Monday, April 1, 2013

A lot.

It's been a fair bit of time since I've updated the old blog. We're now into April, which for Minnesotans means spring. But for us in Perth it means a lot of wind, some rain and chilly evenings. We went to Margaret River a few weeks ago for a long weekend. It's about a three hour drive South from Fremantle. It's a very small town with absolutely beautiful surroundings. 

On the drive down we stopped first in Bussleton to see one of the oldest & longest Jetty's (Piers) getting around. It was $2 per adult to walk the jetty, or $11 to take a ride on a mini-train. 
We skipped the train & decided to walk on our own time.

I didn't take this photo. But it gives you an idea of just how long the jetty is.

We arrived at about 11am. It was warm, but still a bit overcast. We walked about half the length of the jetty. We saw a small pod of dolphins to the left only after walking for a few minutes. It was a brilliant way to start our holiday. By the time we got back on the road the clouds broke. 

This is part of the original jetty.

We got back on the road after some walking around & a quick bite to eat. We stopped next in Dunsborough or Cape Naturaliste. We went for a short walk towards a wale watching deck. But the weather was so hot we decided to skip the long walk with a small chance of actually seeing a wale. 

We snapped a few photos along the walk. Mr. F was so hot he had to dis-robe on the walk back to the car. We hopped back on the road for only about ten minutes and saw a sign for Bunker Bay. We decided to stop off and check it out.

Stopping off was the right choice! This was the view we saw as we were driving down the hill to the car park. We put on our swim suits in the car & all but ran into the crystal clear water. This was the first of many beautiful beaches we stopped at down South. We stayed here for about an hour or two then hopped back in the car for the last leg of the drive. 

Once we got to the chalet we were staying in we quickly changed and headed out to catch the sunset at Prevelly. This is where one of the huge surfing competitions is held. They were setting up the surfers club house when we were there for the competition the following week. While there we saw probably ten or so surfers just waiting for the right wave. 

                             We had a beer each and headed down the road to chase the sunset.

The next beach was just down the road. There were smaller waves, and a wedding happening here. The sun wasn't quite down when we left. We hopped in the car again and headed to one more beach.

This was the last stop of day one. To the left is the Indian Ocean and to the right is the river mouth of the Margaret River.

We knew the next day we'd have beautiful weather with this pink sky at sunset. My Dad taught me that at a young age. "Red at night, sailors delight. Red in morning, sailors mourning." Yes, Dad I do listen to some things you say! After our numerous sunset viewings we drove back into Margaret River. After driving all day we were pretty hungry. We thought we'd go out for pizza. BAD IDEA! There was one pizza joint in town. We went to the location that was listed on a pamphlet. When we arrived we found an empty building with tables and chairs. We found a sign on the door that it had been moved. We went to the new location. To find it went from a dine in restaurant to a take away place. We should have realized then that the pizza might be lacking if they had to downsize. Long story long the pizza was really gross. I was so hungry I ate every piece. But I don't think I enjoyed it at all. 

The following day we woke up and headed out to a cave tour. There are a number of caves all along what other than Caves Road. We chose Lake Cave. This is one of the only caves in the world with a lake inside. I believe we paid $15 or so per adult. We descended down 300 stairs into the cave. The tour guide was lovely. She seemed genuinely excited about what she was doing. The size of the cave wasn't all that big. But it wasn't small either. All up from start to finish the tour probably took about an hour. We got a short history lesson about the discovery of the cave back in the 1800's. I would definitely recommend touring this or one of the other caves in the area.

We've got the golden tickets.

Just about to start the stairs.

More stairs into the actual cave. To my right is "Titanic Rock".

This sign was legit. The rocks hang quite low during the decent down about 10 stairs into the cave. You can feel the temperature change as you leave outside into the cave.

Inside the cave. Our camera didn't quite capture the raw beauty of it all. But you get the point!

The view up from exiting the cave.

Another view of "Titanic Rock". I was a fan.

Mr. F. next to an 800 year old tree. This tree is how they've determined when the cave collapsed. To the left is part of the original cave. They take the age of the tree that would not have grown inside the cave, and determine that it must have collapsed roughly 700 years ago.

Another view of the original outside bit of the cave.

After the cave we couldn't decide what to do. So while driving aimlessly we saw another sign for a beach. The weather was certainly warm enough & we had our swimmers in the car, so to the beach we went. 

This was the view as we continued to follow the windy road towards the beach.

I was getting nail bittingly more excited the closer we got.

This is easily the prettiest beach I've been to in my 26 years.

Paul was catching some waves while I caught some rays.

He's the king of the world...kind of.

After about an hour at the beach we thought it was probably time to be "productive". We went home, changed, and headed toward the wineries. We stopped first at Cheeky Monkey. It was very family friendly. They had a great fenced in playground for the young kids & older kids were just running around near the vines. They had great outdoor seating both in the sun and under cover. 
We had a beer sampler to share & I had a cider to myself.

Our beer sampler. Can't lie I wasn't really a fan of any of the beers. 
However, the cider was perfect!

After Cheeky Monkey we made a quick stop for a beer at another brewery. Then we found Gracetown. Paul said he's heard of it for a while & never been there. It was a tiny town with one restaurant, general store, and a whole bunch of holiday homes. We stopped off for a few photos and another breathtaking view. 

On the drive back into town we stopped off to check out the river. 
It's nothing like the Mississippi. It's quite small, and still. 
But it is quite pretty & calming.

We drove back on Monday. This was the one day we didn't have perfect weather. 
We started the morning with a fancy coffee. Then it was out to a berry farm/winery. 
We tasted some yummy jams, and  picked up a delicious bottle of wine. We had about a glass each for three nights (we tried to make it last). The wine was only $15, but the taste was divine. Next time we might have to pick up more than just one bottle.

Our last stop on the way home was to use the bathroom. Lucky us that the public bathroom we found was at a beautiful beach. It was an absolutely perfect weekend away. That boyfriend of mine sure does know how to impress a girl. We were quite lucky to be able to do whatever our little hearts desired while away. If we wanted to go for a swim, swim we did. If we wanted to grab a bite, eat we did. The weather lent itself to taking full advantage of the beaches and the like. I'm really looking forward to having friends and family over, so we can take them down there. There seems to be something for all ages and sizes of people.

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