We arrived in Perth late Tuesday 2nd and Geoff was there to take us down to their lovely place in Mandurah. We spent the next couple of days, catching up with Geoff, Trudy and Tegan, doing a few chores, fixing teeth and seeing how much Mandurah had expanded since we were last here.Friday 5th we set off with the intention of reaching Esperance via Margaret River and Bremer Bay. We made MR by lunch time and the first winery to be sampled was the Edwards Estate (no relation of Mary and Geoff's as far as we know). The wine was good and also of interest was the Tiger Moth plane, "Matilda", flown by Brian Edwards in 1990 solo from England to Australia.This was followed by Juniper Estate (very good), Hay Shed (poor service) and Howard park/Mad Fish (OKish) before we retired to the holiday park and a pleasant dinner at Waves in MR. More sampling the following morning at the Colonial Brewing Company (good beers) and Pandiri Estate Winery and lunch before we set off for Bremer Bay. The dirve east took us through Nannup, Bridgetown (just missed their blues festival), Boyup Brook and Kojinup, all of which were small places with little between them apart from bushland. Fuel levels were getting low so we were relieved to find a fuel station, which was open, at Gnowangerup, after which we pressed on , dodging roos, to Bremer Bay Beaches Resort by 8.30pm, just too late for a pizza. Great holiday park a short walk from a beautiful deserted beach which was explored the following morning. We decided Esperance/Kalgoorlie was too much driving so explored other equally deserted beaches and the Fitztgerald River NP and stayed another night before heading west on the South Coast Hwy through Albany to Pemberton. We stayed 2 nights at the Warren River Resort in the middle of the karri forrest, where the air is much cooler, so we had the unexpected pleasure of evenings with the wood burner going while we fed possums on the verandah! We returned to Mandurah on the 10th, via Dunsborough and Busselton where we walked the 2km pier.
J&J went up to Perth on the 11th where they will be until mid Jan, when they go to Bali for a couple of weeks. C&M are still here in Mandurah, where it's 35C at the moment and Geoff is getting the Barbie ready, until Wednesday when we fly back to the cold and wet UK. So this is the last blog entry - we hope you have enjoyed following our trip half as much as we have enjoyed doing it.