In addition to lecturing at Vose Seminary, Kris and I took a short vacation south of Perth in Margaret River — “Mahgs” to locals. We are profoundly grateful to Michael O’Neil and Brian Harris for working out this arrangement. We loved the Margaret River area.
A brief explanation: Margaret River is a cosy village on the south western coast, famous for its surrounding vineyards, restaurants, and glorious beaches and rugged coastal areas. Kris and I had our morning breakfast and coffee and then just wandered to and through a few vineyards, up the coast to Busselton’s jetty and the beach at Bunker Bay and then we drove to the very end of Sugarloaf Road where we saw some majestic water crashing. And I don’t want to fail to mention the rugged, windy coast at Yallingup.
Oh, lest I forget, we somehow found ourselves at Berry Farm for Devonshire Tea more than once, and we were treated to some Honey Eaters swiping sugar from our hands! We chose to order two of their famous “teas” — so we could split each and taste each. If you are near Margaret River, we’d urge you not to miss this special place.
And the roos. Everyone here in the USA knows two things about Australia — they’ve got kangaroos and they’ve got koalas. (Plus Paul Hogan and Olivia Newton John.) We had gone more than two days without seeing any “roos” when we got a tank of gas and asked a local where they are. She said, “They’re everywhere!” Which meant we were either blind or she was exaggerating. So Kris asked the magical question. What time of day can you see them? She said, “Every evening is good.” So, at 5pm we drove south, turned east on a road and boom, boom, about 30 roos in the field next to us. So every evening we found roos in different locations and by the time we left “Mahgs” we had seen about 200 of them. They’re everywhere. And they’re big. (We didn’t see koalas, Hogan or Newton John.)
I want to rate the coffees of the Margaret River area. I have two tops: in the mornings we sampled a few coffee shops, so we did taste four known coffees. I’d rate Yahava and 5 Senses as my top choice, and then I’d put Yallingup and Dome as my second choice. (Yes, we bought beans at Yahava — near where we saw the roos — and found 5 Senses beans at the Urban Bean coffee shop.)
Through those five days we kept reminding ourselves that the good folks of Australia were calling it “winter.” OK, winter, we thought. We call this Fall or Spring, but it got up to 70 more than once; the sky was mostly clear; and there wasn’t even a hint of snow. Such winters!