South of Perth trip with Stef

Trip Start Jun 27, 2006
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Trip End ??? ??, 2007


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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Stef and I took the Easyrider bus down south. This is a fully guided bus tour that allows the rider to jump on and off in certain towns if they wish.  The first stop down south was Bunbury where we saw wild dolphins just meters from the beach. This was the first time I had seen dolphins in the wild. After Bunbury we made a quick scenic stop at the Busselton jetty which is known for awesome scuba diving (unfortunately I didn't have time.) The first major stop where Stef and I got off the bus was Dunsburough. Dunsburough is a very relaxed surf town with pristine beaches and the famous Swan ship wreck that has been purposely sunk so divers can explore it 30m below the surface. I had the opportunity to dive the Swan wreck which was a very different diving experience. The entire ship was dark and you had to navigate your way through all 3 floors using a flashlight. The only downside to my dive was missing the operations room as my buoyancy was all screwy and I floated to the top too fast.
 
Stef and I stayed with a friend who took us out on his boat in Dunsburough where we saw the coast from a different angle. We stopped off at several pristine spots including Balmy Rock, which Avery jumped off. In fact Avery learned how to fly that day (see the first picture in the jumping sequence). We also did a little snorkeling around Balmy Rock....I saw a massive ugly cuttle fish under a big rock there.

The final night in Dunsburough was spent at the Sunday Session at the much talked about "Caves House" which was an outdoor bar. After Caves House Stef and I ended up at another party where we sat by cozy outdoor campfire talking till all hours of the night...
 
After a few brief stops at lookouts and Canal Rocks the bus dropped Stef and I off at the beautiful wine region of Margaret River. Unfortunately Stef had a cold for the wine tour we went on and could not smell or taste anything. I on the other hand had many samples and learned a great deal about wine and my personal preferences (I prefer lighter white wines-ex. a Sav/Semillon blend). The next day Stef spent recovering and I went on a bushtucker tour of the Margaret River. The tour was very complete and awesome. It included a leisurely canoe ride along the river, authentic bush food, caving on your knees, lots of local knowledge about the fauna and flora and an end of the day canoe race for a bottle of wine...my boat of course won. (It felt good to have a little competition back in my life...) The group gave me the bottle of wine as I was the navigator and motivator during the race....surprise surprise.
 
Nannup was next, a small quiet town in which the famous Black Cockatoo retreat resided amidst a canopy of tall trees, chirping birds, active night frogs and gardens cultivated with diligence and love. There was not much to do here but we made our own fun...from bike riding to playing scrabble to  nightly frog pursuits (Avery's thing) to making buckets of  homemade soup.
 
Stef and I were happy to leave Nannup and move up in natures hierarchy...so high at times we had to come down. This is in reference to the Bicentennial Tree climb at Pemberton that Stef and I only completed half way. Tourists are allowed to climb this 75meter Karri tree for I guess shear thrill. The only catch is that you are attached to nothing while climbing and have only pegs to hold onto. (The pegs were originally inserted so fire wardens could spot bush fires in the distance from the tree tops).  So basically if you slip and fall....you are dead! This sort of amusement would never happen in the states for liability reasons. And I still can't believe stupid people like me actually climb these giant Karri trees. Thankfully I got scared thinking about what would happen if I slipped....so I came down.
 
After our tree climbing adventure we stopped at a few beautiful beaches en route to Albany. One of these beaches had massive rocks that looked liked big Elephants. I got some beautiful pictures of these rocks and of the beach. I also surprise surprise fit in a solid hour of snorkeling before the bus took off for Albany. In Albany Stef got bed bugs and I went on a button craze where I bought hundreds of buttons from second hand shops. (I plan to use these buttons for future crafts projects and to sew my discombobulated brain back together.)
 
Despite the dismal city feeling of Albany, the outskirts were quite spectacular...blow holes, a Natural rock Bridge and The Gap (a natural granite cut in the earth that drops thousands of feet to the ocean).
 
After viewing "nature at work" we boarded the bus for the long haul back to Perth. We stayed at Bob's house (a family friend of Stef's dad) instead of Northbridge this time. It was quite refreshing to stay in a clean house instead of dirty hostels. We entertained ourselves at Bob's house with daily trips into Perth, playing with Bob's parrot named "Birdie" (who could actually blow kisses...the cutest thing ever) and watching the Australian Open on tv where Federer surprise surprise dominated. We also fit in a hilarious night at the "Big Hooha" which is an improve comedy show in Perth. My contributions of "chicken sexer, eve and huggies" proved quite useful. (Ask me to put these references into context as they were hilarious.)
 
From Perth Stefanie and I separated. Stef had to return to uni and I boarded a plane for Melbourne. I would reunite with her later on in Sydney.
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