This is a city of about 50,000 people just south of Perth, on a small peninsular where real estate developers had the vision to create canals in order to maximise the amount of expensive waterfront properties. The lucky buggers who got in at the right time are not only sitting and sailing on a gold mine, but they can throw a crab pot in the front yard so while they are off at work, they are also catching dinner.
Our little slice of Mandurah turned out to be possibly the smelliest van park in the southern hemisphere. Our site was right on the ‘estuary’ which is not the ocean side. One theory to explain the terrible smell that wafted up after the late afternoon breeze (aka the Freemantle Doctor) died down is the fairly still water and rotting seaweed on the shore. We have another theory. Not only is the van park smelly, but it is also strangely deserted. Rows of ageing vans with grubby old annexes have ‘For Sale’ signs in the windows, hastily scratched on bits of cardboard. It could be all the fiction we are reading, but we are pretty sure there is a serial killer harvesting his/her sick delights and dumping the evidence in the estuary. Kelly suspects the barrel shaped woman with the cigarette glued to the side of her bottom lip. I have my sights on the under worked, pot-bellied janitor. (Couldn’t he button up his shirt even occasionally?) I’m just saying, I won’t be surprised if a certain Mandurah van park is in the news headlines soon for all the wrong reasons. You read it here first.
There are Karri forests not far from here, one of the few tall hardwood trees to be found on this desert continent, but we will get to see forests further down the coast. It was more of a priority to get new shoes for Gypsy (tyres for the van), shop, phone and get on line. Mission accomplished.