Street-wise emus and kangaroos

23 07 2007

One of the things that many in the US have often asked is “Do kangaroos hop down the main street?” Those who have actually been to Australia never ask this question, and it often amuses us Aussies to answer “Yes”, just to see the reaction.

Well, yesterday we found a town where kangaroos and emus *do* roam the streets!! Despite the wintery weather (rain, strong winds, cold), we took a drive to Donnelly River, then on to Manjimup and Pemberton and back.

Donnelly River is an old mill town. Like many small towns in the southwest of Western Australia, when the timber mill closed the town died. But they kept the houses at Donnelly River and have made the place into a holiday village where you can rent out a whole house or two or three for a night or a week at a time. There are a couple of places like this in southwest, and they are ideal for large community, corporate, or school groups – or just a very big family!So we drove through the two streets in Donnelly River. And saw about 6 kangaroos and at least a dozen emus just wandering about without a care in the world. Some were strolling across the old school yard, others were lolling about on front lawns, some were lurking near verandas, others were sheltering out of the rain under trees in front yards, and still others were ambling down the road.

To the Americans I’ve kidded about this, I take it all back! Donnelly River is one town in Australia where kangaroos and emus *do* roam the streets!

More pictures of the kangaroos and emus at Donnelly River…

Emu strolling along the main street of Donnelly River

Non-existent customer service

23 07 2007

Yesterday we drove to Pemberton, some 60kms from here (see next post for details). One of the signs we saw coming in to town was for Jarrah Jacks Brewery and Woodsmoke Winery. Jarrah Jacks have won a few awards for their beer, so we decided to stop in on our way out of Pemberton. After negotiating the very pot-holed dirt road for a kilometre or so, we arrived at their magnificent building in a most beautiful location high on the top of a hill overlooking vineyards and a large dam.

We got there around 3:15pm, so there were few tables of people on the veranda still enjoying what remained of their Sunday lunch, or just having a lazy Sunday afternoon in a beautiful spot. When we fronted the bar/serving counter are there was just one other person in front of us – a guy paying his bill. There were four people behind the bar doing all sorts of things. We waited. We waited some more. Another couple came in, and one of the ‘busy’ staff decided to serve them. We waited a bit longer. The staff member serving the man in front of us said “Be with you in a minute.” Then promptly ignored us to tell another newcomer to the serving area about their snacks. The other three staff remained ‘busy’ but not with customers. We left.

We had waited at least 5 minutes for service that never came. It’s not that we weren’t noticed – at 6′ 3″ my husband is not unnoticeable. It’s not that they were busy with other customers – they weren’t. It’s not like it was closing time – they close at 6pm on a Sunday. We were ignored, plain and simple. Maybe each staff member in the serving area thought someone else was serving us. But I think that’s giving them too much of the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I think that the staff were too intent on their ‘chores’ to bother with paying customers. Bad mistake. We won’t be back.