Meeting Ernie and Faye
We woke up at around 8 this morning and started packing up our tent and other pieces. We were all packed up and ready to hit the road at around 9. The Tom Tom said that we had around a three hour trip to Geraldton and we headed towards the Brand highway, this is the road that Faye and Ernie also live on but we were still around 200km away. The journey was all along the same stretch of road and for most of it we only saw a couple of cars. It was amazing to see that in the distance the road looked like it had water on it from the heat haze or that it seemed to disappear into nothingness. We did pass a few road trains along the way, these are massive goods vehicles that transport various things from cars to house parts. On the road we were on they were limited to 36.5 meters long but we have heard that they can get up to 60 meters on some of the roads.
When we got nearer to Geraldton we started to notice the windswept trees that Kath had told us about, the trees were bent over with the leaves touching the ground. We passed one that looked like it had snapped in half and was still alive and green. This must have been the tree that Kath had told us about in particular and we wracked our brains to remember if she had said that it was before or after her parents house. A few moments later and the farm lands gave way to houses and a built up area… we had obviously gone too far down the highway. We pulled off the road and into a nearby shop and grabbed some refreshments and gave Ernie a call for some more directions. We had driven past it as we thought so we headed back with some more definitive directions. Looking out for the tree lined drive we pulled into where we thought Ernie and Faye lived, we pulled up the drive and up to the house. The first thing we noticed was a kids bike and a wakeboard. This didn’t seem like the right house after all and we couldn’t remember Kath saying that her parents were building an extension… no one came out to greet us so we assumed that this was the wrong house. We pulled out the drive and into the next as this was also tree lined, as we looked up the drive we could see Ernie waving at the other end. When we pulled up to Ernie he said that he had seen us driving up his next door neighbours drive and was waving to us but that we obviously didn’t see. We pulled the car round the back and Ernie was very welcoming, embracing Emma into a hug as soon as she got out the car.
Faye made us some lunch and we sat and talked for a while about what we have been up to and what our plans were while we were here. They said that we were welcome to stay and that they had already made a room up for us. Faye was working that evening and headed off to bed for a couple of hours so we went out into the garden with Ernie so that we didn’t disturb her. We sat and talked about his farm and the plot of land that they own in town among many other things. Ernie showed us around his ponds where he has Yabbie’s and said that the pond was topped up with water powered by the windmill at the bottom of the farm. He said that the water level should have been much higher but they had very little wind and no rain in 7 months. We said to Ernie that if he had any jobs around the place that needed doing that we would be more than happy to help and to have a think and let us know.
In the evening we had a couple of Ernie’s home brew beers, which was very nice but not very strong. Then Ernie got started making dinner. He made chips with fish and salad and Faye woke up at around 8 so we sat down to eat. After dinner Joe also pigged out on passion fruit cheesecake. Faye then started getting ready for work whilst we sat around chatting to Ernie. He told us a few stories about when he was a little boy with Emma’s granddad and about a holiday that they had and that he and granddad were so excited when the tide went out and left the boats sitting on the sand. They’d never been in a boat before and had lots of fun sitting in them. He also told us that after the war had finished they lived in a pre-fab house in between two terrace houses and that one of the neighbours gave them bloomers that their daughter Julie had grown out of to wear as bathers! They didn’t mind though and were quite pleased that they had something to wear, Ernie even remembered that his ones were navy blue and granddads a bottle green…at least they weren’t pink!
It was getting quite late so as Faye left for work we headed off to bed.