Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Thursday 1st July 2004 to Saturday 3rd July 2004

Thursday 1st July 2004

Today started out pretty quietly, a typical slow start before visiting the HMAS SYDNEY memorial that stands on top of a hill in the centre of Geraldton and looks across the city out into the distance over the ocean.  This memorial is a must to see by anyone coming to Geraldton and is quite moving when understanding what it stands for.  While there we rang cousins Kelvin and Lyn Pearce and after speaking to Lyn we arranged to visit them at about 4.30pm for an hour or so.

Then 'one of us' wanted a drive into the shopping centre's to check them out., which she was doing a very thorough job of.  when we received our second phone call which was cousin Christine who we haven't seen for about twelve months.  We really wanted to catch up with her and husband Tony, so after a few more calls between Christine and ourselves, we decided on a BBQ at our caravan about tonight.

Our next call was from daughter Kym to say our grand dog (Bonnie) had been to the vet for her first needle, so there was a blow by blow description of how good she was during this traumatic experience. 

Next came a real surprise, a call from Robert Lucas, an old friend (shouldn't say old - he's younger than me) who I traveled around the world with way back in the early seventies and had not seen since about the mid 1980's.  It was great to hear from him and arrangements were made to catch up with him today as well.

When buying meat for the BBQ, our mate Bill Foreman rang to check out our progress and expected day of return.  He has taken on the job of ensuring that Travis has enough home brew cold for Saturday when we arrive home, he may have to pay a visit on Saturday sometime to check out how well the instructions were carried out (and sample one or two or......)

After all these calls were received we made a visit to the liquor store again, filled up the Patrol with fuel (last time before arriving home) then returned to the caravan to prepare for the activities of this evening.  Good thing we are only traveling a short distance in the morning, so no early start is required.

PLEASE NOTE: As we will be in Carnamah tomorrow night where we do not have GSM phone contact, there may not be any web page update, however tomorrows page will be updated on Saturday after we arrive home.

HMAS Sydney Memorial approach

HMAS Sydney Memorial
Mother looking out over the sea for her lost son

Friday 2nd July 2004

Last night ended up being an extremely enjoyable time with Christine and husband Tony, and also Robert Lucas and wife Tina joining us for a BBQ dinner at the caravan and then a lot of laughs, memories and chatting until almost midnight.  I won't mention the beer, Guinness, wine and scotch (all in minor proportions) that was sampled over the period of the night.We must be getting old for us to have so many great memories of the past.

Although the conditions were very still when our visitors left the caravan, we decided to pack up the chairs, table, BBQ and roll up the awning before going to bed.  When we woke up this morning we realised how good that decision was because there was an extremely strong westerly wind howling through the caravan park that would have caused some havoc with the awning if it had been left extended out until morning. Getting up in the wee small hours of the morning to roll it up in the strong wind would not have been our favourite pastime after such a late night for a couple of oldies.

We managed to pack the rest of the caravan up and get under way by about 9.30am and pull out on to the North West Costal Highway heading south toward Dongara.  Although there was an extremely strong wind blowing, it was directed across the direction we were traveling so did not appear to reduce our fuel consumption to any great degree.  Just prior to reaching Dongara this wet stuff started falling from the sky, we believe it was rain, but it is so long since we had seen any we had to dig deep into our memory banks to remember what it was.  It continued to rain from then on right through until we after we arrived in Carnamah.

Once we had driven through Dongara we headed east out passed the Brand Highway turn off and made our way inland to Minginew, southward again to Three Springs and then the last 25 kilometres to Carnamah, arriving at about 12.55pm.  We called in to the Shire Office and booked our powered site at the Carnamah Caravan Park for one night at the princely sum of $12.  Value for money this would have to be one of the best we have had on our journey as the amenities are spotlessly clean and more than adequate for any caravanners to sop over for a while.

During the afternoon we found the weather was too inclement to really enjoy a drive around the area, so we turned the air conditioner on to heat cycle and caught up with a few more essentials, such as data entry, watching TV and laying on the bed reading.

Tomorrow is the last day of our journey around Australia so it is possible 'one of us' will get the 'other one' moving well before he is really awake.  We hope to arrive home just after midday if all goes well.

Mural of Reynolds Store - Carnamah

Mural on the Shire Council Building - Carnamah

Saturday July 3rd, 2004

The end of a journey!

Only 308 kilometres to go to arrive home after 190 days or 27 weeks and 60 different caravan parks since starting out on our journey back on Saturday 27th December 2003.   We finally packed up the caravan for the last time on this trip had headed down the North Midlands Highway toward our home in Kalamunda.

'One of us' was really getting excited and the 'other one' would have been dishonest if he said he wasn't looking forward to being back home with family and friends.  However the journey has been a great experience and has given us so many great memories to treasure for the rest of our lives.  Hopefully there will be many more travels throughout Australia with our caravan, returning to many places we have already been and others that we have yet to see.  So this day starts out with mixed feelings, so great to be getting home, but in some ways we will miss the constant changing of scenery and the many people we met with on the way.

We pulled out of Carnamah at about 9.00am and pointed the nose of the Patrol south down the North Midland Highway, passing through Coorow, Marchagee, Watheroo, Moora where we turned on to the Midlands Road and down trough Koojan, Gillingara and Mogumber before stopping at Wanabool for a cup of tea and a break for 20 minutes.  Then it was away again out on to the Great Northern Highway at Bindoon before passing through Muchea, Boolsbrook and into Midland for the final few kilometres on Tonkin Highway and up the hill into Kalamunda and home, arriving at about 12.55pm.

That was the easy bit, then came the task of fitting a large object (the caravan) into a small space after turning it around in an even smaller space, however nothing is impossible and it was achieved without too many attempts or mishaps.  The unloading and cleaning out will wait until another day.

Our welcome home by the family and friends was exceptional and certainly a bit much for 'one of us', with everyone talking at the same time and a few tears as well.  The 'other one', being a male, couldn't do two things at once so he just felt a bit overwhelmed by it all.  The talking didn't stop and there were a few drinks with family and friends to catch up on this night and over the next few days.

This is now the end of our journal for this trip.  We thank everyone who has read it and those who sent us e-mail and/or feedback forms.  We hope that you have enjoyed reading about our experiences and the places we have been and seen.  We welcome any requests for additional information about anything we have done or anywhere we have been and the feedback form will remain active as long as this web site remains posted.  Hopefully it won't be too many months before we take another journey out into this wonderful place called Australia and when we do, if it is still possible we will add another chapter to the web site that covers those future experiences as well.



Carnamah Town - Entry statement

Starting the last leg of the journey