Saturday, December 21, 2013

Margaret River: Beaches and Breweries (and a lighthouse)

These first photos are actually of City Beach, not Margaret River, but a lovely place for a morning stroll to watch the sunrise when you've got a touch of jet-lag. It's Perth, so it's around 25 degrees by 7am.

We then headed to Margaret River, and were given a tour of our environment by Niece Niamh, who has been here before.


Hoggy has also been here before, and his tour was more specific. Bootleg Brewery is apparently 'an oasis of beer in a desert of wine'.

Scarey Sis and the nieblings
A few too many?
Back at camp, the super-in-law tries very hard to John Hague the glasses of wine - just look at that concentration!

Next day; more of the same. We did actually go mountain-biking through some great bits of forest along twisty-turny tracks, but I didn't have my camera for that one. 

No matter, Nephew Aidan was flanked by Scarey Sis and me at one point so I began singing, "Aunties to the left of me; aunties to the right, Here I am - stuck in the middle with them." That's him scarred for life, then. Job done.

Time for another drinks break - this time at Cheeky Monkey.

Something for the ladies? The super-in-law and I tried out the wines. Many of these places are combined vineyards and breweries - everybody's happy.

Nuff said
And at the end of the day we went to Aidan's Birthday Beach (so-called because he once went there on his birthday). I'm sure it has a 'real' name but I'm equally sure that it's not a better one.

Aidan's birthday beach
Nosy neighbours
Action shot of parrot in flight from the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog
The flies were a pestilence. I can now understand why Australians wear those hats with corks on them (even though I've only ever seen them do so in films). Niece Niamh was rather frustrated with said flies, although this one she's found to swat is indeed rather large.

More sand, sea and beautiful scenery - life's a beach! This one is Yallingup. Apparently it means the place of love in the local Aborigine dialect and it is the home of surfing in Western Australia.

We went for a brisk walk around Cape Leeuwin lighthouse. It was a very brisk walk because of the previously mentioned flies who were now gathering in clouds around us. We concurred that this would be a very pleasant amble without them.

Nephew Aidan takes evasive action
Australian Kestrel a.k.a. Sparrow Hawk
Cape Leeuwin lighthouse
So, as it was very hot as well as fly-infested, we cooled off and relaxed at Eagle Bay Brewing Co. The good folk there make both beer and wine, and they serve food too. 

Coincidentally (considering the t-shirt modelled by Him Outdoors) the brewery made a collaborative ale with the Yeastie Boys called Single Batch Feijoa Pale Ale. The zesty pale ale gains citrus characteristics from the addition of green tea, rose petals and feijoa at the dry-hopping stage. It's delicious and, at 4.9%, perfectly sessionable for a pint or two.

Him Outdoors with tasting tray at Eagle Bay
A brewing match made in heaven
Meanwhile, on the non-drinking side of the table...

Our final brewery for this day was Bush Shack. They claim to be a microbrewery with a difference, and in fact offer a variety of styles of beer from pale ales and stouts to more outlandish chilli beers and 'flavoured wine drinks'. 

While we stuck to the more traditional fare, Hoggy sampled the Scream'n Cream'n - a creamy alcoholic soda with raspberry and vanilla flavours. Unsurprisingly he said it was tooth-achingly sweet, while my tongue is still tingling at the mere memory of that chilli beer.

Bush Shack Brewery - it knocks the stuffing out of you!

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