Hooray for Toodyay

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October 18th 2014
Published: October 25th 2014
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The Wild flowers were out and looking awesome
After a tough week at work another weekend arrived, yay! This weekend is meant to be a little more relaxing of late to allow Andy to get plenty of rest. We should have been away with the 4wheel drive club on a training weekend, but they would be two very long and full on days so we needed to opt out.

It didn’t stop us from getting out anyway, it just meant our weekend would not be so hectic, we hope. With the chores done, groceries obtained last night, washing was done and hanging on the line, we headed out with a packed lunch.

Our intention on the day was to head up toward Toodyay, but maybe not quite as we wanted to visit Noble Falls, a place that we camped at nearly 5 ½ years ago on our original journey. Weaving our way out of Fremantle, toward Midland on the Roe Highway, the traffic was heavy but moving and soon we were out of town.

A few kilometres north of Gidgegannup, I turn left into the Noble Falls picnic area. We notice a sign that now prohibits camping in this area. What a shame, this was a
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Noble Falls 5/ 1/2 years later
great little site and for us a welcome relief as I remember we had a problem finding somewhere half decent to pull up that night. The sign goes on to say that it prohibits overnight stops of any kind, sleeping in cars etc. It is disappointing to see as who is to say that you don’t need to grab a couple of hours overnight on a long journey, there is a point of safety that should determine a requirement to pull over somewhere where you can rest.

It is busy here today, despite being fairly overcast it is still warm and has not stopped anyone from getting outdoors. I drive round and find the pull in that we camped at and as it is free I park in the same place. We jump out and grab our lunch and go and sit on the picnic bench, Andy joins me and we reminisce.

A while later we head off for a wander around, crossing the bridge and watching the ducks on the way. It looks like there is more water here this time. I am pretty sure that you could walk across the water fall without getting your feet
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Happy memories, of this camp spot 5 1/2 years ago, sadly the authorities have said no more camping
wet last time.

The wildflower season is almost over but we are blessed with a spectacular display of Kangaroo Paw with its bright red stem and unusual shape, there are white and blue flowers nestled amongst the bright green but I really do not know what they are.

The weather has not disappointed us, it has turned out really warm, but it does look as if rainclouds are threatening. We stop and chat to a couple of people, they were Dubliners and had lived in Australia for about 30 years, he was wearing a Fremantle Dockers t-shirt, Go Freo! We don’t watch the football but know enough that if its purple then its Freo!

Moving on I decided to hop off the main road and do some exploration, we find Lake Leschenaultia, not knowing what to expect it is quite a hive of activity, There are plenty of campers, people canoeing and thankfully there is a café so a couple of skinny flat whites are in order.

I wait for them, Andy goes back to the truck, he has been using with HF radio and has lined up a call with someone so that they can
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Kangaroo Paw
test something or othe. I am not going to get into the technicalities of it, but I will need to learn how to use it, HF radio is less common than it used to be but it is still very much a lifesaver when in the outback and despite having the satellite phone, one way or another we can still communicate with the outside world.

While I wait outside and watch the world go by a waiter from the café appeared with a look on his face that would only fit Halloween, he is holding his arms outstretched as far as they would go and I am sure that he is willing them to be further away, at the end of the long arms he is holding a paper cup, upturned and atop a menu. This can only mean one thing, a spider has obviously invaded his space.

I watch him and he turns to me and as if he was reading my mind said “Huntsman”, “Big?” I asked and a nod came back. I half expected him to throw the cup and the menu and run but he walked to the garden and gently pulled back with
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Caroline under a picnic shelter
the cup, only to find no spider. “Gulp” the spider is curled up inside refusing to leave, I told him to tap the cup a few times and it will go. Sure enough the spider plopped onto the garden wall looking dazed and confused. The waiter suddenly vanished back indoors, locking it behind him. I wonder if anyone told him that won’t keep the spider out, unless of course it has its own key.I don’t know how long after, I had forgotten all about the Huntsman and did not perceive any threat when out of the corner of my eye I saw something move, the Huntsman was now hurtling toward me at a rate of knots! It has obviously just realised it had been relocated and wanted back into the café and thus running back toward the door I am in its way and it looks like its not taking any prisoners so in one swift action I lifted my feel off the ground to let it pass. Phew! That was a close call.

The coffee arrived and I was off, I did not want to see how this story ended.

Back at the truck Andy was done
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Nature's Way, Look at the way this tiny flower has tendrils that grab and hold on tight to another plant to make its way through life
with his HF call and we hit the road again, driving through the beautiful countryside of Mount Helena and Sawyers Valley, eventually finding myself back on the Great Western Highway and heading back to Perth.

The clouds were really looking threatening now, I seemed as the black was coming in behind us but as I got closer to home I started to see lightning ahead of us, oh dear I left the washing on the line this morning. Too late it would be wet by now, the heavens opened and graced us with a huge downpour, but my washing would turn out to be the least of Perths problems. We find out later that the Northern suburbs had balls of hailstone fury unleased on them. Car dealers have reported hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to vehicles parked on the lot. Most would probably be written off by the insurers and then sold on cheap to the public who would be willing to pay to get the bodywork fixed. Streets had also flooded with the sudden downpour.

At home some of my washing is on the ground with the weight of the water I grab the
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Some Blue Flowers
downed washing and we run inside for shelter.

There was only one thing to do with weather like this, confined to the indoors we rest up and watch the next part of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (extended version).

Additional photos below
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Noble Falls.
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Jack in our past we had for a night 5 1/2 years ago

26th October 2014

Noble Falls is so pretty
Its a shame about the camping. Unfortunately there have been a few horrific fatal traffic crashes around the pub/falls turn off, i wonder if this has something to do with it. Enjoyed your blog.
26th October 2014

Hello from Alan
Loved the blog, Caroline. It's a beautiful partof WA in the Perth hills. By the way, that blue flower is leschenaltia, its lovely and flowers for ages

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