Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snapshots from Margaret River.

As promised, more pictures from our Margaret River trip!

Lavender bee.
Bee on lavender, Cape Lavender, Margaret River.

Snapping this picture was quite challenging. I've never seriously tried to shoot this close up before, and my lens isn't exactly the fastest, so I'm surprised this turned out as well as it did. Did I happen to mention that the bee kept on moving (as bees are wont to do), making it a complete pain to track and shoot?

Took this at Cape Lavender, which is a rather nice place somewhere in between Margaret River and Dunsborough. Don't ask me exactly where it is because we just happened to chance across it while on our travels! True to the name, there's lavender of all sorts practically everywhere and they've got a little cafe and a shop front selling all sorts of lavender-related products. I picked up a bottle of white lavender-infused wine there - it's really interesting! Quite fruity with a slight floral bouquet, it sits well on the tongue and finishes with a slight lavender after taste - really refreshing and excellent chilled! Lord knows what I'll pair it with, but hey, at least it's interesting!

Bridge to noms.
Boardwalk to beach, outside Bunkers Beach Cafe, Bunker Bay.

There's a bit of a funny story regarding how we found this spot. Char was looking for the Bunker Bay resort for her work, and we chanced upon the very lovely Bunkers Beach Cafe while driving around. The cafe's location is as perfect as it gets, nestled smack in the centre of the bay with a 180 degree view of the entire beach from headland to headland... plus a little boardwalk leading to the white sand beach a literal stone's throw away. Talk about a perfect place to grab a lunch!

This shot was taken from our table outside on the verandah and leads straight to the beach just a little beyond. Seriously, how awesome is that?

Tasting plate.
Bunkers Beach Cafe, Bunker Bay.

And the food at the cafe doesn't disappoint! We shared a tasting plate and a bowl of chips with garlic aioli. Clockwise from top; venison chorizo; mango, chickpea and herb chutney; and warmed mixed olives. There's some rice crackers hidden behind the chorizo too.

Talk about a burst of flavour! The chutney was a surprisingly good blend of sweet and savoury with a hint of spice. It tasted almost like a sweet dhal that's quite refreshing and a perfect match for the other flavours on the plate. The venison chorizo was really interesting though. It was quite dry and lean, as expected from venison, and packed a whole lot of smoky spiced flavour.

And seriously, who can pass up warm mixed olives?

Margaret River Providore, Margaret River

Still on the subject of food, on one of the other days we had a late lunch at the Margaret River Providore, which is a really 'up-there' sort of place with all kinds of different local and international produce like French cheeses, Ceylon teas, and a whole range of local jams, fruit, wines and small goods. Ever the curious fellow, I bought some French porcini sea salt (literally sea salt blended with dried mushrooms) to season my steaks with (awesome!) and some cheese for Char's family.

Oh, by the way, that's a 12-hour braised beef shin with mashed potatoes that Char's having. Really great blended flavours with the flavour of the meat and wine really coming through. Just goes to show that the wine you use for cooking is so important for the flavour of the dish. Seriously if you're inclined to use a cheap wine for cooking, I'd advise against it. Always use a wine that you'll be happy to drink. Seriously, you'll thank me for it! The benefits flavour-wise are massive.

On the grapevine.
Grape leaf, Vasse Felix Estate, Cowaramup.

Back to close up photography, here's a random grape leaf on one of the vines at Vasse Felix. Now I'm guessing it might have been the season or something, but there was hardly any leaves on any of the vines! Is there some viticulture maxim that dictates that you have to prune the vines just so? It is spring, so I guess I expected to see at least a couple more leaves on each vine!

Running river.
River, Vasse Felix Estate, Cowaramup.

One thing I've noticed about a lot of the estates in the region is that each of the large estates has some form of landscaped water feature. I must say, it is quite pleasant to look at though! I do enjoy taking shots of running water and trying to get that sort of milky ethereal look on the water. Takes a lot of tries when you're running around without a tripod, but thankfully I've been getting better at taking 1-2 sec exposures hand held. (Although this was a 1/2 second exposure, so no worries there!)

Enter hyperspace!
Wallcliffe Road, en route from Prevelly to Margaret River.

Another one of those shots that I just enjoy doing, taking shots of street lights at night. It's a very different ballgame when you're snapping from the passenger seat of a moving car as compared to the side walk or an overhead bridge on the freeway. I like the effect though! You can really see the motion (and you can also really see my hands shake). Looks quite a bit like hitting hyperspace eh? Where's R2-D2 when you need him?

Postcard perfect.
Beach, Eagle Bay.

One of those postcard perfect shots that you get every so often. It's amazing how the colours just blend into this amazing feast of blue. That's something that you rarely get back home. Singapore's beaches are a far cry from the beauty that dots the Australian coastline. How do you compare? Beaches like this really make me wish I had a wide angle lens, which really should be be my next big purchase gear-wise.

I find it funny how sometimes when you take these shots, they come out looking almost fake. Almost like it's too nice a scene to be real, hey?

And there you have a selection of shots from our Margaret River trip. Honestly three days/two nights really is too short to explore the whole area, especially when you factor in the three-hour drive. Next time we go, we're definitely taking a week to chill out and explore to our heart's content... well... if we can find the time and the money!

Next stop come December, Singapore and Kuching!


robin said...

the second photo seriously got my attention. Very, very well composed.
And please please please send some blue skies back to Malaysia when you stop my Kuching. We need some.

slackalmighty said...

Hee... Thanks Robin! :)

Fingers crossed the blue skies will follow me over from Perth!

MeLa de Gypsie said...

JEALOUS!!! ABSOLUTELY JEALOUS!!!! Oh myyyy.... my kingdom for some sun, sand, wines and olives!!!!

But the rest of the foodstuff I can get you... can't wait for when you guys come back to these parts!!!