Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Monday, August 14, 2006

B & B Heaven or Glenhaven

(Sheep or rocks part deux? Answer - sheep)

We drive on through a mixture of good weather with occasional short rainfalls. We stop very briefly in Bridgetown, which seems set up for shopping, and see the Jigsaw Puzzle Museum.

We proceed onwards and pass through the town of Manjimup without stoppping. We are later told by our host that this was a good decision. The town claims to have natural wonders, but is really a shopping center. We continue to seem numberous trees with bright yellow or gold blossoms, they turn out to be called Wattles. Some are native to OZ and others were brought over, and regardless, they seem to thrive.

The afternoon is wearing on, and sunset is around 5:40 p.m. with darkness completely taking over some time after 6:00 p.m. We turn towards Pemberton and Wendy agrees to call the Glenhaven B & B on the mobile (term used here in OZ for cell phone). She is soon on the line with Jim Merraman, who along with his wife Jackie, runs the establishment. They have a vacancy and we are there in a few minutes with daylight to spare. Jim is hosting solo as their daughter just gave birth to their first grandchild up in Perth a few days before. He welcomes us and since we are the only guests for that night, we have our choice of rooms. There is also a living room and dining area that devoted to guests. We bring in our bags while Jim prepares us tea and scones (and even shortbread!). Alas, due to celiac I can only enjoy the scones and shortbread vicariously through Wendy.


The three of us chatted for some time and Jim discloses that he immigrated from Scotland and was a scientist up in Perth studying immunology prior to he and his wife leaving to open up the B& B. He shares numerous ideas and recommendations of things to do and see in the Pemberton area and we feel that coming here was a real blessing for us. He also tells us about a place that serves excellent dinners and we make a reservation and soon head out to the town only a couple of kilometers away.

In Pemberton, our restaurant is actually in a small motel and one would never assume that anything gourmet could be located there, however, we had a very pleasant meal,

I had local trout and Wendy a lamb curry. Fresh local vegetables accompanied the main course and salads and we finished with fresh strawberries in Cointreau topped with real whipped cream. We ate in the very back room which was more elegantthatn the bar section pictured above. They also had a chess table with beautiful LARGE chess pieces. Don didn't want to be pictured eating, but didn't mind having his picture taken here.

Then, it was back to the B & B for some more tea and another chat with our host, Jim. We spoke more about sightseeing options for the next day and the breakfast menu for morning.

We slept well but were woken up by very unfamiliar if not totally eerie bird sounds in the morning. Since neither Freddie or Jason were known to live in the area, we were convinced that it was all just normal for OZ. Breakfast turned out to be a total feast, with eggs, bacon (more like Canadian bacon than our usual fare in the U.S.), tomatoes and marinated mushrooms. Juice, tea, toast and jam or cream rounded things out quite nicely.

Wendy and Jim turned out to share an interest in photography and he took us into the private section of the home to his computer and showed us some of his work.

Glenhaven Bed and Breakfast. The best ever!!

Our Bedroom

Tea Room

Our host who is garrulous and very entertaining.

Our B and B from Outside

Well, we had to leave sometime, and it turns out that 10:00 a.m. was check out. So, we loaded up the vehicle, settled the bill and headed into Pemberton. It is likely that Wendy and her mom Lynn will return to stay here in September. During September and October, the south comes alive with thousands of species of wild flowers bursting forth. There are more varieties here in Western Australia that anywhere else in the world! I will miss this phenomenon, but hopefully they will see it and send a report.

In town we stop in an artists studio recommended by Jim and purchase some gift cards with illustrations of Australian flowers. These will make excellent gifts for certain family members. Next we visit a woodworkers studio, the works are outstanding but extremely costly. So, we let the artists creativity please our eyes but not impact our wallets.

After that, it is back into the forests. We visit a nearly National Park a few blocks distance and view the Gloucester Tree. This karri tree is a fire lookout. Numerous three foot spikes have been driven into its trunk in a spiral pattern ascending upwards over 200 feet to a lookout post. I go up a few wrungs to about 30 feet, but there are quite a few people high up ascending and some descending. I decide not to spend our time seeking my own glory and instead Wendy and I go on an amazing walk in the tall trees along a well marked path.

Afterwards, we drive a few short kilometers to another park and come to a different lookout Karri tree.

Here I do go a bit higher, about 25 meters or about four storeys upwards to a small stand. A sign here states that getting to here was the easy part and the rest will be significantly more challenging. Well enough is good for me, and I carefully make my way back to level ground.

It is now time to leave the Pemberton area and make a long drive to the South coast near the towns of Walpole and Denmark. There is a forest area called Valley of the Giants, and not only are there more Karri trees, but the rare Tingle trees are also located in this small region. Moreover, there is a so called Tree Top Walkway of several hundred meters length that slowly ascends upward bringing one into the tops of the Tingle and Karri trees more than 100 feet above ground for what is promising to be a unique experience. Wendy has been most eager to go there, and with afternoon approaching I know that we must leave for there now as she cannot be let down.


At 9:37 PM, Anonymous min said...

What a great trip! I LOVE kangaroo's!
What happens when someone going up to the canopy encouters someone coming down?

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

On the tree climb we don't know. On the canopy (next post will have pictures soon) there is enough room to pass.


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