Monday, February 2, 2009



We are on the road by 9:30AM heading west on the coast highway. We go back to the Cheese Factory outside of Denmark for a resupply of cheese and fudge! Our first new stop is for the "Tree Top Walk" in the Valley of the Giants near Walpole. A metal walkway is suspended in the giant Karri and Tingle trees. As the sign says, "The walk is suitable for wheelchairs as long as you don’t mind a bit of bounce and sway."
Well, it does bounce and sway as you walk from one platform to another while climbing ever higher into the forest canopy. The tallest platform is 40m tall and you get quite a view up into the tree tops above you as well as down to the forest floor. The total walk is 600m and well worth the all day pass of $8AU each for the experience.
We continue on driving west through Northcliffe, where we have a picnic in the city park, and Pemberton. The land is rolling and mostly covered with dense forest. We wonder at the obvious signs of fire in several places, but know that there are frequent controlled burns to clear forest litter and underbrush so as to prevent a major fire. This area has not had a major forest fire since the 1950s.

After nearly 400km through this forest area with very little else of interest, we arrive at Augusta and Cape Leeuwin and its lighthouse that mark the most extreme southwestern point of Australia as well as the convergence of the Indian and Great Southern Oceans. We purchase admission tickets for $4AU each and walk out to the lighthouse and a point to view the crashing surf, beautiful blue-green water and to fight the ever present flies. We are gong to suggest to Obama that the US make a goodwill gift to Australia of several million pounds of insecticide. Surely something can be done to rid the country of this scourge. Before heading North to our home for the next two days, we stop at the beach at Flinders Bay which is another beautiful swimming beach. The sun is out in force and lots of families are enjoying the starts soon!
We arrive at Wildwood Cottages south of Yallingup at 6:00PM and wait for a few minutes for the owner while we have a glass of white wine from the Evans & Tate winery. We are soon escorted to "Honeybee Cottage", our home for the next two nights. The cottage is a small, two room affair with two covered porches. The main room contains a king size bed, couch, TV with DVD and very efficient kitchen including a refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher. Any cooking, other than microwave style, is to be done on the gas grill on the front covered porch. You know, "throw another shrimp on the barbie." It is another perfect place!
We pour a glass of wine and break out some cheese and enjoy the view out over the valley below us. As the sun sinks in the west and the shadows crawl up the hill toward us, we finally see our first Kangaroos in the wild. A group of, at least, a dozen appear on a hillside to our left and, while not close, we get a good look at them as they graze. We also are treated to some close ups of a few of the many interesting and different Australian birds.Neither of us is interested in going out to dinner so we make supper out of the ample breakfast food provided for our enjoyment and start to watch "The Perfect Storm" but call it a day half way into the movie.

No comments: