Wave rock and tin horses

We were in the car a little before our scheduled 7:30 am departure. On the way out of town we filled up with fuel and then headed toward Ravensthorpe, about 2 hours away.

It was sprinkling rain as we packed the car but that soon ceased. Within 30 minutes we were encountering patches of sunshine along the highway.

By the time we reached Ravensthorpe around 9:30 am the sky was mostly blue with scattered clouds. Majella had checked and found the Devonshire tea ladies where we had eaten lunch on Monday did not open until 10 am. John pulled up in front of Ravy’s where we could see people with cups.

Before going in Majella had to check out the Devil’s Darning Needle quilt shop across the street. It was selling a variety of items by local craftspeople and Majella bought a small bundle of fabric with a dot art pattern.

Somehow conversation over coffee turned to how we eat sweets. Majella told how when lecturing psychology she would give all students in a class a wrapped sweet, wait a minute or two and then ask who had bitten their sweets. She mused about the different personalities of ‘biters’ and ‘suckers’. She and Lynne were biters; John and I were suckers.

After coffee I walked across the road to the Yummylicious Candy Shack where I bought some hard boiled sweets. I explained to the brightly dressed woman that I was looking to challenge my biter wife and she admitted to being a biter also.

By 10 am we were back on the road and heading north toward Wave Rock. As we drove the roadside vegetation became mostly more stunted but there were occasional patches of taller trees. Wildflowers continued by the roadside and areas of cultivation were visible beyond. Occasionally we saw sizeable bodies of water in the distance though they appeared to be shallow.

By the time we were approaching Hyden the sky had cleared completely and the weather had warmed. John headed for Wave Rock but we stopped at the car park for Hippo’s Yawn, a cave at the base of the granite outcrop that is host to Wave Rock. After a quick look at the cave we decided to take the shorter direct track to Wave Rock rather than follow around the suggested 3.6 km in the other direction. It was a pleasant level walk along the base of the granite outcrop with shade from she oaks most of the way and occasional informative signs about the rock, plants, and animals. We saw wildflowers, some small birds, and lizards.

A few hundred metres on we came to Wave Rock, a portion of the granite outcrop that has been shaped by the action of water and time to resemble a breaking wave. We walked the length of the wave, pausing for photos, and then climbed the steps up to the rock above the reservoir. Majella and Lynne had their sensibilities offended by the low concrete block wall on top of the rock that channeled water to a reservoir that had been the Hyden town supply. John opted for the walk back along the top of the rock but the rest of us went down the stairs and walked back to the car the way we had come.

Majella drove from there. We briefly considered eating at the kiosk in the Wave Rock caravan park but drove on into Hyden. Lynne and John checked out the hotel and found no lunch but got a suggestion for the bakery. We ate lunch there, salad rolls for Majella and me, sandwiches for John, and quiche and salad for Lynne.

We drove on from Hyden to Corrigin via Kulin to see the Tin Horse Highway. Because it runs east from Kulin we needed to take a back road to reach the start, 15 km east of Kulin. We were not far out of Hyden when we began seeing signs for the tin horses which are a local attraction.

We found the first horse as we approached Jilakin Rock, site of the Kulin Bush Races. There were a couple of examples at that intersection, including one with a pair of horses pulling a cart. We stopped for photos at that point and then Majella did a stop-start drive for 15 kilometres into Kulin. Many of the examples we saw displayed both clever craftsmanship in welded metal, mostly old drums and other scrap, and a keen sense of humour. We liked the skeletal remains shown in Dead Cert and the elegantly crafted seahorse among others. Several areas by the roadside were carpeted with yellow flowers, much more like what Majella had been anticipating than the variety of shrubs and others plants we had been seeing.

From Kulin we drove on toward Corrigin but just out of town we found the Kulin Macrocarpa Trail, which was signposted as a wildflower trail, and turned in to explore. It was a 1 kilometre loop that could be walked or driven in a conventional car. Majella drove around it slowly with frequent stops to look more closely at specimens. The trail is named for Eucalyptus Macrocarpa which is a feature of the area. We saw many specimens with their distinctive large silvery leaves but they were not in bloom. There were other wildflowers in bloom and we enjoyed those.

Our overnight stop was at the Windmill Motel in Corrigin where the local theme appears to be ‘dog & ute’. After we had checked in I walked into the town centre and found the hotel where we planned to eat dinner. It was far enough away that it made sense to drive rather than walk. When we did get there a little before dinner started at 6 pm we had time for a walk down the main street for a quick look at the town. It was bigger than we expected and all very neat and well kept.

Dinner at the hotel was tasty and enjoyable. Majella had chicken Caesar salad, Lynne had steak, John had prawns with rice, and I had chipotle BBQ pork ribs with coleslaw and chips. We were back at our motel by 7 pm to relax ahead of our last day of serious driving tomorrow.