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The Simpsons Travel all over the country side.....

With one day to go until we jump in car and hit the black tar highway starting at Canberra and stopping at Perth with Christmas day in Kalgoorlie. All the preparations are taking place, school is coming to an end, both Kayley and Finlay are getting excited and with good reason, they both opened there end of year presents - Kindle readers. My lovely wife is now uploading a range of books, and I am sure the girls will keep you up-to date with the content as the trip commences.

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Location: Arno Bay to Mt Gambier, Australia

Arno Bay to Mt Gambier - distance 964kms
Big day on the road, with a few stops along the way and off to the blue lakes camp site in Mt Gambier. As we are driving in we are greeted by the bluest of blue lake see pictures. Then off to feed the possums in an old sink hole just out of town pics and story to follow as we had a late start to go sightseeing, absolutely shattered after 11hrs driving and a late night, the night before

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Location: Arno Bay , Australia

Sometimes the best intentions are the worst ideas, from our previous wet weather experience I thought it would be a good idea to purchase a small tarp and tie it to the Foxwing awning to roll the swags out under. In theory that was a good plan, with the tarp a little larger than the foxwing it was a matter of using all my engineering skills to put it up and then it still flapped around like a sheet on the hills hoist. Bring on some wind -after less than perfect night sleep, It will definately be coming down tonight...
it was off to meet Ashley the guide of Arno Bay Fishing Charter to chase the Big red snapper that South Australia is renowned for. Gentleman hours (8 am kickoff) and the wind was mild the sun was out and anticipation levels was high, on board where 3 other punters all keen for the sound of screaming reels.
After about an hour banging into an easterly we arrive at the first spot of the day to find one of the pro snapper boats on the spot, a quick look around and some drifting resulted in a few pinkies (less than 60 cm snapper) it was time to pull up lines and go look elsewhere. Another 30mins and off to the second spot for the morning, as we arrive there where boats everywhere, could this be the grounds we were searching for? After some looking around using the sounder a big colour fish marking was seen and subsequently down went the anchor.
Absolute mayham erupted from the first cast, bait to the bottom, a couple of nibbles, set the hook and hang on, the rush of hooking a big fish was pumping through the veins, then slack he was gone. New bait and hang on, nibble, set the hook and pump it hard, it was on, reel screaming line taken fast, this was a big fish, the one I had been thinking of a few years earlier while watching a ifish episode. Getting it off the bottom is the trick, well this one really didn’t want to come, lift and wind, get its head up was the aim, but this one wasn’t cooperating, at the same time the boat had erupted with a quadruple hook up and Ashley was running from one side to the other netting 60+cm reds. After what seemed like 5-10mins of working to get the upper hand, a slight glimpse of colour was spotted, it was big, the biggest I’ve ever caught, (pic’s do it justice). Ashley netted it and a few bragging pics took place. (90cm and 8.5kgs 18.7lb in the old scale)
A couple of smaller ones were landed (68cm)and the quota was reached so off to target some KGW for the rest of the afternoon.
No kidney slappers where landed but after the red session nobody was complaining. The wind had picked up and the ride back to the boat ramp was a little sloppy. Then off to the Pub to fillet and clean up. No guesses for what was on the menu for dinner, oh and I forgot that we caught a couple of squid too, Snapper, calamari and crab for dinner.
Back at camp Tam and the girls had their own adventures for the day- I will get them to update soon

Monday, 14 January 2013

Location: Little Douglas to Arno bay, Australia

Another short day of travelling to be had, approx 260kms
Well the double bed nice sleep went out the window after both girls ended up in out bed and I slept teatering on the edge of what felt like the a 1000 foot drop trying not to fall/get pushed out.
As the sun rose (photo’s) so did I for a spot of fishing, result was a nice little flathead for the troubles. The wind was still up and it didn’t look like I would be getting out chasing the KGW. After some discussion and a phone call it was decided that we were off the Arno Bay to chase the Big Reds (snapper) and hope the weather would get better.
On the way to Port Lincoln I finally snapped the elusive emu on the side of the road and once again did the dodge the Kangaroos on the drive.
We did some sightseeing at Port Lincoln and pushed on for the short 200k trip up to Arno Bay to set up camp and get sorted for the next day’s fishing charter.
Arno Bay is a small tourist village with a population of around 250 known for epic snapper fishing- to say I was excited at the prospect of ticking one of my must do before I get too old to do it dreams would be an understatement.
The wind blow all night until about 2 am and then the calm set in- I can’t say I slept a great deal that night.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Location: Streaky Bay to little Douglas, Australia

Streaky Bay to little Douglas
Shortest day so far - 300kms
Usual pack up , slowly, more rain and wind about, quick tourist stop at the Streaky Bay Shell service station to view the Great white shark see pics
More Kangaroo's out today on the side of the road and the sights are worth the stops alo0ng the way. Met Cliff (friend's Dad from Canberra) at Little Douglas, as small fishing community in the Coffin Bay area.
Take the girls to the beach and throw in a line in the 20knot wind and hooked into a KGW on soft plastic (first time for me). The Girls did battle with the wind and sand but reportedly had a good time digging up cockles.
We met some of the locals and hopefully a trip out fishing if the wind drops.
Finlay looks like she has gone 5 rounds with Jeff Fenech due to the ravenous mozzies at Streaky bay.
Two rooms and double bed in each, looks like a good nights sleep out of the swags tonight.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Location: Mundrabilla to Streaky, Australia

Mundrabilla to Streaky bay – distance 666kms in 8hours plus we lost 2.5hrs in time difference…
After a breakfast of tomato, creamed cheese, avocado on toast and freshly brewed coffee (we learn’t our lesson buying coffee on the way over) we set to packing up a wet camp, to say we were filthy by the end of it would be an understatement, let’s just say thank goodness for wet wipes and the collected rainwater in the bucket. All clean and off we went down the road to Eucla.
Woo hoo look out not so little kangaroos, I cant say I have seen so many either dead on the road or drinking the runoff from the road(did I mention it was raining) slow down, speed up –repeat , repeat repeat until we get to Eucla.
Another stop for another photo opportunity, The Old Telegraph Station, which is about 5kms down a dirt track via the service station. (see photo’s), Then a see ya later to Western Australia and hello to South Australia. Time to had the reins over to Tambra. So I am writing this as we cross the Nullarbour once again. More Photo opportunities and on to Ceduna we go…. Oyster shack here we come, best oysters in Australia so Ive been told..

Stopped at Ceduna to declare fruit and veg then stop, oh no – the oyster shack is closed due to no oysters –what the!!!!!! More petrol and off to make the caravan park at Streaky Bay before 8pm
Set up camp and go for a well needed shower

Friday, 11 January 2013

Location: Esperance to Mundrabilla , Australia

Esperance to Mundrabilla – distance 846kms in about 10hrs- a long day
With a slow start to the morning we finally hit the road at around 8.30. We did however take the time to make a couple of espresso coffee’s and were the envy of some of the campers.

No other plans for the day other than stopping off at Cocklebiddy caves, a sinkhole that has been filled with water and is known for its cave diving.

Once again we passed a mother emu and her two babies on the side of the road, unfortunately we are just not quick enough to capture with the camera. I am determined to at least get one photo before the end of this trip.

Stopped along the way at Norseman, a junction town, turn left and you are heading for Adelaide. Lunch stop, couldn’t find the missing cutlery, cheese, margarine and sauce that we came to the conclusion was left at the Shell service station after making sandwiches on the way over. More fuel and off we go. The whole day was spent driving in 20 -27 back to 23degrees (in contrast we were sweating in 40+ degrees on the way over)
Crossing the longest straight road in Australia (150k’s) and somewhat going crazy with boredom which waving to the car’s, dancing(somewhat hard while driving) and dodging road kill didn’t alleviate. We finally arrive(5+hrs later) at Cocklebiddy roadhouse to refresh with chocolate paddlepops (4 icecreams for $19.00 thank goodness we didn’t need fuel). As the caves are not signposted I asked the lady at the roadhouse for directions only to be told that the caves are 11kms back in the direction we just came from to an unmarked turnoff and then 10kms out to the caves. BUT… they are closed as the roof is unstable and the entrance is collapsing…. Well not happy Jan!! Back in the car and off down the road we go.

Another 200kms down the road to find a bush camp where we spent the night. With dinner out of the way we spent an hour playing charades. Off to the swags to bask under an outback sky. Rain early in the morning was a bit of a surprise and slowed down the packing up.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Location: Albany to Esperance WA, Australia

With coffee, breakfast and farewells to all the relatives at the Dome in Albany we set forth to start the trip back to Canberra (5000kms away)
Albany to Esperance - 470kms somewhere around 5-5and half hours with pit stops, We passed the first real mountains that we have seen for weeks, the Sterling Rangers. Settled on Lunch at Ravenstorpe truck stop(toasties) then for the final push to Esperence.
Came across a lone Emu crossing the road, at 110km/hr it was (or we were) lucky nothing was behind us.
Arrived in Esperance to be greeted by 30knot winds and full campgrounds. Located the last camp site and dusted off the swags. Chat with the neighbours to thier astonishment we didn't have a tent and were 2 to a swag. The extra body in the swag was needed as it was pretty cool at night.
Headed down the jetty to eat fish n chips while getting smashed by the wind, Tambra lost one of the shopping bags off the jetty taken away by the gale force winds, at least it gave me something to try to catch (see pictures). The girls where excited to see sammy the seal despite the cold and wind
Back to camp and off to bed before 8pm ready for a big day in the car tomorrow

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Location: Albany to , Australia

The last couple of days have been spent at the beach snorkelling or fishing. The fishing has been ok with some small skippy,herring and whiting caught .
Ran into a mate from Canberra at the Dome cafe in Albany, talk about a small world - 4000km from home!!!

We all went to the old Goal in Albany yesterday and it is a good glimpse into the past - I posted some photo's of the cell and daily life- no iphones inthose days only i-rons, black and heated with wood.

Heading out of Albany today to start the journey back home to Canberra and to do lots of sightseeing .

Monday, 07 January 2013

Location: Little Grove Albany, Australia

Humidty + today you could be mistaken for thinking it was the tropics. one hour walk was a sweat-fest in the morning.
Spent the day drying gear and cleaning the sand out of the car and everywhere else. Repack the car and move to stay with Tam's other cousin Tracy and her twin girls Jarra and Ella.
The wind was up so we spent some time down in a sheltered part of Whale Cove beaches
Tried some fishing and caught a couple of king george whiting while the girls went snorkling.
More family catch up with Chandler and Col to plan somemore fishing if only the wind would back off

Sunday, 06 January 2013

Location: Lake Poorrarecup , Australia

It is late at night and all is quiet here in Albany, the wind has dropped and so has the tempreture. I caught a glimpse of the news this morning to see that the east is getting a taste of the heat we have had here for the last couple of weeks. Hope everyone is safe from the Bushfires around our home town.

We have a wonderful couple of days in and around Albany,
Firstly we all went to Lake Poorrarecup about an hours drive from Albany, where we (Regan, Laura, Glen, Vicki, Lyn, Phil, Tracey, Ella, Jarra, Brook, Tambra, Finlay, Kayley and a few others) went water skiing. Well what an epic day - Forecast 35deg with a afternoon shower, what transpired was outstanding. On the drive to the lake we passed two livestock semitrailers on a narrow dirt backroad, complete dust out, had to stop and pull over for the second one as doing 60k into a dust blanket wasn't the best idea.

On arriving at the lake the wind was howling and the sand was excellent at exfolliating everything. However not to be detered we all had a go on the kneeboards and I gave the wake board a go with a spectacular faceplant at 40-50k /hr as a result instant headache.
With a lull in the wind out came the dounuts (the kind that you tow behind the boat)-lunch was served a little crunchy with the sand condiment. That aside, down came the rain and with it a frantic pack up of camp and off back to Albany.
On the way back one of the cars in out group came across a power line down at 110k/hr, thankfully no-one was injured.

The girls had a great time catching up with cousins and we all were in stitches of laughter looking at the video footage of spills and fall outs of the day.

Friday, 04 January 2013

Location: Mandrah to Albany, Australia

Well it has been a couple of days since the last update and we have been in Perth at Tambra's parents place. The girls have had a big dose of grandparent time and I finally ended up getting the dive gear out for a crab collecting session at Woodmans point. No whitepointers seen but 5 blue swimmers caught and a set of stinging legs from sunburn. I might have been a good Idea to have more than one tube of sunscreen for the trip.
A bit of retail therapy including a stove top espresso maker for the way back across the nullarbor (I couldnt put myself through drinking muddy water again)
We are currently down at Mandurah packing the car for a quick 5hr trip down to more of Tambra's relatives in Albany.
Well I best get packing

Tuesday, 01 January 2013

Location: Perth, Australia

Welcome to 2013, Quiet night at Tambra’s sisters place.
Took the girls down to Madora bay beach and sat on the sand to watch the 9.30pm fireworks that went off at Mandurah town centre. Then pack them off to bed closely followed by me, ready for the new years resolution to get fit again.

Took the girls over to Tambra’s sisters friends to spend a lazy day swimming in their pool . The girls both swam for over 4hrs and after a couple of hours came running back yelling that there was a scorpion in the pool, well let me tell you it was massive (Bear Grylls would be packing it) after removal the excitement for the day was over.
Back to Tam’s sisters for a quick pack of the car and the first of the New Years running (7kms in 30deg with 90% humidity- Thought I was back in Darwin for a moment)
Mandurah to Perth – 60kms
Spending the next couple of days in Fremantle (Freo to the locals) where I hope to do some diving for blue mannas (known as blue swimmer crabs in the east). May pick up some octopus and get some fishing in. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Location: Mandura, Australia

Kalgoorlie to Mandurah via York 656kms
After a few days in Kalgoorlie with Tambra's family celebrating Christmas, chilling out and the girls catching up with cousins, grandparents, Aunties and Uncle's.
Slipped in a visit to the Aurora Movie Theatre to watch The Hobbit, well I am in no way a film critic but seeing all the other lord of the ring series lets just say I wasn't dissappointed and besides not eating anything before the 5.30pm start and another epic 3hr sitdownathon (must admit the drivers seat in the Prado is way more comfortable) the rumbling of the stomach didnt detract from the experience - note to self - go to the midday session while it is 40+C post lunch.

6am farewell to Uncle Keith (the girls uncle) who was off to the mines
7.30 kick off time after packing the truck and saying farewell to Tam's sister, Raelene. Quick fuel stop 1.47c/L - dam I hate filling the truck up from empty.
Heading out of town - skipping opportunity at the welcome to Kal sign (see pictures). Missed the welcome 5 days earlier.

Pit stop 400kms down the road at Kellerberrin, the car outside temp 42degrees - opened the door- wham- heat slap in the face..Crack the dip and veggie sticks and off we go to York.
Quick visit to Tambra's sister Joanna in 40degrees , instant sweat dripping, drop the girls into the spa and attempt to cool down- not happening.
Another 250k down the road and the trusty GPS hit the mark as we arrived at Tambra's other sister (3 in one day) place in Mandurah . Unpack the car, grab the body board and hit the beach, after the 300m walk to the end of the street.
Kayley and I surfed the shore break- got dumped and filled full of sand - doesn't get any better than that after 10hrs of travelling.
Rinse the sand from everywhere and cap the night off with a BBQ and catch up with more of Tam's relatives.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Location: Kalgoolie, Australia

A Merry Christmas to all from the Simpson's, Scorcher here in Kal 42deg C. The girls had a great morning opening pressies and playing with all the new toys/games etc. Santa came to all and Finlay was sooooo excited because santa signed her note requesting his john handcock (signature) see pic, she was squeeling with delight while jumping up and down.
The day was spent at the pool and hanging out with family trying to keep cool.
Evening run at Karlkurla Bushland Park 8k circuit in a cool 30deg felt like my head was going to explode.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Location: Kalgoolie, Australia

First day off driving- much needed rest for the girls and I, early morning walk around Kalgoolie town, walked past the redlight district - which is a row of doors with a sign indicating no girls until after christmas..
Bit of a tourist day with some last minute shopping for christmas followed by some catch up sleep.
Quick look at some christmas lights and a few games of pool then await the arrival of Santa.
Merry Christmas to all

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Recent Messages

From Jarra
hey uncle this is a good wright up about your trip. please updating this i will keep reading. umm very quiet with out you guys at home, wish you were still down here, i'm missing the girls already, i miss talking to them and you. we have to come over their this year but then again you would like to come over and come out the lake with use ths what your going to misss :( <3

love you all sooooooo much miss you all all the time

Jarra and the reast of the family
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Response: Thanks Jarra, we miss you guys. I'm sure we will catch up sooner than later. Im not sure If I am keen to drive over again and a hurry.
From Ben
Hi guys, just been reading your blog... Looks like your doing some serious driving (and some serious skipping)!

Sorry to hear Kayley was sick. Hopefully it doesn't do the rounds of the entire car.

Take care, drive safe, and have an awesome Chrissy break!

Thanks Ben, New Years has passed and lots of resolutions made. We are now planning to head down to Albany to catch up with more of Tam's relos and then slowly make our way back east . How is the clavicle going?