Seaweed, Degustation and Alpacas

Wandering the foreshores in Flinders Bay near Cape Leeuwin is great for pondering, as well as walking the Jack Russell. Take the humble seaweed. Seaweed and other sea plants are a vital resource for oxygenating the planet – up to 50% of the air we breathe comes from them – and in some countries, a popular and wonderfully nutritious source of food for humans.  Yet we, in Australia, with over 1,000 varieties, all edible, do almost nothing about harvesting this natural wonder – all the seaweed in my larder comes from Chinatown!

Miles and mile of beaches piled with seaweed, rotting in the sun – and 23million people will starve this year.

Food for thought (pardon the pun) High mounds of seaweed left on Flinders Bay beaches – not raked off for the sunbathers.

Travelling north, a first sight of pure Indian Ocean is worth careening down a sandhill to get a photo.

…but can we get out again?…
It’s real and it’s the Indian Ocean!

 We visit the last of the manually operated lighthouses in Australia, at Cape Naturaliste, not as spectacular as Cape Leeuwin, but a sight just the same. It was converted to automatic in 1978, but the last lighthouse keeper stayed until 1996

Now we’re on our way through country wild with Blackboys to the Margaret River region for a few days. (Blackboy?  Isn’t that politically incorrect these days? – although the alternative, Xanthorrhoea, does sound more like a disease than the ebullient grass-trees they are)

Blackboys dominate for miles on the road to the Margaret River

The country gradually grows audaciously, recklessly rich and clinically beautiful, seen with eyes still used to the frugality of the Nullarbor and the rough beauty of the great Tindle and Karri forests.   The well-kept green grass and spreading grape and olive groves, the well-behaved Angus cattle and the very neatness of the signs, seemingly around every corner, pointing to the hundreds of wineries, are almost decadent.   

For camping, we find a wedding venue – which is not allowed to have weddings (local councils from one side of Oz to the other seem the same) – blissful camping is this, at Spring Waters Estate. We’re not on a wine tour, but we’ll hang around for a few days, maybe take in a Degustation meal or two.

Degustation at Rustica, five courses, five wines, Charlie under the table and the grape vines just outside

Perth is a necessary stop – our Sprinter van is up to its sixth – yes sixth – recall since purchase in November 2019. There’s also a better attachment for the bikes I want, and Ted wants airbags above the back axle.   But there’s an escape from all this urbanisation – we find a home on a sheep property/apple orchard and cidery, in a place called Carmel – no not California, in the Perth Hills.

What a delight in store – Julian n Joan, our buddy Sprinter owners/commiserators, old sailing friends and now Dungog residents, turn up unexpectedly at the Carmel Cidery and we sojourn in the nearby Kalamunda Pub.

Next, we’re turning east to Kalgoorlie…

One thought on “Seaweed, Degustation and Alpacas

  1. I can tell you are enjoying the good life again and enjoying the company of the Hodges too. Say hello from us.
    Election over & the Nats are back but hopefully as David lives in Clarencetown we get our fair share of money in this shire. We are about to get a safer crossing at our gate this month so look forward to what is planned.
    Winter arrived today & tomorrow we are going to Jillian & Steven Stibbard’s at Hilldale for lunch ( they have just crossed the Simpson Desert) so shall have to open the winter wardrobe.
    Justin did his taxation exam yesterday so hopefully he will be employable again and Xanthe has a number of new clients now that her work for Tracy has finished. Toby came in 10th in cross country at Tocal and is a reserve for state in Sydney.
    Next Sat we dine with the Roy & Jill Harris who have been to Birdsville & met up with the Chandlers in Broken Hill or it might have been Richard & Liz Jones. Everyone is on the move! Can’t wait to head north on July.
    Love your photos and your commentary!

    XCas & Marty (who is watching his third game of rugby!)


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