Sunday, 12th March

I cannot believe we have only just reached the halfway mark on our two month visit Australia – we seem to have done so much!

The day promised a mix of weather – not what we are used to! There was rain threatening for the afternoon together with a temperature of 30 degrees. In these circumstances we decided to set out for a walk early.  We had checked the proposed walk with the information office on Saturday, but had been told the path was blocked.  We decided to attempt it and see how far we could get.  The route we wanted to do was the 10 mile Brook Dam Walk. 

We arrived at Rotary Park, to the accompaniment of hymns being transmitted through a loudspeaker system …. it was definitely Sunday and the Rotary Club was definitely drawing it to our attention.   

We took off along the track.  The two trees overhead privided us with dappled shade.  Initially we saw a couple of cyclists and a few other walkers. Very soon there was just the three of us.  The path followed the course of the Margaret River which at this point is dark and cool with rich vegetation on both banks.  

A very different creature to the river we saw emerging at the ocean yesterday.  

Further along, there were trees knee deep in the water, looking as if they were paddling…

We did indeed find the closed bit of the path, a wide roadway is going to run right across the bush about 4 k along the trail.  However, there was a footpath around the digging close to where it reaches the River.  The developers are not going have it all their own way – they are going to have to build a bridge to get their new road to the other side of the river and in the meantime, we still had a route around the earthworks.  We were surprised that anyone gave planning permission for a roadway across such a beautiful National Park area – which reminded us to ponder on the outcome of yesterday’s election …….

The temporary path wound its way over the woodland, across fallen trees, broken branches and tree roots.  It was not the broad thoroughfare of the original route, but got us around the obstacle.  Eventually we came out onto the broad path again and saw that someone had placed an arrow on the ground telling us where to turn back into the bush on our return journey.  It was a stick and two white kangaroo bones to indicate our way.  Nice. 

Back on the pathBack on the path, we continued on our way.  Just short of the end of the signed pathway we turned off on to an upward track referred to as the Winter Route.  I am not sure why.  It was equally wide but had more ‘up’ in it.  Perhaps that’s what you do in winter in these parts, walk more ‘up’.  Eventually this brought us round back the main path again and our return journey.  Careful to follow the bones, we took the diversion and were soon on the home straight and back to the Rotary Park, now resounding with the excitement of children in the play area nearby. 

As lamb chops had been purchased at the market for supper, we turned little Apollo in the direction of the Red Gate gallery, who we felt had produced the best red wine of our wine tour.  Keith tried it again to confirm our suspicion that it was very good.   A purchase was made and it was home to finish yesterday’s fish off for lunch.  

By now the promised rain had started, so it was a lazy Sunday afternoon for us.  Having first planned our Monday excursion, we all adjourned.  Intermittently we were all distracted by the kangaroos out on the paddock in front of us.   By late afternoon the rain had became more prominent and by early evening a real storm sent lightening across the sky and rolls of thunder echoing around the paddock. 

As darkness fell we had an excellent meal produced by Keith on the various devices available, there being no single stove.  The crickets chirped outside, we consumed the last of the red wine with some Brie purchased on our wine tour and all went off early to bed, happy and replete. 

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