Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Ocean Blue

As we planned our WA itinerary, all the websites hosted photos of its glorious aqua blue seas and pristine white sandy beaches.  The question was "Are they really as beautiful as the websites suggest?"

We quickly discovered that the answer was "Yes". Given that it was winter, with its associated weather conditions, of at times, gale force winds, I was well aware that we weren't seeing the sea at her best but her colours and moods had me mesmerised.

On arrival in Esperance, we headed for the scenic lookout and headland walk.  

Then followed the coastal drive along Twilight Beach Road with many pull overs to view the mighty Southern Ocean. We stopped at one small cove for quite some time, as I marvelled at the constance of the size and regularity of the breakers rolling in, in an endless queue. They were monsters, but they didn't sound angry!

As we continued on, the light began to fade, softening the sun's rays until she dramatically sank in the west.

The following day we drove east to Cape Le Grande National Park. A long hike was planned following the coast line, but alas the promised well mark trail disappeared and we had to make do with 2 shorter walks. The pristine white sand and aqua sea were again the highlight for me.

It was an extremely blustery day and the spray of the waves was being blown well behind.

A shame these bays are too cold to swim in in winter, as they look so inviting, however I can't even begin to image how hot the sand must be to cross to the water in the heat of summer.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Historical York

One of the highlights of our Western Australian holiday was finally catching up with Frank's English mate Pete, who lives in the wonderful, historical country town of York, just 100 k's east of Perth. It is a heritage listed town. It was 1st settled by pastoralists and sandalwood cutters in the 1830's and quickly grew in the 1880's, when gold was discovered further east at Kalgoorlie.


 Being winter, with a mediterranean climate, the Avon River was in full spat. It was most enjoyable hiking along its shores, wildflower spotting.

Staying with Pete and Jenny was especially enjoyable for me with my country background.

Foggy start to a beautiful day.

Animals to feed.

 Katie, the pet kangaroo.

Eggs to collect.

Wood to chop.

 and a very warm house to return to!

There was much laughter as the men reminisced about their youthful days.

Time was spent exploring the town, its coffee shops, museums and viewing the well preserved historical buildings. 

 Post office clock

Once the hospital, now a private residence.

 Catholic church

 Beautiful pubs.

Most of SW Western Australia survives on it's wheat and sheep farming.

We enjoyed pleasant drives through the surrounding countryside with
panoramic views of lush green wheat and golden canola fields, gently rolling to the horizon,
streams to explore and other streams to wonder just how long the water will stay in them.

  I was amazed at the proliferation of Grass Trees in WA. To find them growing on pasture land, was most surprising. 

Meeting Pete and Jenny's creative friends was an experience not to be missed.
Penny and Kim grow olives organically on their property, which is dotted with discarded pianos. This one even managed a discordant melody. 

They designed and built their home using local rock and a variety of disused materials.   Kim is lifting the lid on his BBQue.

Another friend could quite easily be the guest on Grand Designs Australia with the home he is creating just outside York.

 Lee is a friend, who has collected an eclectic range of Australian memorabilia. I spent a special hour walking through his garden discovering so many elements from my childhood. The TV program 'Australia's Best Backyard' presented from here several years ago. Over a 'cuppa', he mesmerised us with  endless yarns of his fascinating life. Quite 'The Larikin'!

n Inside 'The Saltbush Shack'

I loved the quaint cottages of York.

1850 Pensioner cottage

 Bears in the trees?!!!

Finally, this photo of emerging wisteria blossom, captures the peace and tranquility of our stay in York.

By now it was mid September and winter temperatures were reluctant to let go, but spring was determined to show her beauty. By December, summer will have dramatically turned the green vista's to brown and the heat will constantly be hovering around 40 C. Early spring is definitely the time to visit!

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