Day 114-116: 20-22 September – (Australia) Quality time with a Burmese in Boddington

Author: Mr A

Location: Mandurah to Boddington

Well WA is certainly getting us back for all those months of blue skies in the Kimberley. Three consecutive days of solid rain, gale force winds and temperatures almost in single figures at night, have meant some very quiet times holed up in the Zone with my little furry mate, Tassie our Burmese cat.

Heading off from Mandurah after nearly a week there. I was ready to move on and Tas wasnt so keen on going for walks with all the activity around on the caravan park. Somewhere more bushy was called for. I have been kindly invited to the Perth Landcruiser Owners Club meet this weekend and decided to head out towards the venue for that.

The trip started well, climbrting up though the forested hills south of Perth, but then, a warning light pops on. Now, I have been bragging that the cruiser has done 12,000 plus km from Sydney with not a spot of bother, and given I’d just put it through a major service, I was a little peeved. It turned out to be the indicator for a fuel filter complaining about that mucky diesel its been forced to drink from those out of the way fuel stations up north.

A quick phone call to Mandurah Toyota revealed that the fuel filter doesn’t appear on the standard checklist, even for a major service – a trick for the novice bush driver like myself. I asked when they could look at it, explaining I was travelling through and on a bit of a timetable, but reconciling myself to the Sydney answer of “Oooh we’re really busy at the moment, how about the second Monday after the next leap year mate”. But no, the Mandurah answer was “Right now sir if you’d like”. I was gobsmacked and headed back into town, dropping the caravan at the ever helpful Mandurah Caravan park on the way.

I was greeted by a smile and “Ah…fuel filter sir?” Did I look that much like a stranger? I guess. I was settled down by a very perky young thing who made me a hot chocolate and generally fussed over my well being. This was amazing, and actually exactly the same quality of customer experience I had at Perth City Toyota and Geraldton. Talk about chalk and cheese from Mosman Toyota in Sydney who have provided me over nine years with the Faulty Towers model for the car service industry. (Perhaps my younger readers will need to Google that reference!). I popped into the office of the young service manager and recounted how amazed I was at the terrific service.

An hour later and I was back on the road, complete with Mandurah Toyota cap to complete the experience…bless them.

I collected the caravan and noticed hot chocolate foam all round my nose. My opinion of the service manager shot up even further when I realised how well he did at apprearing to take a man seriously with his last drink splattered round his straggly goatee.

Off we went back to Pinjarra, and climbed up into the jarrah forests once more. It really was a lovely drive, the road winding though the trees and the occasional shaft of sunlight bringing the colours into sharpness. After my recent eye test I had got a Specsavers Special and a new pair of glasses and sunnies for an outlay of $75. You wont be seeing photos of them but the scenery sure looks sharper!

We arrived in the small town of Boddington mid afternoon and headed to the Memorial Park where good old WikiCamps had recommended a free camp getting 4 stars. It really was a lovely spot, given it was in a town, with a view of the river, toilets a short walk away, and an occasional bit of free town wifi when no one else was on it.

Then the rain started and basically hasn’t stopped since. Two solid days and we’ve barely left the van, which isn’t too onerous given I have all the necessary ingredients for a enforced inside stay: a warm snuggly cat, endless choice of T2 teas, some junk food, and plenty of digital content to consume on video and Kindle! Oh..and did I mention the very warm, cosy, snuggly cat?

It’s time to hit the road once again…

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