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Published: April 27th 2014
This a mile long
Thursday 24th April - had stopped for the night in a rest area at Tunney so up and away early to Busselton. The sun was shining so we headed for the beachfront, parked up, and had a coffee in Goose a very nice beachside cafe before embarking on the 1 mile long jetty. Before setting off noticed some activity just off the beach and it was a large pod of dolphins so hung around and took some photos. The jetty is amazing, has been refurbished and repaired since a fire in 1998 destroyed a 50 metre section. Lots of fishermen along the jetty, the water is incredibly clear and we could see a eagle ray, loads of smaller fish which Clive and Aidy could identify for us plus a couple of larger ones. On our way back down the jetty had a call on my mobile from Em and the girls - it was lovely to speak to them before they went off to school. Bit peckish when we got back so back into the Goose for a glass of wine and some lunch! Back in the van and meandered down the coast to Dunsborough and along the Caves Road towards
Margaret River. We decided to stay at Sue's Bridge tonight, a lovely Department of Conservation camping area down next to the Blackwood River, however as always in Australia everywhere is a fair distance away so we got on the road as dusk falls around 5.15pm and the light fades quickly. We saw loads of kangaroos in the adjoining fields so were kept on red alert in case they should hop across the road - thankfully arrived at Sue's Bridge without any mishaps.
Friday 25th (Anzac Day) - leisurely start with a walk along the banks of the Blackwood River next to Sue's Bridge - don't know the history of the bridge but it's a lovely lattice work of huge timbers. Saw the camp warden and reserved our pitch for tonight then left for the town of Margaret River once again on deserted roads - hard to believe this is a public holiday. Got to the town just before the Anzac Day Parade was due to start. A little bit like our own Remembrance Day, the main road was closed off and all the organisations were gathered on the town green including representatives of the Australian Light Horse
Anzac Day at Margaret River
Australian Light Horse Brigade
Brigade. At the appointed hour everyone lined up behind the town band and the RSL flag (Aussie British Legion) including lots of children wearing their grandparents medals. There is a terrific pride in the contribution that the Australian and New Zealand armed forces made in two World Wars and more recently Vietnam.
Left the town and started our tour of the Margaret River wineries of which there are over 100! These range from tiny little vineyards of a few acres to huge international concerns of many hundreds of acres. We opted for the smaller variety and started with the Swooping Magpies vineyard. We had a leisurely lunch in their grounds under the Peppermint Trees, purchased a bottle, which left us with little time to explore many more! With every winery offering gourmet lunches to accompany their wines Cousin Margaret could have her Sunday Lunch treat at a different venue every week for 2 years - but not sure if Stan's pension would last very long! Then headed for Redgate Beach, strolled along the sands and watched the surfers at play. Made our way back to Sue's Bridge in the gathering dusk. A lovely day.
- today we are off to the Balingup Small Farms Field Day - wonderful journey along a quiet road which followed the river and went through some beautiful agricultural hills and valleys although still showing the signs of the drought. Hardly any traffic - only passed by 2 cars along the 41km from Nannup to Balingup - but obviously everyone was there before us as the small town was packed when we arrived! One of the features of the town is the decorated scarecrows everywhere. Parked up and walked along to the show - reminded us so much of a cross between Dorchester Show and Stoborough School Fete!!!!! Arrived just in time to watch the sheep dog demonstration, then wandered around the stalls which ranged from local products and crafts to branded goods together with agricultural implements and livestock. Had lunch in local cafe - sausage rolls (Newlyn's Farmshop size - won't need any dinner tonight!). Chatted to local cattle farmer who also ran a mob of 600 Merinos as a hobby! Booked into a campsite at Bridgetown just a short hop away. Went for a walk along the Blackwood River before having a nice glass of our Swooping Magpies
wine - Cheers!
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