Leaving the coastal plain behind, my friend Jane and I took a drive inland to Balingup for a short nature walk along the Bibbulmun Track; just enough to earn our coffee and retire to the shade before the sun hit its zenith. It has been a hot, hot February; not a drop of rain and day after day over 35 degrees. Grasses have crisped to golden yellow and the bush is grey-green with a tangled understorey of fruiting blackberries. My last visit was in August, in the middle of winter, when sweat was far from my mind.
The main street is a blush of pink with the crepe myrtles in full flower.
We paused for coffee at the Taste of Balingup gourmet deli and cafe. Local produce is incorporated into their daily lunch and dessert offerings, and chef Katrina tempted us with a freshly baked rhubarb tart.
No visit to Balingup is complete without a purchase from Tinderbox. Each product is hand made on site in small batches, using high quality essential oils, herbs and plant derived ingredients.
All this fine country air and gazing at rhubarb tarts worked up quite an appetite for our picnic at Golden Valley Tree Park beneath the deep shade of a London Plane tree. A most pleasant outing indeed.