Majella and I were moving early with time to attend to Wordle and communications before eating a leisurely breakfast. Lynne and John soon joined us.
A little after 8:30 am we went down to the car and Majella drove to Prevelly, about 10 minutes away. There we parked and walked a couple of hundred metres to see the surf beach. The path was lined with bushes and a liberal scattering of wildflowers including purple hardenbergia which we saw in various places throughout the day. The wind was blowing, though not as strongly as yesterday, and the surf was rough. There was a light shower of rain as we walked back to the car.
Our next stop was at Boranup Forest Viewpoint, about 20 km south on Caves Road. It was marked by a sign with a camera and the website I had checked indicated that there was a 200 metre track to a platform with a view of the forest. We set off uphill on the track. At first it was broad and well defined but then narrowed and was overgrown in places. There was a profusion of purple hardenbergia and some red flowers that looked very similar.
Eventually we called a halt to our climb without finding the promised platform. We could see enough to get some photos but as we reached the broader track on the way down we found ourselves on a flat area with a good view and decided that may have been the platform site before a fire took it out.
Just down the road we turned off to the Boranup Gallery and Pies and Ale. My original plan for the day had Pies and Ale as a possible lunch stop but it was just 10 am so too early for lunch. We hoped for coffee but neither the gallery nor cafe was open until 11 am. Lynne and Majella fell into conversation with another couple who were there but were soon ready to move on.
As Majella drove on down Caves Road she passed a couple of participants in the Margaret River Open Studios event. Eventually she could no longer resist temptation and stopped for the next one she saw. That was Caves Timbers, where we found Ben Edwards in his workshop and a variety of items in polished wood and resin. We liked the large dining table but it cost $9600 and was heavy so we let it stay and went away with a smaller cutting board in dark jarrah with purple resin along one side as Majella’s birthday gift. Lynne and John bought a similar board in a different colour.
We continued down Caves Road looking for coffee end eventually found a bakery as we arrived at Augusta. Coffees with a shared florentine slice filled some small gaps before we pressed on toward Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.
There was a lookout point marked as we approached the lighthouse so we paused there for photographs. The wind was gusty and large waves were breaking on the shore and on islets and reefs further out. We stopped again before the lighthouse to look at the remains of an old waterwheel that had been driven by water channeled down a wooden trough from further up the hill. At that point the wind was strong enough to help us up the steps on our return to the car.
At the lighthouse John and Lynne opted to stay in the gift shop at the entrance and explore some the history and natural features in the books there. Majella and I paid our entrance, visited the interpretation centre in one of the old cottages, and walked up the gentle hill to the lighthouse. We did not go in but walked onto the observation decks to see the sea and the area where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.
From Cape Leeuwin Majella drove north to Leeuwin Estate, recommended by Steve for its art gallery. It was 1 pm by the time we arrived there and we were hoping to find lunch but the only offering was a full 3 courses for $115 plus wines and none of us really needed to eat or pay that much. We visited the gallery and viewed the artworks that have featured on wines from the Art Series over the years. There were examples from several well known artists including Arthur Boyd and John Olsen. Outside there was a gallery of photographs of musical artists who had performed at the estate over the years. Again, there were numerous famous names.
A little way up the road we stopped at Voyager Estate, another of those recommended by Steve, this one for its rose garden. As we walked down a hallway to the dining room looking for lunch the artist in residence for the open studios event engaged us in conversation. Majella and I managed to escape long enough to ascertain that the lunch offer was a similar 3 course affair to what we had found at Leeuwin estate. We passed on that but as we returned up the hallway Majella and Lynne were trapped for a series of photographs by the artist who was evidently pleased to find somebody looking at her work.
John and I made our way to the tasting area to check what was on offer there. Once our wives had rejoined us we settled for a flight of 3 reds (equivalent to one glass) each (tasting to be shared with wives) and two platters, one of cheese and the other of charcuterie. Staff attended us at our table with informative explanations of the wine and food which we all enjoyed as lunch. On the way back to the car we visited the rose garden and the organic kitchen garden from which the chefs forage some of their ingredients.
From Voyager we drove north for about 30 minutes to Vasse Felix, the founding winery of the region. Like the others we had visited it was an impressive building set in very well kept grounds. We spent some time there looking at an art display and in the downstairs area, originally a tasting room but now a display of material about the history of the estate.
Our last stop was at the Margaret River Chocolate Company. We had ice cream cones there and Majella bought some chocolate for later consumption. While we were there Nick called to wish Majella happy birthday.
As we drove through Margaret River to buy fuel before going back to our apartment, Hannah made her birthday call. Claire was voluble with excitement about the call or packing for their trip away tomorrow to Callum’s motorcycle event at Kyogle.
Back at the apartment we had some time to rest before going out for Majella’s 7:15 pm birthday dinner at Pizzica. Majella and I shared a pescatore pizza topped with a variety of seafood. Lynne and John had a fungi pizza on a GF base. Majella and Lynne drank cider. John and I drank Shiraz. None of us really needed dessert but we were intrigued by chocolate salami, so named because the prices of biscotti in the chocolate look like pieces of fat in salami. That came with ice cream and berries and was enjoyed by all.
Back at the apartment Majella found 12 Mighty Orphans on Netflix and we settled back to watch that until bedtime.