We were getting used to early starts but I was still up before Sheldan. Despite the early morning chill, I was keen to use the shower facilities and so braved the cold water to freshen myself up. Sheldan cooked himself sausages and onions on the bbq for breakfast while I had cereal as I blogged in a patch of sunlight to warm up. The council boys gave us a soundtrack again blaring their music to get them revved up for the day’s work.
We cleaned up after ourselves the best we could and left a donation of $10 before heading north. Our first and only stop on the way home was at Wave Rock near Hyden. This is a place pretty much everyone in my family (both close and extended) have visited so I needed to tick it off my list. Since it was before 9am, we risked not paying the $12 entry fee and wandered in to see the big rock. Sheldan was not impressed and walked behind me with his hands in his pockets. I on the other hand thought it was pretty cool.
After walking along the base of the wall of rock shaped just like a tsunami wave, we walked to the top of the rock and found the dam that takes advantage of the rock’s runoffs to collect water. I thought the concrete walls running along the edge of the rock were to stop people killing themselves but they were contour fences to direct water into the dam. Very smart and simple.
We did a circuit of the rock and got down via a relatively flat edge and back to the car. Only a quick visit but that’s all we needed as the folks in the busy caravan parks starting rustling.
As we drove west towards Wandering, the highways were quiet and when we turned off the main road between Kondinin and Corrigin, we didn’t see a single person for at least 100km. The single-lane roads of red tarmac bordered with red gravel were a treat to drive. Just the way the roads rolled over the hills and around corners with that colour gave me a real sense of the Aussie bush. The road stayed this way until Pingelly when we got back into some semblance of civilization.
From Pingelly we were on familiar roads for the last half hour and Sheldan’s music playlist had been completely exhausted. As we approached Grassdale (the farm in Wandering), I could already tell things had changed. There was a new mini parked next to the Rover by the shed! When I say new, I mean new to the Edwards family, for it couldn’t be considered new in any other way. Once we got closer, I found out that Dad had reassembled the Moke engine that had been in pieces when I left and also fixed up and painted the bodywork I’d left in ruins. He’d been a busy boy!
Disappointingly, there was nobody home to welcome us so we got to work unpacking, doing laundry and cleaning Mummy’s car which she’d so graciously let us borrow. Mum was home half an hour later and welcomed me with a hug but we had to wait longer for Dad to arrive. It was great to be home.
Sheldan and I spent only 7 days travelling together but it felt like much more, not just because we packed so much in, because we got to spend so much time in each other’s company. I’m proud to say that we didn’t have a single disagreement and I popped a few cherries for Sheldan… He’s no longer new to camping, roadtripping, navigating, showering with a bottle, shitting in the forest (not a cup!), swimming in open water and skinny dipping. We saw some of the most beautiful parts of this side of the country and though I’m sorry it wasn’t done in a bright yellow car, we were privileged to have done it at all.
Thanks for the experience Sheldan, you’re a brave man to come from the city and travel with Astro Chick. Let’s do it again some time… maybe on the west coast of a different continent!