Bush Walks and Vine Talks

Sunday was Prescott’s birthday! We started the day off with an amazing breakfast at Drift in Margaret River, where Prescott ordered poached eggs and I had muesli with fruit and yoghurt:IMG_4019

I love that my pot of English breakfast tea came with its own knitted cozy. Margaret River has lots of funny little things like that. This crochet-covered post by the side of the road is another good example:IMG_4018

We poked around the cute shops in town for a little while and decided that Margaret River is a place we’d like to come back to. There’s plenty to do, especially outdoors; the food is good; the people seem down to earth and own a lot of dogs. We appreciated all of that. Also, cool birds appear every time you turn around (these are magpies and some kind of a cockatoo right across from our driveway):

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While Prescott had a birthday morning rest, I went for a short walk along the Margaret River (to the east rather than to the west this time).

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I stopped to see all of the flowers, of course:

I also really love these plants, which I’m guessing are in the xanthorrhoea family (but I’m happy to be corrected on that conjecture):

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This part of the trail followed the river pretty closely.

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I stayed on the path most of the time …

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…but I also decided to cut up a hill through the brush to see what the world looked like from a little higher up.

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Only when I was partway back from my side journey did I stop to wonder what kinds of nasty creepy-crawlies might live in the underbrush. By then it was a little too late to do much worrying, but it was good to remember that Australia is better known than most countries for its dangerous critters.

This area is prone to brush fires in the summer, and many of the plants bear fire scars:

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After we said goodbye to our lovely Airbnb, Prescott and I hopped in the car and paid a visit to Cowaramup. This town was named after a species of lorikeet, but about eight years ago, someone decided that the town really needed a bunch of cows. So now there are cows all over the place …

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… including this rather elaborate gold cow that’s about two stories high:

IMG_4051Prescott and I enjoyed the playground in the park:

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We also drove a bit off the beaten path to Miller’s (a Cowaramup institution) to get homemade ice cream:

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This farmstand ice cream place came complete with a playground, a milking barn (closed while we were there), and a little bush walk:

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There is a lot of farmland in this part of Australia …

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… complete with real cows!

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We next drove to Clairault winery for a wine tasting (these are free in the Margaret River area, which was a nice surprise). Prescott loved their cane cut riesling — it’s a shame that getting alcohol back to Singapore is so complicated. Our next stop was Hay Shed Hill, another winery:IMG_4071

We had chosen this location based on a recommendation from a friend, who said that their six-course tapas menu with wine pairings was a must-try:

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Here’s our salmon course …

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… and our cheese plate:

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It was delicious! We spent nearly three hours out on the porch eating and sipping wine and just taking it easy. And when the sun came out, our views out over the grape vines were spectacular.

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The drive back to the Perth airport took three hours. We broke up the trip with a stop at Dunsborough Beach, which is an endless expanse of sand and water.

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Prescott had fun with my photo session …

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… and I enjoyed collecting shells and looking out at the sunset:

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