To Sarah and I in Perth where the dregs of summer are far from done, the prospect of a chilly 22C induced excitement beyond the ken of ingrained locals. I’d been invited down to Albany (a mere 5 hours drive southeast) to play music – with the inducement of a petrol money and even a place to stay. We’re (I’m) slowly coming to accept the limits (maybe blessed) placed on my closely sequential plans by our joy of a son. Our world is full of new words and desires. The need to carry a series of wheeled toys (changes due to misplacement) and climb over every available rock/bump enforce a certain ‘zen’ in his novice parents. A smattering…
The official reason I’m in Albany – The Great Southern Festival (Playmakers) is a an outbranching of the Perth International Arts Festival. I’ve played here before in early iterations, but not since 2010. My seemingly simple task is to play ‘a few tunes’ at an Irish jam session. Although chilly, a good time is had by pretty much all.
An afternoon of sunshine allows some beach riding – and somewhat justifies my insistence on bringing fat-bikes.
The Porongurups are not far away – Bryn manages to make his own way along nearly 3km of walking trail. Tree inspection is very important.
As is running ‘Nee Naw’ over all the handily placed trail markers
Wendy’s place along the coast in Denmark hosts our final night. Raised beds are ripe for exploration
In seemingly no time at all he’s already onto the footwear-hijacking stage
While Sarah and Bryn walk/explore a section of Bibullman Track, I get a half-day pass to West Cape Howe. The recently soggy weather has made the sandy 4WD approach tame, and there’s even less wind than another time. Our newly acquired ‘self-belaying’ kit means Sarah and I can climb alone in places like this until such time as one of us isn’t needed for toddler-wrangling. It works pretty well – for me not the same as leading/soloing, but still access to the wildness of this place. The photographs – a camera on tripod set to take a shot every 30 seconds :-)