Tag Archives: road trips

Cabaret Caves

The Cabaret Caves can be found in Yanchep National Park.  It is one of the few natural environment which one can hire for a banquet, wedding or any other dining experiences.  Every cent, in my opinion, would be worth the investment.

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The Cabaret Caves was created in 1932 offering work opportunity to many unemployed people that were struggling through the Great Depression.   Stairs and interior were created from natural rock creating an ambiance like no other.

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I found the Cabaret Caves very exciting.  I had read that many parties were held in the caves during the Great Depression which help pay for workers that built it.  I could not help but imagine the clash between two classes; one which tried keep food on their family tables while others spent time carelessly without a worry in the world.  In some bazaar way – time really has not changed in that respect.

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A quick capture through bars of an empty cave that once thrived with life!
On the day I visited it was hot and humid.  Areas of the cave were boarded up giving an obvious indication that no visitors were welcome past that point.  Zephyrs blowing through the trees  gave an eerie feeling that someone, or something, was watching.

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While dinner tickets to this venue cannot be purchased, I could not help but wonder what it would be like to have dinner in a cave that held so much history.  I guess I may just keep an eye out for a moment like this without having to hire the entire cave out just for the experience.

However, as a passer-by – one can visit these caves with out any extra fees outside of the entry fee to Yanchep National Park!

 

 

 

Spring into the Summer Hemisphere

A perfect Sunset
A perfect Sunset

Well it is 23 September 2013, and one would think:  Spring!  However, I am thinking that spring could just be a later bloomer because this month has been rain, rain, rain plus wind and cold.  For Perth, that is pretty unusual, although I have to say it – we do need the rain!

However, I am hoping that a spring like this brings on a GREAT summer.  And of course there are loads of things to do in Summer.  After all, Perth is the hub to great turquoise waters and pristine white beaches…..so basically it is – water water everywhere and so much things to do!

So if you are heading towards Perth over the next 4 to 6 months, here is a list of things that you may just want to do.

7 Water Wonders of Perth 

Hope you enjoy…

 

 

Hmm….BBQ by the beach?

Our favorite place has lost in Zing!  It is probably because I wrote about it.  It is sad because it has THE most amazing sunset view, with two BBQ to prep food. Now it seems that the whole of Perth is flocking down to this very spot. The BBQ is now far from good condition, and the tables are now wrecked with oil stains, alcohol bottles, and knife etchings stating who was there last. So it is back on the hunt for a nice location – and forgive me not giving away the location in my next blog .  Sometimes great things should only be shared if care is mutually respected.

Needless to say, we endeavored to cook our food.  The BBQ was in the worse condition I have ever seen.  We did our best to clean it up but it looked like someone had jumped on the stainless steel plate – with the perfect flat form now dipped causing uneven hot spots. I guess I do write with disappointment as I grew up in a world where you take care of other people’s things.  You respect others and their property.  Never the less, regardless of the dis-heartening moment, we were able to cook our food. But because crowd was loud, boisterous, cursing and smoking, we promptly ate it and  left.  So unfortunately – no sunset photos. BUT the good news is:  those little  gozlemes I made – turned out fantastic.

Cut through section of my little BBQ creation!
Cut through section of my little BBQ creation!

So here is the recipe.  I don’t mind sharing this because I really hope you enjoy them.  This will make roughly 4…depending on how thin you roll out the dough.

  • Put in about 6 to 8 tablespoons of plain/vanilla yoghurt.
  • Mix in Self Raising Flour until it forms a dough.
  • Mince meat (or other fillings) for filling

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and place dough on top.  If it is sticky, don’t worry, as you knead the dough some of the flour from the table will help create a more doughy structure.  If it is still sticky then add some more flour until it forms into a manageable dough that you can roll into little balls without it sticking to your fingers. Take a rolling pin and roll out the balls until it looks like a tortilla.  Place filling in the middle, fold over, and close off like you would the end of a pie. (ie. squishing the ends together so no fillings can come out) There you have it…now you can BBQ gozleme. Let me know how it goes…and enjoy!  As for our next BBQ spot – well that is a whole new adventure awaiting!

Alcohol and Service

Finally we managed to get through the road block.  It was a new sealed road, and speed limit was set at 40 km.  The car in front obviously missed the first 4 mentions of this new limit set – because he sped off leaving us leading the entourage of cars down this scenic journey back home.

The man at the visitors center (that said 15 minutes to the cave and was WRONG)  said there is about 100 wine farms on this road.  As he was wrong before I questioned if there were ANY wine farms on this road.  And so out came the map just to make sure.

Venison with class
Venison with class

I realized at this point that the reason why I was so cranky was that I did not have lunch.  And as this dawned on me I asked the girls what they had eaten during the day – to which they went through all the items consumed in their lunch box.  Phew!  I do have this awful habit of starting the day with a cup of tea and then sort of forgetting to eat along the way.  Then somewhere near the end of the day I wonder why I am so “irritable” only to realize that I must be hungry!  So when I saw this little shop:  Margaret River Venison- I had to stop.  Two reasons – food and coffee.  If coffee was a food group – then I would be able to check that box at least once today.

We were welcomed by a very friendly staff member.  In fact they were all very happy.  I sort of stepped back and observed.  Reason being – this was a little odd and what is wrong with this picture.  I looked around,  trying to see something that maybe I had missed.  And then I fell back into the “self Q&A” of the situation.  I settled down to the fact that this was really good service.  I was disappointed to find that they did not have coffee, but I thought some sausages and juice would be better than nothing.

We quickly exited with our sausages and drink, to continue this journey which was now speeding up to – how many places can we stop in 30 minutes.  Because, this is about all the day time we had left.  The sausages were amazing, and I did not realize how hungry I was as I wolfed it down.  I took a quick check to see what the girls thought – but they had finished theirs before I could even ask.  They were also obviously hungry!  I settled down a little, feeling a little better and ready to go forward – in hunt of a wine farm or two.  I was really hoping that one venue would have coffee but knew that this probably be more on the hopeful side.

Howard Park Wines
Howard Park Wines

Low and behold we found a vineyard almost a stone throw away from Margaret River Venison.  And as it was literally on the side of the road, we drove down the driveway to complete check box – “Wine Tasting Experience!”

The entrance to the "Cellar"
The entrance to the “Cellar”
Inside - clean and inviting
Inside – clean and inviting

There were a bunch of things that I like about Howard Park Wines:

  1. They had a very comfy leather couch
  2. They had a kids corner (right next to couch)
  3. It was clean and very presentable
  4. The staff member was friendly
  5. The interior was huge and very very refreshing

But they did not have coffee, so while I sank into this leather couch – the girls entertaining other kids – I entertained myself with these adults trying wine.  I was wondering – what exactly is the alcohol limit and how would that impact someone if they stopped at ALL wineries.  Obviously  – stupid question – because I am sure they would have surpassed the legal alcohol limit after the 2nd wine tasting.  But then – not all are like me – thank heaven for that – where the limit would have been reached after the first taste!

My passenger had his wine tasting moment, and had purchased (what I thought to be) a very expensive bottle of wine.  Personally – would have spent that on coffee (if they had) but I am not sure if coffee and wine go well together!  So I guess that is why they did not have this facility.

It was not long before we found another wine tasting cellar.    We noticed this Bull along the little road to this cellar.  It was definitely worth a photo.  I just think Bulls are just so – not sure how to say it – confident!  They stand there and just look at you.

A very stunning Bull
A very stunning Bull

The photo moment was shorted lived, and we continued down this little road to Lenton Brae.

Lenton Brae
Lenton Brae

Now the pathway to Lenton Brae is gorgeous.  The architecture is just as amazing.

Spanish style winery
Spanish style winery

I almost thought that we were in California for a minute, and took a few moments to digest all the new input!  As it was near the end of the day – it made for this place to be even more enchanting.

gorgeous entrance
gorgeous entrance

The little man-made water fall sets the moods for an experience of a lifetime.  We entered into the “cellar” which was coolish.  It was small (little odd for the size outside), and the staff member was probably the same temperature. The girls made their way to the kids corner, and as the girls picked up a book, the staff member gave them a death stare which did not sit well with me.  It was quiet inside and a little movement like this created such venom – it was amazing.  She then turned her attention to the couple in front of her – whom clearly had reached their alcohol quota for the day.  There is a lot in a word when spoken from a mouth laced with over-intoxication!  I picked up a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon – year 2007.  Hmm…I thought 5 years old – this would be a really good bottle of wine.

I suggested to my passenger to try it.  And he glanced down at the card in front.  WINE TASTING – $5.50 PER PERSON AFTER 5:30PM AND FREE IF YOU BUY A BOTTLE OF WINE!  This was rather interesting I thought – what happens you don’t like the wine.  Needless to say I thought that wine was going to be bought and never really questioned the $5.50 until I looked at the price of the bottle of wine!  Wow – did it come with a gold coin? – I thought to myself.

The staff member never spoke a word to us or asked if we were keen to try something.  And we soon picked up that we were not going to be served, and left promptly. I began to question if this was a common element in the Margaret River Region and was really amazed by that experience.  Here is a wine farm that obviously spent a lot of money creating this atmosphere of grandeur only to put – what I termed – the worst customer service staff member in front of customers.  Wow – what a BIG mistake.  While I would not invest in wine, I do know some people that would.  And, if there was a time that I did this trip again with them – I probably side step this winery regardless of venue!  Of course I do what I do best and dissect this whole experience trying to come up with a reason of why:  but I guess the truth is in the experience itself!

It did not take me long to shake off the past experience – because we were homeward bound. And I was still in search of coffee…or food…but mostly coffee.  I knew this drink alone would get me home!

MONSTER ROAD TRIP – part 2 (Bunbury)

With Bunbury now in sights, I was getting pretty excited.  It was sort of half way to Margaret’s River, and I was so keen to get a cup of coffee.  The road from Perth to Bunbury was pretty much barren.  I had seen one venue that sold coffee, but unfortunately I do judge the book by its cover when it comes to cofee. We noticed that this venue was a big barn turned into a cafe/coffee/I don’t know.  It was pretty suspect, as it was just this HUGE corrugated silver shed on reddish dirt ground which gave me flashbacks of a Quentin Tarantino movie set in the outback of Mexico.  I also have one major dislike and that is:  Burnt coffee.  The problem with coffee that if it is made poorly you cannot give it back.  Of course I have worked in a cafe as a barista in the past and I know all the little short cuts cafes take to increase the profit margin with the result of a “not-so-great cup of coffee” And if I was going to spend $5.00 on a regular cup of coffee – then I wanted to make sure it was a good investment!  So, besides reaching Bunbury – my radar was set on —>  GOOD COFFEE SHOP!

I did make just one little teenie stop before Bunbury at a shop that said the Emu Pie Shop.  I was attracted to a sign that said Emu Pie and then under it Emu Oil.  As I have never heard of Emu Oil before I wanted to find out what it was all about.  It was just a little off the beaten track, a corrugated building painted white with an orange logo.  Outside were two Emu’s – just waiting for a good feed from us.  I had a little venture in the shop and noticed they had no eftpos facility.  As I did not even stop at a bank before I left, I knew that my purchase here would be limited.  Further – there was NO coffee to be found.  The emus were slightly on the disappointed side as we had purchased a drink and some figs….and while one gorged itself on a fig – the other one made this noises (like a “huff”) in utter disgust.

The emu pie shop
The emu pie shop
The Emu
The Emu

Of course our visit at the Emu Pie Shop was short lived, as we were on the road heading for Magic Marker – Bunbury.  Bunbury is sort of a town where you go through a round about, see some shops but can quite easily side step the whole town center with some side roads.  Somehow, I managed to do just this and found myself by an industrial wharf.   On one side of the road were yachts, ships etc.  On the other side was a beach with this amazing turquoise water.  Of course, while I was getting all the gear ready this morning I had forgotten to pack the bathing suite.  But this did not hold my girls back.  The moment I stopped, they were running down the beach for a swim.  Of course it was picture time, and I did get the chance feel the water.  It was AMAZING.  Then my thoughts drifted to the shark sighting they had just a few weeks prior, so while I was taking photos I was also on guard for any shapes moving in the water.  I guess – the typical Mum with radar on full alert!

A little beach by Bunbury!
A little beach by Bunbury!
you can see just how clear the water is...it was truly amazing
you can see just how clear the water is…it was truly amazing

Needless to say – we were pressed for time and our journey had to continue………………..without coffee 😦

to be continued……

Destination: Jurien Bay (Part 2)

On our way to Jurien Bay we came across a little sign that said Cervantes.  Being first time travelers to this part of the world, I was very keen to see what lay down the road.  The town was named after a ship that was wrecked nearby. The ship, in turn, was named after Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. Cervantes has a very unique atmosphere.  It has no commercial type attachment, with a little shopping center that only has the bare necessities.  At the end of the little road we were travelling on, we were welcome by a sandy beach cover, with islands in the distance.  Cervantes is part of the Jurien Bay Marine Park, which hosts a number of amazing marine animals.

The lookout point at Cervantes which gives you a better view of this little gem
The lookout point at Cervantes which gives you a better view of this little gem
Cervantes from the lookout point.
Cervantes from the lookout point.
Islands in the Distance
Islands in the Distance

Cervantes is slightly wild and rugged…with no real signs of any commercial developments along the coast line.  It has toilet facilities with a shower…much needed after a day in the sand and water.

I took a mental note of the distance of the islands, where I feel they could be easily reached by kayak, wind-surfing, paddle board, or some other form of “flotation” device.  It is something that I definitely put on my “life goals” list.

A kite surfer having loads of fun in his "playground".
A kite surfer having loads of fun in his “playground”.

The water at Cervantes was very warm and calm.  While the kite surfers were enjoying their time in the surf, the wind was a refresher from the hot sun.  We visited Cervantes when the temperature topped over 40 degree Celsius.

Jurien Bay Marine Park
Jurien Bay Marine Park

As this was only a day trip, there was no need for accommodation.  However, if you are planning a long trip up the coast with a number of stops along the way, you could find accommodation at http://www.cervantespinnaclesmotel.com.au/  I can not give you any feedback on this however you can visit Trip Advisor where others have left their comments about their experience:

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g580524-d255705-Reviews-Cervantes_Pinnacles-Cervantes_Western_Australia.html

NEXT STOP:  Jurien Bay