Initial Thoughts on Location No 70
Rockingham, Perth, Western Australia
It’s hard to believe that Dean and I have already been in Rockingham for 21 days. Once again we find ourselves house-sitting and off the road, but to be perfectly honest, neither of us wanted to be on the road during this, the busiest time of the year.
It’s more than just the madness of school holidays and site prices at a premium, it’s also the increase in traffic. Honestly, getting away (or getting anywhere for that matter) over the Christmas holidays is not only expensive, it can also be dangerous and if you add towing a caravan to the mix, the dangers only increase. Being off the road was a better than good alternative and spending the Christmas holidays in a city is not so bad.
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Rockingham is very flat with barely any rise or fall in elevation, so (naturally) we’ve been riding our bikes. We’ve been along the foreshore by the peaceful waters of the southern extremity of Cockburn Sound, a pleasant one hour journey, and from our ‘home base’ over to Waikiki Beach on the shores of Warnbro Sound, taking the long way back and doubling the time and the distance (20 kilometres/12.7 miles). It’s pleasant enough so long as you head out early.
Not unlike being in Busselton, we’ve had a few (ok, more than a few) lazy days watching cricket with Australia and the West Indies now entering the final stages of a very wet (possible abandoned) third test match in Sydney. Over here in Rockingham, for Dean and I, today is day number 67 without rain. Our last wet day was back at Cactus Beach in South Australia*, but I’m not complaining. I can hardly believe the rain has not followed us into Western Australia where any drop would be so appreciated.
That said, we finally find ourselves somewhere hot and sometimes its too hot to do anything. While we’ve had it good (very good) weather wise – experiencing very mild days and cool nights in both Margaret River and Busselton – I fear those days are over with the temperature constantly in the high 30’s (above 95°F). Heading north at the end of January will only take us into hotter territory, so I guess I’d better toughen up.
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We’ve had a few trips down the road to Secret Harbour and Mandurah (an hour away) where Dean was told he’d get a surf. Unfortunately the conditions have not been favourable and I know he’s pining to get back in the water. I think we may have to hire a coupe of kayaks and have a paddle in Warnbro Sound.
In case you missed it yesterday, see Back into the Southern Forests to find out what my friend Denise and I got up to while she was here for a few days. What a fantastic Christmas present – a visit from my dear friend. She and I also took a trip to Penguin Island, home to Western Australia’s largest colony of little penguins (fairy penguins), the smallest species of penguin in the world. They are so cute, and visitors can watch rescued birds being fed in the penguin enclosure.
Dean and I enjoyed a trip to the movie theatre to watch the new Star Wars film – The Force Awakens – and I know I’ll cope a bit of flack over what I’m about to say, but . . . I just don’t get it. I never have and I guess I never will, but the air-conditioning provided a lovely respite from the heat and I watched it all the same.
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Dean and I have another 16 days before the home owners return from their holiday and I’m sure by then we’ll have not only seen everything Rockingham has to offer, but we’ll also be ready to start making our way home via some of Western Australia’s most spectacular regions. I can’t wait.
* We experienced very light showers in Cape Le Grand National Park, not enough to wet the ground though, and a wild storm completely missed us in Albany. Other than that, we’ve seen no substantial rain since entering Western Australia.