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    • Day 25

      Margaret River Wine Tour

      January 24, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Nachdem ich mich Momentan in einem der beliebtesten Weinbaugebieten Australiens befinde hab ich mich entschieden heute mal eine Weintour mitzumachen 😊 Insgesamt werden hier 5 Winzer besucht.
      Erster Stopp war die Watershed Winery. Hier gabs schon in der ersten Stunde 10 verschiedene Weine zu probieren. Leider hat zwischendurch etwas Brot oder Baguette gefehlt um den Geschmack etwas zu neutralisieren 😁
      Nächster Stopp war die Leeuwin Winery. Ein sehr exklusives Weingut. Hier wurden wir erst ein bisschen herumgeführt und über den Weinanbau und die Weingewinnung informiert bevor es in das angeschlossene Restaurant ging um zu ausgewählten Spezialitäten weitere Weine zu probieren 😊🍷
      Hier hat wirklich fantastisch Geschmack und die Aussicht war vom feinsten 😊
      Dann gings weiter zur Bettenays Winery wo es zu den Weinen auch Schokolade zu probieren gab. Anschließend ging’s noch zu einer weiteren Verköstigung bevor wir den Herren auf der Tour zu liebe noch einen Stopp in einer Brauerei einlegten.
      Hier wird sogar das „Kolsch“ gefälscht 😂 kommt aber dem Original sehr nah 😉
      Nach dem Ende der Weintour war es Zeit für ein herzhaftes Abendessen, damit noch das ein oder andere Gläschen Wein folgen konnte 😁😂
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    • Day 50

      A Snapshot of Margaret River

      December 9, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 23 °C

      Outside of Australia, I suspect that the Margaret River area is best known for its wines, although not very many find their way to our shores, which is a shame as they are of high quality. Today we chose to take a tour with a local guide, Hank Durlik and it proved to be a good decision. There is a lot to see in the area and being short of time, it was difficult to know what to prioritise. After an exchange of emails as to our interests, Hank worked that out for us and took us to see things we would never have found on our own. Scenically, it is a beautiful and possibly surprising landscape of great contrast. Agriculture is predominantly livestock, particularly dairy and the local cheeses are very fine. The resulting pasture parkland juxtaposed with the regimented rows of vines create pleasing vistas in all directions. The lifestyle here is laid back and all about the outdoors, especially the coast and it was here we headed to first thing. Hank told us that people rise early and go for a coffee and look at the surf, possibly riding a few waves, before starting their day. He said, if engaging a builder, ask first if he is a surfer and if the answer is yes, either find someone else or be prepared for a long wait. The surf will always come first! Unsurprisingly, Surfer's Point was our first point of call, a strip of coast at the small village of Prevelley. The waves today were not legendary, but there were groups of surfers out there awaiting their chance to ride a 'big one'. This section of beach is world famous and is one of the venues used for the World Surfing Championships in March. All along this coast are the most superb beaches, natural and unspoiled. The surf beaches are graded to allow youngsters to learn the sport and only the best and most experienced graduate to Surfers Point. Geographically, the whole of the Margaret River area is part of the Leeuwenhoek-Naturaliste National Park, and geologically it is limestone overlying granite, which makes for some interesting landforms. There are caves galore, including collapsed sinkholes, one large one called Lake Cave we went to look at. It was a classic example and even more exciting was the Willy Wagtail nest and the parents feeding their young just three feet from the board walk!
      Just south of Margaret River starts the wide band of Kauri forest that extends all the way down to Albany further south. We drove through the most majestic stands of these huge giants. It was like standing in natures cathedral. They are a gum, one of the hardest and third tallest trees in the world. Extensively logged in the 1800s, the trunks are long, straight and true and so much in demand for building back, then. The off cuts were cut into cobbles and sent to London as ballast in the trading sailing clippers to cobble London streets. Hank was in London in October and tried to find some in the streets with no luck, but did find some in the courtyard in Trinity College, Dublin. Coincidentally, he and his wife came to Norfolk, as his wife's parents hailed from Gorleston, as did Peter's mothers family. Yet another example of a small world! The beach at Gt Yarmouth came as something of a shock to him after Western Australia! We stopped for coffee at the Baronup Forest Cafe. Attached is a Gallery featuring locally made furniture and artifacts made from the Kauri. These pieces are unique and works of art and are shipped all over the world. The gallery is quite something to see.
      The limestone cliffs at Conto were fascinating, also the views and the perfectly adapted flora clothing this exacting habitat. The whole area was wiped out by a wildfire 6 years ago and has regenerated in that time. Mother Nature is remarkable. Our final call of the morning was to another coastal venue called Hamlin Bay. This was the most beautiful sheltered limestone Bay. Families were about on the beach, although it was far from crowded. Guys we're bringing in their fishing catch and it was a sunny happy spot. We wandered down onto the beach and I had a paddle in the Indian Ocean. Black shapes appeared in the surf. They were sting or manta rays. I was amazed as these incredible creatures came right up to my feet and allowed me to tickle their back. It will be a memory never to be forgotten for me. We lingered for an hour as the rays came back time and time again.
      I could have stayed all day.

      The vine area is actually really small, 20 square miles if I remember correctly and there are 178 wineries crammed into that small space. As you can probably appreciate most of them are small boutique establishments, producing small amounts of quality wine, which is of course why most of the production stays within Australia. We had a very good lunch of local produce at Olio Bello, the largest olive grove and producer in Australia and tasted not only their vines, but also the olive oil. I resisted the temptation to bring some home, as the thought of a broken olive oil bottle in a suitcase was more than I could stand! We visited two excellent wineries to taste their wares; Cape Grace and Heydon Estate. The reds were of a really good standard and Cape Grace produce a really interesting white blend called SBS (Sauvignon Blanc Semillion). It is gaining ground here and was so interesting that there is a bottle sitting in the fridge now! At Heydon Estates the owner is a dentist, who has a vineyard on the side (as you do). He is a mad keen cricket fan, who names all his wines after cricketing terms e.g. The Urn, The Sledge & WG Grace, to name but three! The wines are superb, although far from cheap. He will at the WACA on the 14th.
      We returned to Darby Park Residences in Margaret River town having felt we had had a fabulous snapshot of this marvellous part of Western Australia thanks to Hank, although we are far from done with it, as we move further up the coast tomorrow for a couple of nights. It has been a full and great day.
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    • Day 13

      Ein paar Eindrücke

      January 21, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Wer findet den Kite Surfer?

    • Day 30

      Tues 3rd April - Or was that Winesday?

      April 3, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      The day started with dolphin sightings on our beach walk, a swim in the pool then after a hearty breakfast we set out on our tour of some of the Winerys in the Margaret River region.

      Jemima our driver for the day delivered us to several winerys , one chocolatier, one cheese producer and a pisco distillery. Oh and one winery also made nougat too.

      We took lunch, a meat sharing plate, a cheese sharing plate and some delicious pasta ...... to share, at Vasse Felix. All were delicious.

      We returned to our resort pooped although one of us did manage a dip in the Indian ocean before we all just chilled/collapsed with pizza, chips n beer.

      Cape Grace Wines

      Gabriel Chocolate

      Windows Estate

      Vasse Felix

      Bettenays ..... wine and nougat

      Margaret River Dairy Company.... for cheese tasting

      Harmans Estate ... for Pisco tasting
      Here we also found a bottle of wine called Bernard, that of course had to be purchased.

      And finally to....

      Windance Estate
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    • Day 10

      Gracetown - day 1

      April 11, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Day dawned and we decided to break camp, hitch up the car (get some power back in the van) and head further north. All of about 35kms - long trip.
      Booked in at Gracetown CP, which is part of the Top Parks group, so we picked up a 10% discount.
      A great park, with all the amenities. Fairly old, but well maintained and clean, and very friendly.
      We were very pleased to have power and to get everything charged up again.
      After a supply run to Margarets, and some time around there, we motored to Gracetown, on the coast. A great spot. Looks like a lot of people have set up their holiday homes, or retirement places there, and who could blame them.
      Back to camp, and a bit of a relax, before sundowners and dinner.
      A quiet night.
      And our faulty hot water system seems to be fixed alright - no tripping of switches any more.
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    • Day 11

      Gracetown - day 2

      April 12, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Enjoying Gracetown, so we decided to stay at least another day.
      Weather was great, although a bit cloudy at times.
      I did some more work on clients, and spent most the morning on that. Elvira just relaxed, reading a book, or else watching a movie on the tablet. Can't believe that she has managed to stay still and relax for so long - big change!!
      Had sandwich lunch at the van. Sitting outside about to take a bite, when in swoops a Kookaburra and takes half my sandwich away, and at the same time giving me a slightly painful whack on the fingers with his beak. And then a few minutes later, another one swoops and empties Elvira's plate of food. Cheeky buggers. Anyway, now we keep all food inside the van when Kookaburras are around.
      In the afternooon, we drove north to visit Canal Rocks, Smith's beach and Yallingup. There was a huge swell coming in from the ocean and creating major splash displays around the rocks. Canal rocks was absolutely rushing with water everywhere. I have never seen waves as huge as this in that area.
      Smith's was the same, and in Yallingup, the surfies were having a great time (if they did not get smashed by the waves on the way out).
      We then travelled back to Margarets to visit the night market. Bit of hassle finding it, but we succeeded in the end. Not much to the night markets, other than a couple of old geezers trying to play country and western music (and failing badly) and a few food vans. We decided to give it a miss and headed back to camp.
      Some sundowners, although it was a bit windy outside.
      And a quiet night again.
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    • Day 12

      Gracetown - day 3

      April 13, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Decided on a 3rd day here in Gracetown CP. Good spot, so why not. Good weather around at the moment, although that could change tomorrow.
      Woke early and we had a bit of wildlife around the camp - a group of skippy's grazing near the ablution block. And those Kookaburras were back, looking for some breakfast, no doubt. But we are wise to them, so they had no luck with us.
      Did a bit of work, first up in the morning.
      And had mid morning coffee and biscuits out the front of the van. No pesky Kookaburras this time around.
      Then we drove to Cow Town (Cowaramup). Spent a pleasant couple of hours walking around and had some lunch there.
      Then drove to Margarets for a bit of shopping.
      Back to Gracetown beach for another look around. The swell was still up, but not as much as yesterday.
      Back to camp.
      They had a singer in camp who was giving a show at 4.30pm, so we went to listen. He was actually quite good, but his audience were only a maximum of 10 people, including us. Anyway, we spent a pleasant hour listening to the show, before retiring for sundowners and dinner.
      Watched the Eagles Dockers derby on the telly, before retiring for the night. Looks like being a cold one, and a forecast of rain around midnight. And it will probably be raining, as we get ready to hitch up and move on. We will see.
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    • Day 70

      Margaret River wineries

      August 31, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Headed to Margret River and made a visit to the Venison shop, was here many years ago and loved their produce so purchased some more choritzo and meat and will have some for dinner tonight (remember these Lisa).
      They only rear Red Deer (Venison) with the original bloodlines reaching back to England and Scotland.

      After a few recommendations we then headed to Amelia wines and after a few tastings left with 5 nice bottles, then to Howard Park wines a few tastings and same thing, left with a few bottles, you guessed it then to Cape Mentelle vineyard and a couple more.
      Well tasted out now and back to chill out and enjoy the evening.
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