dalekboy (dalekboy) wrote,

The Trip to Melbourne (part the fourth)

Yes, I know. I'm actually back, but this is the first real chance I've had to dig through my laptop for the trip sections that I did while travelling so I could post them up. I'll space out the posts, but in the meantime, here's the next thrilling installment!

Thursday 21st April, 2005

Thursday was a semi-quiet one. We hung around the farm, had a visitor, had a lot of rain, went to town to do email stuff and ate fishcakes. There are no pictures of any of this, non should there be. It is rather dull.

The evening was quiet and relaxed, with Sandra, Tiki and I sitting about yakking quietly. Friday, though, Friday would prove to be a full day.

Friday 22nd

Where to begin? I got up bright and early and used the worm combustion toilet one last time. It was a sad goodbye. That odd commode and I have formed something of an attachment over the last week. There were tears, but we're both strong. Picture in the following post.

Next I had a last hose wash. Partway through (I was naked and washing my hair) I was suddenly surrounded by peacocks, making it slightly surreal. Fortunately they didn't mistake any parts of my body as delicious grubs or slugs, despite some of my odd colour variations. Picture coming soon.

After brekky, we wandered out to walk the boundary. The farm has a lot of unspoilt bushland in it. I took a few photos along the way. The Sandra headed back to The Tent, while Tiki and I looked around the maze.

Yes, you read right. The place has a maze. It was started in 1990, after a lengthy design process. It's 500 metres by 500 metres and is made entirely using native plants. It has some fiendish tricks within it, including needing to travel a double spiral as part of the solution. It was never fully completed and has since gone wild. Two of the six bridges were completed and one section contained a chess board. It was lovely. Pictures next time.

After that we loaded up the car. Tiki's little car is chockers with stuff. Think elephant deflowering a butterfly. With a lot of patience and a little saliva, I got the car packed. Once that was done we bid our farewells and headed into Albany to have lunch with Jackie, a very cool friend of Tiki's. No pictures of her, but wish I'd taken one now. She's just one of those remarkably alive, switched on people. Am very glad to have met her.

Then to the net cafe for one last email catch-up, and from there off to the tourist bureau and then to a big book sale. There were a few large format books I would have liked but few novels. I held off on buying much because of packing considerations, but did pick up the second Frank Miller Dark Knight tradepaper for about a $1. Then we headed off to the Stirling ranges.

Got to the campsite around 2020 and put up our little tent. Both crashed out fairly quickly, though I had my usual problems getting to sleep. Some thumping outside convinced me to sit up and look out the mesh window and I saw kangaroo silloetted in the moonlight. Then I crashed out.

Satuday 23rd

Woke up early and took our time getting ready to leave. Pulled down the tent and carefully configured the tent and the fly so we would know quickly which way they need to go in case it's raining when we set it up next. We're getting quite good at setting it up in the dark, but getting the direction of the fly right is a little harder. After that we wandered about a bit then hit the road.

Our goal was Bluff Knoll, in the Stirling Ranges. Got there about 1100, took a bunch of pics, then started the walk to the top at around 1130. We were only going to part of the way, but both kept wanting to go 'just a little bit further'. The clouds rolled in just after we started and because of the steep vetical ascent we were amongst them pretty quickly. And getting rather damp and wet. And it was windy. And there was no discerable view. But we kept going because we're adventurous. And stupid. And stubborn.

Got to the top just after 1400. It's 1073 metres high! And my camera battery was rather flat. I'm sure the view is stunning when you're not cloud-locked, then you can see more than grey. Actually, I know the view is stunning thanks to a couple of gaps in the clouds that allowed me a pretty good view. We ate and drank and chatted and then at about 1450 started back down, which only took 85 minutes. There will be pictures next post.

After that we went to a nearby cafe to plan the next bit of the trip and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. I may willingly visit a camel farm tomorrow. Camels. Brrr... they ain't natural animals.

We left there for our next destination, but detoured into Ongerup briefly because it was there. There was a weird sculpture thingy that I took some photos of in the dark. You will see them next time.

Currently (1848) we are driving towards Fitzgerald National Park. More soon, my dears.

*continued later*

Got to The National Park and had a bone-jellying ride over a pretty sizable stretch of corrugated road. Paused briefly to check out Sepulcralis Hill by the cloudy moonlight. The paths are made of crushed quartz and shined up bone-white in the faint light. Took a photo in the dark.

Eventually camped at Hammersly Inlet.

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