Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Up the Porongorups

October 5, 2006 (middle half)
(Remember you can click on most images to enlarge them).

We really did like our little cabin in the woods in the Porongorups. I did a morning walk while Mom slept in a bit and met a dog and saw lots of birds, none of whom wanted to be photographed. The back yard had a sensual mist in the morning and as the day grew the sheep came in to the field behind the house.

The cabin itself was decorated in a primitive kind of style, complete with papier mache frame on the mirror which looked like it was simply glopped on and then painted in a quick effort with bright blue paint (and some starlike flowers in yellow). There were several childlike paintings of flowers and with the bright colored bedding. I got to sleep in the bunk bed. Oh boy! The place was very cheerful. We even had satellite TV with 4 or so stations. The refrigerator in our cabin had a lovely cartoony map of the area with a list of the names of the peaks of the not too forbidding mountains nearby.

The park was only a block away, so after breakfast and packing up we headed to the Porongorup (just say Prongrup) National Park. This is not a park with a Nature Center or a lot of Ranger help and since it is mostly mountain hiking we decided to just pause briefly (don't we always decide this?) but of course we found more than we expected.

We stopped first at the Tree in the Rock site and both went to see the Tree in the Rock - a very large tree that managed to sprout and somehow sustain itself in a gigantic rock. The walk there was surprisingly short and of course just as we arrived at the parking place a whole bus load of Aussie tourists also unloaded with their walking sticks and back packs. Some were older, but it was clear that they were planning on doing some serious hiking and it looked like a fun outing. They all headed off to the Tree at the Rock at the same time as we did, but they moved faster than us and did not return as they had plans to climb one or more of the mountains that lay further along the path.

That picture above makes the whole thing look quite unimpressive and uninteresting really, but if you take a look at this next photo and see that little figure (Mom) standing next to the rock, the magnitude of the experience becomes a little bit clearer.

Wendy left Mom with all kinds of birds

to do some sketching

while she did the heritage trail which was short and mostly uninteresting. I did see this nice fungus ...

and also this termite hill.

I was not satisfied with the walk, so I decided to go a little ways up the trail that the hikers had followed past the tree in the rock.

I could hear the birds but never managed to see one except for a single bluebird that was brown and blue/green and not the ususal one we had seen in Pemberton. I kept climbing - noting that there were permanent climbing ropes installed and that I might have to stop anytime.

The view from close to the top of Nancy peak was lovely although a bit obscured by trees and then I knew I needed to race down to Mom who had been waiting patiently. (It is a mountain in the middle of the map if you click on the picture it will enlarge and you can read the names.)

We packed up and decided to head to the Stirling Range next.

These were larger mountains and we set a goal of driving on an unsealed road to look for the orchids and bell flowers.

We got ever closer as the little rental car plugged on up the hills and enjoyed the views of the mountains and hills and the yellow fields of canola nearby. (Which did not make it into the photos because the photographer was busy shifting gears.


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