lot to that.  After parking, driving in, reversing out, reversing in, driving out and then doing that again I decided enough was enough and good enough was going to have to do.   Open windows and put the screens on, open the door and set up the table so I could make myself a coffee...that's it.
Notice the all important flyscreens on the front doors but the back door wide open with no netting...luckily  there were no flies down there this time.
I did get the sidedoor screen up before I left but with the door shut it wasn't needed anyway.  HoHum...

After a coffee I walked down to the river but not much to see there so I went the other way into town.  Found the BookNook and borrowed a book that I will take back next time I am down there.  The BookNook is somewhere to borrow books, for free, different to the library in that you can take unwanted books in and leave them for others to read.

After walking the streets of Nannup I went back to the van to have something to eat.  Oops!  I forgot I might need food and didn't pack an esky to bring but luckily I have a box of stuff kept in the van all the time.  Yummm, 2 minute noodles...I had nearly finished these, eating them out of the pot to save on washing up, when I saw some bloke walking across the park towards my area.  Thought he looked familiar so kept watching him...Yep, I know you, hello!  Turns out he had heard that I was there and came to see if I wanted to go out and have a meal with him.  Bugger!  Twenty minutes earlier and I could have been eating out with a bloke that speaks french.  

Close to dark I set the lights up, intending to sit out and read before bed but as it got darker I gave up on that idea and retreated into the van, locked all the doors and read for a bit waiting 'til 8-30 so I could go to bed.  Slept all night and was up at 5 for morning coffee before a walk along the river.

Was enjoying my river walk then came across this...

Oh well, turn around and go back the way I came.

I had put oats on to soak before I left so back to the van for breakfast.    
I think I need to get myself organised, not home now you know, and because the van is so small it gets messy when I don't tidy as I go and put things away when I have finished with them.

I had kinda made the bed but that container there should have been back under it and out of the way.  The box up the top with the red pillow on was full of stuff that I had brought down for the Free Markets.  That should have been put on the front seat out of the way.

Really Really Free Markets.  This is why I had come down to Nannup this weekend.  I like the concept and want to support them so made the 2 hour drive with a box of stuff to give away.   There weren't many people there but we all got to eat gourmet pizza, a few different sorts made throughout the morning with fresh local ingredients.   Nice.  Made and donated by Charlie of YoHo PizzaYollo  and much appreciated by everyone there.  Thanks Charlie.

Charlie has is own woodfired oven and this pizza is nothing like the store bought or fast food types.  Made fresh with all local ingredients.  I even saw him go into the community gardens where these markets are held and picked some tomatoes to use.  You can't get fresher than that.

 One woman has set up a small library, borrow for a month and bring them back to the next market.

I brought home some books, like I need more but hey, they needed a new home and mine is available.  I now have a turbo oven thing, sits on the bench and cooks food.  I don't have a stove or oven at my place so will try this and see if it makes meals easier.  If not it can go back some time for someone else. 

Saturday afternoon, after the markets daughter and I went for a drive over to Balingup to visit the Golden Valley Tree Farm, back to Nannup to pick up the van then out to her place to walk the dogs then watch a movie before bed.  Of course I slept outside in the van, which turned out to be parked on a bit of an angle that I didn't notice until I was lying down.  It wasn't too bad but is something that I will have to be aware of when parking up for the night.
It was raining when I woke Sunday morning so I had to stay in the van while making and drinking my coffee.  The little fold down table that the husband made comes in handy at times like this and with the windows and top vent open there is little danger of fumes.

Looks like I didn't pick the prettiest spot to park either, next time I'll try and remember to park where there are no poles to interrupt the view.   I could still see all the kangaroos down in the paddock though.

We took the dogs for an early morning walk, back for breakfast and another coffee, a bit of reading...I didn't want to leave too late but wanted to wait long enough for the 'roos to be away from the roads.  The road between daughters place and the town itself is very kangarooy in the mornings so I wanted to give them plenty of time to get back in the bush.  It worked, no kangaroos but did have to stop for an emu.

I fuelled up in Nannup as I was trying to decide on if I would go home or turn at Donnybrook and come home via Collie.  As I got closer to Donnybrook and it didn't look like it was going to clear up much I continued straight ahead and came home.  Collie will be done another time.

Peel Zoo.

Peel Zoo is off Pinjarra Road, close to the town itself.  Turn at the Pinjarra lights if you are on the Southwest Highway and it's only a few minutes to the golfcourse where you turn again.  Or head East on Pinjarra Road if you are coming from the Mandurah end and turn at the golf course.

We, me, daughter, her daughter, went at the beginning of February.  It was a lovely day.

Peel Zoo is a small privately owned zoo that allows you to interact with some of the animals.  If you are not too scared to get in the enclosures with them.  If you are too scared then you can stay outside and watch the others being headbutted and followed all around the pen by too friendly animals.

 The walk-in aviary has heaps of birds, many that come down and sit on your shoulder, arm, foot, head.  There is a big bowl of fruit in there so that you can entice them closer.


We were given a map on entry and using this and following the path and numbered pens allowed us to easily find any animal that the kid wanted to see.   Again and again and again…

 You can buy a $3 bag of food to feed to some of the animals.  Some were more polite in having their share than others were.

                  Pee Zoo is very into breeding Tasmanian Devils and they now have quite a few there.  

One animal that I was in 2 minds about seeing there was the fox.  I don't like these thing, not when they are in my yard killing my chooks anyway.  But the ones here were friendly and as we were patting them I didn't think of them as killers.  
The fox does have a very distict smell though and that was noticeable when around these cages.  It is one way that I can tell when they have been around the house and yard so not an altogether bad thing.


Getting to hold a snake was a highlight for us, the young ferret was pretty cute, petting a kangaroo got points with the grandchild…the alpaca spitting at the daughter, not so much fun for her but made me laugh.

This zoo has a breeding program for Tasmanian Devils and seeing the many that were there it looks like it is successful.

The zoo itself is well cared for, the staff friendly and helpful and the animals are friendly too especially when they see the $3 bag of food bought to feed them with.

The zoo doesn’t sell people food so take a picnic or some snags to cook on one of the free barbecues that are there.

I thought it was quite dear at $18 for adults and $9 for kids as young as 3 but I have since seen that they have yearly tickets that can be bought for $65 and $40, only during May and June but if you live in the area I think that would be a great thing to have as it would be a lovely spot for a weekly or monthly picnic.

Have you been?  Tell me what you thought of it.