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Published: November 18th 2007
There are loads of pics - make sure you see them all! Mouton - there is also a pic of a snake, just to pre warn you.
Day 229 (10.11.07)
After a visit to the bakery we had breakfast at the hostel before packing and leaving. We were destined for Walpole and Albany.
On the way we stopped at some stunning views before taking a detour to the giant Tingle Tree which had been burnt and hollowed but that still survived as it's living cells were very close to the bark of the tree. When we got there it was amazing to see how big it actually was. You could have parked a van inside it, it was massive!
Continuing on our drive we took another couple of scenic drive routes before stopping at the Tree Top Walkway in the Valley of the Giants just outside Walpole. As we settled to have some lunch, someone who had come out said there was a brown snake - as this was on of Sabine's wishes and with Mark's new found bravery when faced with snakes, Mark and Sabine went to have a look. He was only a juvenile but
scary enough that when he suddenly moved it scared Mark half to death!
After lunch we went into the Tree Top Walk. This is a metal walkway that leads you 40m up into the tree canopy. It was great to get a view of the canopy, especially for the girls who had not seen the view from the top of the Bicentennial tree. The walkway snaked through the canopy of the forest and is designed to sway with the wind as its neighbouring trees do. It was really cool.
After this we then went on the Giants walk, this takes you through the forest to see more hollowed out trees that have survived forest fires, insect attacks etc. and are still standing tall and hollow. As Chrissie was wearing all black we tried to hide her in one of the trees - can you see her?
After the walk we were ready to see some different scenery and were still in search of the perfect beach, so we stopped off for a swim at Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool bay. This was stunning, the water was crystal clear, the rocks beautiful and the sand white and clean.
We decided we had to have a swim at the perfect beach - brrrrr, it would have been perfect if the water was a couple of degrees warmer! After our swim we walked around to see the Elephant rocks shaped like elephants, cunningly named I think you'll agree, before jumping back in the car and the final part of the trip down to Albany.
Stopping off to get some dinner, just making it before the shops closed, we got a joint food shop for the coming days dinners and lunches before having another nice relaxing evening with some wine (finishing the Goon) and chatting.
Day 230 (11.11.07)
With another early start we had planned to visit two areas, the peninsular to the west and the Sterling Ranges to the north.
Driving around the coast we were able to drive to the summit of a great lookout where you could get a 360 degree view of the area. After taking in the view and getting buffeted by the wind, we got back in the car and visited Jimmy Newhill's harbour, a stunning little bay.
Next we were off to see if the blow holes in the
cliffs just down the coast were working (there has to be large swells for them to blow). Unfortunately the swell was not quite big enough, however on a couple of occasions it did make a loud enough noise to make us all jump. It was a beautiful coastal spot and we had a short walk around taking in the views.
A bit further around the coast we stopped at the natural bridge and gap. Taking us right back to our geography days of coastal anomalies both the natural bridge and the power of the water coming into the gap were impressive.
Having had a comprehensive tour of the peninsular coastal features we went on the car on the 100km drive to the Sterling ranges. It was amazing to see the hills rising from the flat fields as you got closer.
After a bit of a detour, we managed to get a map of the area and set off on the scenic drive across the mountains. It was beautiful everywhere you looked, so when we got to a short walk to one of the peaks in the area we stopped to stretch our legs. Unfortunately along with the
stunning scenery we also had to deal with the hundreds of flies. After swatting them away with our makeshift grass fly swatters Mark managed to fashion a rather fetching fly hat!
Back in the car to try and get away from the flies we braved the outdoors again for lunch - still annoying but not as bad - with Chrissie and Sabine doing a lovely dance to deter them from landing on them!
Continuing on the drive we had a near miss by a huge eagle carrying a wallabie in its claws flying just in front of the car, an incredible sight. We finished with a stop at a salt lake before starting the journey back towards Albany. On the way back we turned off at the Porongurup ranges where we stopped at a local winery to taste some of their wine and where we ended up buying one for dinner.
After the wine stop we found yet another scenic drive (we are all quite big fans of them). It was great until we got to a T junction and didn't know which way to go. As we are all educated adults we did the only sensible
thing - we flipped a coin! After another kilometer we found ourselves with the same dilemma once again the coin decided which way we were going - and after asking a local where we were going it turned out that we were going the right way! A lucky coin indeed!
Back into Albany we stopped to get another Goon before having some time to relax at the hostel.
So far we have not seen many Kangaroos on our travels and most of those we have seen have been far away or dead on the road, so when talking to the firencly hostel owner at reception Mark found a spot where we were guaranteed to see some - the local Golf Course. So before dinner we once again bundled ourselves in the car and drove the couple of km to the golf club. Walking out onto the course there were 40 or more Kangaroos all happily hopping around lots of them with Joey's in their pouches. This was so exciting to see!
We spent a little while watching them and going for a bit of a walk around the course. A perfect way to finish off the day.
Back to hostel for a BBQ and far too much Goon before falling into bed!
Day 231 (12.11.07)
After packing everything up again we were on the road to Two Peoples Bay and two beaches we had been told that would be hard to beat - Waterfall beach and Little beach.
When we arrived we had to agree, it was stunning. White sandy beaches where the sand was so fine it squeaked when you walked on it and gorgeous clear turquoise water. Getting settled on the beach we all went for a swim in the surf and took some time just to relax and take in the view on the rocks to the side of the beach.
Back in the car and we had a 500(ish)km drive to Esperance. It was a nice enough drive but the scenery was pretty much the same for the whole journey.
When we arrived Mark went for a bit of a walk along the pier and found one of the locals - Sammy the Sealion. Some of the locals came down to the pier in the early evening to give him some fish and one person was kind
enough to let Mark throw Sammy some of his dinner.
Back at the hostel we had some dinner before bumping into an Auzzie fella, called Michael, who we had met in a hostel in Tokyo at the start of our trip. After catching up and swapping travelling stories we had another evening with the 'Goon' before bed.
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