Exploring Wildflower Country : Mullewa, Canna, Morawa, Perenjori, Three Springs and Eneabba.
Friday 30th August
This morning we take our leave of Geraldton. But before we left, I just had to have a jump on the jumping pillow.
It does absolutely nothing for incontinence!!! But it was so fun!!
From Geraldton, we headed east, inland to Mullewa, a quaint little town where they were hosting their Annual Wild Flower Show at the Town Hall.
It was a very nice display (or would have been before the flowers had started to wilt). The lady on the door was most informative about flowers in the area (or rather the lack of them). Apparently they are very few and far between this year because of lack of rain.
It seems that even Glad Jenkins who usually has heaps of flowers in her paddock by now, bought in a few flowers which usually have quite long stalks but this year the stalks are very short. In fact, when they put the flowers in the vase, they got sucked right into the water and they couldn’t get them out again!
Outside however, there were some lovely Kangaroo Paws and Everlasting Daisies.
After we left there, we drove past more flowers.
They are a bit like mirages. Firstly, I don’t think they exist and secondly, they look much better from a distance.
Early in the afternoon, we arrived in Canna and went to the campground behind the long closed General Store and in the Lutheran Church grounds.
There was no sign of the caretaker, Paul. Ron decided to park Indie up the back. There were several motor homes parked around the side of the hall because that is where the four or so powered sites are. We had heard about this spot from our friends Aidan and Mary.
We decided to go for a walk and would you believe bumped into John and Teri AGAIN!!! I’m sure they can be officially classified as stalkers by now!!! They were camped at the same spot but we had not noticed them so if we had not bumped into each other then, we could quite easily have missed each other!
Ron and I walked over the railway line to the dam and then set off on an 1100m walk to The Rock.
There were lots of lovely flowers in patches along the way including some we had not seen before.
Of course, they look better in patches.
The track to The Rock was clearly signed at regular intervals and when we got there. We climbed up it and the view was completely underwhelming.
As we wound our way back across the railway line and past the Open Grain Handling Facility, Ron made me take an ‘arty’ shot down on the railway line despite my protests that I would be run over by a train.
Ron was quite confident that there would not be any and needless to say a coal train about 2km long came through four minutes later!
Happy not to have met my demise and realising that Happy Hour would soon be upon us, we hurried back to our camp site to join with John and Teri. By now the sun had set and the wind had picked up quite considerably.
It was then that we became painfully aware that The Batavians (a Chapter of the C.M.C.A. from Geraldton) had booked the camp for the next few days.
When we had first arrived, Ron was advised of this by ‘Hitler with a clip board’ who told him that another ‘outsider’ was camped here as well. The fact that Ron and I are members of the C.M.C.A. (the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia) held no sway at all.
Anyway, in light of the dreadful weather conditions and that the hall was inhabited by only a handful of ‘Batavians’, I went and asked a lady who was doing a jigsaw puzzle (boy do they know how to have a good time) if the four of us might just sit quietly in the corner for an hour or so. She assured me it would be no problem until that is, we actually tried to do it. ‘Mrs Hitler with a clip board’ immediately questioned our rights to be in the hall and within two minutes ‘Hitler’ himself was there giving us our marching orders. They had paid to hire the hall and God forbid, if they let us in, they would have to let everybody in. I did point out that we were everybody (to no avail) and then, proclaiming that we had been thrown out of better places than this, we left.
As we huddled on the sheltered side of a brick wall at the end of the veranda, we were joined by Les and Wilma. They were with the Batavians but Les was particularly peeved that we had been evicted.
We decided that we didn’t really care and had a wonderful Happy Hour (or two). Les came from Three Springs which is not far away. Wilma is about to start out on a long solo adventure on her own. Finally we were all driven indoors by the inclement weather.
Saturday 31st August
We said our goodbyes this morning and while John, Teri, Ron and I were over it, Les and Wilma were still angry at the poor treatment we had received. I look on the bright side; if we hadn’t been evicted, we would never have met and had the good time that we did.
Ronnie and I headed off towards Morawa.
We stopped at the Tourist Information Centre and were assured that we had no need to travel too far afield (160km round trip from Perenjori) in order to find the elusive wreath flowers and that they had some nearby.
The man then proceeded to give me a mud map leading just over 30km out of town to Bateman Rd and assured me that the flowers’ location was clearly marked by a white plastic drum on the roadside.
Armed with this new found information, we headed off in the clear blue sunshine and duly arrived at the nominated site. As soon as we turned off Indie’s engine, the heavens opened. Finally the rains subsided and we were able to see them. They were amazing.
From there we continued on towards Perenjori.
We drove past more patches of wildflowers and are now resigned to the fact that there will be no fields of flowers.
We are constantly told that there has not been enough rain and even if we could find masses of everlasting daisies, they would all be closed over because of the rain today. They only open in sunshine!
We finally arrived at Perenjori Caravan Park ($25.00 per night powered and FREE washing machines AND dryers. Of course, there is a donation box for St Johns Ambulance in the laundry so they guilt you into paying anyway!)
The man in the office, Joel was really lovely. He was so friendly and helpful and had a great sense of humour.
As I was booking in, I noticed some stickers on the desk.
I asked how much they were and he said I could have one.
I thanked him and explained that my initials are PJ but joked that no one loves me, not even my children. He asked how many children I have and when I said two, he gave me another two stickers and told me to make them put them on their cars.
As we went to our site, we came across some more everlasting daisies. They looked resplendent in the sunshine but just as we had been told, as soon as it rained, they closed up.
We spent the rest of the day sorting out household chores and relaxing.
Sunday 1st September.
Time to leave and we couldn’t find Joel to say goodbye so we headed into town to see the heritage trail called The People’s Pathway. It is a heritage trail with a difference. It is an eclectic collection of 22 rusty steel characters scattered along both sides of the main street. They have explanatory signs telling about people, buildings and social activities in the town and its environs over the last hundred odd years.
I proffered my leg as a substitute ‘leg of lamb’ for the butcher’s cleaver but Ron insisted it was much more likely to be accepted as a ‘leg of mutton’!!!!
A little harsh I thought!!!!
As we were strolling along, Joel from the Caravan Park stopped in his car and roused on us for trying to sneak off without saying goodbye.
We headed off to Three Springs and arrived at about 11.00am. They had a Wild Flower show at the local hall so off we went.
It was very nice and they had a lovely sample of the Eucalyptus Rose Mallee (The Three Springs floral emblem) on display at the door.
They also had an art and photography exhibition (in which Ron and I voted for the People’s Choice.)
Last but not least, they had a delicious Devonshire tea. Ron got 2 scones because it was Father’s Day. Talk about spoilt. And both the boys got in touch as well!!!
We were just finishing our Devonshire Tea when Wilma (from Canna) rocked up. Les lives in Three Springs and so she took us round to his house to surprise him. We had a great old chat and he showed us his workshops, numerous assorted trailers, a Mini which he had converted to a working tip truck and his pride and joy – a motorbike. It was a Virago like the one’s Ron and I used to have.
After lots of chatting, Ron and I finally headed off towards Eneabba.
Not far down the road, we spotted an echidna crossing the road. We screeched to a halt and I leapt from Indie, camera in hand, determined to get the quintessential shot.
Obviously alarmed by the prospect of imminent attack, the echidna did what all self-respecting echidnas do and started to roll into a ball and was determined not to move any time soon.
This in turn, alarmed us because since he had dug his claws firmly into the road surface and was refusing to move anywhere, he was now in danger of becoming a statistic in the number of native animals who have met their demise under a motor vehicle.
I went back to Indie, grabbed a broom and swept him to safety (literally!!!!) I was a little concerned that he might emerge a bit dizzy.
Our good deed was well rewarded; as we were driving away a 4WD came over the crest of the hill just where the echidna had been.
Then it was off to Western Flora Caravan Park 20 km north of Eneabba ($28.00 and that included a free wild flower tour with Allan.)
The tour was very interesting and informative.
Sadly, I can’t remember most of the names.
After the tour, Allan showed us some plants under the microscope.
Tomorrow we will leave the wild flower country behind and head back towards the coast.