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Traveldiary chapter 16 [November 2006 - January 2007] as PDF
(Western-Australia: Short journey and naturist life at Sunseekers)
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|Photos: Western-Australia Publications||More about Australia: chapter 33 & chapter 10 (Main Story)|
Naturist holiday and trip in rental car between Perth and Denmark
After 13 days relaxing, respectively writing our
travel diary about
Only now we realized that
Although we both felt that the food and the
climate in the resort islands of
After some “surfing” in the internet and a
couple of phone calls, we booked a cabin at Sunseekers naturist club near
On November 29th, 2006 we arrived in
Last time when we passed through
We had to phone around a bit to find accommodation and funnily, we got to stay at North Lodge, the place we had started our Aussie adventure when we had first visited together in 1992.
We enjoyed the charming city and the many cheap
and excellent Asian restaurants around the
After a week, we moved by train to the touristy
coastal town of
Once a while, European immigrants mentioned that
they were initially surprised, how big the cultural differences to Australians
are and we felt the same. Never the less: the Aussie mates are in general very
friendly, very helpful, easy going, and a frank and humorous pack. Once we
heard a man wishing another: “Merry X-Mas and all that crap” and an Australian
opposition politician announced on TV: “Our country should aim to be more than just
After two weeks diving into city live, we opted
to rent a car to explore the countryside once again. We did a short loop (1’600km) which
brought us to Toodyay, from where we followed the „Southern Highway“ via
Northam, York, Narrogin through the so-called wheat-belt to Mount Barker and
from there, down to the south coast to the village called Denmark. From there
we later followed mainly the coast via Pemberton,
The landscapes on this loop were incredibly varied; first the dry harvested wheat fields, then the wonderfully blue coast with its beautiful rocks, then we came across green pastures into the fire tested Karri forests, up to the urbanized areas with the holiday places near Perth. We’ve seen many kangaroos, Emus, colourful parrots and lizards and what surprised us: many big sting rays along the shores. We enjoyed the amazing coastline even more now in summer, than 16 months ago when we had passed through in winter.
We stayed in rental-cottages on campgrounds, in Motels or B&B’s. The food we got out in the countryside was again mostly of top quality.
When we arrived at Sunsekeers
naturist club in the
After we had made our reservation for a cabin already 10 weeks ago, we had received an e-mail from the caretakers Jytte & John, who proposed that we become “country members”, so we would only pay A$ 15 (Euro 9.15) instead of $ 50 per night – the $ 245 initial membership fee would be amortized within the first week of our stage. Of course, we couldn’t resist this offer, as this deal saved us $ 770.- (Euro 470) because we ended up staying there for 29 days – a real bargain!
We got a nice cabin but the kitchen was definitely geared to locals who spent the weekend only. It had a fridge, the compulsory microwave and on a shelf 1.5 m (one point five meters!) above the ground, two simple hotplates. We wonder how somebody could use them on that height. We were probably the first ones who thought about it. Never mind, we decided to make it a bit more European. First thing, we moved the microwave oven for storage into a cupboard and put the hotplates in its place.
As our membership deal saved us so much money, we decided to invest in some additional appliances which we donated to the club once we moved on.
As we still had our rental car, we took advantage and went out to buy as much as possible of things that would last, so we’d only need to go out to the city to buy fresh stuff later. Pasta, rice, flower and many liters of mineral water and fruit juices soon filled our shopping trolley, together with some food we could store in the clubs huge freezer. So we were invading the shops at the same time as the locals on their exercise to complete their Christmas present collection in time. We heard that the average Australian puts a whooping $ 1’300 on the credit card for Christmas shopping alone.
In a second-hand shop, we found a little baking oven for $ 27.- and for $ 5 a coffee maker. We also bought an additional hotplate as one of the two didn’t work properly. To go with this, we added some better pans, a grater and salad bowl plus a draining sieve and a few small tools which spoiled kids, as we, like to have when cooking. After that, we were very well equipped to spoil ourselves with culinary delights during the festive season.
Our little oven permitted us to bake breads and cakes, as well as do roasts and filet in puff pastry.
Looking at the eating habits, the cultural differences become very apparent. The young Aussie couple that moved into the similarly equipped cabin next to ours, shouted out: “wow how wonderful, this kitchen is much better equipped than we’d expected!”
The next day we returned the rental car and made
our way back on public transport. First, we took a train to
We were pleased to find out that the club was well connected by bus with the outside world – at least during the week. When we had first enquired about that, nobody of the club was able to advise us, as all members have a car. So we believed we would need to call a taxi each time we wanted to go out, but in the end, this was never necessary.
Sunseekers is situated in a beautiful lot of gumtree forest. On the hottest days (~40°C), we could see how the trees were literally dripping out Eucalypt sap (oil). That’s one of the reasons why forest fires spread so quickly during the hot summers down under. Some researchers predict however, that this problem will be solved before the end of the century, as there wouldn’t be any big trees left by then!
The grounds were well maintained by two caretaker families, both of whom live permanently on the site. A large two storey clubhouse formed the center of the club. It was complemented by two smaller cottages, one for small children and one for youths, of which quite a big number were around during the festive days.
During the first 10 days it was amazingly busy on the grounds but after New Year it got very quiet quickly. Most members were very friendly and there was always somebody to chat to.
Jytte & John let us use their computer and a visiting couple: Chris & Lloyd lent us their laptop that had a mobile antennae, so we could go on the internet. Many times Una & Austin offered us to bring some groceries along when they went out shopping and Bob even took us along in his oldtimer. Also a few other people had offered us to help so twice only, we went out by bus.
We enjoyed the large swimming pool and some of the many sports grounds to play badminton. Some children joined us for badminton and a 9 year old girl insisted to have a shower together with us, she even paid the 20 cents to activate it out of her pocket money.
Unfortunately, the sauna had recently been eaten away by termites. Occasionally, the disturbingly large huntsman spider could be seen in the toilets. At first sight, it usually affects the blood pressure of oversea-tourists. The Aussies just laugh, as they know it’s harmless – the small spiders that’s the poisonous ones!
On the club grounds, also more tourist friendly wildlife could be seen: like Kangaroos, Opossums, Lizards and many colourful birds as parrots and kookaburra that often came to visit (or beg).
As water shortage is a common problem, not only
in this part of
A common weather forecast during our stay was usually about as follows: “up to 40°C hot and over the weekend a bit cooler with hopefully some rain and afterwards very hot again. Twice we got some rain which let the temperatures drop to 20°C quickly, at night even down to 14°C which meant Brigitte got her socks out from the bottom of the backpack.
As the 700 m round-loop on the ground was a bit short, we went regularly out for a walk on the other side of the fence. Around sunset time (20:00 h), we regularly could spot about a dozen kangaroos in the bush and even in the backyards of houses, before we reached the “center” of Parkerville after 2 km. It consisted only of a convenience store with post-office, a pub and a proper restaurant, all dotted around the forest.
Our 4 weeks at Sunseekers passed very quickly and it turned out to be exactly what we had hoped for: a quiet and very natural place, where we enjoyed our freedom. We both felt it was the right decision for us to come down under again. This was the ideal holiday in which we relaxed completely and digested our previous travel experiences perfectly. (more Australian adventures in chapter 10 A)
The club had a big video library where we found
some movies about some of our favorite places in
On January 19, 2007, Jytte from Sunseekers drove
us to the station, from where we took a train to
From there, we still want to go to some exotic adventures
and so we booked a flight to Kuching, the main city of the Malaysian state of
Sarawak on the
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