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Our trip to Western Australia has been an incredible journey with a difference. An invite to the inaugual 20km Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race off the coast of Perth was an opportunity to take the family to the sun & wind over Xmas.

Back in October Tom was diagnosed with an osteochondral fracture of the left femeral lateral knee which meant that his arrival into the kitesurf playground of WA was now quite as planned. 7 weeks post operatively, Tom arrived off the plane on crutches & in a brace. Kitesurfing was a long way from his daily routine right now, instead static quads, walking through water & sand, swimming with a float between the legs to avoid using the left knee. My little physiotherapy knowledge from my days at Kings University London was being put to use at last!

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Older son- Olly had his own agenda and that was freestyle kite for breakfast, lunch & dinner. We needed wheels since Olly was planning to be in WA until February. A kite friend had suggested we look at his Mitsubishi Pajero- 4 x 4 truck & within budget. Many of the locals had said that he had looked after the truck and it would be a good buy. A trip down to Mandera & 2.5 AD later, we drove back to Perth excited with the purchase of ‘Pete’. We didn’t know how fast we were going, hill starts took on a new dimension with no hand break, there was more dog hairs in the truck than a zoo BUT the truck had swag. We fixed up the lights, decided that the bolt loose in the steering column would wait & drove off to Lancelin for a dress rehearsal. Some waves & that familiar Lancelin seaweed smell all went great and we back to Perth to collect Olly and make the trip south. To aid the trip we also collected a trailer which we re-named ‘Nige’. (steps dad- spud is called peter nigel)

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South of Mandera we were going well until a clicking noise and bad smell came from the engine. We pulled off immediately and black smoke was coming out of the engine. The party was over, it was boiling hot with all these flies attacking us and alot of head shaking! A tow back to his owner, train back to Perth to pick up a working truck and a day later we continue the trip south towards Denmark.

Arriving at Walpool camp site we were grateful for the magnificent trip through the Kari forest and natural beauty of the area. Kangaroo’s dotted the fields, large cattle, the occasional fire in the wood smouldering and the incredible orchestra of birds singing & talking all night. We had stopped on route at the ‘Diamond Tree which is a huge 54mtr high Kari tree which you can climb. Tom was mega keen and I followed him up focussing only on the rungs & holding on. Eric & Guy managed the mid station while I put a brave face and was happy to get a bit more feel for heights. Incredible view above the tree’s and the swaying of the tree as we stood on the top was pretty real.

Around the Denmark area we swam, kitted, educated ourselves on the many old Karri tree’s and enjoyed camping & living outdoors. Tom’s knee seems stronger by the day and despite a small boulder incident where he decided to get washed off a family high boulder by a wave, he is busy & involved with his rehab.

Returning to Margaret River to join the Hamptons for Xmas day, we experienced some pretty world class conditions at main break.

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December 24, 2015

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