I was astounded at the obvious wealth of the wineries. Most estates had a splendid house with high ceilings exposing chunky rafters, an ornamental lake of some kind, acres of manicured lawns and truly beautiful gardens. I cannot imagine that the Queen of England has such a fine garden as some of the ones we have seen over the past couple of days.
The roses grow huge and tumble off trellises and archways, and the hedges are trimmed to form perfect borders.
Within the wine tasting areas are enormous fireplaces, and the large bathrooms belong in a 5 star hotel. Even the cleaners’ room in one winery had a polished brass plate proclaiming its purpose. The sommeliers are friendly, very well informed, and maybe just a little bit condescending, but kept mostly delicious tastings in our glasses, and to be fair, we bought just one bottle from each winery that we visited.
Tonight our little caravan is parked in a field on a working farm. There are a lot of sheep wandering around, and cows, pigs and goats as well. And turkeys. Tristan’s scent buds are going wild, and his nose twitches constantly. I have seen kangaroo poo too, but the marsupials are hiding from us.
Nearby are an interesting family who are taking a year out to travel around Australia with the 9 and 11 year old kids. Father is Australian, and mother is a stunning, statuesque black woman with beautiful features and a shaven head, and daily does yoga and sings with her guitar. Her gorgeous little daughter, Ella, took a shine to Tristan and spent a lot of time at our camp.
After sharing with inquisitive seagulls our lunch from the last fish and chips shop this side of the South Pole we explored (and got lost in….) a magnificent karri forest –
After three days on the farm enjoying the stillness and the sunsets and our newly-acquired wines and cheeses, and paddling and walking on wind-swept beaches (no – we didn’t meet online and I have no acquaintance of Danielle Steele…) we took a long detour to a tiny town where we had previously bought amazing apple pies and fresh fruit – only to find that they were closed!
After a last farewell dinner with Lee and Peter in Bridgetown (and they beat us at Taboo) it seems that we are homeward bound. We have been to the utmost southwest corner of this vast country, and now it is all back tracking.
Feeling a little sad.
But right now we are camped at an abandoned farmhouse overlooking green rolling hills peppered with hundreds of healthy-looking cows and my world is at peace, although our day did start ratther early when we took a 5am stroll to visit the cows, which were quite noisy. This property belongs to Lee’s daughter, and she told us yesterday that the mommy and baby cows had just been separated and were crying for each other.
I almost cried too.
We are now camped on the shores of Lake Towerrining, and it’s lovely. The shimmering reflections at sunset were amazing, and we walked a long way with Tristan sucking up the beauty – maybe for the last time for a while.
In the past few days we have gone from wine country to cattle country to sheep country to wheat country, and now the trees are getting shorter and the road is getting redder and the world is getting flatter as we head northeast.
Now where have I heard this before?
But we will pass through the heat and the redness and come out the other side to green fields and water, and the bits in between that we are about to encounter will be interesting, I am sure.
Just different. Watch this space!