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The South-West Ride

by Marilyn Smith

Congratulations to Bob and Chris (again) for organising another terrific ride, the purpose of which was to show their friends from Wales, Ralph and Mo, a bit of WA. A nice little group of 9 departed Albany on a Monday and were joined at Tenterden by Murray and Erin Hall.

Up the highway to Kojonup for lunch, then inland through to Quindanning for afternoon tea, or drink, or whatever at the Inn.

Setting up camp - Dwellingup.Then through to Dwellingup for the first night stop.
The camping ground at Dwellingup was excellent - a lovely bushland setting for our first dinner party.

Erin has added a bit of class on these trips, and we actually sat down to folded serviettes, Willow patterned dinnerset, rosemary on the lamb chops etc. etc. and all served by Erin in her pearl necklace and earrings!

Gnoming thru the south-west with Gnome Bob and Gnome MarilynTuesday morning - another beautiful day - and we are then joined by Huw Jones who was to take the lead through the beautiful Ferguson Valley. First stop Gnomesville for a look and photoshoot.

Gnomesville was fascinating - a little village on the side of the road for gnomes. Apparently it started with one gnome and over the years has grown to a community of thousands.

We all saw gnomes who reminded us of someone or something - even two members of our contingent blended in very well with the community at Gnomesville as you will see by the photo.  No prize for guessing who they might be.

Lunch was at Donnybrook - then we headed off with a few diversions to check out some great little camping spots on the Blackwood River - to Hamelin Bay near Augusta where we made camp for the night.

The boys got the camp fire going - quite a few little pyromaniacs among us - but luckily we had fireman Peter with us to keep an eye that proceedings didn’t get out of hand.

Another entertaining night around the camp fire rounded off another day in paradise. Wednesday and the girls (except one) were all up for an early morning swim - Garry went along to make sure they were all ok - then it was off to see the sights along Caves Road - through to Yallingup and Dunsborough before heading back to Margaret River for lunch and meeting up with Huw’s partner Bronwyn who now joined the party.

Chris is not feeling very well - she had more than one wine the night before and it was starting to show - so she needed a good lie down when we got back to camp to watch a beautiful sunset, a few more social drinks around another bigger campfire. Peter opened container marked “Wednesday Dinner” to reveal another exotic meal made by Judy - who unfortunately could not come on the trip because of work commitments, but who, in future, according to Peter, would be happy to do the catering for everyone on future rides - all we need to do is supply the trailer and an Esky - a very generous offer indeed.

A few jokes by Clive - and a few Welsh ones by Ralph ended another day. Erin suggested that we bring a book of poetry on the next ride, we didn’t ask why - but I guess a little culture could be added to the group!

Camping in style. BalingupNext day (Thursday) - up and off to Nannup for morning tea - then the scenic drive to Balingup for lunch with a nice little stop off at the Craft Factory.

Raelene is still doing extremely well - considering this was her first long ride - congratulations Raelene - pity she had to keep waiting for Garry - who incidentally has removed Andrew Haydock’s crown as always the last to be packed up and ready to go - quite the reverse for Peter, who was usually up with a torch at dawn packing up his camp.

After Balingup it was then a nice afternoon ride to Pemberton for our last campout before heading home on Friday. Very nice camp ground at Pemberton - and even better - only a 5 minute stroll to the Sportsmans Club for dinner that night - Erin still splendid in the white t-shirt and pearls, but she has assured us that next trip it will be body piercing and tatoos to match the Harley image.

Friday morning - and for the first time the weather looked threatening, but didn’t amount to much - hot cross buns and coffee at Walpole before the last leg home. Unfortunately for Bob who had been the last man on the trip all the way - decided everyone was on track so decided close to Denmark to take the lead - only to find the boys in blue waiting over the hill - poor G’Bob.

To Bob and Chris, Ralph and Mo, Raelene and Garry, Erin and Murray, Huw and Bronwyn, Peter and my dear Clive, thank you all for another great week. We all agreed everyone looked much younger Friday than the previous Monday - amazing what laughter can do!

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