I get up just after sun-up as that will give a lovely light across the salt lake, perfect for some more photos. When I leave Jilakin Lake I am driving south west again to Narrogin, the closest larger township, where I intend to spend the night, do some more washing and have that hot shower. Like so many towns in this area, it has seen better days and the mining boom seems to have passed it by. Some traffic but not a lot of people in the streets. There is only one caravan park and that one has been completed in 1963, the installations look very dated, all other people who live in caravans seem to be permanents who work close by and have nowhere else to stay, a situation I have encountered frequently in many of the mining towns.
There is not much to discover at Narrogin, a small park along the creek looks nice on the town brochure but turns out to be run-down, much in need of a cleanup. I pick up a few bits from the local Supermarket and drive back to the caravan park.
I leave the following morning, now heading north, first stopping at York and then on to Beverley where a large airfield caters to gliding.
Old Townhall at York
Turns out that I could go up but that would have to be later that afternoon when thermal activity would be at its best. I need to meet up with an old friend from way back in the 60s, Connie and her partner David and so can't hang around any more, otherwise I will be too late.
A sign I spotted at York to discourage you from parking...
They have a weekender in the town of Toodyay and Connie has invited me to stay at their place. Lots of old stories to talk about. They have booked a table at the local food place which turns out quite good.
The countryside coming north from York is very pretty, lots of green, rolling hills, reminding me a lot of places in Europe. There is also a river flowing through Toodyay, this one full of water adding some coolness and tranquility. David and Connie have an orchard where they grow some Citrus, but mostly Olives and Macadamia Nuts. We ate a few varieties of their Olives from last year's harvest before going to dinner. Very good, I really enjoyed it.
In the morning Connie, David and I take a walk up the hill, now still somewhat green but I am told, that in just a few weeks all will be burned dry by the sun.
David and Connie on top of the hill behind their house at Toodyay
I leave late morning, following a route that Davis has advised me to take, through the wine growing country, more hills and winding roads, all very lovely to look at. I have been planning to drive into Swan Valley, more wine growing and looking a lot more up-market. I pull into a so-called "Biergarten" with the promise of German food and locally brewed Weissbier. Well, the food was less than average but the beer was not bad at all. After lunch I follow the road a little further south and discover a trailer park where I spend the night.
In the morning I decide to check out some more of the coast line and head for Quinns Beach. Beautiful white sands and turquiose waters just like at Ningaloo Reef some weeks ago. I notice that the part of the beach that is reserved for swimming and surfing has nobody on it whereas the side that has been reserved for exercising dogs is full of people.
This part of the beach is reserved for swimmers
This part is for walking the dogs
Driving down toward the beach I also noticed quite a number of people walking their dogs in this very new housing development that makes up the neighborhood.
I drive further north to check two campgrounds but find neither up to my standard. On the way back south I notice a sign that indicates a place called "Gravity Discovery Centre". I turn left, following the road for about 11km to discover a great enterprise that provides hands-on demonstrations about "HOW" the Universe is put together. Very educational, all of it quite new.
Part of the GRavity Discovery Centre
On my way north I have seen a sign that indicates Trailer Park and so, when I reach it on my way back south, I follow it and check into a nice green park, at Yanchep Beach - with me the only customer that night. Strolling around I see one of the lizzards that I have seen many of, on the road, me always trying to avoid running over them.
The Lizzard I spotted in the Trailer Park
The provided facilities are simple, but seem to work alright.
When I leave in the morning I head straight for the place in Perth where I want to leave my van before flying out to Sydney on Wednesday, 22 October. After booking in I am driving out another 17km to take me to Mundaring Weir, the place where the pipeline to Kalgoorlie starts with the first pumping station there as well. Its actually quite low in a valley and a lot of water has to be pushed uphill from the dam that stores the water.