Days 39 to 50 Mandurah, south of Perth



(Falcon is just south of Mandurah which is south of Perth)

Falcon where we are now located is a coastal suburb of Mandurah about sixty kilometres south of Perth.  We are fortunate to be able to hold up here for a few days whilst making arrangements for the next leg of our Odyssey.  Things we have to do are arrange travel insurance and buy some foreign currency such as euros, US dollars, Thai baht and Turkish lira.   After these matters are attended to we will most probably go south a bit and do a spot of kayaking.

Drove down through some pretty farming country today. I had read that the town of York, east of Perth was very historic and worth a visit.  As it turned out the drive was worth it as there were some beautiful old buildings reflecting the affluence of the squattocracy period when we rode on the sheep’s back (when wool was a valuable commodity).

Impressive facade of York Town Hall.

That’s us, I think.

Soon after leaving York the traffic increased until we were travelling at around four kilometres per hour in the outer suburbs of Perth.   The snail’s pace drag went for around twenty kilometres.  It was pretty hard to take after being on the open road for the past five weeks.  However Bev navigated skilfully and I didn’t manage to hit anything.

Arrived at Falcon just on dark and waiting for us was a real treat, a roast lamb dinner.  Sleeping inside again tonight in a fair dinkum bed.


Last night we both slept soundly right through until around six. I didn’t wake at four like I usually do.

On the way to change money.

The weather today was lousy; blustery with driving rain best describes it.

 Mandurah, the closest city to where we are staying, oozes affluence.  There are vast areas laid out to canal frontage homes, all with big cruisers moored out front, but none as flash as my bathtub sailer.

Bathtub sailer.

Rack of boats.

If you don’t have a marina berth or a private mooring you store your boat like this.

Houses in the district are huge and take up entire blocks, some having walls separated by a gap of only 50mm.  There is Tuscany, Spanish, Federation, Waterfall, Colonial and Murcutt/Drew styles mixed in with McMansions.  Waterfall or P & O era houses are replicas of ship’s bridges with round corners, porthole-style windows, ship-style handrails and flagpoles.

Murcutt & Drew house.

Murcutt and Drew were two architects who designed houses with geometrical roof angles; this one is next door to where we are staying.

New housing estate

The game plan when developing a new housing estate is to clear the native vegetation completely before construction begins.

A fair dinkum McMansion.

A McMansion is a pejorative description for a type of large new luxury house, which is judged to be incongruous for its neighbourhood and/or a big house on a small lot.



During that time we did little of consequence as the weather was beastly with cold, gale force winds and rain.  Most of the time we stayed indoors, blogged, read and socialised with our hosts.



(weather fine)

Drove to to Fremantle but not via the freeway. We followed the coast and found an old and decaying building, unusual for WA.

A power station past its use by date.

Walking graffiti in Fremantle. Apparently the latest fashion statement for some locals.

Jason, a Big Issue seller.

 The Big Issue magazine is sold by the homeless and those with mental health problems in capital cities of Australia. The money they make from sales helps them buy food and lodgings.  I never go past one without buying a copy.  Jason was an enthusiastic bloke who kept telling me he was having an awesome day.  He was a positive character and I put it down to the fact that he makes enough money each day to pay for his keep.

Inside the ladies’ loo at Fremantle railway station.

Fremantle has many old Victorian buildings including the railway station.  Bev thought I would like a photograph of this dunny as, after all, I am a privyologist, aren’t I?   A privyologist is someone who takes a deep interest in the finer workings of the loo.  If you search the net for the book title,  ‘Further Down the Back’ you will understand.

Hotel in Fremantle

 The stone and brickwork here is some of the best I have seen. To build a wall such as this, the first step is to build the brick window and door quoins (the sections keyed into the stone wall) then the squared stone rubble is inserted into the space between.  The brick joins are highlighted by a thin line of mortar (called tuck pointing), which projects out from the join.


Packing day for the start of Leg 4 of our Odyssey,  Perth to Thailand.

 First thing today Bev and I took the house dogs for a walk along the beach and during our walkI saw a duck. I have never seen a duck on a beach before.  Ducks usually don’t hang around salt water because they don’t have the ability to desalinate any water intake like the sea birds do.

Duck thinking about the flight to South Africa.

Duck taking off for South Africa?

On the beach near Laurence and Nadine’s place.

I was trying to finish this book so I didn’t have to take it to Thailand.  It turned out I didn’t get it finished.  The rock formation behind me is wave-weathered limestone.



On our way into the city this morning we got to talking about the past leg of our odyssey and we came to the conclusion that the country side and marine environment of WA is wonderful but we didn’t find the attitude of councils, authorities and caravan parks to travellers like us very accommodating.  Also we were disappointed that we didn’t meet any West Australians other than those wanting our money.  There was no rapport with the locals and we really missed that.  Many of the Australian travellers we have come across find it an effort to say hello and rarely do they instigate a conversation. In 99.9% of cases we introduced ourselves to other people, be it in caravan parks or people on the track.

Over the past fifity days there has been only one person (a young lass in the school group at Port Smith Lagoon camp) who came up to us and asked where we were from.  Many foreign visitors approached us, but only one local.

Bearing in mind all the signs that advise ‘No Public Access’, No Camping’ and ‘No Camp Fires’, I’m of the opinion that local councils take the easy way out and simply pass another law without thinking of the ramifications of their actions.

Bev and I must thank our friends who have accommodated us on this leg of our odyssey: Steve in Darwin, Paul and Sam in Katherine, May and Ray at the fish farm and Laurence and Nadine at Falcon near Mandurah.  We are especially grateful to Laurence and Nadine for having us through the gales and storms of the last week and also for looking after our car and kayaks whilst we are away.


Dew drip at Stockyard camp.


Road to Dampier

Leg 4 of our Odyssey Encountering the Past begins tomorrow.

  Remember: If we don’t break the rules today there will be no tomorrow.

 As Bugs Bunny used to say, ‘That’s It Folks’.



About tbeartravels

It's been said that I know a little bit about a lot of things and a lot about little things. I hope I can share some of this knowledge with you as we travel.
This entry was posted in Odyssey #1 2012: Australia Europe. Bookmark the permalink.

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