Monday, 3 September 2012

Flinders Ranges - Day 4

Day 4: Wednesday 29 August

We were awake before the alarm this morning. While I had woken a number of times during the night I certainly had had enough sleep.

After breakfast and lunch making it was on the bus again.

Today we headed for Bunyeroo Gorge, our drop off point for the walk. After turning off the main road we bumped along an unsealed track for almost 30kms. The track crossed numerous washouts (creeks) which Andrea eased the bus through.

At the start of the walk Wes talked about the geology. The track we followed took us between two ranges, initially the ABC, I think, to our right and another to our left. The track was relatively flat with ranges changing as we walked.

The group broke into two with Trevor and me, Paul and Terrie in the lead group and Wes and the bird watches (Barbara, Penny and Judi) in the second. Our group trundled on enjoying the warm, sunny day (I did strip off my singlet at the first stop), the scenery, birds and, later, occasional animals.
Red capped robin
We eventually found a stopping place for lunch and waited for the rest of the party to arrive. Our stopping place actually had a clear view of St Mary Peak. Wes appeared on his own. He had come ahead so that he could catch us up and provide us with a cup of tea. By this time the wind had come up and I put my singlet back on. The bird watches finally strolled up.

After lunch and a cuppa we headed off again. Wes had instructed us to stop and wait for him when we reached the gate across the track some 1km short of the Wilpena Visitors Centre (if only!)

Our first find of the afternoon was a shingle backed lizard. It was sitting on the track and moved off but only a short distance. We were just leaving as the trailing group arrived.

Along the track a variety of plants were in flower. One that caught my eye was the lobed-leaved hop bush (Dodonaea lobulata). See photo to the right.

Paul was hoping to see emus and red kangaroos. We did eventually see emus but no roos.

On arriving at the gate (which was actually open and not across the track at all) the directions were actually quite clear, contrary to what Wes had told us. We did do as requested and stopped at the gate and waited. Once Wes arrived he told us what to expect on the first part of the walk and suggested that the Wilpena visitors Centre was about a k away … it turned out to be 4km. We won't believe him in future!

A trip to the loo and a coffee was most welcome following the days exertions.

Andrea arrived with the bus and fruit for afternoon tea.

Once everyone arrived at the visitors centre we headed off to Sacred Valley along another unsealed track cut by many dry water courses. It was a slow drive but very worthwhile. The gorge was fantastic. There are a number of drawings on the walls (and some new additions by idiots!) that had been done by the traditional owners. The gorge showed the geology very clearly. I had taken Trevor's camera up the gorge and took a heap of photos.

Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley

Back at Willow Springs, after a refreshing shower, we sat around and chatted and shared a drink over a meal prepared by Andrea.

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