Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Geraldton, Mullewa and Home. A marathon!

Feeling relaxed and refreshed after a good night’s sleep, we arose early and packed our stuff into the Monster again.  Time to make our way back to Perth.  It was shame that we didn’t plan to spend a couple more days in the country somewhere as this final day felt a bit rushed for me.
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All packed and appropriately breakfasted, my studies the night before had revealed a good chance of flowers around the town of Mullewa.  So we went into Geraldton and hit the info centre for some tips.  The staff at this centre (glad to be finally finding ones that were open…) were very good and helped me with our plans.  We then rewarded them by buying copious amounts of merchandise.  Well, the others did and I must admit that I caved and bought one as well.

A noughts and crosses sheep set.  It is ridiculously cute.  I was a tad saddened to discover it was made in China though, but that is the trap of buying souvenirs I have discovered over the years.  Anyway after buying what felt like half the shop, we made our move to head out to Mullewa, which is about an hour east of Geraldton.

It had just had a flower festival in the town a week or two before and the area was known for having some good wildflowers.  It is also close to a rather rare type of flower that the better half was desperate to see as well.

Thus we arrived in Mullewa.  When planning this little escapade, I remember looking for accommodation in Mullewa as I had a feeling we would want to spend some time there.  Sadly it was rather lacking, limited to about 3 places that I could find and one of them was a bit far out from Mullewa itself.  After arriving in Mullewa, I see the reason why. 

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Sure, it’s a country town, but many of the places we have been to have been as well, but Mullewa well, it’s kind of weird.  It seems nice enough and looks pretty good as well as having quite a few tourists and travellers milling around the place, I thought it was quite alive.But a closer look reveals otherwise.  I can guess that once upon a time it was quite a town, but now it jut looks empty.  My better half referred to it as a ghost town.  There were a lot of buildings around and I can see them making some very nice cafes and other types of shops, but they were all empty and sealed up.

The night before, I had come across a good tip for flowers and with the use of my little Mullewa map, had planned out a short trip around some back roads for some rather nice flower viewing.  It was a road trip which led us back into the city centre.  Well worth the effort as well I must say, I was rather pleased with that one.  A little bit off the beaten track, with only a couple of other cars seen through the whole thing. 

The first stop we made on the trip was just one on the side of the road and with the birds tweeting (chirping, not wasting time on the internet) quite happily it was an incredibly pleasant place to stop.  Even the flys weren’t bothering us that much.
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A bit later I spied a lizard on the road, but it had hidden before I could stop.  And about a third of the way around we hit a great spot!

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Shooting from the hip as we took off.  Whoooo! Lookit all that dust!!
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And so my little round trip led us back to Mullewa, time for some lunch.  I think there might be a lot of break-ins in the place judging from the security screens and like on all the buildings.  I think that’s sad as the town has a good atmosphere (potentially) and this lack of life really lets it down.  Well I say lack of life, but there was quite a bit of life, we certainly weren’t the only tourists in the area passing through…  The only place open for lunch, well on the main road anyway, was a petrol station which was doing some good trade in sandwiches, fried stuff and drinks.

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So, moving on, we went to the info section to consolidate our plans and came out with a map showing us the way to the reason for heading out to Mullewa, the fabled Wreath Flower.  thus we exited Mullewa and headed towards the lands of Pindar, and even smaller town (consisting of 4 building, one of which was a barn).  A quick run through the town and up a dirt track that ran up the side and to somewhere revealed to us a most amazing sight.

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The first flower was posted with a post (…) and is probably the most photographed one, until…

Wreath flowers, truly an amazing flower and remarkably pretty.  Despite the fact we had driven for more than an hour all together, it was definitely worth the trip.  When we had found them, there a couple of caravans up the road having a look as well.  So many wreath flowers in the one spot, just on the side of the road, it was definitely a good time to come and have a look.

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BAM!  Look at that one, it’s a love heart.  Aaaawwwww!  And a close up of the flowers themselves.

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The longer we were there, more people were showing up.  It was most funny.  Nothing but bush and a dirt track and all the cars parked on the side of the road having a look at the amazing flowers.  The flys here were far tooooo friendly however.  Numerous as well.

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There were also heaps of other flowers kicking around the place as well.  It was quite spectacular.

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There were some big ants in the area as well.

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An unfortunate lizard walking across the road, well unfortunate in that I spotted him and stopped before him and a little chase ensued as my companions got all excited about seeing him…  He did make it safely back into the bush though. 

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And with that we headed back to Perth.  It was a long and relatively boring drive back, with nothing to report apart from some roadwork on the way and speed.  Wheeeeee!

When we hit Yanchep, it was dark.  It had been watching the clouds above us most of the day and they were looking notoriously heavy as we approached Perth.  Almost to the point when we entered Yanchep National park, it absolutely started belting down like I haven’t seen in ages.  Sadly this washed the impressive collection of bugs I had been collecting on the front grill of the Monster since the start of the holiday.

We made it back to Joondalup at about 6.30 and stopped in Warwick for some dinner.  Wow, those in Warwick love their Friday night takeaway!  The place was packed. Screaming kids, bogans everywhere, I was tempted to get back to the country.

Thus another day ended.  This was the longest drive on the holiday and I took a snap of the Kms we had covered.  I was impressed!   2,636 in 5 days?
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The next coupe of days were designed to be around Perth, so hopefully less hectic.

We shall see about that hey?

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