Barrabup Sanctuary Easter 08

Trip Leader: Keith Parker

When: 25th – 27th April 2008

Location: Barrabup WA   6275

Participants: Archers, McCarthys, McPhersons,  Ryans, Hansens Freegards, Kingstons, Lehmanns, Wes & Stamps & Viv.

Friday 25th April
 The Archers, McCarthys, McPhersons,  and the lone Parker met at Pioneer Village, Armadale at 7:45am for an 8:15am start. The Ryans arrived spot on start time so then we all made our way south to pick up the Hansens at Mundijong. First stop was Boyanup bakery where the Freegards tacked on the line then straight on to Nannup and Barrabup Sanctuary.  We arrived just after noon to be met by the Kingstons and Lehmanns who had journeyed down the previous day and had the camp fire lit.  Shortly after Wes and Stamps arrived and the full compliment was on site. After setting up camp we had a quick lunch and Martin and Keith started to unload the canoes that had been towed down by Jason.  It was pretty hard work so we decided to test them out and had a very pleasant paddle on the Blackwood.  The water was clear and with no wind and a glasslike surface, paddling was easy.  We remarked how peaceful it was until, on the return we rounded a bend to be met by Lizzie and 3 girls – the peace was shattered!  
Shortly after several others turned up and the canoes got full use.
The evening was very pleasant with a blazing camp fire and the ‘standard chat, until Viv decided to tell us about the Nannup Tiger which, supposedly is an escaped black panther which is often sighted in the area, especially after “Happy Hours”.  This was followed by stories of apparitions and hauntings such that the trip to the toilets way off in the dark was a challenge.  All went well until the early hours when one unsuspecting visitor was ‘attacked’ by the tiger in the toilets and screams, followed by unrelenting laughter echoed around the camp for a good 15 minutes.  The din woke up all the early retirees but assured us that the ‘victim’ didn’t suffer from any heart problems.

Saturday 26th April
Viv had told us of a country fair at Balingup so most of us decided to visit it and then detour on the way back to try and find the TomTom track discovered by Terry at Easter that leads to nowhere.
The road to Balingup follows the Blackwood and is very winding but is a beautiful, picturesque trip.  It is a very small town but it was ‘chockers’ with so many people about that we wondered if the rest of the southwest was unpopulated. A typical country fair, concentrating on craft and agriculture with no sign of sideshows or show bags.  There was an abundance of food stalls and all had long queues.  We reconvened at 2pm ready for the trip home and set off for the hills and soon found ourselves on the route pioneered by Roger and Peter on a trip from Big Valley and enjoyed the extremely steep hills.  Martin was putting the new Champagne diesel Paj through its paces, telling all how easy it was with all the torque he now had under his foot.  
Back at base by 4:30 and more canoeing prior to Happy Hour.  As the hour wore on and darkness descended it was realised that Lizzie and the girls hadn’t returned. Although Malcolm was unphased as they were equipped with TomTom and Ozi Explorer, Stamps was concerned and eventually had all troops rallied for a “Search and Rescue” mission.  Richard and Malcolm were to make a preliminary skirmish to see if they could be found close by, as Wes had thought he had heard her on the radio a little earlier but couldn’t get any more contact, and then, if unsuccessful the rest of us would fan out in all directions.  They hadn’t been gone more than 5 minutes when the sound of their returning vehicle was heard and they appeared followed by Lizzie and the girls.  It appears that gravel bush tracks all look the same in the dark and it was later revealed that TomTom didn’t have the camp site loaded as a destination and Ozi Ex was so new it hadn’t been taken out of the box!  Anyway all’s well that ends well and it did give us a bit of excitement.

Sunday 27th April
A lazy morning as we prepared to wend our way home after a most relaxing weekend at a very pleasant location.
I have booked Barrabup again for the Australia Day weekend next year.
Thanks to Martin for arranging the canoes and for Jason for towing them down to Nannup.
Keith

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