We woke to a fresh but sunny morning at the Drummonds Reserve in the Badgingarra National Park, I was up about 05.30 beetling around while the sun rose and seemingly slightly later than where we are house sitting at the moment.
Knowing my place in our marriage, I dutifully put the kettle on, being quite as a mouse so as not to wake Caroline, we were in no rush this morning and her grumpiness would only give me a hard time if I woke her so let “sleeping dogs lie” I say!!
With my coffee I sat quietly and sent our coordinates to a website we use to track our travels, I somehow need to ask our technical office (Caroline) how we can integrate them to the blog so all our readers can see where we are as well, it’s a pretty cool thing and how we do it is I send our coordinates to a repeater station via High Frequency radio that we use in the truck and as soon as I have a confirmation signal I know the positions has been posted, there just must be a way on getting our coordinate’s to
Let sleeping dogs lie
Following everyone in to the camp spot at Hi Vallee Farm
Anyway as the day came up and the sunshine started top stream through the windows on Roobie, Caroline’s coffee was cooling on the side, she must have smelt the aroma of her morning drink, as I saw a hand appear to beckon to me from above the doona, it wasn’t a problem we had plenty of time as we had arrived late then got to bed even later we didn’t even know what the place looked like where we had stayed last night.
You get a brief idea what the place looks like from when to pull in, as the headlights slew around you get a glimpse, but that’s about all, so I had a walk around to see just what Drummonds Reserve was like in the early morning light, it was a great little place, there were no facilities, just nice open areas to park and rubbish bins that appeared to be empty which is a good sign.
We had made a conscious decision not to cook breakfast this morning, but instead grab a breakfast treat at the Badgingarra Roadhouse where we would wait for the rest of
our 4wd group to catch up with us.
This weekend we had the responsibility of doing breakfast on Sunday and Monday for Andy, Karen, Peter and Leigh, as they had the responsibility of doing evening meals whilst we were at Hi Vallee farm.
All the produce was picked up before we left, just so we didn’t have to dash about in unfamiliar territory if we were short of something, but there was a twist, about 5 weeks ago I had a conversation with Peter about Black Pudding, which is a sausage made with pigs blood and before you repulse read the following explanation from Wikipedia:
In England blood sausage is called Black Pudding. The ingredients include pig's blood, suet, bread, barley and oatmeal. The most common kind of German blutwurst is made from fatty pork meat, beef blood and filler such as barley. Though already cooked and "ready to eat" it is usually served warm.
We left Drummond Ranges before Trev and Peta, they were getting their own breakfast, so we did the twenty minute run in
Let sleeping dogs lie
The short walk to Stock yard valley caves
to the Roadhouse and got something to eat, they turned up half an hour later. Andy and Karen and the other eight vehicles all left from the IGA car park in Bullsbrook at 08.30 and we were just on our second cup of coffee when Andy b phoned and said they would be with us in 40 minutes, so hang on there.
Everyone turned up and flooded in to the roadhouse, everyone fill up with Coffee, something to eat and also fuel for the vehicles, when everyone was done we got on the way for the final run into Hi Vallee farm.
We pulled onto the farm and once through the main gate had about a 2 kilometre run across the land until we got to the homestead where we were greeted by the owner Don and his wife Joy, a couple who were in their late 60’s or maybe their very early 70’s, she was a little lady cheerful in disposition and he was a big jolly fellow with a great beard and was wearing shorts and thongs.
Don lead us down to the camp area and gave us a
Let sleeping dogs lie
The geological rock strucure
briefing on our stay at the farm, we all listened intently, after the initial welcome we got to the camp rules, the main rule was “There were no rules”, just please have a camp fire as the best stories are that much better around a camp fire and help ourselves to as much wood as we wanted as there was an absolute abundance around the place that just needed cutting up, fortunately we do carry a chainsaw which would come in handy.
Don and Joy’s beautiful dogs had come down on the back of their ute and Don said Girly and Beau may venture down from the house, which was about a kilometre away and just send them home if they made a nuisance of themselves.
With Don’s pleasant delivery we knew it was going to be a great weekend, we all invited them down for drinks this evening.
Karen had organised an afternoon excursion to the Stockyard Gully Caves, so once camp was all set up we headed out for some 4 wheel driving.
Arriving at the Stockyard Gully Caves we all parked
our vehicles where we could grabbed our torches and set off for a short walk to the mouth of the cave.
Stockyard Gully Caves are situated in a National Park and are home to a fascinating group of limestone caves that lead to an underwater river system. The largest cave is an impressive sight which allows you to walk through a 300 metre long cave that is covered by a sandy floor. Note however that you should not be walking through this cave when there is water around, notices dictate that there is the possibility of quicksand and deep holes the cave entrance and somewhere in the cave itself.
It was great again to be out exploring another part of Western Australia that we had never been to and as a bonus we were with our friends, the walk to the caves and back was good but we didn’t see any wildlife, just a solitary snake would have been nice, but its way to cool for them at the moment.
We got back to the vehicles at around 4pm taking a different track out, which was really closed in and the
Let sleeping dogs lie
The Stockyard yard valley caves entrance
spikey under growth had grown up either side so as we were driving there was that horrible scratching noise, after about 6 kilometres we came back out onto the bitumen.
On our way back to the farm we stopped off at Lake Indoon, a vast expanse of lake but without any water, so we all parked our vehicles on the hard surface in a line and had a team photo taken for the club magazine which was fun, we watched a two wheel drive car head down towards the lake bed then change their mind and reverse back, I guess in case they got stuck, shame really most of us have winched fitted to our trucks and a bit of winch practice would have been great fun.
We arrived back at camp at about 5.30, wood needed to be cut for fire, so I set about with our Stihl chainsaw and cut up some decent rounds for tonight’s fire then we got the fire going with some of my favourite kerosene tea bags.
With the camp fire going nicely, everyone’s chairs were gradually appearing in a circle and it would seem
to suddenly be beer o’clock, everyone broke out the beers, wines and nibbles, this is a shared experience, I am always in two minds about this as I love the social side of it but if not careful you can end up ruining your evening meal, fortunately for us Peter and Leigh were cooking our dinner tonight and Mediterranean Chicken was on the menu, one of their dishes that we just love, no cooking for us tonight, Yippee!!
Don and Joy and their visitors came down from the house and enjoyed some of the evening with us, and when their dinner was ready went back up to their homestead, leaving us lot to sit and eat ours around the fire under a blanket of stars.
We just had an evening around the campfire telling jokes and sharing our stories of travels done, I think Caroline and I can hold our head up high as we have done a life time’s worth of travelling in a very short time, and the list of places we have been in Australia is quite impressive, which allows us to hold our own.
The evening was
Let sleeping dogs lie
This was taken in the pitch black on flash
cool, but our roaring fire kept the chill away and it was good to kick back and just look at the stars looking so magnificent as there was absolutely no man made illumination except the glow of the fire, these simple pleasure reinforce what life is all about.
By about 9.30 it was time for bed, to get cosy under the doona, after a really busy day.
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