Wongan Hills Wildflower Trip: Days 7 & 8

The Wongan Hills Experience, a night in Goomalling and on to Toodyay

The main objective of the stargazing evening in Wongan Hills was in fact to see the full moon rise over the Wongan Hills. Despite wind, flies and cloud cover the event went ahead. We bought some steak from the local butcher to cook on the BBQ and had coleslaw salad sandwiches with it. There was quite good fellowship amongst the locals and visitors. Stephen did the cooking and was able to chat with other people over the BBQ.

When we had all cleared up we were invited to sit looking out to where the moon was rising (we couldn’t actually see it) and a local introduced the team of astronomers who had brought three telescopes and used onboard computers to align and track the moon. It turned out to be a very interesting evening as they were able to answer all of our questions (like ‘when will people next go to the moon’ and ‘when will people go to Mars’, etc. The evening had become quite chilly and we had to rug up.

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The moon shows up!

Of course, the moon eventually showed up with the clouds providing quite a lot of drama and short windows of opportunity to view it through one or other of the telescopes. Stephen was shown how to get photos on his mobile phone through the telescope, resulting in these three phoots.

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When I sat down for a bit to ease my sore feet a little girl in a dress who was not rugged up, worryingly, with bare arms, asked me ‘where is Dolly’. Her speech was a little unclear, but she and a couple of other small kids included me quite naturally in what they were doing (the little boy being rather annoying, but very cute). I put it down to them being country kids who expect all older women to be available as spare aunties and grandmothers.

Eventually we all decided to head home, leaving our astronomers to pack up the telescopes.

By then we had met Deborah a couple of times around the town and enjoyed chatting with her. She and her husband are retired farmers living in Hyden. They were on the tour we took this morning out to see the Reyoldsons Reserve to see the verticordias. We learned about the history of the area, rotational planting of crops and the history of the reserve. We have been out to this reserve a couple of times in the past, but found it very interesting to do the tour.

Then back to the community centre to look at the vintage cars on display and have our second Devonshire Tea of the weekend.

It was hot again on Saturday, but became progressively cooler during the afternoon. This morning was cloudy, which was good for our expedition to Reynoldsons Reserve as we didn’t have to contend with bright sun for photos. The bus trailed us as we walked around the reserve taking photos and enjoying the flowers. As we returned to town it began to rain and has been raining off and on for the rest of the afternoon. It’s slightly chilly as well.

We spent the night in the nearby town of Goomalling, famous for having the cheapest caravan park in Western Australia and $20 per night with electricity and water. As it’s cold and damp its comforting to have these things. We have stayed here before in our caravanning days and know it to be comfortable here with decent facilities. Not fancy, but clean. There is a large campers kitchen with all appliances.

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Monday November 2nd, 2020 at the Toodyay Bakery. Stephen reading the paper, me finishing off processing photos and adding them to this blog.

We are now about 80kms from home and doing something we have done before in spending one night near Toodyay before heading home, even though we could actually drive home today. Our re-entry into normal life will be demanding and having one more peaceful night will help.

It’s only 12 days to our next time away in the van at Folk in the Forrest in Dwellingup. There was an email this morning giving us some information on what to expect. This festival has been running for many years, but this is our first time.