|Wedgie in full flight|
Last night we planned today’s trip with Gaz, Shaz, Peter and Robyn and after much discussion it was decided a 9am departure would be good with the prospect of lunch at the Prairie Hotel at Paranchilna a spot in the middle of no where which is, apparently, one of the top 100 restaurants in Australia. Our trip was north on the Leigh Creek road to the Geographic Trail then east to Blinman, back west to the Parachilna, along the Gorge rd then back down the bitumen to Hawker. We figured that we would end up at Parachilna for a late lunch. Wrong!!! We had figured that as we had already done half of the Geographic trail in an earlier drive then that would be a drive through. Wrong!!! About 40 kms into the trip, on the bitumen we came across 2 huge wedge tail eagles feasting on a recent road kill.
They were absolutely magnificent and so majestic our cameras were going off like fire crackers. We spent a bit of time there just watching them. Back into the vehicles and off we head again. Not 20kms on we came across 3 wedgies sitting gracefully in a shrub about 10 mtrs off the road. So we stopped again more photo’s, more watching and the we headed off again. Once we turned east off the Leigh Creek road we had about 8kms of bone jarring, teeth rattling corrugations up to the entrance of the National Park.
From here the next section to the Bunyeroo Gorge road we had not been on so we stopped many times to photograph Brachina Gorge, the hills, wild flowers, trees etc etc. Part of the beauty and intrigue of the Flinders Ranges is that it changes so rapidly and even when you have seen or been to a place and you approach from a different angle its completely different. Consequently we didn’t even make Blinman for morning tea, instead we opted for lunch.
|Creek Brachina Gorge|
Refreshments concluded we head out of Blinman to the Parachilna Road this would take us west to Angorichina Village then onto Parachilna though Parachilna Gorge. Again the scenery and its variety were amazing changing constantly as we progressed through. We passed and were passed by a fair number of off road campers etc and noticed many had taken up residence in many of the camp areas along the road. At a water crossing we had stopped to photograph, a Subaru and off road camper pulled up to tell us of a couple of emus and chicks were up ahead. The occupants of the car were 2 ladies in there early sixties heading for a free camp site in the gorge. It just shows you the diversity of people you met on these travels. Go ladies! Along this road is where we also came across (we think) 3 yellow footed rock wallabies. Gaz managed a couple of pictures before they took off. Onward through the gorge, back out onto the plains and into Parachilna we went arriving at 3pm. So much for lunch. Here is this amazing pub in the middle of no where with such a reputation.
|Prairie Pub Parachilna|
At the rear of the pub a fairly new accommodation area has been constructed, whilst the inside of the old part is adorned with indigenous art and craft. Peter and I tried an antipasta plate of roo, goats cheese and a few other niceties and it was a very pleasant surprise. Di had Belgian waffles and vanilla bean ice cream none of which was left. After that we pumped up the tyres (we had been advised if we didn’t want to destroy another tyre then run 28lbs in them over the rough stuff) and headed back down the bitumen to Hawker. It has been another wonderful day full of surprises and fun with all of us tired. I am truly amazed by this place and this has been a fantastic 2 weeks. Peter and Robyn are heading off tomorrow homeward bound. This is their first outing with us and I think they enjoyed “tagging along”.
|Sign at the approach to Parachilna|