Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The 3rd Leg: Western Australia

So we are considering New Zealand, the first leg of our trip, our time with Carolyn and Andrew the second, and then came our time in Western Australia. It was definitely worthwhile and the most adventurous part of our journey! We did some incredible hikes, drove for hours through the middle of nowhere and went snorkeling in the deep sea of the Indian Ocean! I'll get to all that though...

First we flew into Perth and spent a day wandering around the city. We stayed on the beach in Scarborough in a room that overlooked the Indian Ocean. I never thought I would get to say that I've seen the Indian Ocean! It was beautiful, but I have a whole post on Perth prepared to show you in the next couple of days since we came back and spent another night there later. We left there bright and early on Monday morning and set out to go south. Patrick had his eye on the Stirling Ranges and we were hoping to make it to Albany by nightfall.

We arrived at the Stirling Ranges around noon. Literally I think we were the only ones in the entire National Park. I think we may have seen one other car.

Before we even got to the mountains, we had to dodge these crazy emus that ran out into the road. They were hilarious! It was like they ran out, panicked when they saw the cars, and rushed back to the security of the bushes. Emus are very impulsive we learned.
Then we saw our first glimpse of the mountains.
These were different than other mountains we had seen thus far. More similar to our Blue Ridge mountains that we have around here.

And they went on for miles.

We stopped at a few overlooks and even did a hike (although much shorter and simpler than Mt. Olsen Baggee).

We made it to a place in the park called Knoll Bluff (or Bluff Knoll? I can't remember) and the view was breathtaking. We decided to stay and watch the sunset from here.
Because that was another hour or so away, we took a little walk down one of the paths and found another little overlook. We set the timer on the camera and tried to take self portraits.

And made it back just in time to see the sunset over the whole sky.

And that was the night that Patrick hit a baby kangaroo.


Now, he did get up and hop away, but Patrick was a little traumatized. He felt so incredibly bad that he kept insisting that we turn around to make sure it was ok, but I convinced him that we must press on (Does that make me heartless? Sorry!). From then on, though, Patrick proceeded to honk the horn obnoxiously every 10 seconds or so each night at dusk if we were driving (dusk is prime "kangaroos might hop into the road" time). It made him feel at least like he was warning the kangaroo world of his presence and to stay out of the way!

We stayed the night in a little motel in Albany, a beach city with a few National Parks along the coast which had some great beach sights.

We stopped at the famous Albany Blowholes. We were thinking they would actually be holes formed by the rocks, so were surprised that they were huge cracks in the rock that the air came up through. You couldn't really see down in them but you could feel and hear the air!

On the way out of town we stopped at MuzzBuzz Coffee. They had 3 sizes: Small, Large, and RBO. We asked what RBO stood for and the lady nonchalantly replied, "You know, the Really Big One," pointing to a huge cup.
Guess which one we got...

We made a little loop around and starting heading back to Perth. We wanted to spend the night in the Margaret River region, so we enjoyed the drive along the way, stopping and sightseeing when we wanted.

We stopped at a place called Peaceful Bay, which was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH I HAVE EVER SEEN. Like better-than-a-postcard-this-must-be-what-Heaven-is-like-kind-of-beautiful.

We also stopped and did a Tree Top Walk at a place called Valley of the Giants.
We were so high up that it was pretty terrifying. After we got off the walk, Patrick told me that he had formulated a plan in his mind of what to do if the thing actually collapsed and started falling. The plan included grasping the bars in certain ways to hold on and then climbing down it like a laddar, etc. etc. I told him that I had secretly formed my own plan too which included running like mad and clinging onto the platform for dear life until someone could helicopter me out of there.

Maybe we had been in the car too long...

Safely off the Tree Tops and back into our cozy little car on the ground, we proceeded on with our afternoon of driving and sightseeing.
Coalmine Beach. Lovely little hidden spot.

Are you tired of my sunset pictures yet? Do we ever tire of a beautiful sunset?

And we spent the night in Brussleton in the Margaret River Region at the Royal Palms Hotel.
This is actually the upstairs.

The downstairs had a complete kitchen, dining, and lounge area. We got Domino's that night, which has a totally different menu than our Domino's here. Really fresh vegetables, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, etc. It was really yummy. We decided to have a slow morning the next day. We slept in and leisurely got ready and packed the car. Patrick did some schoolwork while I watched their version of the Today show. Great to relax a little before hitting the road back to Perth.

1 comment:

andrew.ewers said...

We received the internet USB....thanks! and so have been enjoying the tour again, and the WA portion as well. You have some great photos of some beautiful places I have never been, but Andrew says he will take me some day! :) Would have loved to have gone there with you! I found a recipe for honey ice cream and made it a few weeks ago and Andrew and Amy assure me it is just as good as Clifford's Honey Farm's... I can send you the recipe, but I am sure that it is the KI honey which is the key ingredient, so you will just have to come again when you move to Warnambool! love, Carolyn