Feb 15 – Widening the Range: Exploring Dunsborough Neighborhood
Still jet-lagged, I woke up early on our first morning in my old Dunsborough neighborhood. I expected to hear first the Magpies, then the Kookaburras. I only heard the former. Once.
“Wonder what happened to the Kookaburras?” I thought as I walked out of our cottage into the surrounding woods.
Something rustled in front of me. Just outside our cottage, there were two natives staring at me. They were as startled as I was.
“Oh, good. So you guys are still around,” I said to the roos. Later, we saw a whole bunch more of them. Just like in the old days at the Bolt Hole.
Elizabeth was still asleep. So I decided to explore the bush on my own, see where the trails lead. Soon, I found my way to Quedjinup Rd where the Bolt Hole was. Mine was the first house built on what used to be a 60-acre Biddle farm before it was subdivided in 1996. Before it was named the Bolt Hole, the locals used to refer to is as “the house in the trees with a green roof.”
I walked over to see if the description still fitted it. It did (above).
Before going on this trip, I thought I would want to knock on the door and ask the current owners to let us see the house. But now, standing in front of the driveway, I decided against it. That would be like going back to an old flame. I realized I’d rather remember the Bolt Hole which I designed myself as it was than as it is now. Probably aged and weathered quite a bit.
So I moved on.
By the time I returned to the cottage, Elizabeth was waking up. We had breakfast and then went together for a longer exploratory walk of our new neighborhood.
There were many more houses than 10 years ago, of course. But most were tastefully hidden behind the trees or vineyards. Such as in the left two shots. Most importantly, they did not scare the roos away. We found several herds of them having a midday snack or enjoying an early siesta in the shadow under the big trees.
And then it was time for us to go to lunch. We normally don’t eat lunch, but on this special Sunday, we had a luncheon date at Wise winery with my longtime friends and former neighbors – Andrew and Lindsay.
The weather was perfect and the setting divine, as you can see from these photos. We were also seated at the best place in the house – a corner table with both ocean and hillside views. The four of us spent a delightful couple of hours catching up on everything and anything.
Andrew, a long distance runner (competitor in numerous marathons and other challenging races), who runs on the Dunsborough beach every morning before breakfast, invited us to join him tomorrow (Monday) for a sunrise jaunt (not a run!) on the long sandbar. He also said he would lend us their family bikes for another ride along the beach. So Elizabeth would have a chance to get over any lingering bike phobia from her Perth experiences two days ago.
We didn’t promise anything. Neither of us are normally early risers. But my mental alarm must have been set. Because the next morning, uncharacteristically so, I awakened at 5 AM. More on that in the next chapter of the travelogue.
By early evening, our new family of native neighbors were already out in force , having their dinner on the lawn in front of our cottage.