Friday, June 10, 2011

Zomg Denmark! part 1: Bluff Knoll and Bibbulmun

Saturday
Bright and early, I met up with D, S (an adorable Chinese-Canadian girl) and Y (an awesome lady from Indonesia) and we set off in a rental car for that Southern sunshine. The drive was incredible; it reminded me a bit of Maryland, with undulating hills of green pastures delineated by stands of deciduous trees, interspersed with the bright sunshine-brown desert/forests of New Mexico.
There were LOTS AND LOTS of sheep on the way. D'awww, lambs! :D

The great big Australian sky!

We made a little detour to have lunch at the Stirling Ranges. I was struck by how much the tree-covered slopes looked like the ones back home, even though they are completely different vegetation.
The Stirling Ranges look a lot like South Mountain, don't they?
Bluff Knoll!
Bluff Knoll is the highest point in southwest WA, at 1099 m (= 3606 feet). I've been teasing Australians that there are no mountains here, just hills, and Bluff Knoll simultaneously shuts me up (it does indeed look like a mountain) and proves my point (you'd have to stack another Bluff Knoll on top to get as high as I live all the time! lol, silly Australia).

We only took a quick walk on the path to Bluff Knoll, but my glee at being out of the car (apparently I get car sick now? Wtf, it’s never happened before….) lent me enough energy to more or less sprint to a high enough point to get a really great view.

The Stirling Ranges from halfway up Bluff Knoll! You can see the grass-trees in the foreground
Those yucca-y looking things are grass-trees/blackboys; I read an article in my Australian Culture class about how they are marketed as a unique expression of Australian-ness, a bit like yuccas might be back home.

We got to our chalet (little self-contained house thing) just after dark, where S and Y proceeded to cook delicious food (D and I were relegated to cleaning up after, as it was too small in the kitchen for either of us to be of much use). Delicious wine and delicious food made for much happiness. ^_^


Sunday
The next morning, after S and Y cooked breakfast (they wake up WAY too early), and the early morning rain finally stopped, we headed out for adventures! First, Y took us to a swamp-sorta place where she had seen pelicans on a previous trip; no pelicans for us, but us girls did a little yoga in the gorgeous sunshine to help us wake up.
So. Pretty. ^_^

Next, we drove to an intersection with the Bibbulmun Track, and hiked up to Monkey Rock, which was well worth the 15-20 minute walk uphill.

On the way to Monkey Rock we stopped at an overlook with a view of the Southern Ocean!

The Southern Ocean! And S. ^^
This is the symbol of the Bibbulmun Track; it's a rainbow serpent. Finding the next marker at junctions was a bit like a treasure hunt. ^_^



We then trucked back downhill, where S and Y got back into the car for a little food shopping excursion, while D and I chose to continue on the Bibbulmum track, with plans to all meet up farther down the track to swim at Elephant Rocks. The track winded through woods and up sandy dunes and around big boulders and along the ocean; it was fantastic. We didn’t stop to take many pictures because we had a schedule to keep and were trekking it hardcore. Mostly I have a few views I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Ocean ocean ocean.
We found this pool on the way. It was simply incredible weather.
Unfortunately, we sorta got… well, lost isn’t really the right word. About a half hour after we were supposed to have met S and Y we knew we were still on the track, but not sure exactly where on the track we were or how we were supposed to get where we needed to be. After the most irritating stretch of track (I HATE SANDY INCLINES; you burn twice as much energy to get nowhere half as fast. RAGERAGERAGEEXHAUSTION), we came to an outlook that gave us a view of the coastline again. After a big of study, D and I agreed that it seemed we were past where we needed to be. So we turned back (GODDAMN SANDY HILLS RAGE), went back to where we had seen a road in the distance, bushwhacked a bit to the road, and managed to meet up with another pair of hikers and a car, who between them knew a bit more of where we were and how to get to Green Pool. Thank goodness S and Y were where we were supposed to meet them, despite our being about an hour and a half late. >_<;;
So we leapt into the car and drove down to the Tree Top Walk, which is a steel walkway suspended way up in the air through forest of Tingle trees. The walkway sways when people walk on it in an exciting way. ^^
Did I mention you can see through the walkway to about 60 meters below?

Herp de derp, big trees! :D









Little M in a big tree!
This is a hollow, LIVING Tingle tree! So cool.


















.... The rest of the trip to be continued!  :)

4 comments:

  1. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF nice pictures. Also, when you wrote "blue knoll," I thought of this knoll (actually spelled with a 'g') http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/gnoll_med.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  2. BLUFFFFFFFF Knoll you dork. :P

    ReplyDelete
  3. I smile at the prettiness of the area. Where I was all week (The Rito Peñas Negras) had water that was most definitely straddle-able (Funny because the EPA monitoring procedures require a monitored stream to be wade-able for at least 50% of the stream) not quite like your oceans honey. The area was beautiful though! When you go back we should go hike it :). Glad you had a great time!

    Love,
    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow - gorgeous. missed your posts, glad you're back!! Xo

    ReplyDelete