This was the day of the Pilgrim, who shook, rattled and rolled us northward, back towards Perth. We had decided to make a long board to the north, allowing us a whole day in one place for Pete’s birthday. It was my turn for driving, so my first trip was from the camp site to the loo dump spot, where I gently braked and everything not secure flew off every open shelf in the joint! Added to this boys in the back for the first time, and by the time we got to our breakfast stop in Denmark, everything was rolling about on the floor. The boys thought this was normal, but we enlightened them as to how to to stow stuff, after they bought us breakfast ( and afternoon tea – see later!).
From Denmark, after lessons on stowage (“how come it’s been so quiet and easy when we were driving?”), we motored on up the highway towards Mount Barker. Back in the land of vines, we pulled in to West Cape Howe Wines, to try a little more of the grape juice (and to top up on red). A very sophisticated cellar door, we tried most of what was on offer, but limited our purchase to what we might need for the next 3 days.
On the road again, we wanted another winery, but there was little on offer for our chosen route. So we drove onward amongst the grain road trains, stopping at Kojonup for a rest, some lunch and a stroll around the the famous rose maze! We also did a little Christmas shopping in the gift shop!
From here it was about an hour to Collie, preceded by the enormity of two coal mines, not at all hidden and open for the world to admire. As we pulled in to town, it was clear there was a major event going down, and Patrick at the camp site confirmed it was indeed the Christmas Pagent. We quickly settled in, had a fortifying G &T then walked down to check out the Pageant. It was as awesome as you might expect a country town Christmas event to be, so we retired to the local pub to discuss this with the locals. Here we discovered that Pete’s choice of birthday restaurant had been shut for five months, but we did still have a lunch option at a local winery. Phew! Driving all this way for nowhere to celebrate….
Having fully integrated with the local scene we headed back to camp, checking in with the other camp inhabitants who just happened to hove from Merthyr Tydfill. You can’t go anywhere anymore without running into the Welsh! We retired to Pilgrim, now silent and welcoming at anchor, and ate all the nice things in the fridge, like pate, cheese and cakes, until we thought it was bedtime. Then we went to bed to prepare for another birthday tomorrow.