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Bluest of blue!

Hi! I’m writing this under our annexe overlooking the blue water of Cape Keraudren, north of Pardoo. I have never seen such turquoise blue water and we can’t wait to go swimming tomorrow! We have set up and relaxing after a week of no-so-great holidaying!

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We packed up from Shark Bay and were hoping to check in at an AirBnB in Coral Bay but alas, ’twas not to be (for the fact Coral Bay has bugger all AirBnB’s) so we decided to camp at Warroora Station. We stocked up on supplies in Carnarvon and one of my brother’s rang and suggested we visit Gnoolara Station so we set off there.

Turning right at big sign saying ‘KING WAVES KILL’, we drove the second most corrugated road we had ever driven! Arriving at the camp, we looked around in dismay at the dusty, windy, crowded campsite swarming in surfies while overlooking reefy, rough ocean. We’d come this far, it was getting dark and had to camp the night. Not happy Jan.

The place was interesting if wind surfing, surfing and whatever else is your cup of tea. But for Tim and I, give us swimmable water and beach access any day of the week. So we stayed one night listening to the howling wind batter out camper, packed up the next morning and took off like a bat out of hell. Our number plate ripped off so Tim had to tie is back on with zip ties! That’s how corrugated the road was!

The blowholes down the road were awesome and we had a look at the lighthouse and humpy camp over the other side.

Planning on camping at Warroora Station, we stopped at Milynup Roadhouse where I made the executive decision to drive straight through to Exmouth and stay in a cabin for a couple of nights to feel a bit more civilised!

Exmouth is a gorgeous town with amazing crystal beaches and so much to do. We had plans to snorkel, go on a glass bottom boat, fish and swim swim swim! However that afternoon I started to feel lethargic and achy. Over the next two days, it developed into a stomach bug where I was left with horrible abdominal cramps and … let’s just say, ‘the tummy bug stuff’. We did go for a drive to have a look around and watched the sunset one night which was beautiful. Tim went out by himself one afternoon and saw whales breaching in the ocean.

After three nights in Exmouth, I started to feel slightly more human and we set off to Miaree Pool for the night on our way to Broome. We left there this morning and are now at our current spot.

The place we are camping now is pretty quiet with beautiful views overlooking the ocean. The tide comes in and out regularly, with the next high tide due, according to our neighbours, tomorrow around 2.30pm. We’ve just had a walk down to the water with the tide out and the sand feels like that magnetic sand and really sinky! Tim and I had a race back which was hilarious with our feet sinking deep into the sand with each step!

It was nice staying in a chalet for a few nights but it’s also nice being back on the road especially in such glorious weather. And feeling well and healthy is not something I will take for granted! We have just over 3 weeks to make the trek to Darwin in time for my graduation ceremony and there is a lot we want to see on the way so getting north of Broome is something we’re keen to do. But until then, we’re just enjoying each day and night.

Tim and I get along well, most of the time. Spending 100% of our time together can wear a bit thin and we have our moments, but overall we know we’re stuck together (plus Tim says he keeps the car keys in his pocket so I don’t do a runner! haha). Snappy words are often just left to dissipate in the air rather than arguing over. Travelling and camping together, just the two of us, has taken co-existing to a different level and as much as we can irritate each other, we rely on each other, both for our skills and company. Trying times are overcome when we find somewhere that is paradise and we celebrate pushing through the annoyances of getting there.

We have both gone through the feeling of ‘gee it would be nice just being in a house for a while’ but when we spent time in the chalet, it was nice being back on the road camping under the stars and listening to all sorts of bird life, crickets, frogs and random cars driving past in the middle of the night!

I have found camping/travelling pages on Facebook really helpful and have made a couple of new friends who I will meet when we start our grad programs in Alice Springs.

One FB page of a new friend is: Seeking the Serenity – Travelling Aus which is an awesome and inspiring page of travelling! Check it out!

Keep in touch and stay posted! Love your comments and support xoxoxoxo

 

 

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Dongara to Meekatharra!

As Kevin Bloody Wilson once sang ‘I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been to Meekatharra Meekatharra Meekatharra…’ and here we are in…Meeka-bloody-tharra.

It’s not bad, I’m not saying it is. We’re just spending the night here because after two nights of no phone reception, Tim and I had to speak to each other and that was weird. So I read a shitload of my book and Tim contemplated the complex issues of the world, like ‘Could he swim in the dam if he doesn’t put his head under the water’ and ‘Should he really have to flip a coin to empty the chemical toilet seeing as Rachel kind of agreed to be in charge of that’.

So we left Dongara AKA Port Denison on Thursday 23rd August. It was an uneventful pack-up until Tim got in the car to drive off, handed me his bathroom key and asked me where mine was (we had been issued one each). I declared that the one he gave me was mine and he had lost his. Adamant the key was his because he ‘had it in his pocket the whole time’, I searched for mine then remembered it was in my pants pocket of which I had put in the plastic ‘washing machine’ bucket, filled with water and woolly wash and Tim had hammered down the lid for a few hours of on the road agitation. We spent another 15 minutes while Tim prised the stubborn lid off the bucket, cursing me and my lack of checking pockets ability under his breath. Key retrieved from a sodden pocket and me murmuring a ‘sorry’, both sets were returned and we were on our way.

We got up to Geraldton to stock up on some vacuum sealed meat from a friendly butcher called Mick Davey Butchers (hit him up at 165 Marine Tce, Geraldton). There he told us about Wurarga Dam which is a cool place to camp.

I’d never been to Geraldton and in my little haven’t-been-further-than-Perth brain, I didn’t realise how big it actually is. And how cool it is. However we didn’t stick around long because we were determined to ‘go bush’ and get as far inland as we could.

So after stopping in Mullewa (99km east of Gero) for Tim to ring his Dad to check on the cat (she is fine) and his sister to check on the dog (she is being a brat) we went onto Stockman’s Pool to find a geocache then onto Wurarga dam!

I made damper for the very first time in our camp oven and it came out perfectly! we had some with our tea then I had it toasted with peanut butter for breakfast.

24/8/18: We had a great sleep. Tim placed the chemical toilet outside overlooking the side of the dam out in the open so using the toilet at night gave us a ceiling of stars! I even watched a shooting star in the middle of the night while on the throne!

We went for a walk around the area and came across an old railway bridge long since abandoned. We appreciated the solid construction and engineering of it. We had a drive along the bush tracks then onto one of the main roads to a demolished homestead.

In the afternoon I had a read of my book and a snooze. When I emerged, Tim suggested we play with the drone for the first time, so we got it all ready, I read the instructions (albeit very briefly) and I got it up and flying. And that’s where the fun ends. Anyone who knows me knows I am too impatient to thoroughly read instructions and as such, once the drone zoomed into the air and away from us, I got frazzled and couldn’t figure out how to make the drone stop ascending and return to base. Further and further it went into the distance until it was just a speck in the sky! I started hollering to Tim “I can’t bring it back! How do I bring it back!?” with Tim replying “I don’t know! You’re the one who read the instructions!”. We watched helplessly as we lost sight of the drone and chased it along the red dirt in a last ditch attempt to somehow magically use the controller correctly for it to zip back and land safely. In a panic, I thrust the controller at Tim who marched onwards where we had last seen the flying dot. I skulked back to camp still wearing my slippers which I, for some reason, thought would be perfectly fine to wear while flying a drone in the Australian Outback.

Tim returned some time later and said the drone battery had gone flat only 600m from where he was so we headed back the next day to look for it. Unfortunately the drone has succumbed to the desert and despite our efforts to search, we left empty handed.

Leaving Wurarga dam, we went through Yalgoo, Cue, Mt Magnet and have now arrived in Meekatharra before we do the trek further north to get to Karijini national park and to the home of my birth, Tom Price.

Stay tuned!

P.S Tim emptied the chemical toilet because, in his words, he couldn’t be bothered with the ‘hoo-hah’ performance of me gagging and carrying on if I did it. Not that I would do that…!? My time will come!

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Get to the sun!

We have left Albany! We left last Friday the 17th August 2018, 45 minutes later than we anticipated. Who cares, all good. The car took ages to fill both tanks with 270L of diesel but while doing so, we met a guy who was about to cross the Nullabor to Victoria.

I spent a gorgeous day with my oldest brother and his family in Busselton. I watched my nieces netball game and had a 9 holes of golf with my brother, nephew and my nephews friends. And I won! woooohooooo! It was also nice sitting up until 1.30am on the Friday night just talking with my brother of whom I don’t get to see that often.

So I am sitting here with the sun beaming down on me as the afternoon progresses into the evening, tapping away on my keyboard in a destination that I thought we would simply pass through rather than spend the night in. What happened?

We got to Bunbury Farmer’s Market and the car wouldn’t start. RAC was called who diagnosed that the regulator on the alternator is buggered. So we have checked into a caravan park in Bunbury to get it sorted tomorrow.

After initially feeling really bloody pissed off, especially on our very very very first day of our adventure, we’ve both calmed down and just relaxing. It WILL get fixed and we WILL be on our way to get to the sun!

I’m having a glass of wine while I type and Tim’s having a beer while he watches me type. Forge ahead we say! Next update will be north of Perth!

Keep posted!

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No Fixed Address

‘So where shall I send the final bill?’ she asked. Cancelling all our subscriptions and services, we had heard this question multiple times. ‘No fixed address’ I reply ‘Email it please’.

In 66 hours, Tim and I will be itinerant with NFA. Woohoo!

Our house is getting sparse. I have one basket of clothes and three pairs of shoes. Our dog and cat are going to family while we travel to Alice Springs. Izzy the dog will be flying to Alice Springs when we settle there but Leila the cat will stay with ‘Grandad’ (Tim’s Dad).

Alice Springs. I got a nursing graduate program in Alice Springs hospital! It was my first choice so I am absolutely THRILLED to start there early next year! I have nominated to go to ED, ICU or Surgical to build my skills and knowledge so I can go on the next year to do the transition to remote area nursing program. I feel so proud to be a new staff member at Alice Springs Hospital and both Tim and I are looking forward to making new friends in the N.T.

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The last few weeks I have been catching up with friends as much as possible. Tim has been getting a lot of work done to the Landcruiser and we’ve been selling and giving away furniture and belongings. Neither of us work anymore so it’s given us more time to get things ready. We’ve been cleaning the house, sorting out insurances, buying more camping stuff and finally downloaded Wikicamps Australia.

I’ve been going through a flurry of emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness but overall, I can’t wait to hit the road and get north of Perth to feel the heat. Albany has been wet wet wet so sunshine is the light we will be pursuing! A few of my dear friends bought me a St Christopher (patron saint of travellers) pendant and chain which I have not taken off (except for the photo!) and a colleague got me a pen engraved with The Scribbling Nurse.

And I got matching tattoos with a beautiful friend of mine who actually comes from Alice Springs! We drove home alternating between crying and laughing while reminiscing the years of our friendship.

Tomorrow and Thursday the rest of our furniture is being bought and collected so we will have a mattress on the floor of the lounge for the night.

I’ll be spending two nights in Busselton with one of my brothers and his family while Tim will visit his friend in Capel. On Sunday morning we will leave early and drive as far as we can to get north of Perth and to really start our journey!

So stay tuned because I’ll be updating often with lots of photos of our journey!

 

 

 

 

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It’s a dirty old town

It’s not really. Albany I mean. It’s a beautiful town. I’ve just been listening to The Pogues a little too much. Me and Shane McGowan have similar quality teeth.

I’m saying my goodbyes, au revoirs and sayonaras to my friends and acquaintances and it’s bittersweet. Two weeks ago I had a cracking time at a local funky bistro with a group of dear friends. I looked fondly at each of them as they stuffed food into their mouths, slopped cider down their fronts and laughed with their mouths full and I felt so much love. They are people who are themselves and nothing else. Who accept me as me even though sometimes I should have been someone else. But overall, they are my mates who I share a special bond with and love to bits.

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We can’t choose our family but we can choose our friends. The old cliché … and although I am leaving my friends in person, through the power of social media I can continue to irritate them by tagging them in stupid shit or naming group chat’s ‘Bunch of knobs’ (you know who you are).

As I found out when I was finishing my degree on placement in the Northern Territory, it is fun to make new friends. It is a thrill to learn about someone else, their history, plans, sense of humour… I made some new friends only being over there for a short time and I can’t wait to see them again when we get back.

I keep telling myself all of this because I am feeling nervous about the whole new chapter of our lives. I have officially resigned from my job and Tim has given his notice for his long service leave. From the 10th August, I am unemployed with no job to go to (as I know at this moment) but have made a peaceful decision to let life unfurl before me and take opportunities as they come.

I’m a controller; I like to be in control, take control and try to not lose control. But that mindset really isn’t sustainable for a future of adventure and mystery; something of which I wish for my life and Tim’s. So letting the grip loosen and becoming more accepting of what happens is a lesson I’m going to learn and hopefully appreciate.

Thank you for voting for my blog in the Bupa Blog Awards, I got an email saying my blog has been nominated so finger’s crossed when they make the decision in September! We will well and truly be on the road then so I’ll be uploading far more interesting posts but I wanted to just check in and say Hi! and that I haven’t forgotten to keep you in the loop.

Talk to you soon!

Rachel xoxo

 

 

The Scribbling Nurse

And then there was 8

Eight. 8. acht, huit, otto, nane. Eight weeks until Tim and I will be pulling out of our driveway towing the bonky old camper trailer and our sun-glasses clad bonces focussing on our new future.

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But that’s still eight weeks away and we still have a bit to do to get there. Our shower is almost finished and apart from getting the place painted, we don’t really need to do much else (yay!!) We are showering using a gas instant hot water system in a shower tent in the backyard which is actually really nice! Maybe not so much for the neighbours… haha!

It’s been a lovely time since I returned from the NT. I had an amazing opportunity to meet my favourite comedienne Urzila Carlson after seeing her live at the Regal Theatre in Perth. Her humour is ‘out there’ but HILARIOUS and hits the nail right on the head! Have a watch of the clip but beware; lots of curse words!

Urzila and Me

Izzy has a new collar with superhero logos on it. She wanted me to tell you that.
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I had quite a bit of a response about my last blog post on suicide. I feel so honoured that some of you shared your story and I appreciate the encouragement from others for writing a piece that was very difficult yet something my heart wanted to say.

There is a new website called http://www.study101.com which allows visitors to research education providers and determine which course and provider is best for them. You can review the uni you are using or read reviews others have written. I was asked to write an article about being a nursing student and am thrilled it is now on the site!  MainLogo

I also want to give a quick thank you to the following blogs/websites who have featured my blog and helped reach out to many more people: Charles Darwin University ‘LaunchPad’, Australian College of Nursing ‘NurseClick’, NurseUncut & feedspot.com

Anyway, better get back to doing stuff, whatever that is! Thanks for reading!

Take care

-Rachel