I lost count of the number of car dealers we visited in pursuit of the perfect "Ute" (bakkie).It made our heads spin as Tommy agonised over torque, manual verses automatic, load bearing capacities, gross vehicle weight and other sundry details of Nissan Nevaras, Holden Colorado's, Mazda BT50"s, Ford Rodeos and Toyota Hilux. My idea of a great drive is more primitive and based on colour and comfort. I spent a lot of time sitting in the cab and fiddling with switches, checking the air con,vanity mirror,legroom and storage facilities whilst Tommy's head was stuck under the bonnet.. We found a great buy but with an unfortunate number plate.....1 DIE 4WA and decided that it was one vehicle we wouldn't be seen dead in............forgive the pun. In the end we settled for a "pre-loved" silver Nissan Navara 3 Lt Turbo Diesel with adequate torque (no that is not a french pastry) to pull our motorhome .It feels enormous compared to the little Ford Fiesta that I used to drive but I am getting use to surveying the countryside from my elevated status.Our next step was buying the right rig (motorhome). After a lot of research online we decided on a Fifth Wheeler and the nearest dealer was in Albany. We drove south through neon yellow fields of canola and giant Karri forests to reach this small whaling town on the shores of the great Southern Ocean. In the calm waters of the King George Sound we saw eight Southern Right whales playing with their calves, a wonderful sight. This is a favorite habitat for them as its sheltered waters are ideal for young whales preparing to take the long journey south to the deep icy waters of the Southern ocean around Antarctica. From 1820 hundreds of whaling ships left from this harbour to hunt the Humpback and Southern Right and it was the last whaling station in the southern hemisphere to close in 1978. The whaling factory is now a museum and the town is very sensitive about its whaling past preferring to dwell instead on its claim to fame as the first penal colony in Western Australia in 1826 some three years before the Swan River Colony later to be known as Perth. On a more poignant note it was the last sight of land for the Anzac soldiers leaving Australia in their troopships for the Ist World War in November 1914. Many of them went on to die at Gallipoli, never to return, but the fame and resourcefulness of the Aussie "diggers" is now the stuff of Anzac legends.
|Ultima Fifth Wheeler|