All posts by rayjudesmith

The end of an era at Cooloongup!

Although Ray still has another week until his retirement on the 1st July, we will be moving out of our house this weekend. During the next two weeks we will be¬†staying with Annette and Jock (Jude’s sister and brother-in-law) but also spending time at the caravan getting it ship shape or should that be van shape!

There are many great memories to take with us from our seven years at Cooloongup. One that stands out is the surprise visit from Becky, Kia and Evie for Ray’s 60th birthday! ¬†We are both feeling a mixture of excitement tinged with a slight nervousness at just what the roads ahead will bring. However we have¬†absolutely no regrets at selling up, retiring and going on this amazing journey.



5 weeks today……….

5 weeks today, Tuesday 12th July, and we set off on the first leg of our big lap. ¬†We are even more excited as Ben will be joining us from the UK for the first 3 weeks. ¬†We will be travelling to Adelaide via Kalgoorlie, the Nullarbor and Quorn where we will be visiting family. ¬†Jude’s sister Annette and Brother-in-law Jock will be flying into Adelaide and joining us at the same caravan park for a week.

We have accepted an offer on our house which should be finalised soon. We have bought a 20ft shipping container and have been very fortunate to be able to set it up on a friends farm. This means we are busy sorting out what we keep, what we dispose of and what we store!  We have just taken up one trailer load and placed into the container.

Stay tuned……………


Our pictorial site

We decided that we wanted to separate some of the pictorial side of our journey and have therefore created a new wordpress site.

On this site we will publish the photos that mean the most to us and in so doing, we hope they will appeal to you, the viewer.  Check out the link below!

A superb mix of smiffspics

Camping at Sandy Cape

We recognise there will be times when we want to see places that can’t be accessed with the caravan as it is not an off roader. ¬†Therefore we have a tent that we can use overnight when heading off to explore for a couple of days in the Patrol.

Last week we decided to put the tent through it’s paces by going camping with friends, Sue and Doug, at Sandy Cape which is just near Jurien Bay. ¬†We drove up early Wednesday morning in the hope of beating the Easter exodus. ¬†The site Sue and Doug normally use was already taken but after a short drive further up the track, we found a perfect site right next to the beach.

We set up our tents (including ensuite) and then parked our cars next to each other so we could put out the car awnings. We used it as a place to sit under and eat our meals out of the direct sun. That first afternoon/evening it became very windy with sand coming straight off the dunes. We put up a blue tarpaulin to try and help keep out the wind and sand.

After a yummy meal of slow cooked lamb, a few wines/beers and a game of Yahtzee, we headed off to bed.  The blow up mattress was really comfy and the tent was warm and cozy. We both slept really well.

The next couple of days were spent fishing, swimming, chilling and exploring the local area. ¬†We had a couple of near misses with almost becoming bogged in the sand dunes but due to Doug’s excellent driving skills, we survived!

The tent set up worked well……and then on the last night, the rain began… rained and rained and rained and rained and rained – but the sleeping tent stayed totally dry and warm. The front tent floor became very wet and sandy but that was mainly due to the slope we were on. Fortunately it wasn’t windy as well as wet, otherwise we may have had a different outcome with the stability of the tent.

The next morning there was a dry spell which enabled us to take down the tents and pack up the camp site. ¬†We weren’t leaving because of the rain. ¬†We had already planned to leave at this time. ¬†It was a great location to camp and we had a lot of fun with Sue and Doug. ¬†Below are a selection of pics showcasing our time away.


UK / Singapore

Happy 2016 everyone!

We had the best holiday and even though it didn’t snow, Christmas was very special. ¬†It was so much fun spending quality time with our gorgeous family, Becky, Ben, Kia, Evie, Austin, Ben, Carol, Malcolm, Debs, Derek, Geoff, Diane and Katherine. ¬†We also got to meet up with dear friends Fiona, Malcolm, Lynda, Ian, Angie, Richard, Diana, Sharon, Jan and Steve.

We celebrated Christmas, New Year and the 6th birthday of our granddaughter Evie. ¬†We went ten pin bowling, ice skating, toboganning, saw an amazing theatrical production of Slava’s Snowshow and visited Madame Tussaud’s in London.

We then had 4 days in Singapore on our way back to Perth. ¬†The weather was very humid which we found quite draining. ¬†However it didn’t stop us exploring this amazing Island nation and enjoying all that we saw.


Grey Nomads head overseas!

We know this blog is about our travels around Australia but we didn’t think you would mind reading about our trip to the UK and Singapore for Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016.

We fly out on Friday 18th December with Singapore Airlines and have a stop over of four hours at Changi Airport in Singapore. ¬†We then fly into Heathrow Airport near London where we pick up our hire car and head to Royal Tunbridge Wells. ¬†We will be staying at¬†Salomons Estate Hotel¬†which is just ten minutes from Becky and Ben’s flat.

We will be in the UK for three weeks and then head to Singapore for four nights where we will be staying at the PARKROYAL on Beach Road before arriving home on Thursday 14th January 2016!


A visit to the 4WD and Adventure Show

So we went to the Perth 4WD and Adventure Show and what a great time we had. We have been every year for the past six years but this time is was so much more interesting because of now having our own caravan and because the big trip is getting so much closer. We bought a Thermos Shuttle Chef, Blu Bags for extra water, LED spotlights for the car, ground sheet for outside the caravan and a variety of other bits and pieces that will enhance our travel experience. Check out the following links: