Friday 29 September 2023

2023 Eastern trip. Bendigo, Shepparton, Gundagai

Peg 157

Gnaala Mia again - Quoll and Woiley

It felt so good to be back on the road. I was a little nervous as it had been 3 years since I did any serious travelling.  I found several camps across the Nullabor that I hadn't used before, and some new amenities, Loved being way out the back at Peg 157. Had a couple of days there. Also a camp only 8 km from Ceduna - but need to go in the 2nd entry apparently. It was a little tight for me!
I spent a few days at Wirrulla which has more power points now and new amenities! Then to Kimba. Once again - a huge change with a much expanded area and new amenities. Another stop at Iron Knob, then on up through Horocks Pass via a sealed but VERY humpy one-way 'shortcut' the GPS sent me on to get there!!!! Was going to camp at Burra but the town was very full, and the camp out of town is not so nice now. All fenced off,  uneven ground - and too many there, so on to Murraytown. A bigger area available to camp. So wonderful to see the autumn trees - I miss the ones we have in NZ and WA certainly doesn't grow many.
Big drive to Wirrabara for a couple of nights. Found the bakery!!!! Then to Robertstown and to Swan Reach. Now that has to be a favourite place. Right on the river, so peaceful - will definitely go back there. I took the ferry across after a few days and headed off along the high side of the river. Great views down to see where the floods have been.

Sunday 19 February 2023

2023 Darkin, Dryandra, Beverley, Bunbury, Nungarin then east....

 I left the caravan in storage over Xmas and spent time with family. After New Year I picked up the van and headed to Waroona to see friends who are moving east, before having a quiet few days at Lake Brockman. I camped right at the end this time - Zamia. So many people nearer to the boat ramp and in the tent area. A little nerve-wracking when there was a long thunderstorm and lots of lightening, but no fires here. Several were started up the coast from Harvey.

Next stop was Darkin caravan park. Great facilities. I did make myself a little nervous when I realised that getting on to my site was easy but getting out maybe not so? I stayed a week here, with a day trip to Collie for groceries. Stunned to find that you can no longer walk into a bank with $20 note and ask for change in coins..... unless you have an account with them! SERIOUSLY!!!! I just wanted coins to use the car wash - which did have a dispenser that I couldn't get to work. Luckily the lady in the Gull servo obliged. I managed to get off the site with no incident - just had to back up a bit first.

Off to Gnaala Mia camp in the Dryandra woodland. Got site 5 this time - up on the top loop and looking out onto the bush with a large clear area. Much excitement when I realised that the scuffling noises I could hear at about 10pm, were in fact Western Quoll and Woylies. They kept me entertained for a few nights. I put water out for them and had both species there together the 2nd night. They are pretty tame - didn't mind me sitting out at the table watching. The Quoll hopped up on the table looking for food one night - but I wasn't sitting there at the time. Turning outside lights on didn't concern them at all.

Back to Bullsbrook to get a few minor repairs done [fridge element, & a loose wire so no diesel heater], then to Beverley at the start of Feb to spend 4 weeks at the Museum again. Great progress with the help of members. We have been finding things with the original numbers and updating the Mosaic system. They are all amazed at what they are finding - both on display and stored! It has been in the high 30s much of the time, but I have a couple of fans in the museum, and go to work between 7 & 8, then back to the van around 1 to keep cool with the Ac going.

I spent March housesitting for a friend in Bunbury which was lovely. Just a very friendly cat for company.  The family came 'farewell' camping with me over Easter in the Dryandra forest which was fun. They do the proper campfire thing lol. So good to have us all together. From there I spent a few days at Nungarin Museum and was delighted to find that they are interested in getting the Mosaic program, so will go back there to help them once they have the money etc.

Off across the Nullabour!

Sunday 10 April 2022

2022 BlazeAid, Nungarin & Beverley museums, NZ trip

 After 3 wonderful, interesting and rewarding years working in the Archives and Collections at New Norcia I packed all my belongings back into the caravan and left to spend time wandering again. Did I really have all this stuff in the caravan when I got here??? Maybe a few more clothes but.... it took a lot longer than I expected to get everything  packed away again. 
The article I wrote about my time in New Norcia has now been published in their Chimes.

Called in to Waroona to stay with friends, then to Jarrahdene national park camp south of Margaret River. No TV, very few people - heaven - other than all the gumnuts crashing onto the roof. A great setup with plenty of room and good facilities. Cheap as a pensioner - $9 pp per night. I have found that the caravan needs a new awning - after 3 years in the heat at NN the laminate is lifting and one arm needs attention. Otherwise all is working normally - a relief!

Then - I got a call asking if I would help Blazeaid in Denmark. They had a co-ordinator but wanted an office administrator. As I  had already done this at 2 camps I thought - why not, and cut my stay short. I did stop at Shannon Nat Park  for a night just to break the trip. Very smokey around Pemberton with fires  south of the highway. I spent nearly 4 weeks working in Denmark with cloudy, sometimes sticky weather, and a few days of very heavy rain. Great bunch of volunteers through the camp. Apparently they are in need of a co-ordinator for Corrigin camp and it was suggested I could do it until they get an 'official' one so, after talking to the people there I decided I could probably cope and have packed up to heading in that direction. I am at Dumbleyoung for 2 nights just catching up on some sleep and having a break first. Leaping out of bed at 6 am is not really my thing.

Corrigin Camp:  What a wonderful supportive community here. I have had just over a week on the job and am thoroughly enjoying it. All our evening meals are provided by the community and we dont have to pay for any groceries! I have a lovely couple to do the kitchen and tools, and a great, although small crew to do the fencing. We are camped on the old courts at their big new community sport centre and have a commercial kitchen at our disposal. The fencing is pretty straight forward - star pickets and ring-lock along straight clean fence lines. Mostly cropping country so flat. These fires took out a huge area of mostly stubble, tree reserves and a few buildings. We have a fast fencer attached to a CAT 299D to use from now on so should be able to do the remaining fencing fairly quickly as long as we have the volunteers to keep ahead of it.

May Update: Closed the camp on 21st May. So much for a couple of weeks 'filling in'!!!! Great bunch of volunteers though and lots of work done. The fast fencer meant I had to make sure there were several kms of pickets in ahead of it. It was a bit big for the job having been designed for the dog fences but certainly helped on the long straight fences around Corrigin.

The guys designed an arm to carry the post rammer as well.
 Some liked using it, some didn't, but that trailer went off to the Wickepin camp as soon as we closed so that they could use it as well! Our final job was to fence in a pony paddock for a young girl whose family lost so much. 
I was so relieved that we got in and out of Corrigin without getting covid, even though it was spreading pretty fast through the community. It did mean we were unable to have the normal Farmers Night Dinners which was a shame as there were so many people to thank. We were rather spoilt on Saturday nights - dinner at the pub went from a BBQ to ordering off the menu. Great food. Sunday was takeaway burgers etc from the Road house - also delicious. We were also very spoilt with all the meals provided by the community. Even though many were in the middle of seeding, covid, sports, funerals etc.,  the dinners and desserts kept coming in every afternoon during the week. Then there were the boxes of tomatoes, eggs, cakes. Amazing the difference in attitudes in different towns. This one was every bit as good as Waroona, in 2016 - and I thought that place was pretty  incredible!
I spent a couple of days with the coordinators at Wickepin, and caught up with volunteers I had at Corrigin and from Denmark. Blazeaid is such a close community that you meet up with people you haven't seen for many years, and make lasting friendships.
I am resting at Westonia and getting back into my nomadic life again, after being slightly diverted for the past 10 week!
After a week of R&R at Westonia I travelled a whole 80 km to Nungarin. There is a Military Museum here looking for volunteers so offered my services. Back to scanning books. This time a 1949 sale catalogue. What an interesting place this is. Set up as a supply base when there was a danger of Japan bombing Perth. They needed somewhere that could be reached by rail from Perth Albany or Esperance. Built a huge workshop, barracks etc, and had numerous tanks, trucks and other war object here. After the war everything was sold off and many of the tanks went to local farmers as there was a shortage of tractors at the time. I have also scanned photos of tanks turned into tractors & graders.

 Such ingenuity. 
I spent a month at the museum. Redesigned their info booklet, drew the cycle/walk mud map from google earth and photoshopped it, and printed a poster and hand-outs for enthusiasts, plus did a mock-up for a much needed road signs for the town. Lovely bunch of volunteers run this museum. The last night I went to their campfire dinner at the museum as a guest [costs $40 - well worth doing] where I was thanked with a bottle of wine and one of their very nice pens.
I travelled to Dowerin and spent a couple of nights in the Shire caravan park, then on to Bullsbrook to see the man about repairing the dent in the van. A few nights at Bindoon, then Gingin and Yanchep National Park before heading back to friends at Waroona, and on down to Gelorup to stay a couple of days. Weather getting a bit wet!!!!

I went to Wellington Dam - Potters Gorge for 4 nights. One of my favourite spots. I booked the far end spot and had the Woylie area all to myself which was heaven. Unfortunately is was rather damp and I was a little concerned that the batteries would get flat - but only used 1.5 v! A couple of cheeky blue Wrens used the ute as their playground when I went for a drive to the dam one day.
On to Williams cp for a couple of nights then to Beverley and on up to Merredin with the intention of going to Beringbooding Rock for a week. Stopped at Mukinbudin for lunch and was rung to see if I would housesit back at Waroona for a couple of weeks. As there was a lot of rain forecast I decided it would be a good idea. I spent a night at Marshall Rocks and as there was a strong wind warning out, headed for Dowerin CP again. I ended up there for 3 very wet wild and windy nights before heading back to Waroona.
A couple of weeks house sitting 3 dogs, 2 cats and numerous fowl - turkey, chooks, Guinea fowl. I think I am past all that responsibility now.  spent a few nights in the Dryandra forest - heaven. No near neighbours, quiet, but a bit cold. Had the ute serviced at Corrigin and caught up with a couple of people I met while doing Blazeaid there.  Then on to Beverley to check out their museum for my next stint of volunteering. Lovely Caravan park - free laundry and showers that actually have cubicles so you have a dry floor to get dressed on!  Easy walk to both the museum and shops so looking forward to starting there soon.
After a new tyre at Northam I carried on to Beringbooding rock - and made it this time. Friends arrived the next day and we did a quick trip to Elachbutting Rock.  Drove up to the top for great views. I was very surprised at how overgrown the track is in to Monty's Gap - the huge slab of rock that slid down to make a tunnel. I wonder if some people dont ever get that far.

Two glorious warm sunny days then the rain and cold set in. That's fine - have my diesel heater. A few people in and out camping over the 5 nights I stayed but I was in a spot where I was not disturbed mostly. I downloaded an altimeter app so I could measure the fall in the wall around the rock that brings all the water to the enormous tank.  Mostly 1 metre  other than where it rises 7m at the back. pretty good going over 2.3km back in 1937.

A couple of nights in Mukinbudin to do washing etc then to Toapin Weir for a night. Dorakin Road in was a little hairy. A couple of large puddles across the road but got through OK. Spent 1 night there out in the paddock then back out via Haynes Road. Once again water damage and a couple of rather rough wet bits to get though. A night in the Apex free camp at Beverley then in to the caravan park for a week while I work at the museum, putting their collection onto Mosaic. A huge job ahead of them. I spend 8 weeks working on Mosaic entering many of the accessions from 1981. Interrupted by a trip back to NZ!

I spent 5 weeks in NZ. So lovely to see family and friends. It has been 4 years since my last visit thanks to covid. Unexpectantly  I had a dear friend's funeral to attend, but an opportunity to see people from my life in Rotorua 25 years ago. The place is looking a bit sad in areas, but has new shopping blocks. Tourism has been hard hit with the downturn of visitors with covid. Short golf that I used to co-own has gone, but the saddest is Rainbow & Fairy Springs closing.
 I had a lovely stay in Taupo with my son & family,  and in Kuratau with my best friends who were having their 40th wedding anniversary. Once again - a great way to catch up with people I haven't seen since my last visit. Then a family gathering to celebrate my youngest brother's 70th. 
The county doesn't feel like home any more. More like a communist state with all the rules & regulations. So many farming changes. Waterways fenced off - which is fine and understandable but when you see ribbons of yellow broom and gorse lining the banks on wonders what the future will bring when these streams are choked with these weeds. So many pine trees now - planted for carbon credits. I am told that if farmers accept the full 100% payment they walk of the land and it is never to be farmed again ..............
AND the trees are not to be harvested! What a waste of a resource when the world is trying to get rid of plastic - NZ is known for its pine forests turned into paper pulp! Of course - the broom is loving these plantations! Then there is all the manuka planted for the bees. Once again - a weed that farmers have spent generations trying to keep off productive land but now it is being planted. Of course - everyone jumped on the honey bandwagon, over supplied the market and it has now collapsed - and all that scrub everywhere!!!!
Taupo has grown - houses right out to the airport now, new shopping centres, redevelopment of the lakefront eating area. My son is project managing that! A few more attractions and it could take over from Rotorua - but without the 'perceived smell'. The airport is being upgraded also.
Back to Perth on WAMOS - a Spanish airline contracted to AIRNZ for a few months. Great flight and food. My son was unable to pick me up [Covid!] so braved the train from the airport to the city then up to Butler!  The hardest part was getting an Uber for the last step  - half hour wait as they dont really service the northern suburbs.
I picked up the caravan - new awning and a few other small jobs - including getting the side reclad to get rid of my various 'scratches and dents' - thank goodness for insurance. Back to Beverley for another 3 weeks. Finished the accessions books and started finding things to label etc.
Christmas with family then onwards to next year.....

Sunday 31 January 2021

2021 - 2022 New Norcia

 Who would have thought that I would still be at New Norcia. How one's life can change - and all in a good way. I was so fortunate to be able to stay here and carry on with my volunteer work when the borders shut in March last year. I had the caravan packed and was ready to leave for a trip to Queensland! There is plenty to keep me occupied.  I now have a fancy overhead scanner to work with. Perfect for the very old hand-written & fragile books that dont like being flattened on a photocopier. The monks now have digital access to all these precious books. I have also 'progressed' to the Collections Office and have the interesting job of checking that all the artworks are where they are supposed to be according to the computer. Another steep learning curve.

The Hotel is now called a hostel and although no longer run as the local pub, is being used for group bookings. The Abbot - an ex chef - is doing wonderful 4 course fine dining experience about  every 3 months. They are proving hugely popular and sell out very quickly inspite of the $150 per head price. Many come from Perth and stay the night in the Hostel, Convents and the guest house. Between these dinners there are musical evenings with Fr Robert entertaining us on the piano with his amazing musical talents. These evenings are more intimate with 50 people in the bar. Once again the Abbot cooks, and the next one is a French theme.

I decided it was easier to add my Christmas newsletter here .

My delightful archivist boss sent me off up to the Collections office a year ago as there has been no manager there for the past 3 years. Talk about getting thrown in the deep end again! We spent a few days together going through the 45 racks in the climate controlled storeroom beside the office, and checking off all the paintings against the Mosaic database. Then he left me to it! Luckily Mosaic is a fairly easy program to learn and I only had to contact their help desk once,  I have found and updated the locations of nearly all of the rest of the artworks throughout the town – Art Gallery, Hostel & Guesthouse, Monastery and Colleges. Interesting exercise to say the least especially as the Abbot has been redecorating the  hostel and the other accommodation areas so I have had to record art movements, and make sure everything has a ‘didactic’.[Yes - I am learning a whole new language - read ‘info label’.] We hung the finalists of the Mandorla Art Awards in the art gallery and had a grand opening, then took them down a few weeks later and rehung other works.  Fr Anscar [83] took me through the monastery to find all the artworks there. That was special as people don't normally get to see the monks’ personal spaces. He took me into his room which is absolutely full of books, artworks and many artefacts from his 28 years in Kalumburu. The Abbot’s apartment was off limits though! The monastery is 3 stories in places and most of it around 165 years old, so some rooms are out of bounds as the floors are unstable.
I  spent a few weeks in the old convent framing room listing original paintings and moving them to the coolstore until I ran out of room - and inspiration. Try describing another version of ‘Madonna and Child’ in different terms LOL.  There is talk of a new store to be set up so I decided it would be easier to deal with them when/if they are shifted, rather than trying to work around a heap of old frames stacked against the wall. There is another room full of statues and stuff, some of which is listed and needs to be shifted but that will be a huge job, and I may struggle to describe things properly being the heathen that I am. I was delighted to find a book describing church vestments which has been invaluable, along with Mr Google! I have catalogued the 200+ books in the Collections Office as well. Many lovely ‘coffee table’ books among them, and other ‘how to’ books look after museum things and artworks!

Beside my office there is a storeroom with wardrobes and drawers full of old vestments, linen, processional banners etc; another huge room full of shelving absolutely full of church paraphernalia, old school and monks stuff, clocks, musical instruments;  then another full of furniture, smaller farm tools, kitchen stuff, every old typewriter, till, washing basket, wooden box ever used .... they throw nothing away! Most of the stuff in these rooms may have been catalogued since 1975 but I am working my way though them to update the system. A 4th storeroom I avoid! Known as the snakepit due to the odd snake seen there, it is piled floor to ceiling with very old stuff – furniture, book shelves, beds, horse gear, school sports gear, pews, boxes of jars ..... 100+ years of accumulation!

I can now add ‘Assistant Museum Curator’ to my CV!
The most satisfying thing this year though, has been helping do the new museum display called ‘Dreaming Spires’. There have been 4 proposed cathedrals between 1900 -1960, the last being the Nervi one designed in Italy, complete with 2 scale models, blueprints and artist impressions in a big fancy box, all being sent to Aus. around 1960. Apparently the 3 huge stained glass windows were made there but no-one knows where they are now – Vatican storage? Fortunately, due to lack of funds it did not go ahead. The proposed monastery was to house 114 monks – there are only 6 left here! The cathedral was to seat 800 with room for 1000 to stand. These days there may be 20 – 50 who attend church regularly! We knew what was available and designed frames with Perspex and black foam board bolted together for the original drawings, photocopied some plans which I put into $8 A3 frames, and a wall TV was installed to loop a 2 minute virtual tour that had been made by University students in 2012. I spent time reading, then cutting and pasting bits out of several articles for the 4 big info boards, which the archivist went through and tidied up and sent off to be commercially printed. I sewed a black skirt to hide the legs on the model’s display table and made didactics. Then we spent 3 days framing the old drawings before carting it all up to the museum, along with the 7 previously framed pictures of the Nervi cathedral, plus blueprints and books to go in the display cabinets. It took a day to hang with the help of 2 maintenance men, then a final tweak by the Abbot and it was done.  I don't know how long it will be on display but probably for a year or more.

That busy week was followed by the Archives, Library and Collections Studies weekend so a couple of days work for me checking names, doing the 90 name badges, and making lists.  We thought we had it all under control at 2 pm the day before only to be told that the ceiling was about to fall down in the old lecture hall, so a quick panic before it was decided that we could use the chapel in St Gertrudes instead. This was an excellent choice as registrations and meals were there as well. Over the 2 days I heard really interesting speakers, had wonderful lunches with wine included, and met lots of people whose names I have become familiar with so that was fun.

I  usually spend the alternate weeks in Archives when the archivist is here for his four days. I have now scanned 97 old hand written books using the amazing overhead scanner they bought me last year, and have done spreadsheets with lists of names etc. for many of them. I think Fr David [88] appreciates not having to go to the vault anymore to get the books he needs to refer to – just opens a scan! I am in the process of typing the last of the baptism records up – luckily these are in English not Latin!

My social life.... 4 times a year the fabulous ‘Abbots Table’ dinners are held although I only went to 2 this year. They are fully booked for next year already. Fr Robert’s themed musical soirees are also a great success and also held 4 times a year. I have been to all of these.  Xmas, Spanish, 1920’s, Spring, and the latest is Chopin. The Abbot cooks for these also. A lovely Staff Xmas party was held at the hostel. Otherwise I visit family and friends here, and the occasional trip to a local pub.

I have been kept busy knitting beanies and crocheted water bottle holders for the past 2 years. They have been for sale in the roadhouse and the museum shop. I also sold a couple Aran jerseys in the shop and made a few jerseys to order for staff here so that keeps me amused in the evenings and brings in some pocket money. Jerseys? I am told they are sweaters or pullovers and that a jersey is what soccer players wear. 
So what is in store for 2022?  At this stage I will probably hook up my caravan and wander off around WA in April for a few months and see if I can get the travel bug out of my system. Even though I will be 75 next year I don't feel ‘incapable’ at all – yet! I think I could come back here for a week once in a while just to update things as required.

Sunday 14 April 2019

2019 - 2020 Esperance, South WA, New Norcia, Kalgoorlie

Things have slowed down so much these days - well - at least as far as travelling goes.  I spent 2 months in Esperance house sitting on 12 acres. Just a lovely cat to look after, and birds to 'water'. It was so lovely to see and hear so many birds all day - not something I have experienced much in Australia. Lots of frogs around also.  Did many more beanies and managed to sell 20 of them to the local Mermaid Leather shop. I gave another 30 to friends in Waroona to sell as fundraisers.
I spent a month wandering along the southern coast. Stopped at Stokes Inlet for 5 days. A National Park and really well set up. Nice private sites. good for fishing and swimming I gather. On to Hopetoun [via Jerracutup Road] to do laundry and wash the dust of vehicle then to Wealstead. Great big flat area on a farm. Very tidy facilities although would be a problem if all the sites were full as there are only a couple of toilets, and a shower. The farmer is planning a kitchen area. Drove to Chester Pass for groceries at Woolworths. Plenty of parking there.  On through Albany to Ayr Sailean cp for a few nights. Very uneven sites if you dont want to unhook but great for the price. Rained while I was there which set the crickets off - SO noisy, then they suddenly stop!

Next stop was Shannon NP. What a change since my last visit. There are now 68 large drive through sites, new toilet/shower rooms and a kitchen, dump point and skips. wood, and axe and chopping block are provided to light the donkey for a hot shower. The old forest sites are still there but lots of Marsh flies I was told (in March). Was damp for the 2 days I was there also, and with no TV/phone or internet I managed to make more hats and read many books.

Next stop was Bridgetown CP for water, long hot showers etc. Quite a noisy park as the main road is above it and trucks start early in the morning!  Nice not to have to unhook though.
On to Nannup. I was going to check Workman's pool camp but Google showed Mowen Road beyond there as gravel so carried on to Alexander Bridge. What a lovely - and popular spot. Good toilets and drinking water. Had 6 days there, 3 of them with family trying their new camper trailer for the first time. We called into Sue's Bridge - very few caravan sites and the 2 camp hosts were using 2 of them! Heading up to Donnybrook I see that Mowen Road is a great sealed road now - somewhere to go another time.
Back to Waroona to catch up with friends. 3 of us went to Opera at the Mill at Jarrahdale. Did the VIP dinner and had a wonderful night. Stayed in an AirBNB there. 

Back up to New Norcia for 2 weeks volunteering in the archives again. So much needs doing. I have been scanning old records, and managed to sort and check about 1,500 photos. There are thousands to do. They have been numbered and scanned and put into boxes but all need checking and sorting into manageable packets. I was also shown the rooms full of donated books that need to be catalogued. I now have the house keys and will move in for a 5 month stay when I finish my 2 week house sit, so will probably not be writing much more in this blog this year.

 Update as at Sept 2019

Had a wonderful 4 months at New Norcia. Am in a house but doing 35 hours a week in Archives. Scanning letters, sorting and checking old photos, sccanning old admission records from the orphanage etc. Also so many laughs with the Archivist, and good company at the pub when I go there once a week. Have finished sorting 30,000 photos and only have 6 more folders of letters to scan. Lookng forward to a few more months  work when I get back in October.

September was a month off as the archivist was away so hitched the van and took a week to go to Kalgoorlie. Was going to camp out at Lake Perkolilli for the vintage car races but when the heat got up to 35 I decided that camping in the scrub with hundreds of others was not really my scene. So - hitched up and headed up to  Menzies with the intention of staying at Niagara Dam. Unfotunately I got side tracked with taking photos of great old cars and forgot to plug in the lights. By the time I got to Menzies the plug has disappeared. Luckly I got one sent down from Leonora and managed to wire it up. 2 days in the caravan park was not a problem with power for the AC in the heat, good company next door and meals at the pub!!!

Spent a night at Niagara Dam. No water and the loo is very full unfortunately. Only stayed one night as it was very hot but somewhere I would like to camp again especially if there is water in the dam.  Back to Broad Arrow Tavern for a night. Plenty of room out the back near the big tank, but was really surprised that the kitchen shuts at 5.30 so if you want one of their 'famous' hamburgers [average!] make sure you get your order in before then. The tavern shuts at 7! Had a couple more nights at Kalgoorlie and went out to see the races for a few hours. Thousands out there camping in the scrub. So pleased I didnt take the van out there.... DUST!!!! Some amazing old cars and motorbikes racing. There is an airstip in the centre of the lake and several small planes flew in as well. 

From there to Southern Cross then a lovely quiet drive on great sealed road via Bullrush to the Beringboodin Rock [only 10 km of good gravel road] where I stayed for 4 nights. The camping area has been set up with 8 flat sites and you can no longer drive further back around the rock. But have the luxury of a flushing loo! Lovely easy walking all over the rock.
Next stop was Beacon caravan park where if you book in at the great community shop you get a $10 voucher to spend in the  shop or for a pizza on a Friday at the Bowls Club. The info centre has lots of interesting stuff for sale.
I checked the Mollerin Rock camp but decided not to stay. Lots of room, toilets, firepit and good road in also. Suitable for caravans but might not be so good if the road was wet.
Spent a very quiet Saturday night at Cadoux camp instead. Beside the Recreation centre - and a golf course over the other side of the oval. It does say to get the key from the shop but not sure why as the shop is shut in the weekend, and there are unlocked public toilets beside the shop just a short walk up from the camp.
I am now back at New Norcia for a couple of months.

December update:
8 months working and still really happy to head off each morning to sit at a computer!!!! The letters are done! What a mammoth job, although there are still 5 boxes of the really early ones that I need help with as they have not been translated or summarised in a form that I can deal with. Might try again next year now I have had more 'experience'. I have learnt so much working here. "How hard can it be scanning letters " I thought.  That is easy enough but it is the absolute care needed in getting number/dates etc absolutely right that I now appreciate having decided to go back to check and having had to correct a few errors. I have also catalogued a donated collection of personal letters and photos - even that has a format to follow. Interesting stuff.
A couple of weeks holiday over Christmas and then back for a few more months - all new projects to start I am told.
How life can change in a flash. I had starting packing up the van mid March ready to leave the house that has been my home in New Norcia for the past 11 months  when the virus put a stop to life as we know it. I had decided to get back on the road and spend 2 months travelling to Mackay to see the family there. Fortunately I am able to stay here in the house and keep working, all be it for one of the Monks rather than the Archivist. All good and I am able to 'work from home'. I have had to unpack the caravan athough am not having so much wtuff back in  the house now!
The whole town has shut to tourist, with just the roadhouse open for food and fuel, plus the Post Office.

Update June 2020.
 Seems I will be here for a lot longer - WA borders are still closed and plenty of work for me it seems. So much for my big road trip = but very happy to stay here, and more interesting projects to do. I am helping to finish an enormous index of people and their activities from the 16 Salvado's diaries [1847-1900] and typing up the daily chronicles that the monks wrote - working on 1973. There is more scanning to do - pre 1900 wage & account books which will also need to be typed up - makes searching so much easier. I have written up info for display boards for the museum, and have more signs to make now the museum is being updated. I helped 'decorate' the old hotel with potties and lanterns, and will probably spend time in collections soon as the data base there needs updating.

In the past year I have scanned almost every letter in the archives, [the Salvado Collection of 20,000+ documents from 1837-1901], checked them off with their summary, written a few summaries where needed [not the Spanish/Italian obviously]; sorted into packets and checked the info on 40,000+ photos, scanned a few that were not done, digitised aboriginal orphanage records, made a pupil database.... This has been an amazing learning experience for me as archives require great precision and care. These archives are privately owned by the Monks and the information only available to researchers through the Abbot, but Salvado's sincerity in caring for and educating the Aborigines was very deep. Many children were given to him by their parents in those early days  to live here and be educated.  A fascinating place to spend my time - and to be able to sit at a computer most of the day is perfect LOL. I have a comfortable furinshed house in exchange for my volunteer work