Remembering 1997: The Sweetest Year in My Life (Part 21):

After a pleasant overnight rest, we woke up early in one chilly Saturday morning. That night has been a very cold one for me, and I’ve to admit that I didn’t sleep soundly last night. Heinz, upon learning about that, advised me to wear pajama or training pack for sleep as jeans can act as conductor of the cold temperature. I notice the girls are awaken too, in full dress of course.

But the most spectacular sight of all has to be seeing Denise in her full glory. I had never woke up in the morning and seeing my dream girl right in front of me before. Most of the time, the girls would either stay in my memory or at its best would only be visible when I go out. Although she looked scruffy, it still can’t conceal her beautiful look.

We sit down on the dining table and enjoying the breakfast while tuning to the TV who broadcasted Video Hits TV show. In addition, the sun rays shining into our room, making the morning truly cheerful.

Getting used to eat rice or heavy meal in the morning, I was truly surprised that our breakfast menu looks very modest by my standard: only pieces of toasted bread, butter, boiled eggs, and jam, accompanied by tea or coffee. I wonder if that would be enough to fill my stomach. I eat some, and apparently they tasted just right. It may not fill my stomach completely, but definitely provide me with enough energy to do activities in the morning.

Typical continental breakfast menu.

After breakfast, I had shower and packing up my belongings. The girls were busy cleaning up our cabin, like housewives. Gee, seeing Denise doing chores truly made me infatuated with her even further. She would probably make a good wife and mother. Although of course I would love to help her out if I had more confidence.

While waiting for the girls to complete the chores, Heinz and I head to the nearby Coles supermarket. Heinz wants to buy some provisions and also some tool to help him for this trip. I can’t recall what did we buy back then, but I marveled the sheer size of the supermarket. It was probably twice or 3 time the Coles supermarket in North Perth.

The interior of Coles in Bunbury. This photo was taken recently, not in 1997.

Upon returning back to our motel, we picked up the girls (who have completed the cleaning and packing up their belongings). This time they have changed their clothing into much even more minimal clothing. I can’t recall what Maria wore at that time, but all I remember was Denise wore blue sleeveless shirt, black short pants, and slipper. She also wore bikini underneath her clothing.

Upon checking out, we drove to the Bunbury beach and crossing the town center. Bunbury is the second largest metropolitan area in West Australia outside Perth. If you think Perth is quiet, Bunbury is even quieter. On Sunday morning, there are very few people around. The town center was nearly deserted.

Aerial view of Bunbury.

We also made a stop in a tourist information center to find out more about Bunbury and Margaret River. Upon looking at the building, I felt that the building design looks peculiar. Heinz explained that this used to be the Bunbury railway station. The station was closed off for railway traffic several years ago, and now used for bus station (for both city bus, and rural Westrail bus service), as well as visitor center. Heinz said that the city is no longer served by railway, although I wasn’t convinced considering how big the city is.

The old Bunbury station which is now used for tourist information centre.

While Heinz browsing around information board, I walked around the building and imagining on how the station activities would have been like in bygone era. The station building itself is largely intact, complete with the former passenger platform. Although the former railway yards itself is now a public park. I believe when road transport were still in its infamy, this station must have been very busy with passengers and freight. Now all of the hives of activities have been replaced with different kind of traffic.

I later learned that Bunbury is still served by railway, both for passengers and freights. The old Bunbury Railway station was indeed the major railway hub for Bunbury as it served both passengers and freights.

Bunbury station and freight yard, as seen in 1984, or a year before its closure. The station building can be seen on the left, while a Perth-bound Australind is seen on the platform. (Photo by Weston Langford).

But either due to complaints from city council, or perhaps due to lack of available space for expansion, the old railway station was closed 1985. The passenger station is relocated to a new site located 6 km south east of the old station, while freight activities have moved to branchlines and new freight yards located on the north and east of the city, where the premises were already developed in 1960s and 1970s.

After gathering enough information, we returned back to the car and heading to Bunbury beach. This beach is one of attractions available in the city center. Heinz said that the place is also well known for its dolphin watching activities. But he also added that the dolphin arrival in the area is seasonal, in which I can’t recall when is the height of dolphin activities here.

Once we cross a derelict railway line, we finally arrive in Bunbury beach. The Dolphin Watching centre is somehow close, so we decided to spend our time sitting and enjoying the scenery there. This time, most of the conversation was in German, and I can’t recall what were discussed.

One interesting thing was my appearance seemed to be out of place. While everyone wore short clothing for spring, I still dressed up for winter, complete with my blue jacket! It looked totally ridiculous that I wore winter clothing, while some people wore bikini. But I felt the weather was just still cold for me.

While we were relaxing, Heinz met a couple of Swiss tourists there. They were a couple on honeymoon. The man is a Swiss German, while his wife is Swiss French. I shook hand with the man, and was truly surprised how coarse his palm is. It’s probably because of combination of hard work and dry wintry climate of Switzerland. We did chat briefly with him. Upon knowing that I’m from Indonesia, he said that prior to coming to Australia; they were traveling overland from Sumatera, Java, Bali, and then Lombok.

After we finished enjoying the beach, we drove south to Busselton. We traveled through the countryside of South West Australia, which is dominated by scenic grasslands, farmlands, as well as occasional forested areas. The scenery partly reminds me to Javanese countryside, because the open grassland looks similar to rice field. But the only difference is the lack of human presence in many areas. Some places seem to be devoid of population, so much that mechanical trouble in our car is best avoided as help may not promptly available (and bear in mind that mobile phone wasn’t norm back then).

Driving on the countryside from Bunbury to Busselton.  

Sometime I would see some abandoned railway tracks. It was probably used to carry passengers, or freights. But when the demand for railway declined, they simply close it down. It was the first time I saw abandoned railway lines in Australia.

Upon arriving at Busselton, Heinz showed us the famous Busselton jetty which is often advertised as “the longest in southern hemisphere”. But unfortunately we didn’t visit the place as the girls were not interested, and I didn’t get any clue about its significance.  So we proceed further to the south (south west to be precisely).

Busselton Jetty is said to be the longest jetty in southern hemisphere.

Our quest to find a beach finally paid dividend when we found one secluded beach in Dunsborough.  I can’t exactly recall the beach’s name, but it was a bit rocky but with a spacious sandy area. It was probably Meelup beach.

The Meelup beach. The scene was similar to this, but alas I didn’t take any photo of our visit to the beach.

We decided to have a rest over there while enjoying the scenery. As soon as we put the car on the side of the road, the girls picked up the provisions and descending down to the beach, while I helped Heinz parking the car.

When helping to park the car, Heinz taught me one unusual way to assist him. While most of the time, I would simply wave my hand to signal the driver to reverse, before giving hand signal to stop, in here he asked me to mimic the distance between the rear bumper and the wall with my hand. Highly unusual, but probably accurate, and that was the only occasion where I’ve ever done that.

We descended down into the beach, where the girls were already in their bikini and revealing the curves of their body. Denise wore two piece white and blue bikinis which revealing her curvature body and fair skin, while Maria wore orange bikini of similar design.  On the other hand, while the Swiss wore appropriate outfit for the beach, my attire was actually more suited to snowy winter: dark blue jeans, big jacket, jogging shoes, and hat. My outfit was definitely contrasting with the Swiss and out of place for going out in the beach at around this time of the year!

The Swiss truly enjoys the sunbathing and tanning their white skin. I think it’s a bit pity that Denise choose to tan her beautiful fair skin. She would have looked better if she retain her original fair skin, in my opinion. Maria already have tanned skin so it doesn’t matter.

Since I do not enjoy staying under the sun for long, I decided to go back to car park to be under the shade. While in the car park, I looked around the area. The place is incredibly quiet. There are occasional bicycles that passed by, but none seem to stop. Just across the car park, there is a public toilet. Although it is located in secluded area, the toilet is incredibly clean and well maintained with very little sign of vandalism. There is even a public phone too. I did tried to make phone call to Indonesia, and I was quite amazed that the phone have clear and crisp sound.

Upon completing the phone call, I return back to my Swiss friends. They are still sleeping and enjoying the sun. I sat on the sand, and enjoying the scenery. While marveling the scenery, Heinz suddenly woke up. He asked me to take off my clothes and enjoy the sea. Well, at that time I wasn’t really in mood of dipping into the sea, so I politely refused his offer.

The weather might be cold by my standard, but I obviously have misjudged the weather. Sign of warmer weather is already apparent. Several insects that would normally turn up during hot weather began to spring to life. They made lot of noise around us. Some even tries to bite Heinz, but he repelled that.

After they had enough of sunbathing, they decided to have some fun by swimming in the water. Maria and Denise seem to enjoy splashing into the waves. It must have been really fun. I would love to join, but alas I didn’t have spare clothing with me. My appearance looked really out of place in the beach.

Once the Swiss dressed up back to their traveling clothes, we resume our journey again. This time we’re heading to Dunsborough area to look for accommodation. Back then, Dunsborough was a backwater town with some budget motels and caravan parks. Despite the fact that it was already an established tourist destination, no fancy hotels existed in the area.

We travel through the coastline in Margaret River, when we suddenly came across the scene of a very beautiful and windy beach. We decided to stop by in one beach to see this beautiful scenery. Upon parking the car, we walked into the beach to see it.

But there was one scene that actually drew my attention away from the beach. As soon as we came into the sandy beach, Denise walked onto a small rock and starts to enjoy the windy place in a rather titillating manner, like what you would see in Playboy Playmate videos. She raises her hand and start rubbing her hair, flaunting her arms and clean armpits, as if she is showing to everyone that she has a great body. I was truly aroused upon looking at her. I tried to take the photo of her while enjoying the sun, but only manage to capture a few, as she moves quite fast.

I tried to photograph Denise while enjoying the beach in suggestive manner, but only ended up with this photo.

After the sun disappeared under the horizon, we resume our journey to look for lodging for tonight. We did browse for some accommodations, although most of the time it was Heinz and Maria who would come down and see the places. Eventually, we decided to settle down in a motel located in an open space near the town (it was either Yallingup Beach Holiday Park or Four Seasons Holiday Park).

Our lodge is much bigger and modern than the cabin that we stayed in Bunbury. It features living room, kitchen, dining table, and two separate bedrooms, plus one shower room.  The girls sleep in the main bedroom, while I’m on the smaller “children bedroom”, which featured stacked bunks. Heinz chooses to sleep in the couch in the living room, instead of joining me in the small bedroom.

Once we settled in, we have shower and cleaned up before preparing the dinner. The menu is relatively the same as the previous night, unless this time it was Heinz who cooked my fish patties. And since he was an inexperienced cook, the fish was overcooked and slightly burnt. Since there were no barbeque stove on the outside, all food are cooked inside.

We sat down in the dinner table while enjoying the meal. It was pretty much like yesterday, unless that my fish was less palatable than yesterday (nice try, Heinz). We occasionally interrupt our meal with occasional chat. I can’t recall what we talked about at that time. It’s been 20 years, and of course I barely able to remember the detail of our conversation at that time.

Enjoying dinner at Dunsborough. The Swiss drank red wine, while I drank lemon juice. My crooked facial expression was meant as a joke. While my suggestive hand gesture has erotic meaning in Javanese culture.

After we finished our meal, the Swiss wanted to spend the night at the pub. Since I have aversion towards pub or nightclub, I decided to stay at the hotel. I think, the hotel didn’t have TV, so my only mean of entertainment was listening to my Walkman. I went to my bedroom tried to sleep, but it was very cold. Donning the blanket and switching off the light does really help me to go to sleep. But still, I struggle to put myself in deep sleep.

While lying on the bed, I could hear the sound of people coming to my lodge. At first I was a bit suspicious, but upon hearing that they spoke in Swiss German dialect, it’s obvious that the Swiss have just returning back from the pub.

Just like yesterday, they also sitting and chatting before sleeping, in front verandah. Since I didn’t join them, the conversation was fully in German. They chatted until near midnight where they withdraw to their sleeping quarter for overnight rest.

Well, although everyone eventually went to the bed to go to sleep, today’s story didn’t end there. As I was sleeping, suddenly I feel the urge to go to the toilet. I walk in wobbly manner to the toilet. Although it is right next to my room, it was quite a struggle for me as I was very tired. Since I hurriedly opened the toilet door, it accidentally slammed into the main bedroom’s door! I saw Heinz suddenly awoken in the couch. The ladies must be awakened too. I decided to finish my business in the toilet immediately, slowly closing the doors, and resuming my sleep.

It was just amazing that the Swiss didn’t make fuss about that. They were probably very tired.



About bagus70

I'm an adventurous railfans who love to seek out the world of railway, beyond the border of my office.
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