Wongan Hills

On Friday we had lunch in ‘Cafe of Note’ – we are not sure if the cafe was here last year or not, but it is the first time we have been there. It has two rooms and the larger one is music themed. After eating Stephen asked a man about shade for parking our van and we ended up having a long discussion. He is the partner of the woman who owns the cafe and is a piano tuner. He still works in Perth a couple of days a week and spends the rest of the time in Wongan Hills. He and Stephen discovered lots in common with music and aquaintances in the music scene in Perth.

They sometimes have music at the cafe and we said we would be back for the evening session. The Aroretum had a bit of shade and we had a rest there, followed by a walk, then back to the cafe. The owner was singing and the man we had spoken with, Alan, played a short keyboard electric piano, supplemented with a separate sounding keyboard, whilst singing as well. We had fish and chips and joined in the singing as much as we could. We were more impressed with his keyboard skills than the singing, perhaps, but it made for a really interesting evening. There was one other couple and a single man who sat in the other room, but looked in to smile at us.

We planned to stay at the free camping spot where we have stayed before, but had difficulty actually finding it in the dark. By the time we did we felt pretty silly as it was obvious, once we knew to head off over the gravel towards the hall, the bear left. Still, we had a good nights’s sleep and were ready to head over to the cooked breakfast before 8.00 a.m. Then Stephen suggested that we take our van out to the Reynolds Reserve and do our own breakfast there. As it meant having our toilet with us I was happy to agree.

This meant we did the walk through the reserve on our own schedule and were back in the van again before the sun became too fierce. I’m a bit disappointed in my photos of the verticordias, but as I’ve been photographing wildflowers so much this year I focussed on enjoying the abundance instead. And, the the flowers are not yet at their peak owing to having lots of rain recently.

We returned to town for lunch under a tree in a parking area just one back from the main street. That meant being on hand to have devonshire teas and look at exhibits. By the time we left the van the stalls were being dismantled, but markets can be a bit boring anyway, I’m sure we didn’t miss anything.

I had some chicken to cook, so we moved house once again, chasing better shade, and parked outside of the pub. The sun eventually came into the van, but we persevered and had a good meal, plus have leftovers for one or two more meals.

Our next priority was the Saturday night stargazing at the airport. The airport is just on the edge of town and we arrived around sunset. We had to dig out our camping chairs to join the ‘class’ waiting for the presentation. This time we had Phil of (can’t remember) who also does presentations in Karrijini at Dales Gorge campground. He was a showman and liked to surprise us, have little quizzes and generally mess around. He had three telescopes, all manual, which needed frequent readjusting to take into account how fast our Earth is rotating, but it was an excellent evening of fun and learning. It even included a bit of astrology. He had a green lazer to point out stars to us.

I didn’t feel that the night was a clear as it could have been, perhaps dust in the air as it is very dry here. But it beat last year when we had so much cloud. Afterwards we easily found our way home, had some fruit and yogurt, and went to bed. I set our alarm for 7.30 a.m. this morning and we woke up naturally at around that time.

Today we will, of course, take in the vintage car display and do some van services (no need to specify) and head off.

After a bit of a look around this morning we decided to go to Lake Ninan to have our lunch. The water is quite high after the rains and covers a large area. The wind coming over it was cooled down a bit and we had parked in the shade. Whatever our original plan we found we couldn’t leave as it’s so nice to be at this lake. After a rest and coffee we’ve been sitting outside. The wind is too strong at times to have the screen over the sliding door, which meant we were plagued by flies inside. It is more comfortable to be outside than inside, we still have flies, but we are cool enough.

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