Trip Leader: John King
When: 9th – 13th April 2009
Location: Nannup WA 6275
Participants: Kings, Belchers, Hewers, Shortlands, Brombergers, Freegards, Vasiles, Sid & Pam.
Thursday 9 April (JK)
We (John and Rosalie King) left Perth just after 9am and decided to follow the travel plan formulated by Peter Belcher and circulated to all members. The reasoning behind this plan was to avoid the traffic through Mandurah and on the Old Coast Road. We had a very pleasant drive down to Nannup, no traffic jams or bottlenecks and reached our destination, after a long lunch break in Boyanup, just after 2pm.
By late afternoon all the expected caravanners had arrived and after getting set up it was decided happy hour sounded like the way to go. We had approval to light a fire in a container and most of us sat around for or first meal of the weekend away. A relaxing evening was had, sitting around discussing many important issues and enjoying the odd wine and port.
Friday April 10 (SB)
Ably led by Sam and Pasc, 7 vehicles left Nannanap Caravan Park at 3.05pm. There were Jan & Rog, Troy & Keryn, Denise & Peter, Neil & Raylene, John and Rosalie and Sue and John as Tail End Charlies. Sid and Pam only arrived at the campsite about five to ten minutes after we had left.
We had a delightful drive to visit Sam’s brother in law’s hobby farm. On one country lane, where Sam swore that it had been standing the day before, we passed a lean-to that had leant a bit too far and had toppled over completely! Some of the side walls were overhanging the roadway.
Conversation through the convoy was about people of 85 years old playing Golf and Tennis and being fit and then younger members were reminded about losing keys! I think this was a veiled reference to ‘someone’ on the golf course earlier that day, mislaying his keys and NO, it was not Mr. K.!
We drove past an area of dead vines and we wondered if they had died, or perhaps just not been watered and why someone would suddenly neglect a crop like this.
We passed Kirup Cottages and Rog said it would be nice to be able to stay there and fish for trout. The cottages were a bit isolated though. We eventually passed through some wooded area and open rolling hills were spread out ahead of us.
Sam’s brother in law’s brother (are you still with me?) Dino lives on the farm as caretaker. What a top spot, beautiful views over valleys. We met the pet kangaroo hopping around, pet pig and a 4 day old calf. We walked down to where there were two huge (so Rosalie thought!) bulls with three goats. We were spell-bound with the stunning views but the fields were brown and dry.
After the farm tour, we drove to the dam for arvo’s. Rog, John and Troy had a hitting competition with their golf equipment. Rog got his golf ball across the wide expanse of water; John showed how you can make a golf ball skim several times to get to the other side and Troy made sure he did not put his keys down! It was a picture perfect spot and we sat in a row looking at this beautiful scene with Troy right in the middle of our sight. Because he was perched precariously leaning back towards the dam, John was worried he would slip backwards into the water so he put some webbing straps around Troy’s chair and was going to secure him to the nearest vehicle but the webbing was not long enough. This left John with Troy on one lead and Matilda, the Westie on the other lead!
Someone, not one of our members, drove over/past a very large lizard on the way to the farm and it was still in the same position on the road going home. As Tailend Charile John stopped and removed it to the side of the road to prevent someone having an accident by swerving to miss it if they thought it was still alive. It did not look dead until you got up close. Sam was worried that kangaroos would be a problem this late in the afternoon, as we saw a few in the fields, but we were all safe and arrived back at camp at 6.00pm. This was a lovely leisurely trip so many thanks to Sam and Pasc for taking us on such a fantastic run.
We all had dinner that night at the Blackwood Café which was very pleasant.
Saturday 11.4.09. (RF)
Trip leader Roger had informed the assembled 15 club members of duty of care and convoy procedures before starting off along the very picturesque Nannup to Balinup road. At about 31 kms along this road the convoy turned left off the bitumen onto Ferndale road, a corner that was nearly missed by our trip leader. We were soon winding our way through the sometimes burnt out areas of the state forest with many Emu’s and Kangaroos being spotted until we hit our first series of hill descents and ascents. Care was taken by all members to negotiate the steep hills confronting them until a section where stoppage was made to take action shots of ascending cars.
Trip leader Roger then set off up what was considered a reasonable easy hill. This had been negotiated the previous day during a pre trip run with Peter in his Toyota, with ease….no further comment needed.
Roger reached about mid point of the ascent and found that he had not given the car enough approach speed to complete the climb. The car lost momentum and a driver decision made to reverse back down the hill. This exercise proved more difficult than expected. With brakes slightly applied, the car started an unstoppable backend slide to the left. Thankfully the car came to a shaky stop at an acute angle.
Help arrived quickly from the assembled members, who quickly mounted the side running board of the car to prevent the car from rolling over. Thank goodness the board had recently been repaired as the applied bulk and ballast was considerable.
Shining knight Troy stepped into action and quickly had a strap attached to the front of the car and around a tree to secure it from any further downward travel. Lots of opinions were voiced as to the best method of retrieval and from them a safe retrieval method was achieved.
Roger was then determined to make a run up the other side of the hill and being quite rutted this was achieved after a fast ascent. Other members then followed with little problem. Decisions were taken by a few to use the alternative route which allowed them a safe and fast passage to the morning tea destination.
A few extra hills were negotiated before the remainder of the group joined the now set up members for tea, the position selected because of the views overlooking the state forest and valley. A good opportunity for a photo calls by members.
Continuing the trip we negotiated a few extra steep hills which commenced at the top of the now infamous hill that has caused the club a few anxious moments during past trips. Magnificent scenery was viewed during this passage before members arrived at a site selected for lunch next to the Blackwood river.
Lunch was quickly consumed, interrupted only by the local farmer questioning our presence on the land. His fears were quickly laid to rest after talking to a couple of the senior members, who explained, that no signs were ignored, no gates had been passed and therefore we were unaware of the ownership of the land. It did eventuate that the farmer only leased the land for grazing from DEC and we parted on cordial terms.
A slow trip was then made back onto the Balinup to Nanup road where the convoy made for the Tathra Vineyard where tastings of plum wines and liqueurs, ice cream sundaes and cups of iced coffee were enjoyed.
On reflection an enjoyable day was had by all. Rogers pride was slightly dented but not his car. His thanks go to all concerned during the “Training Exercise” as it shall now be remembered as.
Neil had an electrical failure in the form of a flat battery that continued to plague him for the remainder of the weekend. It was also rumored that he lost his way at one stage but this could not be confirmed by the trip leader.
Thanks also to Peter who gave his assistance and car for the day’s pre tripping exercise.
Sunday 12 April – Easter Day (JK)
The morning was absolutely beautiful. The wind gently rustled the trees along the banks of the Blackwood. The Easter Bunny had been busy leaving Easter Eggs at each caravan and at the cabin. The aroma of breakfasts being cooked on outdoor barbies wafted across the park and the squeals of children as they located eggs and other goodies could be heard. We all had lunch together, used up a lot of the leftovers from last night’s dinner, and then spent a lazy afternoon. Some went walking, some played putt-putt and others just slept. We all then walked down to the hotel for a very happy meal before returning to the camp fire and then to bed.
Monday 12 April (JK)
This morning was just as bright and sunny as the all the mornings of the weekend, but for some it was the day to pack up. Neil and Rayleen, John and Sue, Syd and Pam as well as Sam and Pasc said their goodbyes and left. Those of us left behind were sad to see them go but thankful for their contribution to the economy. We understood the need for some of us to work. Those who remained decided they should make some effort so drove over to Balingup where an excellent coffee house was located.
Freshly baked scones, with jam and cream could not be resisted. Rosalie, Jan and Denise then took off for the shops with John, Roger and Peter tagging along. Troy and Keryn also checked out the delights of the town but seemed more restrained when it came to retail therapy. Back to Nannup for lunch and then some serious exercise, reading, sleeping and a putt-putt challenge. Some readers might think that sounds pretty strenuous, you would be correct. Preparations for another happy hour commenced, then dinner and more sitting around the camp fire.
Tuesday 13 April (JK)
Pack up day and back home for all except Troy and Keryn who were still on holidays.
It was agreed everyone had enjoyed the weekend away. The traffic on the way home was light and there were no problems or hold-ups.