Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Getaway

We were getting a bit stir crazy, staying at home, so we decided to Go Bush for a few days. Years ago we had spent some enjoyable times in WA's north eastern wheatbelt exploring the granite outcrops. So over Easter we thought we would look at a few more.

I had seen a few reports about Beringbooding Rock and that would be our initial destination. It is ESE of the small town of Bonnie Rock, at the intersection of Beringbooding Road and Cunderin Road (no second D).

The bushflies out here were awful. Fly veils were essential or we would be carried away. I thought the WA Govt, at one stage, had a dung beetle program underway which had a positive effect on fly numbers but the evidence points to it being abandoned. Shame.

The water tank was built in 1937 and was then, and possibly still is, the largest hand built water tank in Australia. Water is still available through a tap at the base. The water is channelled into the tank via an aquaduct. Excellent engineering.

The camp ground is very roomy and has concrete fire rings and hot plates. There is even a flushing toilet with a hand basin in the corner. Very nice.

Around one side is a gnamma hole with a small retaining wall to keep the water level up.

The entire rock has small walls built around it to direct the water into gnamma holes and the main tank.

We met a nice young couple from Toodyay also camping there, Keith and Jennifer. We all left together to explore other rocky outcrops on the way to one of my favourite places, Trough Well, on Mt Jackson Road.
Trough Well, I must say, is at its best in winter. After a long hot, dry summer it was a bit destitute. The ambience was not improved by the presence of two kangaroo bodies in the trough. Here are two photos taken a couple of years ago during winter when there was a bit of greenery and water around.

Each night Robyn and I would sit outside and count how many satellites and shooting stars we could see, and there were plenty. Some of the satellites flashed like a strobe light on an aircraft but the frequency and intensity of the flash varied. I assume that they had irregular surfaces and the sun reflected off them intermittently. If we had seen any of them changing direction I would have a different explanation, but they didn't, unfortunately.

On Sunday night there were quite a few lightning flashes from distant thunderstorms but nothing near us. All weekend it was too warm at night for a fire.

On Monday we started the homeward journey and found a 24 hour fuel bowser at Mukinbudin. That was handy as everything was closed over the holiday weekend. We passed through Nungarin that morning too. It looked like it had received a decent rainstorm overnight with large pools of water everywhere.

On the way through Wyalkatchem we stopped at the pub and had an Anzac Day beer with a couple of elderly WW2 veterans. I bought them a beer, we should all be buying them a beer on Anzac Day.

Our overnight stay was at a rest stop in the almost non-existant town of Minnivale. I managed to reverse into a tree here and wiped off the external hatch cover to the hot water system on the van.

On Tuesday we headed home to Mandurah via Toodyay and gave the van a good tub on arrival. It's been raining on and off since. I wish it had rained on the way home we wouldn't have had to wash the van.