Saturday, July 7, 2018

(Backup) July 7: Today Was All About the Chocolate (and Wine...For Some)

While yesterday was all about the scenery, today was all about chocolate and wine (and a bit of soap). 

Cathie and I took advantage of the pool and jacuzzi this morning. Other than wearing my swimsuit while I was doing laundry, this was the first time I’ve actually gone swimming in Australia. For awhile, it was just Cathie and I, and...a couple of ducks. Yes, the ducks decided a morning swim in the INDOOR pool was a good idea! It was a great way to start the day...for us and the ducks!

After breakie at the resort restaurant, we hit the road for Day 3. Today’s ultimate goal was Margaret River. Of course, there were many stops to be made along the way. The Margaret River region is known for its wineries. There are 215 wineries in the region. But, first we stopped at a soap place. It smelled quite good in the shop.

The first winery we stopped at was Aravina. 

Vines on the hillside


The surf/car museum at Aravina’s winter here, yet these camellias are in bloom

From Aravina, we stopped at Wills Domain winery so Cathie could get some special German wine that Dennis, her husband, requested. 

Yellow Bird of Prey

Cool artwork in the winery

The vineyard at Wills Domain

While I’m not a wine drinker, I enjoyed the buildings and the grounds. But, next up was Gabriel Chocolate.

The chocolate map.

I purchased a few bars of single-source chocolate. It’s very good chocolate! 

Back in the car, we were ready for a bit of a snack, so we stopped at Black Brewing Co. 

Black Brewing Co.

The fountain at Black Brewing

Interesting gazebo with glass panels depicting various wine making histories of the world (like Roman, Egyptian, etc)

Next up was another chocolate factory. This one was the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. This was quite the place. It reminded me a bit of the chocolate factory I went to when I was on the Great Ocean Road.

A whole lotta chocolate!

Pretty flowers outside the chocolate factory

The Margaret River Chocolate Factory had a cycling jersey. I was going to get one, but they didn’t have anymore of the women’s jerseys, so no jersey for me...otherwise, I only got some Rocky Road.

Just down the road was a place called Providore. They have more savory things like sauces, chutneys, soup mixes, and whatnot. They also had jams, and the most delicious passion fruit curd (I had two sample spoonfuls). I managed to resist buying any as I really don’t have the space.

Our final shop visit was at the Bettenay’s and Margaret River Nougat Company. I picked up a cherry coconut nougat bar, and a wild berry and macadamia bar. If you bought 4 bars, you got one free. We went in together and got a limoncello bar for free.

Oh yeah, they also had wine...of course.

Nice grounds here too.

We finally rolled into Margaret River. It was a bit too early for dinner, so we drove around a bit. As we were coming up on the Catholic Church, Marlene thought she could probably go to church. Sure enough, so we dropped her off, and went back to the Settlers Tavern (that doesn’t sound so good does it?).
Actually, we did park at the tavern, but we didn’t go in. When it was time to get Marlene, Cathie went off, and Judy and I went in to get a table (see, we’re not that bad). 

Dinner was had, and since we were ready to head back to Busselton, we didn’t stay for the music, but drove back. It was another fun filled day in the Southwest.

Clouds in Margaret River

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