The initial pull to Western Australia was never living in the tiny town of Williams. Try as we might, there is just not enough to keep us interested there for long. Many eyebrows have been raised when I tell new acquaintances where I work, as Narrogin has a formidable reputation as having a high rate of dysfunctional inhabitants, to put it bluntly. I have met many lovely people there, but it is not the place for us. Gina often sees the unsettling undercurrents of troubled youth in her high school and I teach some of their younger siblings. There is a good reason that staff here are paid very well for the risks and challenges they face. I don't get those extra "danger pay" benefits that Bec does, nor do I get paid her bonus for working at a relatively remote school. Hence our delight with grabbing every option to remove ourselves to urban or coastal destinations. It's just a lot more rewarding!
This weekend we are finally exploring the famed Margaret River wine region , where prices are sky high for accommodations that are booked up weeks in advance. We have scored 2 nights at a caravan park in Prevelly, on the ocean known for world class surfing and recent bush fires that scorched the area severely last year. Our campsite was spared, but I wish the less than pristine shower block had been torched. Ok, enough grousing! The area is mostly bucolic! We enjoyed warm sunshine and a rich verdant countryside for most of the 3 hour drive here. We saw forests, fields, and rolling hills full of sheep, many with springy new white lambs. We visited a delicious chocolate factory, where free samples proved the quality so good that we needed to purchase a few decadent morsels, as well. Naturally! Next came a cheese factory, where we were easily distracted by more tasty samples and purchases. Onwards to the town itself, where we spent time mapping our plan of attack for vineyards tomorrow and an hour shopping for essentials like socks & underthings. By 3 pm we succumbed to a late alfresco lunch on the patio of Settlers Pub, enjoying local wines and bites of locally produced breads, cheese, olives and seafoods. So impressive was our planning that we managed to park deck chairs on Surfer's Point to witness scores of dudes in wetsuits enjoy riding impressive waves, while the lacklustre sunset happened behind an annoying bank of clouds. We shall just have to try again tomorrow!
Night falls quickly here. We skipped dinner, content without. It is mostly quiet in the park, so we settled in very early to bed, to read and write. We are very glad to have our own wireless network with us wherever we go. Kees makes sure of that!