Again, the skies last night were clear (I could even make out the Milky Way through the thick canopy of the trees). The campground reminded me of The Blair Witch Project. A (very small) part of me was tempted to watch it before bed. Pretty happy I didn’t, I don’t know what it was about that movie that scared me so much… Anyway, just like yesterday, we were woken by heavy raindrops falling from the trees that we’d slept below – another cold and wet morning.

20130829_RCH_1946 20130829_RCH_1949We got on the road (eventually) and made a quick detour to Fernhook Falls. It was recommended by a friend, and it was listed in Lonely Planet, so I had moderate expectations, especially with all this rain. We could hear a roar from the car park long before we got even the faintest glimpse. However, like yesterday, it turned out to be more of a cascade than a waterfall. And, all the extra tea-coloured water was churning into a foamy mess. We actually couldn’t see much from the boardwalk, but got a perfect view from the road just past the national park turn-off.

20130829_RCH_1972The main attraction of the day was The Valley of the Giants. Every time I thought about it, I started singing Gangster’s Paradise… The drive there was through some more of that gorgeous old forest. It made me feel so small being surrounded by such large and ancient trees.

20130829_RCH_1953 20130829_RCH_1957 20130829_RCH_1958 20130829_RCH_1961 20130829_RCH_1964 20130829_RCH_1967 20130829_RCH_1969The actual Valley of the Giants is a 600m aerial walk up to and through the canopy of these enormous Red Tingle trees. We weren’t quite as high (40m) as the Gloucester Tree (60m) that we climbed yesterday, but walking on this suspended walkway and seeing the forest eye-to-eye with the canopy was beautiful – even if we managed to time it perfectly with a heavy shower. The platform wobbled and swayed and would be horrible for people with a fear of heights. I have a respect for heights, but I didn’t find this scary at all, in fact, I wanted to see how much we could make it oscillate…

20130829_RCH_1971 20130829_RCH_1974After the tree top walk there was another through the base of another Red Tingle forest. I know photos never do it justice, especially since these trees are so thick, but being at the base of these enormous towers and looking up was dizzying. It was really odd that these giants all (at least most) have a large hollow at the base. Oh, and the name comes from a local Aboriginal word for the colour of the tree, nothing to do with the sensation.

20130829_RCH_1979We’d left the high concentration of vineyards and craft breweries behind when we left Margaret River, but there were still plenty of them around, rarely travelling for more than a few kilometres between seeing them. One of them caught Risa’s eye – Toffee AND cider! They had a few samples of different versions of their toffees (chocolate, macadamia, liquorice, traditional, treacle etc). Nice, but it’s not really my thing (we still bought a bar of chocolate and traditional toffee – I felt guilty).

20130829_RCH_1981 20130829_RCH_1982Interestingly, they had a cidery attached to the same premise, Elephant’s Rock Cider Company. The lady there explained that they were making traditional English style cider and perry (pear cider). This means none of the sugary sweetness like you’d find in a Swedish (sweetish) cider like Rekorderlig. They were all quite dry, even their sweet cider (made with Pink Lady apples, instead of the sour green Granny Smith varieties). They had a few other variants, including a chilli (the smell and taste was intense, though it was little more than a mild warmth in my mouth), ginger (really, really spicy), and strawberry (very bubbly and aromatic).

20130829_RCH_1985They also had a cute little pig running around in the yard, though when it came time to take photos, he was a little shy and hid behind the fence…

20130829_RCH_1987 20130829_RCH_1990We drove a kilometre or two and then saw a sign for honey/ice-cream/meadery! – how could I resist that? I’ve never actually had mead so I was curious. It wasn’t the beer-like mead that you hear about Vikings drinking, but rather it was desert wine-like. They make it from honey and water, fermented with grape yeast. They then add other flavours, like black currant juice. They were all very tasty (and perfect with desert), but a little pricey for us. They also had a traditional Celtic style mead, heavily spiced and served warm – this was our favourite, but it was $25 for a 750mL bottle, which is reasonable price, but too much for us at the moment… The lady doing the tasting seemed rather unenthusiastic about it, but if I had to explain these five bottles of alcohol 50 times a day, I’d have lost some of that passion, too. We bought some ice cream (vanilla honey and ginger honey) – both delicious, the vanilla was sweeter, and the ginger was refreshing.

20130829_RCH_1994 20130829_RCH_1991 20130829_RCH_1997 20130829_RCH_2000Funny enough, not far from the Elephant’s Rock Cider Company was Elephant Rock (and Green Pool) – two very beautiful beaches. I’ve said it before, we’re in the south of WA at the wrong time of year. It’s great that there are so few other tourists, but all the charm of beaches and swimming holes are totally lost when you’re wearing a hoody and too scared to put more than a foot into the water. The water looked amazing, and I could only imagine how amazing (and busy) it must be during a hot dry day during summer (Green Pools especially). The moss growing on the rocks felt amazing underneath my feet – I’d love a carpet like this. At least we were lucky enough to arrive in between storms…

20130829_RCH_2001 20130829_RCH_2005We took a southern detour between Denmark and Albany to West Cape Howe National Park. It was getting fairly rural before we finally got a glimpse of the ocean again. The potholed track weaved up and down, and finally dropped us at an amazing (and deserted) beach. We couldn’t believe that we had it to ourselves, and that it was free. If only this place had a fire-powered hot water system, it’d be up there with the top camp locations on this trip. Only a few minutes after we parked a heavy storm passed through. As it was starting to ease (though, still raining heavily) a most impressive double rainbow appeared in front of us. It was incredibly luminous with great saturated colours – certainly one of the brighter that I’ve ever seen. …and two minutes later it was gone. But, that wasn’t the end of the show, as we were finishing dinner (instant ramen and some vegetables) we watched a violent (though, infrequent) electrical storm run wild over the ocean towards Albany. Sadly, it was raining and timing was difficult, so I didn’t bother with photos.

108日目 8月29日 (木)



Valley of The Giant (巨人の谷) と名付けられた森には、Tree Top Walkという背の高い木の目線をお散歩できる場所があります。

これは、最高で40mの高さの吊り橋が森の一部、木のあいだ、あいだに作られていてます。 昨日綱なしで登った60mも20mと低いけれど、なぜか昨日よりずっと高く感じました。


その後は、下から大きな木を見上げるお散歩コース。  この辺りの木は、Tingleという木らしく、とっても高く成長しますが、多くの幹は古くなると根元付近が腐食してしまいますが、これが洞窟のようになっていて、動物達の住処となったり、他の植物がそこに育ったりします。
大きな穴は、ロスくんが立って楽々うでをのばせる程大きい! それでも木は、まだまだ元気で、まっすぐ大きく空に向かい枝を伸ばしています。

この森にもあのかわいいクォッカが住んでいるらしいのですが、ここでは1匹も見つけられませんでした。 残念。。

その後は、名前は忘れたけど滝を見に行きました。 滝自体は、小さくてそれほど感動させられるものではなかったのですが、この辺りの木の成分が水に染み出ていて、滝の水は、紅茶色をしている!!!  そしてその成分のせいなのか、泡がたくさんたっていて、なんだかコーラーフロートジュースみたい?  そんな美味しそうではなく、どっちかというとキレイよりちょっと不気味だけど、とっても不思議でした!

その後は、ドライブ、ドライブ。  このへんもまだまだたくさんワイナリーやー、色々な小さな工房があります。

トフィーとサイダー工房と書かれた看板を発見!  トフィーもサイダーも大好きな私には天国かも!!


その後、サイダーを試飲させてもらいました。 この工房の家族は、イギリス人の家族で、本場イギリスの伝統的な、加糖をしていない辛口サイダーを作っていました。  アップル、なし、生姜入り、唐辛子入り、いちご入りなどなどこちらも一通り試飲させてもらいましたが、おこちゃま味覚な私には残念ながらちょっと辛口すぎでした。


入り口にいたかわいい豚ちゃんがあとで写真撮ろうと思ったら、いなくなってる!  と思ったら、うら庭に移動してました。

この豚ちゃんとっても人懐っこくて、私たちの姿をみると、ぶひっ、ぶひっと嬉しそうな声をあげ、向こう側からスキップしてご挨拶にきてくれました。 ちょうかわいいーー!!!!!


もうお昼もすぎていたので、ビーチを目指しランチをするはずが、なかなか見当たらない。。 どうやらもう少し先のよう。

と、はちみつ工房、アイスクリームのサインを発見! もちろん立ち寄ってきました。

ここでは、Mead (ミード)と呼ばれる、ハチミツから作られるお酒を販売していました。    ハチミツからお酒を造るなんて今まで聞いた事がなかったけど、これは中世とかずっと昔の、昔から飲まれているお酒らしいく、これにスパイスを加えたものは、薬として飲まれていたようです。


ホットで飲む様のスパイスが入ったものは、ニセコに戻ってから、体を温めるのにばっちりだなあと思いながらも、ワインの瓶を日本にもって帰るのは、現実大変なので残念ながら購入を断念。   そのかわり?? ハチミツバニラアイスとハチミツ生姜アイスを購入。   思い描いていたとおりの優しいハチミツの味わいがばっちり効いたとっても美味しいアイスクリームでした!



真夏の気温が高い時には、とってもきれいで気持ちのよい海なんだろうなぁ。。 泳いでみたい!

その隣には、エレファントロックという岩がありました。 そんなにゾウだ!っとはっきりした形ではないけど、確かに言われてみればゾウさんの後ろ姿ににてるかなーー。


田舎道を走って行くと、とつぜん目の前に広い海が!  そしてキャンプ地はなんととってもステキな海の目の前。  水もアクアブルーで透き通っているし、砂も白く、岩の形もすてきな岬のビーチ。

到着してすぐに突然の土砂降り。 がっかりしているとすこし空が明るくなり、虹が!!!

ほんの目の前の海から虹が始まっているのがはっきり見え、しかもダブル!  大きすぎるので、私の携帯のカメラでは撮りきれませんでした。

その大きさとビビットな色合いと、近さに大感動!  人生史上最高の虹を目にする事ができ、大興奮でした!!!

その後は、ずっと沖のほうに雷を発見。 とってもダイナミック。