Road trip #1: Wine, Food, and Beaches

Over a month behind schedule but here goes nothing...

Knowing that we were going to be leaving Freo and Western Australia soon (a trip to Bali had been booked - more on that to come!!) and my flight to Sydney imminent a few of my new pals and I decided we'd venture to Rottnest Island for a little bit of last minute fun. Typically, backpacker style, we left it until two days before and we couldn't book the ferry we wanted. Back up plan - a day-long road trip, hell to the yeah.

Margaret River it was! Inspired by a few others who'd done the trip (granted over a couple of days) we decided to hire a car and do the trip in one very long day... After all it was approximately a 550km round trip - yikes.

Upon picking up the car - a very suave white Volkswagen Passat complete with Bluetooth, cruise control, a pretty speedy engine, and SatNav - we were on our way, me dosed up to my eyeballs in cocodamol after the silly cliff jumping accident I've mentioned previously. Margaret River, here we come!

After visiting the Swan Valley wineries on a trip organised by the hostel I was so excited to sample some of WA's finest wines in the Margaret River wine producing region, an area that has approximately 55 square km covered in vine and over 138 wineries established (correct as of 2008, thank you my ever-faithful Wikipedia)!

The first winery we visited was one called Capel Vale, complete with picturesque grounds, scorching sunshine (as I'm sat writing this in Melbourne I'm seriously missing those beautiful consistently sunshiny days), golden orb spider, and rows upon rows of vines. We sampled a few then went on our way, Craig the designated driver, and me still the token druggie (temporarily thank you).

Onwards to another winery, this one had some vinegars, syrups, mustards, everything. The wines were pretty delicious too, particularly the fortified wine. Thick, sweet, alcoholic syrupy goodness - if it wasn't for the price attached I probably would've gone for it. Still... Onwards to Margaret River town itself.

After driving all day we were all absolutely starving and needed some good quality scran (and a plan) before moving on. Designated driver Mr Craig took the reigns and popped into a shop to gauge where was good and where was not. After being recommended a restaurant - Morries - we were to head down to Prevally Beach to soak up the last of the day's rays, relax with some wine we picked up, and catch the sunset before heading back up to Fremantle.

Firstly, the food was incredible. We ordered what seemed like far too much but we managed to polish every last morsel. Tapas-style dishes were brought out in the plenty: chorizo meatballs, freshly baked bread with oil, miniature gourmet hamburgers, halloumi, everything. After absolutely stuffing our faces (and wanting to cry over the bill) we head towards the beach.

We spent a good few hours soaking up the last of the day's rays and battling to get into the water with the intense current dragging us out to sea and then pushing us back to shore. Picking up a bottle of wine we'd bought (okay, we bought a crate of 12!!) and settling down with some cheese and biscuits (proper wine, proper cheese, sure I'm a backpacker?!) and watched the sun sink into the horizon on what felt like a perfect day.


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