Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stirling Ranges National Park

We camped for two nights at Stirling Ranges National Park. We hiked to the top of the second tallest point in WA, Bluff Knoll, which would have an amazing view except that for most of the year it is covered by clouds. The aboriginals have a story for this: "Local Aboriginal people, from the Qaaniyan and Koreng groups (or tribes), who wore kangaroo skin cloaks in cold weather, called the mountain Pualaar Miial, meaning "great many-faced hill".[2] The mountain is often shrouded in a mist which curls around the peaks and floats into the gullies. Local people believed this to be a spirit named Noatch (literally meaning "dead body" or "corpse").[2]" (Wikipedia). It was really quite etherial up there. When we got to the top you couldn't see much further than a few feet, which was interesting looking down the cliffs, knowing that it must me a huge drop, but only seeing for a ways, it was like looking at the end of the world! :D And as you can imagine, it was quite wet and kind of chilly.

You can see the parking lot as seen in one of the above pictures, from here.

We also took a little drive to Porongurup National Park and hiked up to Balacing Rock and Castle Rock! Not too difficult, but really neat! As you can see, Castle Rock was a lot of climbing up walkways they had made onto these enormous rocks!

We also did a bit of a hike closer to our camp site at Mt. Hassell, but didn't make it all the way up because it was 2 hours return and we only had our little head lamp, which was starting to go pretty dull, and didn't want to be stuck up ANOTHER mountain at night. :P Haha. But we did get some lovely views from part way up. We were glad we didn't go all the way up because it's quite a rocky, slippery trail. Maybe next time we go there. :)

At our campsite we met our neighbors who came in just after us. We had apparently taken their annual camping spot, haha, but they said they'd live. They were two men in their 50's who came to the Stirling Ranges every year doing mountain biking. One of them, David came over to me to introduce himself and he said "Hi, I'm David and my partner's name is also David" and I said, "Haha, well, I'm Cassie and my husband's name is David!" and he responded with "You've got to be shitting me!" hahaha! So I was surrounded by Davids that night. They invited us to share dinner with them, which was homemade chill and wine (one of the Davids is a chef!). It was delicious!
Later on we also had a big German family move in next door, so that was interesting. :)

We had such a great time, and we really look forward to going back, which is doable because it's only a few hours drive away from Perth! :D

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