Friday, 21 August 2009

South West through the rain and cold

Australia Map Albany

Having called in at Greenough on the way down, we thought we should also call in at Harvey as well to see what it had to offer. Harvey is a small town in the wine growing region with numerous mottos describing its character, the best being “determined, decisive, delightful”.

Harvey 1

Harvey 2 Harvey 3 Harvey 5 Harvey 6

The local hotel is the main place for entertainment there

Harvey Hotel

Its main claims to fame now are wine, cheese, orange juice and the home of a famous Australia writer of children’s books called May Gibbs (she writes about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie apparently). We had lunch in her old house, and walked in her garden which also was home to the Monarch Wanderer Butterfly.

Monarch Wanderer Butterfly

No one knows why it was called Harvey although it was established when Sir James Stirling (the first Governor General of Western Australia) was given a large piece of land in 1837 after he retired.

Whilst there, I helped the local tourist office take delivery of their new sign

Harvey Tourist Office

and (having signed the visitors book on the page reserved for visiting Harveys) they have promised to send me a picture of it being erected.

Over the past week we have spent one night at a succession of various towns in the region, Yallingup on the south western corner if Australia is a coastal village famous for surf, and sea views (and diving but it is too cold to contemplate that). Being winter, the weather shows its nature in the rain and waves.

Moody Sea Yallingup

Yallingup was also our first meeting with “ticks” – blood sucking insects. When we came back from our morning shower in the campsite loos, we both noticed we had a number of small creatures attached to various places enjoying a fresh meal. A mutual very close inspection of all parts with the aid of torch light followed in order to ensure we were both freed of them and remained free of them (proved thankfully through later close checks).

Margaret River is a favourite holiday destination for those interested in wine. We visited a Raptor Centre nearby which was focused on various types of Australian eagles, owls and hawks. Not only did we get to hold

Paul holding a kite 

a “Wedge Tail Kite”, we also got to see them “catch” food in a short display. Also present was our favourite Australian owl – the “Barking Owl”. Play the short video below and you will know why.

The coast around here is very wild, mainly because Cape Leeuwin is where the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean meet.

two oceans meet

Two ancient mariners holding hands

The result is a very small area of extremely rough sea (just to the left of the above viewing point)

Exactly where two oceans meet

- the white froth in the centre of this photograph. There is of course a lighthouse here and a marker point also indicates the

P&P at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

direction of the next landmass (Antarctica which we went to last January) and the distance to the South Pole of 5435 kms whose direction is exactly through the froth of the two clashing oceans.

Sam - When we were out driving recently we had to stop at a level crossing to let a train go by which was carrying petrol for cars. How many wagons can you count as it goes by us?

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