Setting up at the Mandalay Caravan Park (read Resort) was a pleasure, we were guided expertly onto our site and we had a magnificent view over the open parkland, heated swimming pool and water slide. Vanessa’s folks Joy and Graham, brother Jeremy and niece Giorgia arrived a few hours after we set up and Jeremy was very keen to get a glimpse of the surf. So we took a short drive out to Yellingup where the conditions in the morning were huge. However, they were less than average in the afternoon, so it was a little disappointing.
The best part of the following 10 days were the time spent with Jeremy, Giorgia, and having the kids spoilt by the grandparents. We crammed as much in as we could with 2 five year olds and an eight year old. We went to watch the Margaret River Pro competition one morning, and Craig and Jeremy went out another couple of times. Some of us went on a dolphin discovery tour in Bunbury where a large pod of dolphins were very active. All three kids even got the opportunity to drive the boat and talk on the microphone.
There is heaps to do in the Margaret River Region and I think we nearly did it all. Visited the Sunflowers Animal Farm, ate too many samples at the Chocolate Factory. We were lucky to see the eagle rays up VERY close at Hamlin Bay, even feeding them! Everyone loved the decorations in the lake cave, with Graham getting up very close and personal with the roof of the cave, lucky no stitches were required! We definitely partook in the fantastic food and wine of the area (we now need to detox and diet to make up for it!). The Settlers Tavern was a favourite for Craig and I, we even got a night off the kids were babysat by grandparents and uncle! In Freemantle, we visited Cottesloe Beach, the WA Maritime Museum and the Zoo.
Finally after an extended stay in Fremantle, 5 extra kilos per person and lighter in the wallet, we said farewell to Jeremy, Giorgia, Joy and Graham, packed up and headed out past Perth to Cevantes and the next phase of the adventure.