The Snail Trail

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

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Solos Travellers of the West

Thank you Willie Wagtails
The Solos of the west
The travel’s been spectacular
Your friendship’s been the best

Some of you I’ve travelled with
Others met along the track
And although I’m heading east now
I know that I’ll be back.

From the Kimberleys to Lucky Bay
West Australia is so vast
And I’ve loved every bit of it
This trip won’t be my last.

The friends I’ve made along the way
Have added to my pleasure
And now I’m leaving WA
With memories I will treasure.

From the red sand of the Pilbara
To the white sands of Lucky Bay
I’ve shared these great experiences
With Willie Wagtails on the way.

So thank you for your friendship
And your great company
I’m reluctant to depart your shores
But the east coast beckons me.

And if you travel to ‘the dark side’
I know we’ll meet once more
And Solos hugs will welcome you
When you’re on Australia’s eastern shore.

Rosemary Robinson
January 2016


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.


Away with the Willie Wagtails

No – not those cute little chattering black and white birds, but the Western Willie Wagtails, a chapter of the CMCA. Mind you there was still a lot of chattering going on!

My first trip was in May when we went to Bindoon.


What a wet weekend it was! There were only a few vans camped at the Bindoon oval but it was a great opportunity for me to meet some new people. Richard, who I had met at Lucky Bay, also came along and his van became the meeting place as he put his awning out – it was the only reasonably dry area for us to gather. But as we discovered, if you sat to close to the edge the rain ran off the awning and down your back! As Happy Hour kicked in the awning struts also became a hazard as we forgot to duck whenever we moved so there was a constant cry of “Watch your head!” It didn’t do any of us much good as we still managed to knock our heads whenever we moved.Despite the weather we had a great time, and wandered off to the Bindoon bakery for morning tea together one day.

When we woke on Sunday morning there was a heavy fog which was quite beautiful as the sun came up over the orange grove next to the oval.


A foggy morning in Bindoon


The fog lifts as the sun comes over the hill

I wrote the following thank you for the weekend

The rain came down at Bindoon
But not on our parade
The happy campers came and went
The stayers – well, we stayed!

We gathered next to Richard’s van
– He had his awning out –
But whenever someone went to leave
We had to give a shout

“Watch your head” became the cry
But it didn’t seem to matter
The drinks flowed freely at happy hour
And there was a lot of noisy chatter.

Friday’s happy hour began around four
And finished around nine
Some of us forgot to eat
But we were all feeling fine.

On Saturday we shared our meal
And all sat down for dinner
There was a lot of laughs and friendships made
For me, the weekend was a winner!

In June our venue was at Gillingarra.


We travelled through Bindoon to get there and I had company on this journey as I picked up Wilma, one of the ladies I had met at Bindoon, to take her along.

What a different weekend this was! There were about 20 vans at this excellent facility, with a great kitchen, hall, and hot showers. Although the weather was chilly it was dry, with beautiful sunny days and clear starry skies at night.

Jose(Yosay), who I had travelled with in Tasmania, turned up with her little campfire and we gathered around that on Thursday and Friday night for Happy Hour – and later!- and there was lots of good conversation and sing alongs led by Jose. Friday the 13th was also a full moon so we all stood up and wolf howled at the moon! I don’t think we would have scared anyone away with our feeble attempts, though!


Jose getting the wood ready for our campfire


Happy hour begins


Around the campfire with the Western Willie Wagtails


Around the campfire with the Western Willie Wagtails

I was totally spoilt by Les, one of the other Solos, who cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for both Wilma and I.

Saturday night was our shared meal in the comfort of the hall and then back out to the huge fire pit where Les had a massive fire going. The wind had dropped, the stars were out, the wine flowed, the company was excellent, the laughter loud – I can’t wait for the next meeting in July.