After a busy Term 3, eight couples were keen to leave the “madding crowd” and came away to a peaceful farm retreat to relax and rejuvenate body, soul and spirit!
First to get away from Perth were Richard and Helen Kingston. Two other groups left mid morning:
• Peter and Denise Belcher, Roger and Jan Freegard
• Piers and Wendy Marmoy, Peter Knox, Rob and Julie Nankivell
They happened to meet up by chance at New Norcia then continued in convoy, refuelling at Wubin then NE to the Maya Farm on the edge of Mongers Lake. Malcolm and Lizzy Hansen (trip leaders) were the last to leave Perth and had a peaceful drive up (first time with no kids!) Richard suggested we set up at a distance from others . . . ?!!
At least we avoided an afternoon of annoying flies.
Mark and Suzanne Wilson, the farm owners, their big kids Bec and Thomas and their daughter Emma and son-in-law Brett with 2 littlies joined us later on. It was Mark’s birthday so we all enjoyed carrot cake and planned the rest of our time together.
Saturday 25 September:
Piers decided to enjoy a peaceful day to himself and the rest of us left camp at 9:30am to the homestead for a toilet stop and windscreen wash. Then we went on an informative tour of the farm and learned about the drought that’s been continuing for nine years and the various techniques put in place to conserve water. We passed a dam which should have been full but was almost empty, then on past the hill paddock of wheat which was fallow last year so we had our happy hour there with a view out to the salt lake (’09).
We then travelled down the fence line and saw a couple of big lizards sunning themselves on the fence posts and some white spider webs wrapped around other fence posts. At midday we stopped at the “Dinosaur Rocks” on the edge of Moore Salt lake and took lots of photos, but it was too hot for our packed lunch so decided to go back to the Homestead and watch the AFL Grand Final. What a game – 68 all! After endless cups of tea and cake we left at 3:30 to get organised for our shared camp meal. David and Tracey Jones had arrived in the afternoon.
The Wilsons decided to catch Kunacks like last year and some keen ‘fishermen’ came along to join in the hunt. A bucketful was caught which gave us all a taste once all their pinchers and shells came off. We enjoyed lots of delicious stews, curries and rice then went for a walk to see the full moon (which had already risen over the lake so decided to come earlier tomorrow night so we could see ‘the stairway to heaven’) then back for tiramisu and apple crumble, strawberries and cream. Yum!
Sunday 26 Sept
Most campers preferred to relax today rather than to do any 4WD’ing or to visit a rock or see any wildflowers (can you believe it?!) However three vehicles left camp at 9:30 to go to the homestead to pick up the Wilsons and go down to their other farm in Dalwallinu for M.T.
We passed some baby bobtails and Mark saw a racehorse lizard. We stopped to photograph a wreathe flower to the delight of the ladies! 11am we arrived on the northern boundary of Wilsons farm and looked at the view across to the homestead and further on to Dalwallinu. A wonderful late MT and with reluctance continued down Goatcher Rd, right on to Petruder Rd then 16km onto Petruder Rocks 40 minutes South East – a very popular picnic spot with the locals (could make great camping with BBQ and loo). Climbed over the rock and took lots of photos of masses of wild flowers. Hansen’s had lunch but others didn’t like to eat flies so they opted for a mobile lunch!
Left at 1:30 and backtracked to Pithara East road, then on to Exclusive Brethren Kalannie, then right into Sanderson road, and between lots of little salt lakes, and right into Galmoff road. We stopped briefly at the weigh station and silos then left into Goodlands road. We found lots of wreathe flowers from the creamy-green to various pinks to burgundy, with the green needle-like leaves inside the circle. Amazing! Onto Great Northern Highway then down Waseley road, Wilder road, Barker road, Rabbit Proof Fence road, and Watson road. Back at camp almost hit two emu at 50km, but they shoved through the fence, losing a few feathers on the way! Back into camp at 4:15pm.
After dinner we made a concerted effort to be down at the late a half hour earlier than last night. We gazed at the stars and told jokes. But 45 minutes later, some people were wondering whether the moon would actually come up – maybe it went from full . . . to nothing?! It was awfully cold lying on the sand but eventually the moon rose and we saw the ‘stairway to heaven’. Wow! Went back to warm up by the fire again – the Kingston’s and Hansen’s stayed there until 11:15pm!
Monday 27th September
People were keen to pack up early. Kingstons away first and Hansens last! The Jones stayed an extra day and we went back to Dalwallinu with the Wilsons.
It was a wonderful break – thanks to the Wilsons and all the lovely people who attended.