Day 86-87 Stockton Lake, Collie
Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
91Trip End Nov 08, 2009
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Before we left Shannon N.P for Collie we drove part of the official scenic forest drive and then left for Bridgetown, passing through Quinnup and Manjimup but missing Nannup. I was reminded by the children we had not left "UP" region yet.
We soon discovered there was much fresh produce to be sampled and stocked up on en-route to Perth. We had missed good, cheap fresh fruit since S.A, the cost of it in Esperance was exorbitant and we ate it sparingly. Now we were able to pick it up from stalls on the road side, most unattended and some only requesting a gold coin. Sweet corns for $2, 2kg of yellow nectarines for $6, bag of plums $2, bag of tomatoes $2, lemons, passionfruit and an avocado for a buck were just some of the delights we encountered, the quality of which were flawless and extremely tasty
Bridgetown was next stop on the journey, it's a built up quaint town on the main highway with lots of cafes, bakeries, and quirky little specialty shops either side of the strip. We noticed a sign declaring it pancake day and if only we could just locate the Anglican Church we could enjoy them! We were having no luck so I bought a take-away coffee on the way back to the car when I stumbled across this little canteen window in the main street where the smell of pancakes filled the air - the venue wasn't anything like we were looking for.
I called out to Greg and the kids across the road but wasn't able to get their attention as they walked into a French Bakery to compensate. Once out and now seeing me, I diverted them back across the road, they were laden with a bag of treats. Not wanting to miss out on their all time favourite dish and on making a contribution to a worthy cause, they made room for the $2 pancakes also...
The whole day was going to be about food, I could feel it and see it. It wasn't just the many farms that were selling their produce at road-side stalls, I also knew of a few cafes and eateries yet to come on this route that were specifically gluten free and I was keen to try them out. The B.N would have a second heart attack once we tallied our expenditure at the end of this day!
About 45mins later we left the pub to find the pool and enjoyed a quick swim before hitting the road to Balingup and the Bronze Café a gluten free food mecca! I sat outside on an idyllic table setting amongst a garden and forced a second or was it third coffee with a chocolate mud fudge cake something smothered in raspberries and cream, totally over the top stuff! I bought worcestshire sauce and a spicy savoury pancake that would keep a while in the Engel for an emergency dinner. Don't ask me how much I paid because all that mattered was I had a real dessert and it was sensational!!
Next town on the highway was Donnybrook, it was close to 5pm but an ideal summer night that was not going to get cold or dark soon to force us indoors. The playground here was hands down the best I have come across, the kids eyes it up like I'd not seen in a long time, they did not know where to start! Greg and I found a power point at the BBQ area and took the opportunity to power up the computer and mobiles. We played here for some time and knew that our overnight stop just outside Collie about 50km from Donnybrook wasn't too far away. We only needed a small amount of time before sleeping to set up and have scraps for dinner after the day we had had...