Two Yanks Downunder

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

Friday, October 13, 2006

Do You Know the Way to Mandalay?

Sheep or Rocks? (part 18)

And the answer is:

We had spent more than an hour at breakfast chatting with Julia, Jim and Bryan and (Pat?) It was a rousing dissection of World politics and fortunately we seemed to all agree, so there was no need for fisticuffs after coffee.

Since we were driving right by it, we decided to stop at the Bicentennial Tree. There was a whole slew of Dutch tourists who had been brought there by a bus and as the last tree climbers dismounted from the tree the gathering crowd would give a cheer to the successful climber.

It was rather heartening, so when I began to climb the first few rungs, they also cheered me on and consequently I got up farther than I had before (between half way and 2/3 of the way up to the first platform which for someone as fearful of heights as myself was pretty remarkable.)

There were trails inthe vicinity of the tree and naturally I had to photograph any wild flowers I happened to see. We saw some of the tiniest ones ever on these trails.

(Once again I am using my foot as a reference point).

Our trip through the Karri forest continued as we decided to take the long way East through Northcliff rather than what
looked like a quicker route.

This gave us a chance to stop along the so-called Karri Forest Explorer trail and enjoy the woods. This was actually at the beach stop but shows that we were still near the Bibbelmun track. This is the Wagyl - the Aboriginal creation spirit of our area (of the Nyoongar people) and is used to mark the track.

We also passed through Shannon National Park and along the edgeof Mount Frankland Park. Then it was south and along the edge of D'Entrecasteaux Park - a rather wild and unmanaged park area mostly for 4WD vehicles (But did that stop us, oh no!!) We decided to check out Mandalay beach (recommended by Jackie at Glenhaven) so we drove some 9 kilometers on an unsealed (i.e. gravel) road through a desolate area. At first we wondered if we were on some wild goose chase as the road went on and on and we saw no one on the road, but finally we got to the beach and it was gorgeous. There were large rocks and the ever bright blue sea.

The beach was named for the ship wreck of a Dutch ship in 1911. (I don't know if that was a popular ship or if it is just a lovely name, but I haven't dreamed I was at Mandalay or anything since the visit.)

After the beach it was on to Walpole where we decided to stop at Wooz and Suz'es Cafe for a burger lunch.

We were served by an earnest 8 year old who was excrutiatingly polite and quite efficient.

His mom was a round, pleasant woman who had taken over the place recently and liked the name and we had wonderful burgers and a dry piece of carrot cake before heading to the visitor's center to get hotel reservations and tickets for the Tree Top Walk. The visitor's center set us up with a room at a Hotel that had been recommended by our landlord John Lynch and then we headed on east to Nornalup and then on to the Tree Top Walk.

When Don and I had done the walk before, it had been rainy, so I was very happy ot have the chance to photograph some of the big trees in the sun. There were more people there than the previous time and so we had to wait a bit to get onto the various platforms, but we enjoyed the walk in the trees as well as the one around the trees afterwards.


At 1:01 PM, Anonymous min said...

Hey, you have big feet! That's impressive.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

Yes, I hope you clicked on teh picture to see how really big those feet are!. The flowers are teensy tinsy!


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