Trip 33 – Back on the road again!

Echoes of Willie Nelson singing “On the road again” permeate our being. Yep, Goldy our van is fixed and we’re off on its maiden voyage post ‘the big one’, back in August (read here in case you missed it).

Not only was Goldy fixed, but she is spruiking a new set of shoes, aka tyres. Thanks to our Christmas mate Tom for providing some great advice and helping get us sorted with the tyres and rims. This means we can now interchange the tyres between the van and the Ranger, if needed.

So where to go when you have a repaired van and some time off? Molloy Island Caravan Park. Our mate, BJ, booked himself 3 weeks down here and a bunch of us all arranged to join him for a long weekend at the end of his trip. Leaving Perth on Friday morning, we had a leisurely drive south, stopping at the Midway servo for a pie and pitstop. Arriving at Molloy around 13:30, we were quickly set up and sitting in a circle with friends, sharing stories and chillaxing.

This trip was like a Telstra reunion, with BJ, Rod, Owen, me, and Ray all having worked together in the BigT. Friday night was spent around a couple of roaring campfires.

The avid fishermen in the group, aka Rod, Baz, and Noel, did a 5am start on Saturday morning, with the rest of us, me, and Jules included, getting on the water at more respectable hours. Jules and I ventured out around 9:30 and headed south, down the river towards Augusta. Our plan was to troll up a couple of Herring for lunch but it was pretty quiet. We did spy a snake swimming across the Blackwood River, just south of the ferry crossing. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful, and for Augusta, rare calm morning, with clear blue skies and the birds- a-twittering – or squawking, depending on their vocal range.

A lovely calm day on the Blackwood
The Hobie peddle system
BJ catching a tiddler Herring with Noel in the background

We had a couple of touches on the lure down in one of the bays, but whatever it was, it was small and managed to flick itself free before reaching the yak. We ran into the rest of the group down in bay at the bottom of Molloy Island who all confirmed that they also weren’t catching much. We did a couple of loops around the crew, before deciding to take the scenic paddle home, coming around the backside of Molloy Island, back to camp. So, whilst no fish for lunch, we had a lovely paddle. Showers, lunch, and lazing around was then the order of the afternoon, before once again retiring to the fire and crew in the evening.

Nice reflections and flat water around the back of Molloy Island
Ah the serenity
Still trolling but nothing happening
Tide/flood lines and reflections
The many faces of Julie
The many faces of Julie
The many faces of Julie
The many faces of Julie
In the North channel around Molly Island
Even the roos were chillaxing

Our plan for Sunday was equally sedate, with a late rise and brekky, before a trundle off into Augusta for Devonshire tea and scones at the Ragged Robin cafe – check them out, they’re delish.

Sunday arrives with a few spits and spats of rain which soon disappears, leaving a calm and sunny morning. But with a storm warning issued by BOM for later in the day, we were expecting things to change again. Given our plans for the day consisted of Devonshire tea we weren’t too concerned. We headed into Augusta mid-morning’ish, munched on said scones and tea, and then took a trundle through the town to see what had changed since last Christmas. A couple of shops had changed, and the town fish’n’chips had been done up, but the biggest change was the near entry/exit roads into Flinders Caravan Park. They’ve installed a one-way in/out system which should improve traffic flow and safety around the office during the busy season.

The forecast storms were increasingly closing in as we drove out to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, noting that the lighthouse was completely surrounded by scaffolding making it look like a rocket ship that was ready to launch.

With the thunder starting to rumble, I managed to grab a few shots of the beach, wildflowers, and stormy skies down at the water wheel, making it back to the car as the first drops of rain started. By the time we’d got back to Molloy Island the thunder was in full swing, this time accompanied by shards of brilliant lightning, blasting through the grey clouds. As I write this post, we’re holed up in the van, listening to the rain get harder and the thunder get louder as it rolls around the river system. With a cup of coffee, we decided this was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Looking out to the bay from just past the scenic track
Looking across the wildflowers towards the waterwheel
Storm clouds gathering on the beach just past the waterwheel
The muted, stormy light made for some moody pics
The muted, stormy light made for some moody pics

Well, it rained! A lot, but only for a relatively short time. The ducks loved it, but the rest of the crew spent a fair bit of time, dodging the rising puddles under Big Ray’s annex – piss funny to watch from our van. It was also accompanied by two of the loudest claps of thunder we’ve ever heard. We saw the lightning strike not far away, then literally a second later the clap of thunder cracked around the park, making people jump and the ducks scatter. Luckily no damage in the park so a cool spectacle to enjoy from the comfort of one’s van. The remainder of Sunday evening was spent watching the Qatar Formula 1 race via Foxtel Go.

The ducks enjoy the rain

Monday dawned fine but a little overcast. A bit too breezy for the guys to go out fishing so we decided to chill for the morning and then head into Jimmy’s, the Augusta local, for a pint and pub lunch. Having eaten here many times over the years we were pleasantly surprised at how good the pub grub was. Our previous meals were pretty crap, but Monday’s lunch was a cracker so we’re hoping they’ve got a new chef in, and things will stay improved. Jimmy’s is an older pub which is in a great location with fantastic views, however, the decor is getting a bit worn now. Still, the pints went down well.

A selection of beverages
Roo’s relaxing
A 28 parrot waiting for food
Then the roos get in on the feeding action

Monday was finished off in front of a roaring campfire, sharing stories and good times. All in all, a great little jaunt to Molloy Island. It’s made us hungry for our upcoming Chrissy trip back down to Augusta, this time staying at Flinders (as usual over Christmas).

Till then, safe travels.

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