Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Western Australia (26 November 2016 - 5 December 2016), Day 4 - Dunsborough to Yallingup

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Quiet road
Cape Naturaliste Road runs by farmlands
More farms
Taking a break
Natural vegetation in the vicinity of Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Lighthouse entrance
Up the narrow stairs
View from lighthouse balcony
Kangaroo poo around the keeper's cottage
Bays of hay
Side tracked on our return to Dunsborough Central
Bush Shack Brewery
Ngilgi Cave visitor center
Yallingup Forest Resort cabins

We started the day with leftovers! Yesterday's beef slices in Cajun seasoning, sausages, Sally's ham and cheese sandwiches, bread and butter... All leftovers were spread out on the table.

It was a real challenge to cook with minimal gadgets. The loaf of bread was sliced and placed in the pop up toaster with its ends sticking out. Sally's cold sandwiches were warmed up over the stove with some butter while the rest of the food went in the microwave.

After washing and packing, we left the Motel even before the staff arrives. It doesn't matter as we followed the standard check out procedure of locking up with the keys inside. Bumping into our gruffly receptionist on our way out, he sent us off with some inaudible sound of approval.

Heading for Cape Naturaliste, the climbs started as soon as we left town. As the town revolves around Coles and IGA, we found ourselves stepping out of town in just 500 m!!! Once out of the shopping district, we were cruising past the locals' homes.

Riding along Naturaliste Terrace, we rolled past many stretches of forested areas. In between were settlements that became more sparse as we moved further along.

Soon, we connected with Cape Naturaliste Road. This quiet road saw the occasional cars and trucks passing us. We rolled past a few farms, connected with some livestock and spotted some kangaroos in the wild.

Occasionally, we heard, "harrumph" but spotted no horses. The sound was most audible during climbs when our speed slowed down to walking pace. Other than the four of us, we were pretty much on our own.

Whenever the gradient is too steep, we got down to push our bikes. Our boys were not trained except for the one-off, trial run of 20km on Bromptons and the weekly 20 minutes exercise on trainers. It was best not to push them too much. However, we were more concerned for their butts as both had refused the Lycra padded pants!!!

As we climbed higher and higher, we collected more and more flies. These insects took a free ride by clinging on to our backs in their migratory attempts. They buzzed around our faces whenever our speed reduced to a crawl. It can be quite irritating when they fly around the ears but worst when they kamikaze into our nasal crevices!!!!

We arrived at Cape Naturaliste lighthouse even before the ticketing office was opened. Housed in one of the few cottages that once was the accommodation for the keeper and his family, it was a historical piece on its own! We marveled at the century old structure of thick walls, low ceilings, low doorways and small rooms; all to contain heat!

Our guide took us on a tour of the lighthouse sharing with us how isolated life must have been back in 1904, when there were no tarred roads and the only known transportation was horse drawn carriages. The lighthouse was disappointingly short, standing at only 20 meters tall but as it sits on high elevation, it allows a splendid view of Georgraphe Bay and the Indian Ocean.

Keeper's workstation
Mercury level
Standing on the balcony, we had hoped to catch glimpses of the humpback whales but since we were a little off season, we saw none! However, we were rewarded with sights of kangaroos hopping in the bush land below!!!

View from the lighthouse towards the keeper's cottage

After our visit to the lighthouse, we retraced our steps back to Dunsborough Centrepoint for lunch. We had decided to go for Subway's sandwiches as Dome Cafe was too quiet at lunch hour. 

Making our way to Coles after lunch, we piled up on dinner supplies. This was absolutely necessary as our stay for the night was totally isolated, a fact we found out through media sharing. 

It would have been easier had we found accommodations at Canal Rocks. Then, we would have followed the coastal bike path without  having to retrace our steps to Dunsborough and adding more miles to our journey. 

Disappointingly, all accommodations at Canal Rocks had a minimum 2 nights' stay policy.
Almost at wits end, we had to improvise and took what is available at Yallingup Forest Resort.

It was a little unnerving to be stranded in the middle of nowhere especially without a car. Our food supply was enough for dinner but may not be enough for the next day!!! We had stocked up on a roast chicken, potatoes, bread and the unfinished stick of butter! Then, there was the chips and the overindulgent, 2 liters bottle of Coke!!! 

Arriving at Yallingup Forest Resort during lunch hour, the staff had gone off for lunch. Unable to check in, we made our way on the dirt road, back to Bush Shack Brewery, situated a few hundred meters away. Getting there was not easy as we could not ride on the pebbles in case of punctures and neither could we ride on the soft sand!!!

We were still full from lunch and we were teetotalers. Out of politeness, we forced ourselves to buy a can of Pepsi but the free water from the fridge tasted exceptionally good. Seriously good!!!! We only realized later, upon check in that the water was drawn from an aquifer, hence the good taste!

Still early, we left for Ngilgi Cave which was merely 3.5 km away. It was a way to past the time but we've been to too many caves to be awestruck. Nevertheless, it was still a good visit.

Still worried about the lack of food, we enquired with the rangers if there were any shops around the area. It was discouraging to know there were only a couple of restaurants about 1-2 km away while Andy's General Store, in the same vicinity only offers drinks and snacks.

Hard to spot them as they have very good camouflage!

Returning to the resort still in deep thoughts, we were fascinated to spot kangaroos in the field. Dusk was approaching and after a short debate, we abandoned the idea of returning to Dunsborough for more supplies. 

Even though it was only 6 km away, we had to take into account the hills, time required to shop, return trip, time to cook and the dangers of riding in the dark. This was cowboy town with no streetlights! 

It was best to survive on chips if things took a turn for the worst! Besides, VT was all ready to sacrifice his breakfast so the rest can eat.

Thus, we enjoyed a lazy family time in our Australian outback home, out in the bush but not before panic strikes!!! The stove will not light up. The lighter was out of battery and the reception had closed. Even Bush Shack Brewery had shut their doors. 

We cannot go hungry !!!

Calling the property, it was not picked up as everyone had gone home!!! Thankfully, the answering machine belted out an alternative number to call. It was difficult to decipher Australian accent and we had to redial to listen through a few times before we finally got it right!

Saved by matches!!! We finally got dinner going when told to search an alternative area in the kitchen for a box of them!!!

Distance : 40 km
Total Elevation : 468 m

Yallingup Forest Resort

2 adjoining cabins sharing the same outhouse washing machine
Front view
Neighbouring cabins
Living room
Boys' room
Master room
Only one bath...
...with a separate toilet

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