Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Australian travellogue: Denmark's park

So finally, we were on our way. But first, another detour to our favourite building in Albany. Where did we head to next? Go west, old chap, we go west. Our next stop for the night would be in Walpole, about 120 km away.

From this stage onwards, the drive would get more interesting. No more of the monotonous and never-ending Australian bushland. I was looking for tall trees and meadows, and these were exactly what I got.

We arrived at Denmark (population, 2008: 5161) at 3.50pm, after travelling about 55 km westwards. A quaint little town with a nice little park beside the Denmark River. We parked along Strickland Street to explore some of the shops in this community.

We loved the vibrant colours of the fruits and vegetables at this grocery. We wanted to buy some strawberries but told ourselves that we'd pick up a punnet when collecting the car later. However, we never did buy the strawberries; we simply forgot all about it. So here's a handy tip for travellers. If you want to buy anything on your travels, don't procrastinate. You won't have all the time to make comparisons or remember. Make up your mind fast because there's no guarantee that you'd come back the same way again.

Soon, we had to move along and we found ourselves along the river bank because that was where the town had its public toilet. I don't mean that we used the river as a public toilet but....the facility was in a building beside the river.

Oh yes, there is a war memorial in the town too. I've never shown much attention in war memorials before - there are a couple of them in Penang, the Cenotaph by the Esplanade and the obelisk next to the Ayer Itam roundabout - but it was intriguing to see Malaya mentioned on this memorial in Denmark. Imagine...in a rural little corner of Western Australia, the town folks of Denmark still remember their fallen war heroes who had given their lives in some faraway countries.

We pushed off from Denmark at almost 5pm on a rather uneventful drive except for a little incident about half an hour later. Long before we went to Australia, I had been forewarned that when driving there before dusk, one would have to be careful with wild kangaroos crossing the roads. I was told that one wouldn't want to crash into these marsupials. Not only would it leave a terrible mess, it would probably cost a lot for car repairs too.

I gave little thought to this advice but on the way to Walpole, while travelling at about 100kph, a kangaroo left the bush and slowly lumbered across the road. I couldn't even slow down in time but I managed to whizz past it as it reached the middle of the road. Close shave, indeed! I glanced in the rearview mirror to see the animal reaching the other side of the road, completely oblivious to the danger to its life that had just passed. After that, I decided to slow down to between 70kph and 80kph as a precaution, especially as the setting sun was also starting to shine directly into my eyes. I was a bit relieved to reach Walpole at six o'clock.

Next: Moon over Walpole
Previous: Natural Bridge and The Gap

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