The Kari Forest Explorer

Trip Start Jan 22, 2011
Trip End Feb 24, 2011

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Where I stayed
Glenhaven B&B

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday Feb. 3

Woke up at 5:45 to the sound of hooves and the rustling of leaves outside. I peeked out of the window and to my delight I saw 4 kangaroos eating the shrubbery right outside our cabin. Amazing! I just watched them for about 10 minutes, two adults and two baby joeys if I remember right. They were so big! Typical me, as I went to get me camera out they startled and ran off, but not before I got some stunning pics! I'll never get bored of spotting kangaroos, wow! I went and told suk, and she came out with me, but they had gone- oh well!

I went over to the kitchen area and made a cuppa, then we both sat out on our balcony to enjoy the early morning. Lovely it was still only 6:30, we sat there listening to the birds making some very strange noises, the bees buzzing, and the wind gently blowing, it was a lovely breeze. And it looked like it was going to be a wonderful day! Twenty minutes later the kangaroos came back and suk got a great look at them! Nice surprise!

Breakfast was at 8am and we were treated to a fabulous cooked breakie. Sausages to die for! Suk had the lot as well. This is a bad habit we seem to be getting into! Breakfast was very slow with lots of chatting, oh and I must mention Jim’s coffee is second to none! I can’t remember how many pots we got through, but who cares as we were not in any hurry today. Jim soon joined us and wonderfully explained all the sights in and around town for us to see and answered any questions we had. Felt like we were back in school asking the teacher! Ha-ha.

So with the sun shining we set off for Brook Dam. It's only about 5 minutes down the road, but the pictures on Jim’s wall looked wonderful so I had to go and have a look. The dam really wasn’t anything special, but the surrounding lake was lovely! A tranquil green color, it looked very inviting! The tall trees and greenery surrounding the lake gave it a more secluded feel.

We took a leisurely walk around before coming across what looked like a man made beach area, but it looked so natural. So I stripped off and went in for a swim! Wow heaven!! Not cold at all but perfect in every way. I swam out to the middle, well kind of, and then enjoyed the sun beating down on me while I dried off at the edge. Suk had found a nice quiet shady area under a tree to relax. We stayed there for a good hour and as usual we were the only ones there! The weather was perfect as well about 25c not humid at all.

The plan now was to take the Kari Forest Explorer route. Which is a 25 km look/ track that explores the trees and forests. We set off and soon the road turned into gravel and we were off road (we were not too concerned as Jim has assured us it was perfectly doable in our hire car). Oh well it had to be done I thought. Actually it wasn't too bad, the road was very windy, but spectacular in every sense. Driving through the forests was breathtaking! After about 30 minutes or so, we noticed a sign to a winery and thought we’d take a quick break and have a look.

We turned off and drove up a tiny lane which followed the grape vines coming to a lovely wooden house set in colorful gardens. We ventured in and wasted no time in tasting some local red and white wines and also some cider. Not a fan of cider! Suk was in her element! We took a glass with us outside to sit in the garden to enjoy the views over the valley. Then suddenly the Belgian couple from our b&b arrived! We got talking again and as this was such a nice place we decided to buy a bottle and enjoy a glass each in the gardens. Wonderful! We stayed again for over an hour, before hitting the road again.

Having enjoyed a wonderful break it was time to head on. We slowly crept out of the winery and continued along the Kari Explorer route. Out next stop was Beedelup waterfalls! However, although a lovely setting, the waterfalls were all but a dribble today. No complaining as I adore this sunny weather it makes everything seem so much more alive! Anyway we found a nice spot there and enjoyed lunch of rolls, nuts, fruit and cake AGAIN. Packing lunch is always the best way!

We continued on and funnily passed the Belgain couple once again this time coming back from yet another winery. Ha-ha it was so funny, we just stopped in the middle of the road and had a chat. That's the good thing about Australia, never any traffic or even a car in sight (well, especially where I tend to go anyway)! They were heading to the lavender and berry farm, which we intended to go to later. “We’ll probably see you there” I laughed and we continued on up to the next winery.

On Arrival we were greeted by some kangaroos and 3 little rabbits all playing in the field adjacent to the winery. We didn't try any wines here and just wanted a look around, but I ended up playing ball with the dog she loved playing with her rugby ball. Suk took some pictures. But I didn't last long as it was quite hot now.

We continued to follow the Kari Forest explorer on to one of Pemberton's main tourist attractions "The Bicentennial Tree". A 75m climbing tree which in fact is the world’s tallest climbing tree! Wow it was big! We saw people coming down and they looked like ants way up there. People at the bottom were busy talking away, either about attempting the climb or reflecting on their own climb. There are long steel pegs pierced into the tree at regular intervals which go the entire way up the tree. Closer to the top there are several viewing platforms.

Well me being me I had to go up, so up I went, very nervously should I add, and the glass of wine I had for lunch wasn't helping. Ha-ha! Thank god no one was coming down as I went up. The secret was to keep looking up and not down! A few nervous minutes later I had made it to the first platform, and I was over the moon to have made it this far, but then I read a sign saying that that was the easy part! oh no, so once again I had to keep going, I’m not sure how long passed, but I soon arrived at the second platform and from three I was way up amongst the high branches, soon I couldn't even see the bottom which made finishing the climb a whole lot easier! However, the final few steps were very steep and you had to carefully navigate over some awkward branches.

The views from the top were awesome. All I could see was a sea of tree tops. This tree was a good 5 meters taller than the rest!! It was frightfully scary especially when the wind picked up! You feel so exposed up there. The climb down was even scarier as you had to look down to the next rung each time you stepped, nervy stuff. Anyway, I'm glad I did it! At the bottom we passed a few others who were thinking about doing it too, so i had to offer a few words of advice, as I was now a veteran in tree climbing.

We jumped (or should i say hobbled, as my legs were still shaking) back in the car and decided to check out the Lavender and Berry farm, too. Maybe we would meet the Belgian couple again. The Kari Forest explorer ended in town! I had really enjoyed the adventure of driving on the gravel road up and down round and around. It was amazing! I will recommend both the drive and of course Pemberton to everyone I know!

It was about 4:30pm by the time we reached the farm. It was set in a glorious location right in front of a small lake, nestled around a wonderfully pretty garden. We rummaged around the cute little shop, and explored the gardens. Suk really enjoyed this place. Unfortunately, we were too late to go berry picking, but we did have time for a cup of tea though, nice! As expected we found the Belgian couple sitting amongst the flowers on a table close to the lake, and they were delighted to see us. Together we savored the views and relaxed for a while. We would have liked to have had more time here, but oh well maybe next time.

We were quite tired now and all decided to go back to the B&B for a rest. Once back I made another cuppa and suk and I sat on the balcony enjoying the peace, quiet and tranquility of being amongst the trees. Bliss! I think I could easily spend the whole day sitting here. We have fallen in love with Pemberton!

Later we met a new couple, locals from Perth, and the 6 of us enjoyed yet more sherry in the lounge. However, the new couple really did like to talk and Suk was beginning to doze off, so I quickly made our excuses (Not before agreeing to have dinner with the Belgian couple again) and we left them to it. Phew!

That night we decided to try a different place for dinner. Jim had recommended the Pemberton hotel (It was the motel that we went to last night), so once again we piled into Serge’s car and he sped off. We admired the glorious sunset from an outside table over an amazing roast dinner, and another bottle of wine. We all had a lovely evening, talking about our travels and living in Asia (They live in Beijing and we live in Korea).

Today was one of our best days, full of adventure, wonderful scenic drives, glorious weather, delicious wines, and great company! Tomorrow we drive out to Augusta which is on the south west coast and where the Indian and the pacific oceans meet.

Thanks for reading. Only two more days left...
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