We clicked over 8000 km as we arrived on the outskirts of Manjimup. I took my chances and climbed 52m up the Diamond tree. At the 23m halfway platform is a sign that clearly states ‘that was the easy bit, part of the top section is near vertical, reassess your situation now. If in doubt do not climb’.
In this age of nanny OH&S, I was chuffed to see that there was something that you could still do that has all the risks clearly outlined, that represents a physical challenge, and is a managed risk that you need to assess to determine yourself to ensure you feel competent to actually climb. Basically, mess up, and you run a real risk of death.
All this, without entrance fees, waivers, harnesses, and grubby litigious lawyers rubbing their hands together when someone gets hurt. Anyway, up and down I went, with great views to boot from the top.
Next stop was our camp for the next two nights – Fonty’s Pool. This was originally agricultural land dammed by the owner, Archimedes Fontanini, in 1907. He opened it as a public pool in 1925, and although it’s had a turbulent history, it now boasts the original pool and spectacular gardens, and a beautiful caravan park on lush green grass.
The next day was my birthday (which is an extremely low-key event when you’re on the road), and Kris and the boys gave me some pressies, as well as yummy treats for morning and afternoon tea. The boys enjoyed floating around the pool on giant inner tubes whilst I pottered around taking photos.
The afternoon was less peaceful, spent on the tools changing a shredded tyre on a car (not ours) and servicing the boy’s bikes. Kris cooked a scrummy roast dinner to top the day off. The only mishap of the day was a cut on Sam’s ankle, courtesy of a 14 ft tinny, complete with outboard, that had been partly submerged in the kids play area – luckily not deep enough to require glue or stitches.