Our rendezvous point was at the Rendezvous Studio Hotel. A dog owner arrived to pick up his daily paper. We were picked up by a mini bus and transferred to the rear of the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre where we boarded a proper coach for our trip. I can't imagine why we were only two of eight on the coach. No matter where we went, anyone who dealt with us told us how lucky we were to not being two among forty people, forty being the norm. The last time I heard this stated I think I smelt a rat. Still, at around $200 per head, 200 x 8 = $1600, I am sure the tour company covered costs. If the norm is 40 people, that is $8,000, but as I said, I am sceptical about this. Nevertheless, the tour was very good. The coach had usb ports for charging things, which should be standard and perhaps is. Our driver, Peter, was terrific with his commentary and his driving skills.
In the middle of the freeway ran the train to Mandurah. There were many trains and our coach driver told us that it is 6 minute train service inbound for the morning peak. We paced an outbound train for a time, with our coach travelling at 110 km/hr and the train was getting away from us until it had to slow down for as station. By Japanese and Euro standards, no big deal, but not bad for Australia. No Melburnian who has a reasonable knowledge of public transport can understand how the Mandurah train line could have built so cheaply, when it costs so much more here to build a rail line. For most of its journey, it runs down the middle of a freeway. If we must build freeways to the gods, the motor car, then always a rail line should be built in the middle.
Western Australia had a terrible bush fire late last year that devastated the small township of Yarloop. The town has gone and it is unlikely to be rebuilt. For some kilometres we passed by burnt trees and landscapes.
We arrived at Busselton, famous for once having the longest timber pier in the southern hemisphere. Alas, it is now concrete but still very long at 2 km, 1.2 miles.
I did not expect the beachside to be quite so beautiful. It really was a delight.
The jetty stretches out so far because the water is very shallow.
A slow train runs out onto the jetty and it was very full.
I don't know what this spinning thing is. Decorative?
Nicely decorated rubbish bins with scenes of the old timber pier.
We had time for coffee and the back onto the coach for our lunch at Bootleg Brewery. There was quite a bit of fuel reduction burning in the forests. This is what my niece and nephew do over summer months into autumn. The smoke became quite thick at times and permeated the coach, leading one person to have a coughing fit.
A little humour at the entrance to Bootleg Brewery.
Here I will go with the former motor mechanic nerdy persona. Most buses and coaches now have automatic gears that seem to work like an automatic car. This Volvo bus had automatic gears, but unlike anything I have experienced. I can best describe it as the gears were changed by an invisible person. You could feel the clutch depressed, the gear changed, and then the clutch let in and the bus then took up power. Yet, it was all done automatically. It was quite weird. It was very obvious when the bus was turning a corner and the gears changed, not a gear change a driver would make half way around a corner.
It was a pretty location for lunch.
Pointless looking at all the brewing equipment as I would not know what did what.
We stopped for some wine tasting at Sandalford Winery and then journeyed on to Mammoth Caves. Many bones from the post dinosaur period (giant fauna?) were found inside the cave, victims of an opening in the roof of the cave.
A pinkish hue to these eucalyptus tree trunks.
I think I kept referring to it as Point, but it is Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at the most south westerly point of Australia.
Lads fishing. We stopped for a break at the town of Margaret River for a very expensive cup of tea in a super trendy cafe. Margaret River itself was little more than a dry watercourse for much of its length.
I wasn't feeling too well, but still managed to enjoy my dinner back in Busselton. After we journeyed on we had to divert from the freeway because of a car accident. Using my phone map apps, I gave the driver with some navigation help as he did not know where alternative roads were. That added 15 minutes to the journey home and one of our fellow passengers was staying in Perth's Northbridge (nightlife) area and we became firmly stuck in Friday night traffic there and in the city. I was still not feeling well and did some googling to find a doctor who was working on Saturday morning. I found one and booked an appointment using the online system. Finally we were back and decided take things a little easier on Saturday.