We packed up the car and trailer in the morning and hit the road. At Busselton we bid farewell to the sea as our route took us inland on the 104. We stoped off at Nannup for a quick toilet break, but the flies a heat were getting a bit irritating so we didn’t hang around for long. The road between Nannup and Pemberton reminds me a lot of the Nottingham Road part of the Midlands back home.
We finally arrived at Pemberton by 2:00 in the afternoon. We checked into the Pemberton Farm Chalets, and had after unpacking and eating some lunch, we took a walk into the forest to find the Gloucester Tree. The Gloucester Tree is a giant 72 metre high karri tree in the Gloucester National Park, it is the world’s tallest fire-lookout tree, and visitors can climb up to a platform in its upper branches for a view of the surrounding karri forest.
I was famished by the time we got back to the chalet; I was hungry enough to eat a kangaroo… which is what I had for supper at a local restaurant called Sadie’s. Kangaroo meat has a pretty unique taste, and I’m sure that if it’s not cooked or served correctly can taste rather terrible. Thankfully, the chef at Sadie’s, relay knows their roo meat, and prepared it just right, using almonds to take the edge off the meat. I had a most enjoyable meal.
We packed a picnic lunch went to Meelup Beach for the day. I borrowed some snorkelling gear from Debbie’s dad and explored the water nears the rocks one side of the cove. I saw several different species of fish including the infamous puffer fish. It was so much fun that I am thinking about getting into marine photography as a hobby some time. Every time I saw a fish I wished that I had a waterproof camera with me to take a photo.
On Wednesday we drove to Yallingup to do The Yallingup Maze. The objective is to navigate the maze of wood walls and get to each of the 4 towers in numerical order. Some of the walls are on hinges and the maze is changes every few hours so that it’s different every time you complete it. I discovered that being in a maze is a lot harder than solving a maze from a top down view.
Attached to the maze is a café and puzzle shop. All the tables in the café have various puzzles and brain teasers on them to keep the patrons entertained while taking a break from the maze.
After Yallingup Maze, we went to The Margaret River Duckstein Brewery for lunch. The estate is magnificent, but it is a pity that the same can not be said for the beer. Sean and I discovered during a beer tasting session, that despite their name the beer has little in common with real German beer. Fortunately the food was excellent. I had a smoked pork chop with bratwurst, fried potato and sauerkraut.
After a weekend of swimming at the beach, cycling around Dunsborough, and general relaxation, we drove up to Leeuwin Estate, a wine farm famous for hosting concerts on their huge lawn, a fine restaurant and offcourse their wine.
On our way out of the estate I managed to snap a photo that seems to capture a bit of what I call the big sky phenomenon. That is the sky here somehow feels bigger. I don’t know if it’s because the land is flatter, or the clouds are higher, but it just feels bigger than back home.
On the way home we stoped in a town called Cowaramup. A few of the local shops played on the word cow being included in the town name when naming their own shops: I.e. The Candy Cow, sweat shop that make their own honeycomb and American style fudge, and a café called Udderly Divine.
It seamed funny at the time….
We packed up the car and trailer on Friday morning and hit the road to Dunsborough for a week long holiday at the coast. After a few hours driving we stoped at Pinjarra for lunch at the Heritage Tearooms. Australian milkshakes tend to be less think than the ones back home with hardly any ice-cream, they are more like cold flavoured milk drinks.
The Heritage Tearooms are based in a collection of old Victorian houses with rolling green laws and well kept English gardens. There is a small museum at the back where volunteer workers restore antique farm equipment and machinery.
Back on the road again and I admit that I drifted off to sleep, but I did wake up in time to take a brilliant photo of Debbie in the back seat with her head back, fast asleep … unfortunately I won’t be publishing the pic on my blog. I have been bribed with baked goods too keep it private. I did set the picture as the wallpaper on Debbie’s PC while writing this blog post, cos it’s too good not to use :-) I am eagerly waiting for her reaction when she discovers it.
Driving through Bunbury the highway reminded me of the roads behind the Coca-Cola Dome in JHB.
We finally arrived at the beach cottage in the small town of Dunsborough, after unloading the car and sorting out room assignments, we walked down to the beach.
The beach near the cottage is located in a sheltered cove resulting conditions almost similar to an estuary. Even after you have gone 200 Meters into the water the depth is only up to your knees, and the waves are reduced to mere ripples on the warm turquoise water. Needless to say this is ideal for families with young children and my nephews had a blast.
While Dunsborough beach is no surfer’s paradise, it is rather relaxing and idyllic. I was delighted to discover that I can float in the salt rich water, a feat that I have never achieved in normal swimming pools. Lying stretched out on the gently lapping water as if reclining on a bed of water, I felt years of stress just ebbing away and thought to my self, “I could get used to this”.
I caught the bus into to Perth central for the day to do some exploring. First stop was the Bell Tower, a large 6 story glass and metal structure that houses a bell museum with giant swing bells, and an excellent view of Perth.
I made my way to the Carillion Food Court, with 16 different food vendors, it’s quite astounding to a food lover like me. I had an awesome bowl of wonton noodle soup from Chinese Canton. It was a really big serving, and apart from the dumplings also had Beef shavings, noodles, a large chicken portion, and some vegies.
I bought some T-Shirts and a pair of boardies (swimming trunks) at the SizeUp section of the local Target store (Target is like Game with a bigger clothes section), then met Ray at the bus stop.
When we got to Ray’s house, Elie’ treated us each to a huge plate of chicken casserole (very tender and tasty) for supper. After supper, we went to the site where their new house is being built (it’s cheaper to build a new house than to buy an old one).
Ray took me past a cheap liquor shop on the way back to Sean’s house, so that I could get my self some whisky… it cost me an arm and a leg because of the extra taxes on booze and the bad exchange rate.
Tuesday and Wednesday I took a break from being a tourist and got started on putting together this blog, as well as helping Debbie with her Bee Sweet website. http://www.beesweet.com.au/
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