On the way down South, we chose to stop overnight at a camp site in
Bridgetown alongside the BlackWood river.
For the very first time since I'd arrived in Oz, I actually started to shiver. My friend had warned me that it gets considerably colder at night the further South you go, but I was expecting cold by Perth standards. Such as the low 20's...not 2. ( i.e. decimal point in the wrong place)
Believe me, it was so cold, I thought there would be a frost. My breath exhaled in great clouds of vapour. There was no way I had come prepared for this, having only packed a few T shirts and shorts for our journey. Up until now, that is all I had needed.
Once we had erected our tent, had a bite to eat and sorted out the bedding for later, we decided that we really didn't fancy sitting around all evening cuddling up to the barbie for warmth. A much better idea was to go for a walk into town and search out a lively little pub. You would think that wouldn't be too onerous a task, considering how many bars we had passed driving through town earlier. Much to my disgust, I very soon learned that despite the reputation of Australians as hard bitten beer swiggers, we could hardly find a bar open. It was only 8 o'clock in the evening. Unbelievable!!! Of the 2 places we did find unlocked, there was almost more bar staff than customers. Those that were imbibing there were considerably worse for wear, looking as if they'd been drinking for a great number of hours and were all trying to out fuf each other like they had only just discovered the 'F' word. The choices of palatable beer was also extremely limited. So much for that as a master plan. So, revert to plan B. (what plan B?) Well, in the absence of anything else to do, we strolled along the main street (still shivering) and had a look in the estate agent's windows to gleen an idea of house prices in this God forsaken hole of a place.
TALK ABOUT CHEAP.
For the price of a good caravan in England, you could buy yourself a literal mansion down here, with an estate thrown in that a texan would be proud of. I saw properties with their own lakes, with tens of acres of land attached looking down into the Blackwood river valley being sold for quite literally peanuts.
Example... many were less than $100,000 Australian. Bearing in mind there were more than 3 dollars to the pound at the time I was there, that equated to not much more than £30,000. and this was for the size of places that you could only buy in England if you were a £Millionaire
If you were looking for a quiet life in peace and seclusion at a modest price, this was most certainly the place to come.
Why are they so cheap??? I wish I knew. Perhaps it is because Bridgetown is in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps because of it's chilly climate. I really don't know.
Maybe someone out there can enlighten me. All I know is we were very glad to pack up early the next morning and get the hell out of this morbid little settlement.