This was a planned relax day (my friend said she needed a "relax" day every other day) so we didn't go out as early as yesterday. We picked up some brochures the day before and the two that really interested us were the Yallingup Surf School and the Yallingup Shearing Shed. As both were in Yallingup, we decided to make our way back up north. Sheep shearing in the morning and surfing in the afternoon - sounds perfect... but things never go as planned.
Neither of the brochures said "no entry to the shearing show if you are late" or "surfing class available EARLY morning only". Add unintended stops during the day, our "plan" sort of derailed. Nevertheless, we still had a great day :) Luckily, we aren't the type of person where it's Armageddon if things don't go exactly as planned. We just modified and adopted our "plan".
Gabriel Chocolate - we saw this on our way up and made our first ad hoc stop of the day. This place boasts to be the first bean to bar chocolate maker in Western Australia. I have to say the chocolate is definitely of high quality and taste delicious. My favorite is definitely the Chuao from Venezuela, with Nacional from Ecuador coming in as a close second! And after this trip, I definitely prefer to snack on "nib" rather than blueberry any given day :)
Since the chocolate is quite expensive, we only each got a macaroon to go - almost as good as Vee's (when are you posting your recipe? or better yet, just feed me! LOL)
Smith's Beach - Since it was still early (the brochure says the shearing show starts at 11am), we decided to drive up and check out the surfing school first (and inquire / sign up for a class). Approximately 10 minutes from the shed's sign, we passed by a lookout area of a beautiful each. Of course we had to make a stop, especially after seeing the "whale carcass" sign and some toned surfers (*blush*), we decided to make our way down to the beach.
We didn't see any whale carcass in the end but did come across some stinky carcass... and oh-my-god the flies! it's definitely an invasion. Who knew instead of mosquito repellent what I really needed is a fly repellent / net / band.
|who said this is beginner friendly!?|
|no swim / surf - you don't say!|
|apparently, hot guys don't read (or care?) :P|
|flies! this is actually an understatement!|
For the more adventurous readers, this is also one of the entry ways to the Cape to Cape track.
Yallingup Shearing Shed - Finally the first planned stop for the day. We probably got there right around 11 am but tallied a bit in the yard since we were greeted by a barn of friendly sheep. So when we got in and asked for tickets to the show, the old lady said "Sorry, you are late. Come back on Saturday." Seriously, I looked at my watch and it says 11:15 am. No where says you MUST be on-time to get in for the show and that there is only 1 show a day, 5 times a week. (We happened to be there on a Wednesday -.-|||)
The website actually says the following: "SHOW TIMES are at 11am. 6 DAYS A WEEK. No live shows on Fridays (all year round). During the whole month of August there will be NO Shearing Demonstrations however the shop will be Open 7 days all of August ,as usual. Please phone 97552309 for information or group bookings." Definitely disappointed but oh well, money saved. I guess the work ethic is really different in this part of the world.
|they all came running to us|
|yeah, why don't you tell us later?|
|The wool is actually quite rough, I prefer cashmere.|
|and real expensive...|
Dunsborough Bakery - This place was recommended by a local Aussie and the only eatery in our "plan" for the entire trip. Originally intended for Day 1 but we were too tired so I am glad we had a chance to come here. We ordered a surfer pie (bacon & egg) and a steak & Guinness pie. Both are tasty, I won't drive all the way down from Perth for it but if you happened to be in the area, definitely worth a try.
|A pretty good map of the area we were at|
|Beef & Guinness|
|The acclaimed surfer pie|
We went for coffee (there were cafe everywhere) and walked around in Dunsborough, a real laid-back town. Maybe nobody works here - the picture on the top right is a "joke" I saw on "LOL Pics", an iPhone app. The one on the bottom left is the "real" deal.
Yallingup Reef - At this point, we still haven't found the location of the surfing school and pretty much gave up surfing but decided to drive up and have a look at real Yallingup. The whole town is pretty much the coast and residential area. I guess Yallingup residents probably all go to Dunsborough to "hang out" when they are tired of the beach.
Aravina Estate - can't call it a day in the Margaret River region without stopping at a winery. This one happens to be on our list and on our way. Consequently, even though we know very well that they will probably chase us out at 5pm sharp, we barged in around 430pm (I found out just now that they actually close at 430pm... >.<|||) Oh well, sorry!
|I feel like I am in Phuket or Bali|
Settlers Tavern - since we got back pretty early, we opted to have dinner in-town. Seems like the whole town ate there. Believe it or not, last order is at 830pm. We ordered the Garlic Bread, Catch of the Day (Baramundi) and the "Lamp Pops" & Haloumi Salad. We really wanted to order oysters but they were sold out and I really wanted to substitute the mashed potatoes for potato wedges but was refused and told "they don't match". Instead, they let me substitute the mash for chips (aka french fries - weird!). (A whole order of wedges is just too much for the two of us...)
The barramundi is very moist and tender. You can definitely tell it's a "catch" instead of "farmed". The lamb wasn't bad but I guess we were expecting more. My friend definitely loved the haloumi salad. She won't stop talking about beetroots for the rest of the trip - since it's a vegetable not commonly used in Chinese cuisine and hard to get from the market.)
|inside of the Tavern|
|Catch of the Day|
|Lamp Pops & Haloumi Salad|
"When in a tavern, order a beer!" I asked for a recommendation for a local tap beer and the bartender (girl) said "Heineken". Seriously? Even with my limited knowledge, I know Heineken is from Holland (I don't care if it's brewed in Australia)... *fail* The other bartender quickly offered me to try the James Squire Pale Ale instead. Although this is from New South Wales, at least it's still an Australian brand...
Alas, that wraps day 3... stay tuned for more... (if you ain't bored out of your mind yet!)