Denmark to Albany

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Carved out between the water of the inlet and the remnant of a karri forest with tall, elegant swaying branches our caravan park was home to many birds. There nothing quite so delightful as waking up to birdsong, unless it is the rhythm of the sea. On the mornings when we have one or the other the day starts with a special blessing.

The further south we travel the more liturgical and familiar the church services become. I recognized 3 of the 4 hymns at the All Saints Day service at St. Leonard’s Church in Denmark. The preacher told the story of Rev. Gribble who came to Western Australia in the 19th century and not only was appalled at the treatment of the aboriginal population by the Europeans but he preached about it and wrote to politicians about the atrocities. The preacher said that what he described is as horrific anything that ISIS is doing. Gribble was hounded out of the church in Australia and died forgotten. His tombstone is engraved simply, “Blackfellas friend.”

This part of southwestern Australia is reminiscent of the 1970’s and the hippie culture, a bit like Nelson, B.C. but with wineries and all kinds of local produce. This week we have enjoyed local peach mango yoghurt, wine, smoked cheddar, brie, venison sausage, avocado and dark chocolate with candied orange pieces. The challenge is not overeating all this goodness.

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