Friday, 16 February 2007

Augusta Bound

Our first stop was in Mount Franklind national park in the town of Walpole. You may remember that we had taken a day trip to Walpole from Denmark to do the tree top walk and Ancient walk. This time we went to see the "Hilltop Giant Tingle" which is the largest known girthed eucalypt in the world.

We drove along Hilltop Road which winds through a red tingle forest. We came across a sign that said "no caravans" and were happy that we would be allowed access with our camper. We arrived at the small carpark and although it was no problem at all for our camper we could see where there just wouldn't be room to accommodate a bunch of large caravans.

A very pleasant 1/2 kilometre walk through the park led to a boardwalk that skirts around and protects the huge tree. Of course we took the usual tourist happy snaps, and noted on the information board that in the past many tourists used to park their car inside the tree and take photos. Since then the boardwalk was built to protect the tree from damage for future generations to enjoy.

Once we got back to Walpole we decided to stop for lunch, and stopped at a cafe called "Wooz and Suz". We should have just kept driving or gone to one of the other cafes in the area. We had a seafood basket which we expected to be delicious since we were in a fishy sort of town. It was okay, but just average, and expensive considering the small serving. Plus, We each bought an iced tea. Mine was iced green tea and it tasted sort of ick. Not spoiled, just a bit weird. Mike noticed that it was past the "best by" date and brought it in to exchange. They refused to exchange it since it was a "best by" and not a "use by" date, and we ended up throwing it out. I really can't understand their attitude, why would a business alienate a customer over $2.80 (which isn't cheap, and the drink should have been premium like the price not beyond it's optimum date!). I would have expected them to apologise and whisk it away and replace it with another. Although the atmosphere of the cafe on the covered porch was lovely, the disregard for customer service is what I will most remember.

Our next stop was in Pemberton at the Gloucester national park. At this park there was an entry fee ($10 per car) and an attendant collecting fees. I was concerned that they might refuse us entry since we had Maggie in the car. I asked, and was basically told "we don't encourage it, but go ahead". The way that she spoke gave me the impression that there wouldn't have been an issue as long as he remained in the car, but since I asked she had to give me the "right" answer. This was confirmed when I noticed other dogs in the car park, specifically one on the tray at the back of a ute. Luckily it was a cool overcast day and no problem for Maggie to have a snooze in the back seat while we explored.

The park was really pretty, and had facilities like picnic tables and a spotless toilet. (Hey, you notice these things on the road.. by the time we get back to Victoria I'll probably be able to tell you all the good spots for a pit stop in WA!). As we walked along the path the famous Gloucester tree loomed up in the distance.

The Gloucester tree is one of the highest fire lookout trees in the world. It's got 153 metal stakes in it's trunk spiraling up 60 metres to a viewing platform. Even standing at the bottom and looking up is dizzying! We watched people go up to various heights on the tree for photos, and one guy who got almost to the top and who kept saying that his legs were like jelly once he got down.

There were a bunch of lorikeets in an area in front of the tree and a fellow tourist gave us some bird seed to offer them. We photographed some of the results.

Apparently Mike's new hat is all the rage in Pemberton.

From there our next stop was Augusta and we are staying at the Westbay Retreat which is a great bushland camping site alongside the blackwood river complete with boat ramp and boat "parking". Perfect for us and our folding boat. The owners are so friendly and laid back, and it's a bush like setting with open lawned areas as well as niches under the shade of trees. Plus there is the luxury of an ablution block (which is interesting in itself and I'll have to write more about later) as well as power for those who need it.

There's even a plug for satellite tv in the power boxes for those like me who wanted to see the season premiere of "Lost" last night. :) Mike saved the day on that one btw. We don't have have a television, but we travel with our laptop with a TV card that allows us to watch DVDs and telly on it if the mood strikes and there's a signal. When I saw that they had satellite I really wanted to be able to access it to feed my "Lost" addiction. Unfortunately since we use the laptop we didn't have the right plug. Don't ask me how he did it, but mike took a bit of foil, some tape, and did something with a sewing needle and the next thing I knew I was watching satellite TV on the laptop! Maybe if I give him a bunch of needles and a whole roll of foil he could make me a jet ski to use on the river!


Audge said...

Hi Again..tired of my comments yet?
I loved this entry. How can it be that every picture just gets more and more beautiful. I so wish that I was traveling with you guys. Love the bird pictures. You both look great and really happy. Miss you and love you both.

Mike & Sheryl said...

Nope.. not at all, aint gonna happen!

My favourite is Mike's new hat. Suits him, don't you think?

Love you more.

Audge said...

He looks adorable!! I loved the pics of him in that little hut preparing the fish. He seems so content and happy. I don't see his face clearly in the pictures but I know EXACTLY the expression he has. I love it when he is happy.

Okay..this is my last post for the night. I hate to leave..but I have to get to bed. Get out there and have fun.

Audge said... meant the bird?! Yeah..that was SO funny. I was thinking about how cute he looked in the other hat he wears.

But , the bird one was really funny!

Mike & Sheryl said...

I have to go to, or there will be nothing to blog about ;)


Mike & Sheryl said...

err too even.

Anonymous said...

have been following your travel's guy's

you lucky, lucky buggas.

wish it was us

rick & cindy

Mike & Sheryl said...

Hi Rick and Cindy,

Glad to hear you are joining us on our (mis)adventures.

Hope to catch up with you soon.

Audge said...

Good Morning Sheryl! Where will your journey take you today?

Mike & Sheryl said...

At your service, Ma'am. Today's activities just posted.