Last Day on the Wallaby

Well all good things must come to an end and today is our last day ‘on the Wallaby’[1]. Tomorrow we will be home again in the afternoon. Would love to keep going but must also attend to things at home and start planning for the next big trip. Caravanning has been fun and we have been quite comfortable along the way considering we have gone to the tropics then down to winter. It certainly hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm to travel and there is so much to see and do. It’s great to be a ‘Grey Nomad’.

Today we stayed at Wave Rock. The rain has been hanging around but the sun has managed to put in an appearance. Eighteen kilometres from Wave Rock is the Humps and Mulka’s Cave. The rain held off for us to take a trip out there. The Humps is another giant granite outcrop with its best known feature being Mulka’s Cave.

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The Mulka legend is that Mulka was the illegal son of a woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage was forbidden. It was believed that as a result of breaking these rules she bore a son with cross eyes. Even though he grew to be an outstandingly strong man of colossal height, his crossed eyes prevented him from aiming a spear accurately and becoming a successful hunter.

Out of frustration, Mulka turned to catching and eating human children., and became a terror of the district. It was said he lived in Mulka’s Cave, where the imprints of his hands can still be seen, much higher than an ordinary man.

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His mother became increasingly concerned about Mulka, and when she scolded him for his anti-social behaviour he turned on her and killed her. This disgraced him even more and he fled his cave, heading south.

All the aboriginal people of the district outraged by Mulka’s behaviour set out to track down the man who had flouted all the rules. They finally caught him near Dumbleyung 156km south west of Hyden where they speared him. He did not deserve a ritual burial and was left to the ants where he lay. A grim warning to those who break the law.

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Leaving the cave, we traversed the Kalari Track that takes you up on to the rock face of the Humps. The track takes up one side of a granite valley where water gently flows in trickles down the sides. It the crosses to the other side and leads up to the peak of the rock formation. It is quite a climb and I’m so proud that a couple of old farts like us could make it to the top. Please don’t make us go up Uluru. It was a fascinating trek with360⁰ views of the surrounding farm lands and the many different rock formations and plants.

Towards sunset we again set off for the short flat walk from Wave Rock to the Hippo’s Yawn. This was a lovely walk allowing us to stretch some of those muscles we used this morning. The fading sun and the water trickling down the rock faces gave us such a great feeling to be out and about. The air was perfumed with the fresh rain, the damp earth and sheoaks at the bottom of the cliff faces. Once again I manage to get a few photos of the rocks and tried to capture the moon rising as well. It was certainly a great way to end our days on the road.

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The lesser Wave Rock

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The Moon has Risen

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Hippo’s Yawn

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Tomorrow should be an easy 330km drive home and the good thing is we don’t even have to go through the city. We just turn down the little road that passes Churchmans Brook Dam and in the front gate to a warm greeting from the dogs if they still love us.

I didn’t put up some great photo and place around Esperance. I will do this as soon as I get home as it put on a great display of beaches and sunshine, there was also some wonderful people there being very innovative.


[1] On the Wallaby is Aussie for being on the road

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Hyden seek

After two beautiful days in Esperance and the threat of rain it was time to move on. Rain did come overnight and looked like it would continue all day. We again headed west into the rain which was steady, after about 100km blue holes started to appear in the clouds, before long the rain had all but disappeared but the clouds persisted. We managed to make Ravensthorpe just before noon as Ravensthorpe closes at noon on Sundays. Turning north towards Hyden we watched as black clouds gathered to the north directly in our path. The wind was coming from the north west pushing the clouds east and with the road tracking further to the north west we managed to escape any further deluge and even managed some sunshine.

We made Wave Rock in good time and setup camp in the caravan park. I noticed some small holes dug in the ground with scratching around them but couldn’t work out what made them.

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Looking around I noticed a flock of galahs (pink n greys for West Australians) they were busily digging up grass shoots.

 

Towards sunset we headed to Wave Rock which is just at the end of the caravan park. We had certainly picked the right day and time to come as the sun lit up the rock face in its dying stages, the rock face displaying it many colours enhanced by the trickles of water flowing from above.

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We managed to climb to the top as the sun was setting and still be able to see across the countryside. I didn’t know that the western end of Wave Rock along with Hyden Rock had been dammed in the 1920s to provide water to the township and a supply for the steam railway. Tomorrow we will visit the other natural wonders around the area before heading for home on Tuesday.

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The Happy Wanderers at Wave Rock

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The Dam between Wave Rock and Hyden Rock

Esperance and Sunshine

After 2 days of crossing from the border to Norsemen we arrived in Esperance to brilliant sunshine. We were able to get around in shirt sleeves and setup camp. The park is a great one as the managers have a Labrador who is very friendly and loved a cuddle from two dog starved travellers. We had a quick drive about the town and soon found Taylors Beach Bar and Café. This is situated near the Esperance Yacht Club and the Miniature Railway.

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Within the area used by the Railway called Adventureland is a clock tower. The Tower is rather striking in its appearance with two tone brickwork in a European style

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It is quite impressive and I wondered why I hadn’t noticed it on previous visits. There is nothing attached or around it tells anything of its history or why it is here. Calling up Dr. Google I found an article detailing the erection of a renaissance-style cloisters veranda in 2013. It appears that the clock tower was initiated by Esperance Miniature Railway Club members Bob Jones, Dave Kyle and George Dutton. These guys have also erected granite pillars and tiling around the grounds. two 250kg Greek caryatid statues that were made in Esperance are attached to two corners. Areas have been incorporated so that later add an automaton to the west face of the tower, featuring small bronze statues based on caricatures of local identities.

“It will be a bit like the London Court clock face where two knights come charging out on the hour and they glare at each other and go back into the tower when the clock stops chiming,” he said. “They will troop around from one side in front of the tower and then they will go back on the other side.

“While they are going past, there will be suitable music from the bells and we are sure this will become a really good tourist attraction just for that part of the clock tower.”

Mr Jones said the clock tower would be unique once it was finally finished and would be the only mechanical clock to be built in Australia for more than 70 years.

He said it was an organic project, with the group coming up with new ideas all the time.

“We finish one project and three more eventuate,” he said.

Mr Kyle said the clock tower started in 2005 as a replacement project for an old shed that housed the society’s locomotives and wagons.

He said the team were putting the last of the caryatid statues up on the corners of the tower, putting the rest of the hands on the clocks and doing the rest of the bronzework at the site.

He said caryatids were Greek sculpted female figures serving as ornamental architectural supports.

They comprise eight main castings made from bronze and several minor castings including the arms, head and bonnet, which were cast at Mr Kyle’s shed.

Mr Kyle said automatons were features of very old clocks.

He said the tower design covered the Greek, Roman and Renaissance influences of western architecture.

“We are incorporating some of the better elements of the older designs and we are adding bits on as we go – it’s still developing,” he said.

“We wanted something that could last for hundreds of years and it had to be a style that wasn’t going to date.”

Mr Kyle said the group was also considering incorporating some Aboriginal designs into the project as it evolved.

“It’s ongoing and it’s nowhere near finished,” he said.

(Courtesy of Tim Slater – The West Australian on May 9, 2014,)

As you may be able to see this project may be a bit of a folly as it has some writing around where the automaton will be, in what maybe Latin “Respici Post Te Mortalis Te Ess Memorium” which may mean your memorials will last longer than your mortal life. If you have a better translation, please let me know. Also one of the windows has “IM LEE HERAROM” which I cannot find a reference to.

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