Day 68 – 10 Sep 2012 – still at Serpentine

We had a lovely roast meal at Dot. and Vic’s last night. It was so good to catch up with them again. We didn’t arrive home until after 10pm.

Woke to a cloudy, but pleasantly warm morning. Ian went up to the office to pay for another day’s stay and enquired whether or not he would be allowed to wash the car and the van – he was told it was okay so he came back and gave both car and van a really good wash with the pressure hose. The last time the van was washed was when we were in Fitzroy Crossing. It was good to get the red dirt off it at last.

We then decided to go and have a look at the Serpentine Dam which is just a few kilometres from our Van Park, in the Nambung State Forest. We stopped and re-fuelled at a nearby petrol station and bought some sandwiches for lunch (we are nowhere near shops and have run out of fruit). It was such a lovely drive in to the dam.

on the way to Serpentine Dam

There are hobby farms all around here and they are very well maintained. Some horse studs as well and they looked very good too. There are green paddocks everywhere. It is such a change from the dry scenery we have seen for so long now.

We had lunch at a picnic spot at the bottom of the spillway. It was a lovely spot. There were a few birds flying around. I saw a black cockatoo and a few yellow ringed parrots. We found out later that these parrots are turning into pests as there are so many of them around. They are pretty though. We then drove up along the dam wall. We were surprised just how little water there was in the dam. All this area is part of a Scarp (West Australian speak for escarpment we presume) and the rock has some very deep ridges cut into it so the drive over the dam wall was quite interesting.

This road led to a small heritage township called Jarrahdale. This is an old saw mill area and many of the houses retain their original look. Quite pretty indeed. There was a museum advertised in this area which has unrestored cars/trucks/tractors/machinery, so Ian was very keen to have a look. However, when we got there it was closed. Seems you have to ring a number first and arrange a time to go to the museum. We did not have time for that so I just took a couple of photos.

Some of the many unrestored vehicles – Jarrahdale

We had arranged to meet with Dot and Vic after lunch so drove to their place in Baldivis and then we all drove to Mandurah which is about 20kms away from their house and is right on the seaside. This is quite a large town on its own – 30,000 or so people. Being right on the ocean there was a typical seaside tourist precinct which was very attractively set out.

At the coffee shop at Mandurah

We walked around the marina and then walked to the dining areas and stopped at a coffee shop where we had coffee and cake and just sat and talked for ages. It was a lovely way to finish our visit with Dot and Vic.

Limestone block wall on suburb entrance

Before heading back to their house, Vic took us for a drive around the new subdivisions being built in their area. Hundreds and hundreds of homes are being built – can’t see how the building industry is having trouble when you see all the work being done here. Most of this area is on a sand belt. In order to keep each house block in place, all homes are divided with a limestone block wall. These are all the same yellowy color, and any estate next to a busy road will have a large limestone block wall used as a sound barrier. Even some of the houses were being built with this type of block. Vic. said one manufacturer owns the business of making these bricks – he must be worth a fortune. There is no storm water drainage in this area – every house has an underground tank in which all the stormwater is collected and it is slowly dispersed into the underground acquifer which runs through this area right through to Bunbury. This system has a special name but we can’t remember what it was called. Vic also told us of a local by-law which does no allow artificial turf to be used on verges (W.A. speak for nature strips) because of the possible OH  & S issue of someone tripping over it as it lifts as it ages.

After driving them home, we then headed back to the Van where we have to decide what we are going to do, and where we are going to go, tomorrow.

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