25-Feb-2004 -- After some hot and very unpleasant weather, train strikes and power restrictions, the weekend dawned clear and cooler. We made a spontaneous decision to leave town and head south for a night and day. We drove 261 kilometres from Perth along Highway 1 to Yallingup situated on a beautiful, and sometimes wild, stretch of coastline particularly favoured by surfers because of the fantastic break. Last week the waves down this way were around 8 metres (25 feet) but by the time we arrived, a land wind and the change of weather, had calmed things right down.
We found a beautiful old hotel, Caves House, to stay the night – a short walk through the trees to the beach in one direction and the Yallingup Cave in the other. The hotel was built in the 1930s (basically in the middle of nowhere) with terraced gardens and a croquet lawn, with no major renovations since to speak of, making it a truly lovely place to stay.
Peter had mentioned (a few times) there was a confluence point nearby. We gathered the maps, and whilst waiting for dinner, checked it out. “It really is quite close and very easy to get to”, he said.
Our waitress (cum weightlifter) arrived bearing two of those enormous plates designed for restaurants where elegant and carefully prepared works of culinary art are delicately placed somewhere in the middle of the oversized dishes. But down this way, plates this big were designed to be filled!
I replied to Peter through a tower of crushed potato, parsnip and red onion jam on one side and a gaggle of duck’s breasts on the other: “Really, how easy????”. (Memories of other potentially easy adventures filtered back e.g. the occasion we took a track that would shave a couple of hundred kilometres off our journey – we did eventually emerge but the car was completely covered in mud and locusts and it was much rougher than the map indicated). Though, I had to admit this confluence point DID look pretty good.
The next morning (after another hearty meal) we set off down Caves Road towards the confluence point. We travelled 38 kilometres to the Prevelly turnoff, having passed scores of vineyards, as this is the very heart of the Margaret River wine growing region.
About five kilometres along the road, with the sea in sight, the GPS was indicating that we were close, very close – just 42 metres away. I could scarcely believe my eyes (or contain my excitement) that we could actually drive on bitumen roads THIS close to a confluence point!
We parked and walked a short distance along the road looking for the easiest spot to break through into the bush. Peter decided to just take a leap and jump down into it. I gingerly plunged down, trying really hard not to think about the fact that this was dugite (snake) country and that I really should have packed my hiking boots and that my bare ankles had disappeared out of view.
After a bit of rummaging around in the undergrowth we found the spot, took the photos still marvelling how close to a road it was. This confluence point is situated on scrubby, hilly sand dunes 400 metres from the ocean in a particularly beautiful part of Western Australia. The CP has been visited before but with so much development happening around the area, we wondered if it would still be untouched bushland. It was good to see that it is.