Sue’s visit

29 12 2014

Those who follow me on Facebook know that my good friend Sue (from San Diego) flew out to Australia to spend 8 days with me over Christmas 2014. She also spent a couple of days in Sydney and Hawaii on the way to and from Western Australia, but this post is about her summer Christmas visit to the southwest corner of Western Australia.

Here’s a summary of what we did (this is for her information as much as mine, as she didn’t keep a travel journal). I may not have all the dates/places exactly right, but they’re close enough!:

  • Friday 19 Dec – Pick up Sue from Perth airport, visit a friend of mine in Perth, travel home, visit the local kangaroos and watch the sunset over the Leschenault Estuary.
  • Saturday 20 Dec – Big day of touring today — some 400 km of driving. We started with Gnomesville, where Sue left the gnome she brought all the way from California. Next was the Donnnybrook Market and bakery and roadside cherries (to die for!), then Balingup (Tinderbox, Mystic Gems – antique section, lunch at Mushroom Cafe), followed by Bridgetown (where we called in on friends), Karri Gully where we hugged some magnificent big trees, Cambray Sheep Cheese (near Nannup), and Simmo’s Ice Creamery (near Dunsborough) for some ice cream.  Our second last stop was spending an hour or so visiting friends at Yallingup, then getting to the Busselton Jetty just on sunset.
  • Sunday 21 Dec – Bunbury Farmers’ Market, Woolies supermarket (supermarkets in other countries are always interesting — you can see new products and be amazed at how much you recognise from your home country etc.), Bunbury and its beaches.
  • Monday 22 Dec – Coles supermarket, lunch with my parents in Eaton, play some pool at a local tavern.
  • Tuesday 23 Dec – Dolphin Sea Kayak Tour (with Dekked Out Adventures), where we paddled down to where the Collie River empties into the Leschenault Estuary, across the estuary, and out through The Cut into the Indian Ocean. There were heaps of dolphins just around from The Cut (‘The Lounge’), and they swam between us, next to us, under us, and emerged close to us. Just a magical experience!
  • Wednesday 24 Dec – HaVe cheese (Harvey) and camels, shops, Buffalo Beach, and Belvidere on the Leschenault Peninsula.
  • Thursday 25 Dec – Jetty over the estuary, Buffalo Beach
  • Friday 26 Dec – Wellington Dam (near Collie), Big Rock on the Collie River below Wellington Dam, where we were very lucky to see about eight very endangered red-tailed black cockatoos. Sunset excursion to see the local kangaroos.
  • Saturday 27 Dec – Drove back to Perth via Southwest Highway, stopping in at Cohunu Koala Park in Byford, where Sue held a koala and fed and patted kangaroos and wallabies; Fremantle cappuccino strip and Fremantle Markets; Port/Leighton beaches to Cottesloe, Kings Park
  • Sunday 28 Dec – Drop Sue off at the airport for her flight back to Sydney.

When I asked Sue about some of the highlights (in addition to the stuff we did above), she said: big birds (especially the noisy galahs, cockatoos and others from the parrot family), horizons stretching forever, flat land/undulating land, plantation pine and gum trees, crystal clear blue skies (NO pollution/haze), eucalypts, countryside, farms, cattle, sheep, horses, kangaroos in the wild.

Her one word to sum up our little corner of Australia: ‘pastoral’. Her multiple words said often over the week: ‘Oh. My. Gosh.’

Here are some of the 300+ photos I took during the week — the rest are in a Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157649790158916/. Click on a photo to view it larger.

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Arriving in Perth

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Standing among some of the thousands of gnomes at Gnomesville

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Jerome Gnome from San Diego, left by Sue

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Hugging a karri tree (Karri Gully park, between Bridgetown and Nannup)

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Cambray Sheep Cheese — cutting the Manchego wheel

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Busselton Jetty at sunset

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Hugging ‘Mr August’

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Learning about Nuytsia floribunda (Western Australian Christmas Tree)

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Experiencing dolphins up close and personal near Bunbury

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Marvelling at the endless sky, water, horizon, and beach near The Cut on Leschenault Peninsula

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Local Pink and Grey Galahs in a neighbour’s front yard; native grass trees behind

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Buffalo Beach

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Endless summer at Buffalo Beach

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Trying out free motion quilting for the first time! There’s a lot of concentration happening here 😉

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Some of the many local kangaroos (mum and joey emulating a Qantas tailfin logo)

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Emulating a lizard basking in the sun at Big Rock near Wellington Dam

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Getting very up close and personal with ‘William’

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Feeding a wallaby

And here’s a map of some of the places we went: map_of_sues_visit_dec_2014   While Sue thoroughly enjoyed her visit, I also thoroughly enjoyed having her here and seeing parts of my own backyard I hadn’t seen or experienced before.


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5 responses

29 12 2014
treadlemusic

An awesome post!!!! I almost feel like I was there (hiding in the warm shadows!). Love the concentration with SS!!! LOL! Can totally relate! BUT those beaches and sky photos——AMAZING!!!! A wonderful visit for sure!!!!!!

1 01 2015
Dawn C.

I’m amazed the beaches aren’t packed with people – how wonderful to have the sky, sea, and sand to yourself. And Mr. August – the cherry on the cake!

24 01 2015
Sue Heim

I finally have gotten caught up here, back at home, and got time to sit and read this post and all I can say is… Oh. My. Gosh.

And truly, I was amazed at the beaches, the endless blue sky reaching out to the blue and aquamarine waters that looked as if I could just walk across all the way to Africa. With almost no one there! Or the acres and acres (or Ha) of farms with just mowed grasses and the occasional eucalypt. I almost wanted to run through the “meadows” (except I’m sure there was a bull or two hiding amongst those herds that would deny me the privilege of some freedom).

That SS was hilarious!! She said I did really well for a first timer. I think she was just being polite!

But yes, Mr August was totally drool-worthy! And he autographed one of the calendars I bought! 🙂

24 01 2015
Sue Heim

Oh yeah, she actually forgot one thing. When she asked me the best part of the trip? I think I said something like” being here with you and EVERYTHING!” It was ALL just so Oh. My. Gosh. Amazing!!!

24 01 2015
Rhonda

I forgot to mention your ecstasy over smelling washing straight off the line that had been bathed in sunshine, fresh air, and wind 😉

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