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Main Ridge Roamers

Dee & Robert Hudson

Left on 20th August and drove via overnight stop with a friend in Woodend to Bordertown just over the SA border. Stayed in a lovely free camp site on a lake. Headed West towards Clare Valley intending to spend a few days there tasting the odd drop but that was not to be. The trouble started just outside Bordertown and has only just been resolved by Fiat in Perth. All sorts of warning lights giving us a disco on the dashboard. We had to divert to Adelaide, stay overnight and take the ”truck” into a Fiat dealer there. He couldn’t find what was wrong but said the AdBlue was low, topped it up and hey presto, the dashboard settled down, so we continued West.

Got to Clare valley, did a bit of that wine tasting, stayed in a very “interesting pub, in their back yard and had a wonderful meal cooked by the Landlord. Only 3 of us in the pub and that included the Landlord. Moved on and camped beside a river the following night, then carried on towards the West. More dashboard disco going on, spend huge time trying to get it resolved with a lot of swearing and threatening going on from our side. Also experiencing trouble with the “house” – wardrobe collapsed, well he did tell me not to take so many clothes, hot water service only working on electricity, not gas and the gas part is when you need it free camping!! Robert, being the handyman he is, managed to sort out the wardrobe malfunction and after a bit of jiggling around under the truck, he located the hidden gas valve, turned it on and off a couple of times and hey presto, we have gas hot water, turned out to be a blockage in the valve. Several other issues came and went along the way but we think everything is now sorted out.

View from our cliff top camp at Head of Bight

So, West on Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor. Huge stretches of nothing but we did experience a lovely time at Head of Bight, whale watching and camped right on the cliff top. The number of road trains doing that crossing is scary. Interesting to see they use the road as emergency runway for the RFDS, just glad it was not needed while we were there.

Crossed into WA at Eucla, unremarkable except for the plant and veg quarantine which we had not allowed for and had topped everything up in Ceduna. Quick bit of part cook and freeze and we were set to go. Followed the Eyre through Belladonia into Norseman. If you ever think of going there – don’t it’s pretty grim. We were going to stay but carried on up to Kalgoorlie instead. Long drive but worth having the extra time in K as it was all interesting.

Dee in Mining suit BIG pit at Kalgoorlie

The Super Pit, owned by NorthStar holdings has to be seen to be believed. We did a mine tour. Had to drop the truck off yet again for some diagnostics while in K as new lights were to do with brake system but they could find nothing, so we carried on. Feeling a bit nervous I must admit. Drove up through Menzies and Leonora, camped on Lake Ballard for a night – but weather not good so kept going on to Mt. Magnet. First wildflower sightings along that part of the journey. Mt M was a washout -literally, huge rains so instead of staying 2 or 3 nights as planned, we moved on.

WA wild flowers

Lovely wildflowers along the way to Mullewa, then spent a few nights in Coalseam Conservation park- great government run campground, teaming with wildflowers. After 2 nights there we went to 3 Springs, intending to stay but moved on to Eneabba, another typical WA town and after a night there, went to Mt Lesueur National Park. 2 lovely days there, again amongst wildflowers. Unfortunately, the 17k wildflower drive was a disappointment as the flowers were still only in bud. Nothing much to see.

Left Lesueur and drove towards the coast, lovely sunny day, stopped off at Jurien Bay which was lovely, but we were booked into a caravan park in Guilderton on the Moore River estuary so journeyed on. Not disappointed, it was a lovely spot, and we spent a couple of nice nights there. First time we had the opportunity to take our new Ebikes. We cycled the cycle paths and then some of the town as it was so quiet traffic wise.

Moore River Estuary at Guilderton

From Guilderton we drove South to Perth, called in to see Robert’s cousin Keith and his wife Joan spent a lovely time having lunch with them, then checked into our caravan park and were nearly washed away the rain was so hard. The following day we had to drive down to Rockingham to the Fiat dealer there and leave the truck for the 3rd time. However, this visit was arranged through Fiat HO in Melbourne, and we got good treatment and a fixed truck. Turns out the problem was a small AdBlue sensor in the exhaust system was malfunctioning and causing the dashboard disco with all the false messages about break failure etc. Then we had to call in to Avida to pickup a fridge vent which had fallen off somewhere along the way. Now all ship shape, or should I say truck shape. Weather still awful in Perth so we cut that visit short by a day as the caravan park left a lot to be desired too. We drove to York, a lovely little historical town about 1.5hrs East of Perth. Spent 2 nights there at a free campsite right on the river and a short stroll into town. Got the bikes out again and took a look around. Had a meal (pretty bad one) in the local pub a nice couple from Perth that we had got chatting to. More lovely wildflowers in that region.

The Wave

Left York and drove to Hyden (Wave Rock) via Dryandra Woodlands. Some wildflowers there, but not as many as expected. Wave rock was interesting, spent 2 nights there and today left for Lake King. Got there and decided it didn’t warrant a stop over after all so carried on to Ravensthorpe where we are now camped at the RV friendly site right in town. We visited the Wildflower exhibition today and saw the community street parade, followed it to the town’s rec centre, watched some exhibition stunt bike riders. Tomorrow, we continue on South and looking forward to seeing that renowned coastline.

In Summary, motor home problems stopped our enjoyment of a lot of places as we spent so much time communicating with both Avida and Fiat and worrying what, if any of the dashboard warnings were valid, but we are hopeful that is all behind us. We can’t comment on SA as didn’t get to see much but WA is BIG, vast empty stretches, amazingly beautiful scenery in the areas where Canola is grown as it was all out in bloom. The mining area is vast and red – red clay everywhere which turned our once white truck pink. Towns are small and you don’t see many people. Hyden yesterday, a town of 500+ people only had one person working in the bakery and everything else was shut, nobody at the sports grounds or in evidence anywhere. When we do get to meet them, they are very friendly and accommodating. Wildflowers this year are late so we have missed out on a lot of the splendour but hoping it will happen soon now on the South coast.

Our best regards to everyone, we hope you are all well and enjoying Petanque and Bowls soon. Big disappointment to us with Collingwood losing by 1 point yesterday as we did have high hopes for them making it to the GF, but we hope you all enjoy the GF lunch and may the best team win.

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