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After a nice visit  in Bali from Susan's sisters Diana and Kitty we flew to Perth to enjoy a bit of the "western" life.  Going to Perth is very easy.  There are several flights each day from Bali.  We took an Air Asia flight at 2pm and were going through Australia's efficient immigration by 5:30pm.  After a good Air Asia nasi lemak lunch, coffee and a piece of cake and two episodes of PBSs Poldark we were in a totally different world.  Perth is a modern city with wide streets in excellent condition and little traffic (expressway excepted) and skyscrapers.  Bali only permits buildings as tall as a coconut tree. :)

We had two goals: 1) Enjoy the Margaret River region with its excellent vineyards and cellar doors and 2) have a bit of city life.  After a brief overnight in Perth (and a nice meal at CaffeItalia) we drove to Margaret River where we had booked a house in the forest on Airbnb called Tarabucco Cottage. It was a shock to us to have both cool air and dry air.  It was down to 15C some nights. 

Cottage in Margaret RiverOur days in the Margaret River region were filled with long walks, visits to vineyards and eating fine food.  We dined at the Voyager Estate, Felix Vasse (the first vineyard in MR) and Yarri Restaurant and Bar in Dunsborough near Cape Naturliste.  All were excellent. The region between the two capes, Cape Leurwin and Cape Naturliste, comprises the Margaret River wine growing region but has much more.  For foodies there are olive groves with delightful oil for sale, cheese makers and farmer's markets with excellent fresh fruit and veggies.  In addition, the coastal ranges are mostly protected natural reserves with dramatic scenery and forests varying from ancient giant Yarri trees to coastal scrub. We enjoyed both capes and can recommend them to any traveler.

For our second week we returned to Perth and stayed in a small house built over a hundred years ago at 16 Stuart Street.  This is in the Northbridge area and Perth's City of Vincent.  It is an area filled with these restored old houses and streets teaming with Asian shops, restaurants and International coffee shops.  Within walking distance we had Torre butcher.  Western Australia's best.  They had the finest beef we have seen in many years.  Also, there was a huge Italian deli called the Re Store.  Susan cooked some might fine steak and lamb chops in the large kitchen in our house.  We visited a large fish market, but decided to focus on meat which is hard to find in Bali. 

Perth has excellent public transportation including several circuits of free buses service.  The Blue Line was near our house and went to Elisabeth Quay and the waterfront and shopping districts.  Perth has a rich variety of ethnic restaurants so we were able to enjoy Indian and Vietnamese food.  

One aspect of urban life we have missed is symphonic music.  Perth has a beautiful concert hall and we were able to attend a performance of pieces by Nordic and French composers from the turn of the last century.  

Our house was only 20 minutes from the totally new Perth International airport.  With a convenient 11am flight we enjoyed another meal of nasi lemak and arrived at DPS airport around 3pm.  The hardest thing about visiting Australia from Lovina is the car ride across the mountain.  Roland tells me that helicopter service is now available for only $4000.  Ha, Ha, Ha.    

Cape Naturiste, Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Cellar Door Felix Vasse Margaret River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Pelican, Augusta, Western AustraliaSyrah grapes, Margaret River, Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Leuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Yarri Forest, Cave Road, Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rays in Hamlin Bay, near Cape Leuwin, Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb House 16 Stuart Street Perth, Western AustraliaStreet Corner, Northbridge section of Perth, Western Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Flowers, Hamlin Bay, near Augusta, Western Australia