Hello from denmark! Last time we updated this our car was in the garage back in busselton. Thankfully when we went back that afternoon they had fixed the problem and we were good to go. That afternoon we made our way to yallingup via the wicked ale brewery - complete with cheap beer tasting (including chilli beer!) and a round pool table! Yallingup is a surfers' coastal resort, and we arrived on the weekend of a national surf championship so the town was particularly busy. We didnt show ourselves up by attempting to have a surf in front of all the pros, but had some good fun swimming and body surfing in the huge waves that were crashing in. Next morning we found out that a lad down the coast had his leg bitten off by a 5m long great white shark doing the same thing, so we are currently avoiding going in to the sea at all costs! Yallingup itself is quite an upmarket town, and is home to many of the australian cricketers' holiday homes (see photos).
From there we made our way via another brewery and the bussels house (quite interesting) to margaret river, where we spent the afternoon in a pub watching paul collingwood make a fantastic double century (thats the last i'm going to mention about the cricket!). The following day we had ourselves booked on to a full days vineyard tour. We started the day with freshly barbequed steaks and sausages on the banks of the margaret river and a quick crash course in the art of wine tasting. The rest of the day we spent sampling wine at 6 different vineyards, eating cheese samples from the local cheese factory, eating venison samples from the local stag farm, drinking more samples of beer from a local brewery, and eating chocolate samples from the local chocolate factory. All in all it was a pretty tough day - especially as we bought ourselves some venison steaks, some quality smoked cheese and a bottle of red wine; all of which we had for our tea that night!!
After a slow start to the next day (!) we went for 18 holes of supagolf! (we larved it!). What we thought would be simple pitch and putt was actually golf with massive plastic clubs and massive plastic golf balls! If they ever bring it out in england i will be the first one there! We drove from here to hamelin bay pool - a beach where you are supposed to be able to see large stingrays in the shallows. After searching for an hour or so and seeing not even a small fish we made our way to augusta where in the shallows of the estuary beside the campsite we saw a massive stingray! Unbelievable! From the campsite we also saw pelicans and dolphins close in to the shore. Augusta is also close to the most south-westerly point of australia, so we drove out there to the lighthouse on the cape and watched the big waves crash in where the southern and indian oceans collide. In the evening we played cards and got talked at by an elderly german man who was a deutsch version of the drunk old man from the fast show. He must have told us 5 or 6 long winded stories that he found totally hilarious; but we could hardly understand a word!
The next day we dove to pemberton and climbed the gloucester tree - a 61m tree with iron rungs sticking out of it and minimal/no safety netting! After 10 to 15 minutes of trying not to look down we reached the top where the views were expansive. Descending was much easier, the only problem being when you met someone going the other way and you had to pass without knocking the other person out of the tree! Its much safer than it sounds mum, i promise!
That afternoon we drove out to point d'entrecasteaux where we discovered 'salmon beach' - a stunning beach with rugged cliffs and constant massive waves crashing in. Campbell says it is the best beach he has ever been to. It was a spectacular beach - second only to southport in my opinion! Just inland from here we also climbed mount chuddalup - the west coast's ayres rock. That night we camped in the shannon national park forest. Following a succesful kangaroo photo hunt at dusk (when we saw a kangaroo bigger than the 2 of us!) we spent the best part of an hour lighting a fire ( I am slowly warming to fire!). It was a good job we did though, as when it got dark it got properly dark and also very cold. W thought camp fire songs might disturb the peace a bit, so instead we played cards and finished off the beer that we had bought from the wicked ale brewery.
I woke up the next morning stinking of camp fire smoke (shower had some big wasps buzzing around in it and i wasnt going to expose myself to them!) and we got on the road again towards mandalay beach - another spectacular beach, this time with a partially exposed shipwreck just offshore. The rest of the day was fairly tame as we took our time making the pleasant drive on to our next campsite at coalmine beach in wallpole where we spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun.
Today we have made our way to denmark, stopping on the way to see some massive tingle trees including the famous giant tingle. We also walked along the 40m high valley of the giants tree top walk through the tree top canopy - much steadier than the canopy walkway in the malaysian raionforest, but still swaying in the breeze!