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We have had a busy month full of changes and too much for one post, but I will do a recap of our travels for those who want to read a lot. Then get more into what it is like here, in Kendenup, in the next post.

Bri & Charlie the dog in Portland, ME. July 2013

Bri & Charlie the dog in Portland, ME. July 2013

We left Boston, after a quick visit to Portland, Maine, in the end of July, arriving in Portland, Oregon where we hung for a few days with our kids. In Maine we visited with our niece, Bri, who showed us around her great little city. Portland, ME would fit nicely as a neighborhood in Portland, Oregon! We hung out with her and Charlie, her dog  roommate, and walked around, picked up her CSA box with her and had a lovely Thai dinner.

In Oregon we stayed in a nice Airbnb home hosted by James, a local transplanted  from the Bay Area. We hung out with Logan, helping get his room together in his house and stocking the cupboards a bit. Noah and Frances joined us some of the time and we enjoyed a bit of croquet in the park one sunny day. It was great to see them.

Then we headed for a 4 day stay in Kailua Kona on the big island of Hawaii. Hawaii will have to get its own entry, but we had a great time snorkeling and eating Ahi.  We left Hawaii on a Thursday and arrived in Kendenup on Sunday night.

That included crossing the international date line, but was still a long journey: 10 hours to Syndney, an eleven hour layover, a third of which we spent in lines at customs- then a whirlwind taxi ride, overnight in downtown and back by taxi (to the wrong airport!). We made it to our flight from Sydney to Perth, by running to the gate and boarding just in time to sit and wait for take off- of course!

We arrived about six hours later in Perth, where we called for a shuttle to our hotel. We were based near pretty much nothing interesting, but the maintenance guy at the hotel, Shane, gave us a ride to the mall, where we got our local phones set up. Then we walked for a few hours, getting a nice stroll along the Swan River. We also used a space age toilet facility in the riverfront park. It had doors that reminded me of Star Trek and there was all auto stuff inside and a voice to tell you about your visit in there being limited to ten minutes. So, our visit to Perth was not what one might have hoped for but the river was pretty and we saw black swans.

In the morning we had time to re organize our luggage and get to the bus station early. It was a nice and modern facility. We weighed our suitcases and shuffled again (very specific weight requirements for the bus), then boarded with nobody giving a hoot about how much we had or what it weighed.

We rode the bus for five hours, with a dinner break at a little gas station in the middle of nowhere. As it grew dark we got a real sense of where we were! It was so dark out there and nothing to see for hours. The we walked off the bus, along with two other people, and were greeted by Benita and Jim, our homeowners. They drove us the ten minutes to home, where we arrived about 8:30 in the evening on Sunday.

So here we are, about three weeks later, enjoying, getting used to, struggling with, wondering at…experiencing life in rural Australia- The Great Southern, in winter.

Orchard in Kendenup, WA beginning to bloom

First blooms in the orchard

Yesterday was a glorious sun filled day. Most days have been rainy off and on, and cold enough for a wood fire at night and burrowing under the covers in the morning. The apricots in the orchard are blooming. The full moon was amazing. We walk before bed every night ( puppy needs her bedtime walk) and we drive to a nearbye town for minimal groceries! The beach is an hour away and in a town about the size of Fort Bragg CA. We are busy planning some things for the garden as spring is coming here. We are lucky to be picking lettuce and herbs, a few peppers left from last year, and spring onions and radishes.

There are parrots, kookaburras and magpies in our twelve acre orchard, where we hike around with little miss boundless energy, Chienne, a one year old Jack Russell. We have a lovely pond with fish and frogs and a pretty flower garden getting ready to bloom. Life is good!

From the road in Western Oz

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