We woke around 8am and enjoyed a cup of coffee in bed. It was amazing how toasty hot the electric blankets had felt when we went to bed, but they seemingly cooled through the night. We were not cold by any means though. David turned on the electric heater in the living area so that it was warm when we went through there, and the whole cabin was always such a pleasant temperature. Thank goodness 😀
We had another cup of coffee and listened to the varied bird sounds and the raindrops blowing down from trees. It had stopped raining a while ago but with so many tall trees it took some time for the drops to fall, leaf to leaf, down to the ground. Or the roof of our little cabin. We noticed a kookaburra through the window, only a few metres away, and raced for our cameras. It was so peaceful, and no sounds at all but the birds and raindrops.
A little after 9am, we wandered over to the office to try to change the faulty power pack, but nobody came when we rang the bell. We didn’t worry about it after that and just continued to use our own.
In daylight it was good to see how beautifully clean the cottage and its contents were. When we used the microwave on the last day I’d swear it was brand new. The little quirks of the building (I have no idea how old or young it may be) were that the front door self-shuts, the bathroom door self-opens and the bedroom door needed a 12 ton pulley to open it at all. The first two were caused by the typical subsidence of a wooden building (perhaps more-so in soggy ground) and the last by the bedroom carpet being thicker than the door allowed for.
Through a few trees and across a bit of grassed area from the front of our cabin we could see a little foot bridge, and the plan we’d been given of the grounds showed there was a lake through there so we donned our wellies and went for a wander around with our cameras in hand.
From here we wandered up the driveway and around the road to the bridge we’d driven over in the dark last night. On the way we saw some gorgeous cheery little blue wrens and a half dozen or so roos grazing on the grass over the road.
Just as we got to the bridge and were admiring the greenery and mosses everywhere it started to rain.
As we headed back towards the chalet there was a pathway to the left (the direction we wanted) so, given our wonderfully wellied feet, we decided to take it. We giggled and splashed our way through deep, muddy puddles and generally had a ball. Just as we were wondering if we were actually bypassing the cabin, there it was, and we went back ‘home’ for another cup of coffee, and ended up staying for sausages and egg for brunch too.
We discovered the hard, and very piercingly noisy way that the smoke alarm was directly above the stove. Smart! LOL
At the risk of leaving the later story without photos and only chat, I may as well insert the photos of the cabin here.
Well fed, watered and allowing time to slip by, we decided this was not the way we usually spend our holidays and decided to drive to Beedelup Falls and see how far it was. Allegedly we could walk from our cabin, but David had had an operation on his knee a few weeks before and was not supposed to walk too far. This did rather cramp our style, as we usually love to walk (or better still jog) fair distances, but we got into Monty and drove back through the Karri Valley. It really wasn’t far at all until we reached the left turn into the Beedelup Fall carpark. There were 3 or 4 other vehicles there and a tiny building with a big sign saying that we had to pay $12 for a parks day pass. Really??? I didn’t know we did this in WA, but didn’t dare risk walking the distance we’d just driven, plus who knew how much further to reach the falls themselves. The map on the wall could have meant anything, distance-wise, so we put our money into the envelope and put the tear-off slip onto Monty’s dash, wondering if anyone else was fool enough to pay for sights as yet unseen.
We set off down the path and came across the small, roofed interpretive centre, but didn’t want to look until we’d seen the real thing. There were 2 routes, one for wheelchairs and strollers etc and one for the brave. We took the brave route, which headed down about 3 concrete steps and was then completely blocked by a fallen tree. Oh! The choices were to turn back and take the ramp, or… a lady came towards us, up the steps and tramped right through the beautiful maidenhair ferns alongside the path. Oh! But, as they were flat already and the path was so completely covered by tree, we stepped carefully around, trying to only step where she had, and were then on our way. For all of 50 metres, if that. Here we were!
The route forward was a narrow-for-feet/wide-for-arms suspension bridge. I went first and it really did move a lot. I had to hold on, purely because the movement gave me vertigo and made me feel a little queasy, though I felt perfectly safe. I took a photo of the falls, but had to keep one hand on the railing, particularly when David started along the bridge to join me and it rocked even more!
Are they world-class falls? No, not at all, but it was nice for us, from dry old Perth, to see any quantity of water rushing anywhere. We continued forward, up several small flights of tall wooden steps, and found another bridge going back across the river. It’s just out of shot over the top of the falls in the above photo, but you can see David on it here.
Once across, we came back again to the circular lookout that you could see in the earlier shot, but even for a non-photographer it really wasn’t in a good spot.
I glanced at David and said “Where’s my umbrella?” You can see that he had one each for us hanging from his camera bag. He said “Right h… oh!!!” He’d got his umbrella, but only my handle. The umbrella had fallen off and he hadn’t noticed. We both laughed. Fortunately it was only a short distance away and hadn’t fallen on mud. Or into the water.
We continued on, which led us up the sloping path and in no time we were back at the interpretive centre. Had a bit of a look but weren’t really in the mood for reading. It’s unlike me not to have taken photos to read it all later though.
As we were heading back to the car there was a sign pointing to a ‘Walk-through Tree’. Well that sounded like an idea, seeing as the falls had been such a short walk, so we headed off along the rutted gravel-and-mud track. After about 100 metres there was a signpost pointing to the left up a bit of a hill. This was pure gravel and we had to watch our step rather. I was concerned that David may slip and wrench his knee, but we took it steady and began the climb. And we took off our jackets, and we climbed. And we took off our jumpers, and climbed some more. This really was a very long and very steep hill and we were both puffing. My legs began to feel the effort too and I just had to stop for a brief moment; not something I enjoy doing. I like to power through!
Once we finally reached the top we began to follow a meandering path that was frequently blocked by fallen branches and I began to complain to David saying that considering we’d had to pay $12 to park the car (or for park entry, if you prefer that wording), you’d at least think that the rangers would check the paths from time to time! Between the fallen tree over the first set of steps, and what must have been a good half a dozen over this path, it had surely been some time since anyone had bothered to come along and inspect the place. Some we had to clamber over, and for one large tree we had to remove all the backpacks and limbo! Or the grey-haired grovelling equivalent anyway 😀
Suddenly we were surprised to hear our email announcement tones on our phones! Obviously we had climbed high enough to be above all these tall trees and pick up the signal sailing over the heads of the Karri Valley dwellers – few though they were. We ignored them. Holidays are not for interrupting with technology; especially when we’d told everyone that mattered that we would be out of reach.
Just as we began to wonder if we would ever reach this tree we came across a couple of signs. It seems that we were now about half way back to our cabin and could have walked the entire journey, saving the $12 fee. Oh well, we presume the money was for a good cause. Other than chainsaws and pathway inspections though, obviously!
And then, finally, in a bit of a clearing, was the tree. It was a big one! But, ‘walk through’? Only if we’d known to bring a step ladder! The hole, all the way through the centre, must have been 3 feet off the ground LOL. The details of the tree are..
Karri Eucalyptus Diversicolor (I so want to put a ‘U’ in colour. Obviously it was named by an American!!!)
Height 75 metres (246 feet)
Diameter 2.4 metres (7 feet)
David’s 2 shots…
My 2 shots…
It had felt like quite a long walk, but then it does when you don’t know where you’re going. The signs on the way back were a bit inconclusive but we think it had only been a little more than a kilometre in each direction. The hill had added to the effort of course, and we had to be very careful on the way back down not to slip. I did find some gorgeous frilly fungus on the homeward journey.
We stopped off at the toilets before heading back to Monty and, needless to say in these remote locations, it was a drop toilet. It makes me shudder just writing it. Oh gosh I hate those things!
It was still early afternoon, so we decided to drive the 20 kms into Pemberton, the nearest town. When arriving yesterday we’d turned into Channybearup Rd before getting to Pemberton, so this was a little further south than we had so far been.
We drove once through town to see what there was to see, got fuel, and stopped at the IGA to buy fruit bread, bottled water and some food supplies, and then decided to go into the ‘Old Mill Café’ for a cuppa. Then of course we were lured into sharing a carrot cake. It was nice. Not outstanding, but nice enough.
Children were playing on some play equipment on the grassed area outside and I realised that we so rarely see unsupervised children in the city playgrounds any more. The world is a cautious place these days, and the need for that saddens me greatly. There was also a disused rail track across the grass with sweet little wild daisies growing along it in gay abandon.
We walked down the hill for a way, towards the timber mill in the hope of finding an old mill that I’d seen in a photo on GoogleMaps. It looked so very much like a Dr Who dalek, and we thought it would be fun to take some photos for ourselves. But no, there was nothing remotely dalek shaped anywhere to be seen. We turned and walked all the way up the main street. And I mean *up*. Although it wasn’t a huge hill, it was constant, and with our recent inactivity because of David’s operation it made us puff a little. One building had a sign out the front saying ‘Tourist Information’, or some-such wording, but it turned out they were running tours in a 4-wheel drive to the beach; not at all what we wanted, so we politely exited stage left at the first opportunity.
Pemberton is a pretty little town with all the necessary facilities, but no ‘frills’. I’m not saying they claimed to have ‘frills’, nor do they need them – just stating what I felt it to be. Almost at the top of the hill we finally found the real Tourist Information Bureau. The lady there, Wendy, was really friendly and helpful, but knew nothing of a dalek. We did have a bit of a look through the attached museum while we were there though.
We were tired, I don’t really know why, or whether it was physical or just insufficient sleep. Once outside the T.I.B. we found a public loo, crossed the road and headed back down the hill towards Monty. As we did, the clouds got darker and we were almost there when it started to rain. We just got inside and it really rained heavily so we’d timed it just right. It eased sufficiently that driving felt safe, but we felt that we’d had enough of being out and about for the day and headed back to the cabin. The fire and a nice hot cuppa were beckoning.
The air chilled a little more as we drove into the Karri Valley. Perhaps I should mention that ‘Karri Valley’ consists of a dell amongst the density of the surrounding tall karri trees, a medium-sized resort and 3 very small clusters of holiday cabins. Each of these items out of sight of the others and nicely secluded. There were no shops, cafes or anything else. It was not a town or village at all, just an area name.
We looked through our photos from the day, had bacon, sausage and egg for dinner and watched a couple of TV shows while I did some more crochet. We were both aching and tired. David got himself a glass of vodka and when I looked at it with disapproval over the quantity he said “It wasn’t a lot, it just filled the glass up!” I laughed about that for ages. Nice try David, but I didn’t fall for that for a moment.
We finally went to bed at 10pm, listening to night animal noises and the rain drips from trees onto the tin roof. (And my written notes have 4 tr / 3 dbl tr / 1 tr / 4 dbl tr / 1 tr written at the bottom. Must have been the flowers I was crocheting at the time har har!)
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