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The final day in the roadtrip first took us east, back across the boarder to Mildura. Today was another 700 odd km day but we did make a few stops. We stopped in Mildura down at Lock 11 where we found it currently not active due to the river level being so high. I didn’t release the weir on the other side of the island (Lock Island) is completely removable. It’s currently up on dry land possibly looking like it’s having some repairs done to it.
Next stop was for lunch in Sea Lake and my first decent coffee in 3 weeks. Why does coffee just taste better in Victoria?
After another seemingly endless straight road, we arrived in Whycheproof which has the distinction of being the only town in Victoria where a train travels down the main street. I’m pretty sure that I travelled on a SteamRail trip about 15 years ago that did exactly that. It’s hard to find any information confirming that the line is currently in use, although in the past few years it seems it has been for grain transport. There is a K series locomotive on static display next to the old turntable and they’ve restored the station building.
Next stop wasn’t until Bendigo for fuel and then on to Melbourne.
Sections of the road today were rolling fields of tumbling grass or weed. It was almost like driving through snow with drifts of this stuff piled up against fences and along the side of the road. It made the drive a lot more scenic that it otherwise would have been.
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Day 12 and 13 were spent getting to Perth and around Perth.
The trip up saw us zigzagin inland and back to the coast. We went into Donnybrook, the apple capital of WA where they have streetlights in the shape of apples. There was supposed to be a big apple in the town but we failed to find it following the vague ‘6km north’ instructions we could find.
We headed back to the coast, going through Bunbury and Australind before heading back inland once again.
Bunbury from the lookout tower.
Inland, we went by road and forest track (love it) to find Lake Brockman, North Dandalup Dam and Serpentine Dam and, not surprisingly, found them not particularly full.
Just like in Victoria, they had picnic areas and and public facilities, and like Victoria, they looked like they had seen better times. I’m sure these places when they were first built, were summer lunch spots by a public that were interested in getting out and about, marvelling at the great engineering feats enabling them to have a city life.
The Serpentine Dam even had even has a cafe / restaurant, but not many people must still visit as the business is for sale.
We probably could have spent the entire day exploring the hills and trails but wanted to get into Fremantle at the reasonable time for dinner at Little Creatures.
Day 13 was the laziest day yet. I caught up with a friend (that now lives in Perth) for lunch and then met Stephen back at the Motel.
Now, then motel. I think I managed to pick the dodgiest motel in town. Red Castle Motel. Avoid it.
There were the ruins of a revolving restaurant out the back along with a heap of rubbish and phone books. There were chalk room number written outside the doors and handrail bannisters with broken welds wired into place.
Best of all, the was a pimp and his prostitute working out of a ground floor room.h
Oh well, I did well with my other accommodation picks.