Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Short Stay In Denmark, WA. Day 3.

I slept in and didn't get up until 5.30 but as the husband had voiced his displeasure the day before about all the noisy birds and had slept with earplugs I climbed out quietly and walked down to the river to see what I could see.  Only one boat going out but a few walkers with their dogs were up and about.   It was a bit cooler this morning, quite windy but I figured a ride would warm me up so I hurried back to camp and grabbed the bike and went exploring by myself.   The sign says the trail goes to a beach, 7.5km away.   We will find out next time we are there, this time I just rode a bit more than 3 km along the track then figured it must be time for a coffee.so turned around to come back.

On the way back I stopped and checked out a few of the shelters that are along the way.  The first one I looked at was number 3, called Bandicoot I think.  The track was a bit overgrown but easy enough to follow and the shelter was close to the water.  It was rundown but had seats and could be used if needed.

The thing I thought was real sad was that there was a plaque on the wooden seat in front of this shelter, a tribute to some old pioneer of the area.  But it didn't look looked after and I wondered how many people knew it was there or ever gave thanks to these guys.
The track to the next shelter I stopped to look at was more overgrown and I couldn't get to the shelter at all.  The last one I checked out was the first from the start of the track and this one was close to the track and looked new.  Same setup with table and bench seats inside.

  This is the view from the walk bridge looking out toward Wilson Inlet.
After getting back to the start of the ride I took the photos.  It was still early but time to go back to camp for coffee.

Me ol' deadly treadly was picked up from roadside rubbish a few years ago and does me well on all sorts of tracks. A couple of people have said that I should buy a new decent one but until this ones breaks down completely I will keep it.  I should give it a bit of a clean and a spray with something maybe...and one day I might...until then...It works a treat.

 Husband was still asleep but a bit of coffee making noise roused him and soon he too was up. Coffee together, a short walk, back for breakfast then packup and leave time.  We pulled out of Denmark at 9.30AM and headed for home with no unnessaseary stops planned.

We came home along the Albany Highway and of course there were a few stops.  He needs a smoke and a stretch of legs for safe driving, I need to unkink...but even without the sightseeing stops it was a long way home.   
Not too far from home we call into a stop along the Murray River, we have been here before in the van but I was too SookyLaLa to drive too close and look for the spot he wanted.  This time, in his car, he had no qualms about what sort of condition the tracks were in.  He needed to finf a crossover.  He hasn't been over it for quite a few years but had some idea where it was and it wasn't too long before he found the fjord that we needed to cross this river. The water looked so inviting and we were so hot and tired that we took time out for a splash and a bit of a soak.  

We swam this side of the rocks and log, Lovely,
.  Then back in the car and across the river and up the otherside to find the track that would bring us home.   Horrible, horrible track!  Lovely drive through the bush though and it did save us a bit of time.

Home and inside for coffee.  But no!  Husband says seeing as it's Wednesday he might go fishing.  OK, But first I had to feed the animals.  Daughter was here so she helped then we got the fishing gear ready, something packed for tea and within half an hour we had left again.  It was 8.30PM and dark by the time we got home.  Had a dozen or so fish for the freezer but I was more than ready for bed.  Hubby too as he had to work the next morning.  It was a full on three days but well worth it.  Husband says next time he wants longer if we are going so far and that's OK.
Next time though might just be an overnighter to check out that river we crossed.  We'll see.

A Short Stay In Denmark, Day 2.

Tuesday.  14 February.
Happy Anniversary To Us...25 years married today.   The reason we came down.

I was laying in bed wondering when the sun would be up when all the birds started their early morning song so I too got up to welcome the new day.  It was 4.57AM.    Put the water on for coffee when I heard the husband making noises so I added enough water for him, told him it was time to get up...and we were drinking our coffee before the sun could be seen.   A walk down to the river to watch  a couple of boats go out then back for breakfast and a planning of our day.
There was so much to see and couple of things that I wanted to do so it was important to get an early start.

Firstly we drove out along Inlet Drive and looked at a few beaches along there, all the beaches that we saw had clean white sand, lovely clean beautifully coloured water...
Our plan was to call in and have a look at a few beaches but my main want was to get to Elephant Rocks. 

Lights beach was one of the first, we didn't go down just looked out and watched a couple of fishermen not catch anything.  Went to Madfish Bay, Waterfall Beach.  That was pretty cool with a small waterfall  coming out of rocks and flowing across the sand into the sea.   On to Elephant Rocks, a short walk to Greens Pool where I was going to swim but decided I liked Elephant Cove better so we trekked back to that.  There was a lot more people there this time as it was getting later and starting to warm up.  We went in though and had a quick swim, lovely.

We swam here, the water was so cold.

Greens Pool.

Waterfall Beach.
 There are so many beautiful beaches and magnificent rock formations in this area.  Too many to see in the one day but the few we did call into has whetted our appetite for more.  
Eventually though we had to leave to go onto other places.

 Bartholomews Meadery
We called into here mainly because I had been told that they have yummy icecream and I wanted to see if that was true.  Well, that's my excuse anyway.   It was also good seeing all the stuff relating to bees and honey Because Hubby works with bees I thought it all very interesting.  A lady there asked us if we wanted to try a few tastes of Mead, Hubby wasn't interested but I was.  I tried 4 different types, a couple were quite nice but I am not a wine drinker and wont be a mead drinker so we didn't buy any.  We were interested in the honey icecream but there were so many flavours it was hard to decide.  Husband had a double and chose a coffee and a hazelnut flavour.  I had a single but the lady was kind enough to let me choose 2 flavours as well.  I chose cinnamon and something and rose.  Different flavours that I wouldn't otherwise try.   Of course I tried his and he tried mine.  The coffee was really strong but nice, the hazelnut was yummo.  Of my 2 flavours the rose was the nicer one.  The icecream wasn't really creamy though, more a grainy texture but at $3.95 for a big single serve I thought they were good value.

Toffee Factory, and a bit on the side.
 Another place where we wanted to try their icecream.  It was boasted as having the biggest cones so we came to see if that was true.

When we walked into the shop there was so much to look at and straight away the woman there came over and suggested that we try some of the samples they had set out.  I think there was a sample of everything they made and we probably had a taste of it all.  I resisted buying anything but husband bought a jar of some yummy chilli tomato passionfruit jam.
I think I would have bought a few different things if I wasn't so tight. I did think that things were a bit overpriced but maybe $9.90 for 300gm is fair?  Dunno.

The Toffee Factory also makes and sells cider.
There were samples of this available too but neither of us tried any.

After sampling everything we chose our icecream flavour.   We had seen the cups that the icecream would be served in and thought yeah, bigger than a normal cone but nothing special.  Looked at some more stuff while the lady made them and were kinda shocked when they came out twice as big as we expected.  These icecreams were smooth, soft, creamy.  We did discover though that they are not made on site but bought in as Bulla Icecream and put through a machine with the added stuff and mixed so that it comes out as a soft serve.  Husband had Blackberry and I had a peanut brittle crunch.  It was yummy icecream though and if we were to choose between this and the one from the Meadery this would probably be the one we would choose.  Maybe.  I was undecided but Husband preferred his from here.  Under $5 for a massive serve, too big seeing as we had not long had the other one!

The Maze.

It was getting on in the day and we still had stuff to do so we headed back into Denmark.   Had to call into the Maze as it was on our way.  I remember coming here many years back, must have been on our way to somewhere else but I still would have gotten stuck if the husband wasn't with me.  I think it was worth the couple of dollars donation that was being asked.

Back into town and back to camp.  Time to see if any more fish could be caught in the river.  No, not by us anyway so we drive out to Lights Beach.  Hubby sets up and starts catching fish, I sit on the sand and write a couple of letters then go off for a wander.  No swimming here as it was windy and too cool for me but a few others were in the water.    He catches a couple of feeds then calls it a day and we head back to the river mouth where there is a fish cleaning area.  As soon as we move to the cleaning area Pelicans and seagulls come from all over and stand in front of the shelter.  They all know that this is where they could get a free feed.

We ended up with a couple of feeds of fish bagged up ready to take home and after cleaning up the area it was time to go back to camp and clean ourselves up ready for our special meal.

Our plan for an anniversary dinner was to ride in and have hot chips on the river but as it was later and getting dark by the time we had a shower we drove in and parked near the playground near the river and went looking for a fish and chip shop.  No such luck, if there is one there we didn't find it.  Next choice pizza.  Nope couldn't find a pizza shop either.  Chicken Treat?  Not that keen so lets walk and look again, surely there is a F & C shop in town.  Walking past the pub we see a sign, Takeaway, fish and chips $9.95.  Husband says pub meals are usually pretty good so he goes in and buys one and meets me under the trees on the riverbank.  We open the packet and I am pleasantly surprised.  Two nice size bits of fish, chips and salad, more than enough for both of us.  No fork though but we aren't fussy and salad can be eaten with your fingers.  It's messy...but can be done.   This was one of the nicest takeaways meals I have had in a long time so if you are down that way don't be afraid of trying the pub meals.  So much better than Chicken Treat would have been.  By the time we were finished it was nearly 8.30 and we were both ready for bed so back to camp and an end to a lovely Anniversary day.   Thanks Babe.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Few Days In Denmark, Day 1.

We have been down to Denmark.  It is as lovely as I was told it would be.

I had been reading some blogs, that's where I learn about all the nice places in WA, from reading about where the people from *over East*  go when they travel over here.  On a couple of blogs I had seen the name Elephant Rocks and it sounded different so I looked it up and it looked nice.  Something that I'd like to see in person and I didn't think Denmark was that far away.   So we went.

Unfortunately we only had a few days and it is a good 4 hour drive to get there and I need regular stops to undo all the kinks I get plus I like to stop off and see places on the way...So our 4 hour drive took a tad longer!

We left home later than we wanted to at 8.30am, headed South on the Southwest Highway, down through Donnybrook, Bridgetown, Manjimup eventually coming to our first proper spot to check out.  This was Fernhook Falls.     I had been told that it was a nice spot to camp but I wanted to check it out for myself. 

The falls didn't have any water but Rowels Pool was full and inviting so I went swimming even though the water was cold.  I mean, that's what you do on adventures isn't it.  Hubby says no, you don't swim in dark cold water.  We agree to disagree, I swam he didn't.  The water is clean but because it is surrounded by trees it has tannin in it so is dark and it looked like I was swimming in a lake of cold tea.  Pretty cool.

After my swim we walked back to the car then drove down to the campsite, checked out a cabin, read some of the walls...   This cabin has bunks for 2 people and benches along the walls with a little potbelly stove for warmth when you need it.   There is a fireplace outside to be used during the cooler months, table and bench seats.  Toilets out behind.   Back into the car and on our way again.

It was a shame that we didn't have more time as it would have been nice to stop and have a look around Walpole but we had a destination and no more time for looking elsewhere.

Once we were in Denmark we pulled over so the husband could have a look at the map then went and checked out the couple of caravan parks that we had on our list to use as our basecamp.  The first park was second on my list, it looked clean but busy but was real close to the river and estuary.  But big and busy. 
The second park was my original preferred choice but after driving around it and checking out the river and the paths into town we went back to the other one. 

So we booked into the Rivermouth Caravan Park,
 found a site, unloaded the Cruiser
then rode the bikes on the track along the river the short distance into town.   

Had a too quick look there, bought some food from a small IGA then back to camp for a coffee before Husband tried his luck fishing in the river.  We picked a spot a short distance from the bridge near the caravan park.   There were people swimming just up from us but it wasn't hot enough for me.  The water here is like the water at Rowels Pool at FernHook Falls.  Dark due to all the tannins from the trees.  It is a murky dark colour but still clean.  We caught nothing here so rode up closer to the mouth.  He had a few bites here and finally caught something for tea   Once it was dark and the mozzies were out we rode back to camp, showered, cooked up the one fish, some bacon, some eggs, ate tea, quick cleanup then into the back of the cruiser to sleep 'til morning.