Monday, 28 December 2015

52, that's a wrap.

December 24-28th

So I started the year with the post: Nights Under Canvas, in which I wrote -

A question was asked on a forum: How many nights did you spend under canvas in 2014. Be it camper, tent or swag. I answered with a respectable 34 (see my 2014 archives). Not a bad effort I thought, a month under canvas with no major trips in that. But the question was baited. The proposer had spent 49. So the challenge was on, I need to pull a finger out in 2015.

Not having a target in mind, I thought I would log the year as my nights under canvas progressed to see what I ended up with in 2015. Well, as it turns out, it has been a huge year. The biggest trip being only 10 days (9 nights under canvas) when I went for a little 4000Km odyssey to Marble Bar. Somehow I have managed to chalk up 51 after the 6 nights I spent at Stokes Inlet. I have certainly been hitting the road this year.

However, 51, whilst a most admirable achievement, left me wanting one more. 52 nights, an average of 1 night per week for the whole year. As luck would have it, I managed to secure 4 days off over xmas and headed down to the in laws at Nannup for the break. With the target still in my mind, and seeing as its the last chance I will get, I decided I will slip the last in whilst down there.

What follows is a quick write up of that trip, including xmas and a summary of my nights under canvas for the year.

The tin lid and trouble and strife decided they wanted to be in on the action. Which meant a lot of work fitting racks and trays to fit the 3 swags/stretchers and camp chairs in. All fitted late afternoon on a 39 degree day I might add. The Black Wolf turbo 240 would have been an easier option, but the little un is starting to enjoy sleeping in a swag and I don't want to break that thought pattern of hers. The plan was to be fully packed and ready to hit the road once I finished work at 1200 the following day. However, once the top was packed, I was a spent force due to the sun and the heat. The remainder can wait until I get home the following day.

The following afternoon, I quickly packed a bag of clothes and filled the car with xmas presents ready for the trip down South. On the road by 1300, we made Nannup around 1700.

Xmas day soon followed, along with all the joy that only presents from Santa can bring:

And around lunchtime, it was down the road for xmas lunch with the extended family. Oh the food, the bloody ton of food.

Bah, Humbug:

Later that evening, the Xmas full moon made its appearance and I realised I had left the camera at the in laws at the top of the hill. So I had to make do with my phone:

And then it was time to head back up the hill, all worn out (probably from all that bloody food). Boxing day came around and the plan was to head on down the Blackwood River for my 52nd night later in the afternoon. First up though, the little one was taken for a buggy ride and some driving instruction:

Today was quite hot and we sat watching a dvd in air conditioned comfort. We started this a bit late and by the time it was finished, it was well and truly time to head for camp. Not knowing if my spot was going to be occupied nor if we would now get the time for a swim.

Hitting the road around 1600, We headed East, first up the highway, then onto bush tracks. I was going from memory of spots I had checked out a few years back and was somewhat disappointed when I arrived at what I thought camp was to be. A nice little spot to camp, but the river here is full of weed. I recalled the spot, but thought this was a place further down river. So I drove out again. At the junction with the main track, I pulled the maps to refresh my memory. I was confused, according to the maps, this was the place, but it wasn't what my memory conjured up. So I went to the last reference back up: pulling up old track logs on the puter.

Eventually I found the one in question and it too also indicated this was the place. So anothe u-turn and back up the track. I spied a small track on the right and headed up this one. And sure enough, I found the camp I had remembered. It was more overgrown on the way in and the camp a little smaller than I recalled.

A quick walk down to the river revealed the swimming hole also full of weed. I'm sure it wasn't like that before (I will have to check my old pictures). Seeing as it was now 1700 odd, swimming wasn't going to happen anyhow, so I left the girls by the river and headed back up to camp.

Repositioning the car, it was time to unload and set up:

During set up, I walked a little way down a sidetrack. Here I found a car in a much larger campsite (the one I had remembered) a few hunderd meters away. Oh well, we are far enough away where we are and its a good enough place for the night.

Camp almost set up, it was time for a beer and a rest:

And not long after, dinner. I was still struggling from the Xmas feast we had, Dinner was a light and easy affair, just a snagger in a bun:

About 1930, the sun had set, but it was still fairly light. The little un said she wanted to play with her tab in her swag (she must have been excited). So we let her go and 1/2 hour later, she was out, not to be seen till morning :)

A lazy evening, sipping a few drinks, listening to a few tunes. The perfect way to get my 52nd:

About 2100, the full moon was starting to rise. It was very bright. So much so, I could turn my camp light off:

And by 2130, it was time for that last night under canvas. I really should have pulled the flap down, cause it was like sleeping with the light on all night.

At 0500 the following morning, I was the first to rise (I bet Bruce wont believe me!). Trying to make as little noise as possible whilst getting the coffee going. Then the little one pulled back the covers:

And mum not far behind. Mum played with the little un's camera taking a few special effects shots:

The morning spent lazily enjoying my feat for the year over a slow breakfast:

Unfortunately, I was shot returning from a shovel run:

 I took a shot of the water hole for the blog, the site I call Punch and Judy:

Whilst I then went about pulling everything down and packed on the car, the Girls went down to the river for a play:

And soon enough, it was time to head back to Nannup:

On the way, I decided to update my memory on a couple of the sites I had been to prior. The first, I call Kimba, was occupied with a few vehicles, so we didn't disturb their camp. I them went onto Swirling Waters to see how it had changed:

45 minutes later, we were back in town and my goal for the year completed. All that remained was to return back home the following day:

As I'm keen to record some of my yearly stats, I will estimate my fuel usage for this trip by only using the fuel to and from Nannup, as that was my start /end point.

106Km's travelled.
at 11.5l/100, I will have used about 12L of fuel
for a cost of $15 (based on 125cpl)

As I was packing for this trip, I finally met my neighbour who moved in earlier this year. He introduced himself and said "bloody hell, are you going away again" Oh no, now I have another target for 2016. How many times can I get him to say that?

And there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed travelling along with me throughout 2015 and hope to see you all again for what ever adventure 2016 brings.

And the 2015 yearly tally below-

No. of trips: 12
Nights under canvas: 52 nights
No. of days away: 64 days
Longest trip duration: 10 days
Camp fee's paid:$335
Kilometers travelled: 15,830Km
Fuel used: 1900L
Cost of fuel: $2675

So all up, not including food, the above year has cost me about $3K. A bargain.

And as a final wrap up, a link to a 20 minute slide show of the trips of 2015 is below:

2015 wrapped up

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