Country drives, and flat whites

Trip Start Jan 22, 2011
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12
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Trip End Feb 24, 2011


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Where I stayed
Brilea cotteges, Karridale

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Friday, February 4, 2011

Typical! It was overcast and spitting with rain when I ventured out onto the balcony at 6:10. I took a small walk around the property but couldn't find any kangaroos, so I returned back and made a cuppa then sat down and did some reading. I enjoyed sitting there alone listening to the sounds and admiring the surroundings. Suk joined me at 7 and soon after we started to pack. We really didn't want to leave!

Breakfast was at 8 and was fabulous as usual. Jim really does do a tremendous fry up! I told Suk to savor it as this would be our last until our next holiday! During breakfast we sadly heard that Jim was going to give up the B&B in two years and move closer to Perth to be with family. Shame! It really is a peaceful place.

Jim had kindly drawn us a map of the best route to Augusta and more importantly highlighted where to stop along the way. The Belgian couple were also heading in the same direction so we joked about bumping into each other again along the way. We sadly said our goodbyes and farewells and once again hit the road. This really is a road trip, and a great one at that.

We weren't on the road for long (5 minutes) before our first stop which was at the famous" Gloucester Tree". Yep, I wasn’t finished with the tree conquering yet. This one, however, is not as high as the other one, but had to be done nonetheless. In the end I was a bit disappointed, the views weren't half as good, and it was spitting with rain. I wouldn’t say it was any easier than the Bicentennial tree, it was just that I was now familiar with what to expect, which took a lot of the fear out of the climb. Suk again sat at the bottom chatting to others about how I did the taller one yesterday!

Delighted that I had bagged my second climbing tree, we slowly and begrudgingly started the long walk back to the car, which was about 15 minutes away. I had refused to pay the 11 dollars entrance fee to park next to the tree just for ten minutes and then to leave, so we had to park over a kilometer away. Wish I would have paid the fee now.

We got back to the car just as it started to rain, lucky hey. We said our final goodbyes to Pemberton and sped off towards Bridgetown. On the way we passed the Diamond tree, but I had had enough by now, and wanted to get some Km’s under our belts, so we continued on.

Bridgetown is another small timber town about 40 km away. It didn’t take long to get there, and thankfully we arrived to glorious sunshine! Nice! I love arriving at these tiny towns. This one was particularly cute! Suk's words! We wandered around the main street admiring some of the heritage buildings, having a look here and there. We popped into the visitors centre and were lucky enough to get a free coffee voucher for one of the cafes in town. Great, but it took about 15 minutes to find the place.

It was worth it though as this café was lovely. A 107 year old house circled by a tranquil garden with lots of quiet shady tables and chairs. Arh bliss we found one under a small tree and ordered some coffees and a slice of carrot cake (can’t get that in Korea!). It was so peaceful sitting there watching the birds and enjoying the flowers, oh and the sun! We stayed a bit too long though, then as we left town we took the wrong road out. Not to worry we were soon back on track.

We continued north to Balingup where we wanted to have a look at the cheese factory. Unfortunately we couldn't find it so gave up and marched on. Now this was the start of the really scenic part of the drive. The Balingup to Nanup road is roughly 45 km of slow winding roads through wonderful countryside. We had left the forest areas and were now following the Blackwood River taking it nice and slow, windows down and sunglasses on! Lovely! We were rewarded with sweeping views over the valley, rolling hills dotted with farm houses and cottages. This really does remind me of England at times, but of course on a bigger scale.

About an hour later we pulled into the Blackwood cafe in Nanup where we once again bumped into the Belgian couple. They were sat outside on a table enjoying a coffee and the lovely sun. We soon joined them for a delicious lunch where we ordered the chicken rolls, and were blown away at the size of them when they arrived. One would have been enough for the two of us.

We said goodbye AGAIN! And hit the highway. It was now a straight drive to Augusta (the most south westerly point in Australia) where we had a night stay before leaving for Perth. The highway was good, and of course empty, so we made good time getting there by 4pm. Funnily, we nearly passed our accommodation altogether, as we had programmed in Augusta and not Karridale, which is where we were actually staying. I was surprisingly very impressed with our place. It was a big room boasting pleasant views over the adjacent farm fields. Nice! Shame we only had a night here. We said hi to the owner and of course I had to play with the dog for a while. Suk unpacked, and before we knew it we were off again! All go hey!

Augusta is famous for its lighthouse which is actually the tallest in Australia. Also it is where the Indian and Pacific oceans meet! We popped into the visitors centre and surprisingly AGAIN we bumped into the Belgian couple! We thought they were heading to Margaret River, but they decided to pop down and see the lighthouse first. We laughed! Unfortunately, we were too late to go up the lighthouse, so we had a walk around it and took in he views. We didn't stay for long as it was incredibly windy and getting cloudy again. Poor suk nearly got blown over! A few more fry ups and she would have been fine!

We pondered about what to have for dinner and thought we'd be cheap and hit the supermarket, so we bought a fully cooked BBQ chicken, some spinach and a few tomatoes. Topped with a bottle of white wine we bought in Albany. Should be good. And it was! As it was still early, about 6:15 I think, I thought it would be nice to go down to the beach to see if we'd have a sunset or not. The beach was about 15minutes away and the drive out there was nice. We spotted lots of kangaroos. I think I’m getting good at this kangaroo spotting lark! Suk is getting good too!

Hamelin Bay was marvelous and with the clouds and grey sky we got a very surreal sunset! Not spectacular, but kind of calming nonetheless as there was no wind at all here. We even saw sting rays again. Awesome! I got some good photos again and we had a lovely walk! The pillars by the ramp looked particularly stunning in the dying light.

Phew! A full on day. Highlights being the scenic drive from Balingup to Nanup and Hamelin Bay! Tomorrow is going to be an even longer day! We are having a fabulous time, but are well and truly shattered. Need a holiday!

Last day to follow soon.
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