Our annual June long weekend getaway got off to an early start with twelve early arrivals in Denmark on Thursday. Three of the four caravans came early and had set up on adjacent sites where they welcomed six more from nearby cabins to their cosy circle on the first evening. Extra chairs and stools were gathered while Marj rustled up an antipasto plate and “refreshments” were shared all round. Tours of the new vans bought oohs and aahs from the ladies while the men compared technical notes and their adventures in towing and parking. It was a lovely relaxing start to the weekend.
On Friday morning the girls “coincidentally” met at the shops where Christine was subsequently blamed for any purchases. Try-ons and comments resulted in Julie and Christine each choosing the same scarf (check-up calls required before our next joint outing). With the remaining arrivals in the day it was time for pre-dinner drinks on the balcony of Graeme, Christine and Elizabeth’s chalet, then on to the Denmark Tavern for a hearty dinner, (more than many could finish). Great service and venue! Maybe it was the fresh air but we were all ready for an early night.
A day at leisure
Relaxing on Saturday, everyone pottered around and checked out the local attractions – Swiss Annies Chocolate Lounge, various wineries, concerts at the Festival of Voice and for the extra keen, more walks in and around the Denmark. Night time, on with the glad rags and off to the Pepper and Salt Restaurant for pre-dinner Forest Hill Estate wine tasting with sommelier Peter. Then we all trouped upstairs for a gourmet dinner. Chef Silas welcomed our party of twenty with a personalised service and description of our three course meal. We had the restaurant to ourselves and the blazing fire encouraged plenty of mixing and jovial banter well into the night.
The Long Walk
And on Sunday morning – the reason for our trip – our walkers assembled bright and early for the bus trip out to the starting points of our walks. The especially fit and enthusiastic Ken, Chris, Marj, Kevin, Pam, Kerrie took the Bibbulmun track high road, (a more challenging and hilly 8.5kms). They surprised a young couple as they rounded a bend – he had just proposed – the young woman was bursting with excitement and happy to share her news, “we have just become engaged.“ A beautiful day and setting for them – and for us. The second team, Graeme, Elizabeth, Tracy, Ross, Mary, Ros, Kerry, Faye, Leonie, Julie B, Julie Z and Christine took the 8.5km Wilderness Ocean Walk – a presumably easier more undulating walk – although some may dispute that description.
Both groups met for lunch at the Ocean Beach carpark before heading off on the second half of the walk – which was an additional 8kms on the Bibbulmun track. The temptation of the Eagles game or a quiet relaxing time on the balcony enjoying the view of the estuary, meant six departed at lunchtime with chauffeur Wayne. Another bonus for the twelve who did the extra kilometres, was to see a magnificent view of Green’s Pool and Elephant Rocks before climbing on to the homeward bound bus. The weary trampers were soon rejuvenated and ready for dinner at the Boston Brewery where aches could be compared and a sense of achievement enjoyed.
While some had to return on Monday for work and other commitments, a lucky fourteen remained for lunch at The Lakehouse. They hoped to miss the heavy traffic by returning on Tuesday. A final chilly night gathering with the caravaners to finish off cheese and wine supplies was a fitting finale to a fantastic weekend.
Bill, Karen, Ann and Joanne were missed but they are heading off on a bigger adventure – cycling in Europe. Eva, Nancy and John are even further afield in Europe and currently walking the Camino trail – no excuses next year gang
This highlight on the Y Striders calendar could not have happened without the contribution of some key members. Last September, Kevin, Pam, Nancy, John, Karen, Faye and Bill completed the early reconnaissance of the tracks in the area. Tracy excelled with her choice and booking arrangements for all of the restaurants. Graeme and Elizabeth with their years of previous planning experience were often consulted. As always, this was a true and selfless collaboration by the team for the benefit of all members. The seamless planning, along with the magnificent weather, made a wonderful and memorable weekend.