|Sunset Over The Indian Ocean at Bunbury|
The name gives lie to he fact that Lt Bunbury didn’t discover Bunbury, but that grace must go to the Dutch (discovery is such a bad description as it was already well settled and had been for many thousands of years and the Chinese had more than likely been here prior as well).
The Portuguese sent several expeditions to explore for “The Southland or The Isle of Gold”, these took place in the first few decades of the 16th century under Diago Pancheco and Fransiisc de Sequeira. Some of their expeditions ended in disaster, in fact Pancheco stayed here forever as his caravel foundered, was wrecked and he lost his life.
The rest of the history of the town is interwoven with the rest of the settlement Western Australia.
The town is almost completely surrounded by water and sandy beaches with a few Basalt rocky outcrops (bit like a miniature Giants Causeway). This is a favourite place for rock and beach anglers as in the surf there are some nice whiting to be caught.
We chatted about my visit back in 1975 and he said you would have tied up at the old jetty, that has just been demolished and the only part is the loading crane over there, pointing across the entrance. It all came flooding back, yes that is where we loaded our cargo of mineral sands, we chatted about those times and we reminisced about when this had been a major seaport, now the loading facilities have been moved out of town, were now fully automated, with conveyor belts and overhead loading gantries. They are not far distant from the Dolphin Centre my next port of call, but first a spot of lunch at one of the restaurants at the new development at what had been the old loading jetty. I then walked around the bay to the to the Dolphin Centre, not a lot happening here, I had visions of the Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre with few penguins. I walked back, found the library (at the end of Victoria Street) made some enquiries and headed back to the YHA- I now had the plan of Bunbury imprinted in my brain. I will now do a quick run through of my wonderful time in Bunbury, the weather was hot, very hot at times over 40°C, but that doesn’t bother seasoned salts like us, does it (did I see you nodding).
But I went along with most of the activities that the YHA mob dreamed up, though I did go to the cinema with them I saw the Hobbit while they watched Captain America or some other such crap.
We went kayaking and paddle boarding together.
I visited the smashing nature reserve, a piece of natural wet lands that has been left to its own devices, with the exception of a bit of a board walk to protect the banks and reeds and 2 hides.
When it was time to leave it was with a sad goodbye, but I had to be in Perth to catch my plane to SE Asia in a few days time, so I headed for the Old Railway Station (the one IN TOWN Bus Station one this time) and boarded my bus to Perth and my place booked in the YHA in Perth.
Perth held nothing new for me though I did revisit the State Art Gallery again; the outside was being transformed into a stage for the forthcoming Australia Day celebrations.
This time I also had time to visit the remains of Perth’s original Jail and the barracks now a hotel.
It has a vine in the entrance courtyard, that is supposedly the oldest in Australia, it is certainly captive.
I also had some of that wonderful food on James Street and met a few old acquaintances in the Brass Monkey
Then the next day it was off to catch my flight to Thailand, Cambodia and the next part of my journey. As I looked out of the window of the Thai Air plane and saw Australia disappear beneath me, I wondered if I ever would cross the Nullarbor and complete my last piece of Australia, or if I will be too old and will never see it? Only time will tell