A Joey cantering in the backyard of the place we stayed in was a bizarre start to the day, but not an unwelcome one. In contrast to my excitement, Dirk and Pam, our hosts for the 4 days we were there, were nonchalant about their bush surroundings and immediately began a treatise of the wildlife that one could get. Staying at the edge of the forest meant that they had to be confidently self-sufficient. Our breakfast was already made from their own farm produce and as the days passed, TC and I were increasingly convinced that they had their own waste disposal and water storage/filtration systems after going through an immense amount of difficulty trying to throw a small bag of garbage.
Dirk’s property in Loaring Place off Caves Road is impressive and incredibly expensive; we speculated every single day during breakfast on the extent of renovations he had to do, and whether he did so himself.
Such was the contrast between all the sights that I was used to, and the sheer amount of effort needed to live in the “wild”. It was however, also these contrasts that took me me a while to gather my thoughts to put everything down in writing because, in the dizzying array of things we did, there never seemed to be any appropriate sort of thematic anchor for the next few blog posts. Writing bite-sized pieces about scenery, food, cheese and wine just did not seem to do the entire, overwhelming experience any justice. Writing chronologically might just add to the confusion; a rambling, highly idiotic and unfocused post would have probably been the best my overloaded senses could manage. Writing in retrospect thus, seemed ironically like the best way forward, now that the entire holiday is over.
Armed thus with a bagful of Redrock chips and biscuits and dragging our increasingly heavy bags to the car, I remember that it did distinctly started out as an unremarkable 1-2 hr drive from Fremantle down the freeway.
Distances are unfathomable in the largest Australian state, and we were merely having a small taste of it. To the Perth-ites, Margaret River is just a short drive away.
“Just don’t fall asleep on the wheel,” warned David Cooke of Fothergills had warned rather gaily after all.
The Kwinana Fwy – Perth-Bunbury Hwy route was tried, tested and spoken for by those going down south, but we still quite stupidly took an old coast road (with no scenery) that took us probably twice as long. The fun bits comprised overtaking slow cars, snorting at TC’s erratic driving, looking at the strange road signs exclusive to Australia and speeding down the small country roads (legally) at 120 km/hr – a novelty for me at least.
Lunch at Busselton and its famous pier (the longest in the southern hemisphere at least) and we were off once more, the drive becoming infinitely more interesting as the car approached the South-western stretch of coast line, also known as the Leeuwin-Naturaliste’s 135 km track of cliffs, beaches and roaring surf, flanked on both sides by the Naturaliste Lighthouse and the Leeuwin Lighthouse.
It is quite astonishing how uplifting spectacular coastlines can be, especially after Cape Naturaliste and Yallingup. There were no migrating whales to ogle at, but I was contented with the sea and its hypnotic hum.