A perfect forest campsite – Tuesday 20th March 2012


It’s time to move on: I mean literally push over the map. Distances in Western Australia are huge but if you travel South from Perth the initial part of the journey finds towns close together, and a feel of Perth holiday resorts. Now, the feeling changes to isolation, and it becomes greener, which surprised me at first until you remember that South equals going North (to the UK mind) and colder climes!

A bit divided about the next overnight stop. There are several ‘free’ campsites in the locality in our “Camping 6” book but I like the look of one which has a ‘tick’ by it as the authors especially like it.

The forest is beautiful. Tingle trees and Karri trees make up the most of it, Karri trees are simply wonderful, with a bark constantly in renewal, making the forest floor light.

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Pemberton makes a convenient stop over. It’s lovely, with a store which sells everything from salt to spades, evocative of a former time, and a butcher who wraps his meat in clean newsprint, just like the butcher in Leytonstone (East London) where I lived aged about 0-10.
Back on the road, we play Led Zeplin and Rolling Stones until the battery gives up on the IPod. Sometimes I notice a kangaroo, or a kookaburra, lots of sheep and cows but mostly trees. We feel totally happy. No fuss about sights to see, no worry about where to stop. We follow our noses.

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A detour takes us to Flinders Bay and a lighthouse which still uses the prismatic lens (Cape Leeuwin). We pay $5 to walk around the grounds, watching out for snakes and watch the Southern Ocean meet the Indian Ocean. Not as spectacular as the oceans meeting at Cape Reigna in New Zealand (North Island)
Finally we reach Shannon National Park and the campsite. It’s practically empty, but has excellent showers and ablutions. It is really spacious, clearly provides wood for fires, except there is a total ban at present. Shame!
We pitch our van, cook the lamb we bought from the butcher and there really is no one around. We are the noisiest thing in the forest. We eat outside as the trees loom black against the deep dark sky. It’s beautiful, magical.

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This is an amazing journey. Over the 5 months we have seen so many wonders, had such fun and we sit and muse over our fortune this evening. It’s an incredible adventure, for two very business like people who spent their working lives dedicated to achievement in a professional world.

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