Wine, wine and more wine ...

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Monday, June 28, 2010

So my solo venture commenced! I rented a car for 10 days and set out to conquer the South West Coast. It felt liberating and also scary to be on my own again and have total freedom as to what I did and where I went after so long being totally organised by someone else. I was a little nervous in the car to start as I hadn't driven for 6 months but soon loved my red Getz.
    On the way to Margs I stopped in Bunbury which is the largest city on the west coast after Perth. It was tiny! The main city centre had a couple of streets with restaurants and shops but not much more. Obviously the surrounding area could be bigger but it was definately a taste of things to come. After my lunch stop in Bussleton it was a supermarket stop in Bussleton which is the centre of the whale watching. It also had a 2km long pier but it was shut for renovation and I didn't much fancy it anyway and it was blowing a gale and freezing. 
   I finally arrived in Margs about 5pm and it was freezing and raining and there were a total of 10 people in the whole place and I was the only girl. I soon learnt that everyone else was there for the surf...which you wouldn't catch me in for a million bucks cold, wet, and rough thanks! Was an amazing backpackers though...the best I think I have ever stayed amazing kitchen, nice furnishings in the dorms, big TV lounge which was put to good use with a bottle of wine and the England group match. 
    The Thursday was the one of the only sunny days the entire time I was there so we headed out to the Lighthouse at Yallinup. That was the amazing thing about having a car - the ability to choose where to go when you wake up. I didn't appreciate the sunshine enough that day obviously because when it came to going to visit Augusta and the Cave Road which is a 250km scenic route through the South West linking Bussleton to Augusta it rained and was freezing. I couldn't see any whales in the was that choppy they could have been right on the shore and I wouldn't have seen them. Apparently I was supposed to see the Southern and Paciffic Oceans crashing into each other similar to Cape Point in SA but all I saw was rain, cloud and grey water. Scenic of what...especially as my rain coat was stolen in Thailand. 
   Saturday was even worse. It was literally raining cats, dogs, frogs, mice and any other creature you can think of. It was so heavy you couldn't see out the windscreen 2 seconds after the wipers. Lucky then that it was my wine tour! 4 vineyards, a brewery, a cheese and chocolate factory were going to keep me entertained whatever the weather! Unfortunately I had a group of couples and a big group of girls who all knew each other. I hate those groups they make it so difficult to make friends. Although there were a nice couple of Aussie sisters who I just stuck to and hoped they didn't mind! 
   It got predicably messy after at least 3 choices of white and red at each vineyard although progress had been made and I can now live with red wine. I didn't think that the tour was worth the money spent but I guess it was good to have a designated driver although going the next day in a group was much more fun and I could have saved myself 80 bucks. I ended up back at Louise and Rachel's backpackers which made it even more apparent that I had made the right choice to stay out of town. You didn't really want to touch anything as it was like a really bad student house. We played drinking games and I ended up finishing my bottle of wine before I got chucked out at 10pm as I wasn't staying there. I did want to point out that I wouldn't want to stay there and had a nice place of my own thanks! We ended up at the pub and there were lots of strange people around! 
    Hangover day! I was so glad that I had booked to stay an extra night as there was no way I was going to make it 250km on my own tired and hungover especially as I had managed to stay up until 6am! We hoped into the car and visited a vineyard for lunch and got rid of the hangover with hair of the dog. It was hilarious when the girls headed back to Perth and left me with 4 boys 3 of which were over 6 foot to fit into my Getz while I drove being the smallest person! The England match was predicatably disappointing but I still managed to stay up until 3am chatting. No idea where all this staying power was coming from...normally I can't stay up super late especially after wine. I have to say after 5 days in Margs I love it...probably my fav place in Australia to add to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, Koh Tao in Thailand, Luang Pabang in Laos and Kruger in SA. 
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Bronwyn Sole on

I loved Margaret River too! Good luck with New Zealand!

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