The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Stockton Lake WA


New Year – New Adventures

I wrapped up 2015 by blogging some of my favourite camps during that year and now I have the opportunity to create a whole new list for 2016. But in the meantime I thought I’d share with you where I’ve been over Christmas and New Year.

I didn’t travel very far as you will see!

Stockton Lake to Lake Brockman

The yellow star shows the approximate location of Stockton Lake, the blue star shows where Lake Brockman (Logue Brook Dam) is situated and the green star is roughly where I camped on the Hamilton River.

The Western Willie Wagtails met at Stockton Lake early December and it was great to spend some time  with them and share their club Christmas Party, complete with Santa.

I chose to stay on at Stockton Lake for a few days, then had a break at Logue Brook Dam which was less than 100kms away.

IMG_5779 Lake Brockman

Camped at Logue Brook Dam (Lake Brockman)

The Port Lincoln Ring-neck Parrots were very friendly here and I ended up with scratches up my arms where they walked all over me to steal biscuits out of my hand.

The whole area around Logue Brook was burnt out after Christmas by a raging bushfire which destroyed something like 70,000 hectares and completely wiped out the historic little town of Yarloop. I’ve duplicated the map above and put another of the fire area next to it so you can get some idea of the size of this massive fire. The fire front was about 100kms long and raged through National Parks, townships and across to the coastline. It stretched from Waroona to Harvey.

After a few days at Logue Brook Dam I headed back to Stockton Lake to spend Christmas and see in the New Year. I got the pick of the camp sites, right  on the water with lovely shade most of the day. Needless to say, my camp became the ‘go to’ place for the breeze, the shade and the views.

Christmas was a very happy time, shared with fellow travellers and a wonderful family that camped next to me with 6 children. I put my present under their Christmas Tree and on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning shared with them as they opened all their presents. They were going to wake me up early so I didn’t miss out but I was up long before the kids and thought I’d have to wake them up instead. Dad Nathan and Mum Siobhan (Pronounced shiv + awn) should be very proud of their wonderful family.

Christmas dinner was shared with Solo Kev Thornton, Terry and Gay who I had met before at Oakabella Homestead and Mick, a solo traveller also. This happy crew expanded by a few more by the time New Year’s Eve came around but the wind was chilly that night so we all finished early and woke up the next day to 2016.

I enjoyed a few more days at Stockton Lake then took off to do some bush camping along the Hamilton River with Mick. It was around this time that the bushfires flared up around Harvey so got some stunning shots of the smoky sky.

Mick was great company and also a fantastic Mr Fix-It, doing a few odd jobs to my van that were long over due. We went for a drive one day to find the Black Diamond Swimming Hole, too. What a popular place that turned out to be for day trippers.

All good things must come to an end I suppose, so it was time to pack up and get myself organised for the next Willie Wagtails outing in Boddington – a great opportunity for me to say farewell to this fantastic group of people who have helped make my stay in Western Australia so special.


2015…New Year….New Places to Go and People to Meet

Where to begin! For most of January I have been in remote areas without phone or internet reception and I am certainly feeling internet deprived! It also means I am waaaay behind with my blogging….again! I’m now going to make a BIG effort to catch up and share with you some of the wonderful camp sites I’ve been staying in.

I saw the end of 2014 and said hello to 2015 in a caravan park at Collie, about 200kms east of Perth.

Perth to Alexandra Bridge

IMG_2733CollieLadybird (Pam Kelman) and I put on our flashing Christmas earrings and had a takeaway chicken for Christmas Dinner to celebrate, and New Years Eve was shared with a motorhome group called the Southwest Wanderers who were in the park for a few days. It was certainly different to most other Christmases I’ve had, but the company was good, the champagne was cold and – I’m living the dream!

IMG_2693Collie2 weeks in a caravan park is unheard of for me, but a rather special thing happened that kept me there! This beautiful blue parrot flew in and landed on my shoulder on Christmas Eve, immediately adopted me as his new mother, and despite all efforts I didn’t find his owner until January 6th.

I must say I really enjoyed his antics and his company but was so glad when his rightful owners turned up and he went home where he belonged.

I didn’t move very far – about 10kms down the road to Stockton Lake. There was a group of Willie Wagtails (Solo Travellers Chapter) there and also Paul and Tania that I had camped with at Cliff Head and Willbinga, so there were many Happy Hours enjoyed with great company. Before most of the group left we had a shared meal and celebrated two January birthdays – Barry and Helen.

Stockton Lake is a popular waterskiing and jet skiing spot so there was always a lot of activity on the water, and the lake itself was great to cool off in as temperatures hovered around 35deg Celcius each day. I was telling Marion, my sister, about the high acidity of the lake and the recommendation you don’t spend too long in the water and her reply was “Go for it! A free glycolic peel!”

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In the two weeks I was at Stockton Lake a fellow camper, Helen, made some mosquito nets for my side and rear doors and then excelled herself and made mosquito net walls that I peg to my annexe to give me amazing relief from mozzies and flies! So Brutus the Beast left there with a few accoutrements, and I left there without any mozzie bites! I also left with Barry, a fellow Solo, as we had decided to travel together for a while.