Thank you Wongan Hills

We are home now and have mostly unpacked the Winnie. Yesterday after our verticordia (heart turning) experience we visited the lookout at Mt Obrien. The dear fellow at the Vistor’s Centre told us we should have no difficulty getting our van up there, although it was a bit steep.

In fact, we got terribly frightened! I kept my foot on the accelerator in order to keep up the momentum for the steep parts. Sometimes we weren’t sure we would make it. Stephen gave helpful advice as I was struggling to manage. I found it unhelpful at the time.

Mt O'Brien view2 (1 of 1)

At the top we had a nice cup of tea to calm ourselves down. After some shooting (with cameras), we went down the hill again. During out time at the lookout the hill had smoothed itself out and the road got shorter, or so it seemed. It was much easier than coming up, especially as I put the Winnie into manual and could control our speed. We stopped to take some photos of an area close to the bottom with beautiful tall trees with leaves glinting in the sun and a beautiful golden carpet of flowers. The Christmas Tree Rock walk had areas just like it.

distant lake (1 of 1)
Lake Ninan from the lookout with a 70-300mm lens

Mt O'Brien view3 (1 of 1)

Mt O'Brien view4 (1 of 1)
Mt O’Brien
Mt O'Brien view5 (1 of 1)
Mt O’Brien

Near Mt O’Brien our map showed an RV camping area called The Gap. We went to check it out. It’s a large area off the road and was clean and tidy (no rubbish around). We felt it would be a very peaceful place to stay the night. We left the curtains open all night. The moon was so bright that it was almost like having a light at a caravan park. There was no traffic on the road overnight.

Camping at The Gap near Mt O'Brien (1 of 1)
The Winnie at The Gap
Camping at The Gap distant lake (1 of 1)
View over the fields to a lake in the distance near The Gap
Camping at The Gap wheel tracks (1 of 1)
Tracks in a field of grain (barley, wheat?) near The Gap

We woke up at 6.00 a.m. to a beautiful, sunny morning. The nights have been chilly on this trip, despite the fine weather. Our summer doona has been quite adequate to keep us warm which makes us wonder if it really is a summer doona.

After breakfast we packed up and went to do the Christmas Tree Rock Walk. It took us about an hour and part of the time we were in full sun, and increasing numbers of flies, so it wasn’t altogether comfortable. The rock itself is a granite outcrop. The walk had information displayed at various points along the way as well as marks on posts or on the ground to show us where to go.

Christmas Rock Walk (1 of 1)
Christmas Tree Rock Walk
Christmas Rock Walk3 (1 of 1)
Stephen points out our route marker
Christmas Rock Walk5 (1 of 1)
The Rock
Christmas Rock Walk4 (1 of 1)
There were lots of flowers on the walk, mostly very small. This was a rare large one. We could hear bird calls, but only saw them in the distance.
Christmas Rock Walk7 (1 of 1)
A channel for water running off the rock. The cable is for power or telecomunications, I think.
Christmas Rock Walk10 (1 of 1)
Pink tape was also used extensively on the walk to indicate where to go.

After the walk we felt we deserved a visit to the cafe/bakery where we had hot drinks, lots of water, and a long rest. On our way out of town we refuelled. We felt we owed the community for providing such good facilities (free camping, water and a dump point, and information on various activities to enjoy in the area). We haven’t done everything – there are still possibilities for a future visit. But, we might not go up to the lookout again!

We enjoyed the drive home, opting to take the Great Eastern Highway route home. We found nice roadside places for lunch and afternoon tea on the way. Stephen drove about 60 kms and I did the rest.

A lot of the time we have been driving through farmlands which a few weeks ago were green or golden in the case of canola, now everything is already harvested or almost ready for harvest. This is the closest we came to harvesting. The video clips were taken with my phone whilst Stepen was driving.

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