Sunday 3rd August 2008
We were out of bed by 9 am and down the market by 10 am, it must be the middle of winter be cause there weren’t many stalls there at all today despite it being a glorious day.
The weather this morning was beautiful, after the market we went to the seafront to have a coffee while the kids played in the park.
Another sign that this must be the middle of winter, the café where we would normally buy our coffee is closed, it was closed last weekend but we put that down to the bad weather. Today the sun was shining and there were people everywhere, we ended up having to go to one of the other cafes to get a take away and then went and sat where we normally would, outside the first café just in case the kids came looking for us.
After we had finished our coffee and the kids had informed us that they were bored, we got in the car and headed for Donnybrook. Donnybrook is as far as we know, just a town that is inland, has a fair share of Carnivals etc and is mentioned quite a lot.
On the way to Donnybrook we saw a sign for Nannup and as we were once going to look at a business there, we turned off and headed for there instead. The distances over here are still hard to get your head round, we drove down what was basically a country lane at 110 kmph, approx 70 mph, for the best part of three quarters of an hour without seeing another Town or Village.
We did stop on the way at Cambray Sheep Cheese factory where we tasted an assortment of cheeses before purchasing a couple of slices.
At Nannup it was almost like going back in time, the housing was made up mainly of what appeared to be Settlement housing. The majority were, wooden frame, wooden boarded, small houses, similar to the one we saw a couple of weeks ago at the Old Butter Factory in Busselton.
This is a heavily forested area so presumably the housing is now used mainly by people employed in the forest, the rivers were flooded and there were plenty of cattle around so this obviously isn’t one of the inland areas that is suffering from the drought. What’s the betting though that they have people here who walk into the shops and let everyone know that they think that we could do with a bit more of this rain, despite the fact that the rivers are flooded, the cattle have got foot rot or whatever it’s called and that the water is rapidly approaching their front doors, it’s that sort of place.
We were very low on fuel by the time we got to Nannup so we thought we had better fill up before we did anything else just in case they closed early, there was a sign on the door which read, if we are closed ring (number) and for five dollars extra we will open up to serve you, if you fill the tank, no charge. Now how many places do you know that would offer that level of service?
We went to the local Winery which is called Fishbone and sampled a few of their wines, we weren’t totally impressed and left empty handed.
Then we went for a walk round town, it is only a small place and didn’t take very long, but as a contrast to housing that we were brought up with in the UK it was very interesting and with these small wooden houses scattered around it is almost like time has not quite stopped, merely decided not to move as fast as the rest of the world.
We had a look round an Antiques shop which was quite interesting, so much of the stuff came out here from the UK and compared to what you would pay back in the UK, for some of the Furniture especially, it would have been a bargain. Unfortunately our house has Jarrah Door Frames and Skirting Boards which is most definitely an Australian wood, so English Oak woodn’t really go with it. There are a couple of furniture places in town where you can have it made to order, presumably because they are not going through a middle man the prices are quite reasonable compared to some of the mass produced stuff that you see in Busselton made of the same wood, and you probably wouldn’t have to wait as long to get it.
We had lunch in Nannup, in a small Café which appeared to be a sort of healthy options/vegetarian place. Presumably they realised that there weren’t enough veggies around to keep them going and had accepted that they would have to do some meat and fish, they did make it hard to find though, both on the menu and the plate and the coffee was dire.
After lunch we drove along the Tourist Route that follows the river from Nannup to Balingup, we stopped at another Cheese Factory en route and tasted some of the different varieties that were on offer, none of them were particularly outstanding so again we left empty handed. As we were driving out we saw a sign which indicated a flood level from 1982, now bearing in mind the river is flooded at the moment and it is the middle of winter, this marker must have been at least 20 feet above the current level. The surprising thing though, was that the flood happened in January 1982, right in the middle of summer.
As we got to the edge of Balingup we came upon another Old Cheese Factory, this one has been turned into an Arts and Crafts Centre but also has a lot of old and antique furniture.
We thought that the antique shop in Nannup was a little gem but it had nothing on this place, as you walk in you go through the area that the local artists and craftsmen use to show off their wares, again at reasonable prices compared with Busselton or the Cities. Then as you walk to the back there are a couple of big rooms which house the old furniture and art, some of this stuff is absolutely amazing. The majority of it has come from the UK and northern Europe and is in excellent condition for its age, when we have made our millions Carolyn is coming back on a shopping spree.
From there we headed back to Busselton via Donnybrook and Capel, we had Panini for tea whist watching the first Lord of the Rings film with the kids before having an early night.
It has been an interesting, enjoyable day and it only rained while we were driving. We decided to call the cat Sterling, so we will now have Sterling Silver.