Saturday, December 21/13 we Left Margaret River via hwy 10 and made our way via Pemberton to Manjimup. We stopped in Pemberton and got information about walks in the area. Then we decided we needed a coffee and snack. The lady in the tourist information office referred us to Holy Smoke, a wood gallery & cafe.
Before we set down, we browsed the gallery. They had beautiful wood dining tables as well smaller items: bowls, cutting boards, and wood sculptures. In the end, after some back and forth regarding New Zealand import rules, we decided to buy “Gertie”, a wooden sculpture, about 30 cm high, of a bird “with attitude”. Gertie–the name given by the artists, seems to suit her perfectly. Gertie is currently stored in a box, safely wrapped in bubble wrap. We didn’t take a picture of her before we wrapped her up, but we will try to include one later in the blog.
After lunch we did a walk at around a small lake. It felt good to stretch the legs. Later on we stopped at the Gloucester Tree, which you can climb. It has steel pegs to climb and a fire lookout at the top. It isn’t used as a lookout anyore, but is open to the public to climb; I decided to give it a go. There is metal netting around it the peg stairs, so I felt comfortable enough doing it. Roy stayed on the ground. It was fun climbing the tree and the view from the top was lovely. A different way to see the forest.
We arrived at our campground in Manjimup later in the afternoon, set up camp and relaxed. Being Saturday, the stores closed early, except the supermarket, so there really wasn’t much else to do. I got groceries, then headed back to camp. It was a quiet, pleasant spot and made for a comfortable visit.
Today, Sunday, December 22, we are on the road again, this time to Peaceful Bay on the south coast. More forest, and today a forest canopy walk in a grove of huge tingle trees on a walkway that climbs 40 m above ground at its highest point.
Tomorrow we continue east to Albany on the coast. We will be there for four nights and use it as a base before heading back to Perth on Friday.
It feels odd to be doing this part of the trip by car and visiting roadside tourist attractions; usually we walk or cycle or take the train, but Western Australia is a big place and driving is practical. We’ve kept the driving distances short, only 1000 km total so far, leaving time to walk beaches, towns and forest. It is a beautiful place.
We still have the same slow internet connections, so pictures will follow later.