The three of us went for a run on the rail trail this morning before checking out. It was a short run with no rain. Even Mr B was impressed with the surface.
Total distance: 5km
A quick show, breakfast, last minute cleaning up and packing then we were on the road. We enjoyed another coffee at Urban Bean and this time there were no flies! We had one more chocolate factory to visit before leaving Margaret River and this was on the way to Yallingup. Gabriel's Chocolates only opened in December last year so is very new and very modern. Ihe smell of rich velvety chocolate wafted to greet us as we stepped through the door. The chocolate was all packaged in very thin packets, ideal for travel! Of course there were lots of samples and it was very very yummy.
I ordered a hot chocolate. How could I resist? It smelt and tasted delicious. Unfortunately it was now time to say goodbye to CJ who was flying home that afternoon. We had enjoyed such a lovely time with her and were sad to see her go. For me especially it was so good to have a running companion every single day to keep me motivated and we had all enjoyed some wonderful times together.
Mr B and I continued on to Busselton as we had a strong desire to walk to the end of the pier. It was a blustery day but it was fun walking along the pier and watching the little train chug past.
Then on we drove to Fremantle (Freo) where we had two nights booked at the fabulous Tradewinds Hotel which had been recommended to us by a good friend who lives in Freo. It was a lovely room which included a spa bath - just amazing. After checking in and freshening up we drove into the city and walked around until we found a great little restaurant serving wood fired pizza. It was so good and the service was great.
Friday 11 May
We started the day with a run from the hotel and down to the Swan River where we enjoyed running by the seaside along the little track. There were quite a number of other runners out there and it was really pleasant and warm. The weather here seems to be much warmer than in the Margaret River.
After our shower and breakfast we went for an explore and wandered round the Freo Markets. They were buzzing and really fun.
At lunch time we met up with a friend who we worked with in London in 1973. We have only managed to get together once since then and that was in Sydney at her daughter's house about eight years ago. It was so exciting meeting up again and we spent hours reminiscing over yummy fish and chips and several bottles of wine. In the early evening another friend who has just moved to Perth from Canberra joined us all for a meal and yet more wine and it was quite late when we all said our fond farewells vowing that we would meet up much more often; in fact the plan is to meet up at the Leeuwin Estate in the not too distant future to enjoy one of their amazing concerts.
Saturday 12 May
Today our plane was due to fly back to Canberra at 11.50am. After packing up in plenty of time we drove to Cottlesloe Beach for a last look on a stunningly sunny morning and a coffee for me of course! Then we headed for the airport, at least that was the plan but somehow we managed to go the wrong way and it was a case of quickly plugging in the GPS and redirecting ourselves. We were cutting it pretty fine when we pulled up outside the departures, parking our hire car illegally as we rushed in to the queue with our bags. By the time we reached the front of the queue we had passed the deadline of checking in 30mins before the flight and were not allowed to board. Ho hum. The next flight to Canberra left at midnight via Melbourne (the flight is also known as the Red Eye for obvious reasons). At least Mr B now had time to return the hire car to its rightful place and as we had the bike in its huge box with us as well as our other luggage and could not even go to the Qantas Club until after we had checked in we were stuck. The check in could not be earlier than six hours before the flight which meant we had at least six hours to wait and the sun was beckoning us. So it was that Mr B hired another car, we piled our luggage in the hatchback and off we drove. We headed for Kings Park, bought an icecream each and wandered through the gorgeous grounds making the most of a stunning Perth day.
When we finally caught the plane home I didn't catch a wink of sleep but I was really happy that we had that last sunny beautiful day before heading back to Canberra's frosty mornings! We really had enjoyed a fantastic twelve days in Western Australia.