I had fled south from the Flinders Ranges as the temperature had hit 38 degree Celsius at Hawker by noon. It was hot ride and finding the pub at Spalding serving cold, and good food with comfortable rooms. It was serendipity.
Then there was the barbed wire museum
A somewhat different collection that you wouldn’t want to get tangled in!!!
A day and night at Blinman gave me the opportunity to explore some of the sights in around this part of the Ranges. The TV in the pub was coming from the Alice and there was absolutely no mobile phone, this combined with the end of bitumen and the next stop being Coober Pedy – Blinman gave a real sense of being on the edge of the outback. But the marinated lamb and feta cheese pizzas were a fantastic find and unexpected!
My Moto Guzzi is a road bike but I am a bit of a foolhardy piecemeal adventurer and I do take it off road onto the dirt and gravel. It stretches my comfort zone but it means I get to some beautiful places like Parachilna and Brachina gorges in the northern Flinders Ranges.
The roads in Parachilna Gorge were good quality and not too taxing and the little road side huts provided shade and water as the sun rose and the day heated up.
Brachina Gorge was far more technical and I bogged the bike at a water crossing. The futility of me pulling a 250kg motorbike out of the bog soon became apparent so I sat and waited for a vehicle to come along. Luckily, a four wheel drive truck soon arrived and the guys on board gave me a hand to pull the bike out.
Out of the bog the proven foolhardy piecemeal adventurer was soon on his way again
St Mary’s Peak is the highest peak in the Flinders Ranges, and while I class myself as pretty fit, I’m not a great bush walker and certainly not a mountain climber. So it was with a bit of trepidation, a couple of litres of water, some snacks and much enthusiasm I headed off on the hike.
The climb up to the peak was steep and rough. It is a scramble in places and I was glad I had water and snacks on a warm spring day.
The view from the top was worth it. Apart from taking a flight there is no other way to take in the vastness of the Flinders Ranges.
The walk back into the WiIpena Pound down the less steep side of the peak was far less dramatic and easy on my tired legs. It wound back through Wilpena Pound letting me appreciate the beautiful bush.
Where the return trail met the outgoing track I stopped to read the sign
Yes its hard but do-able, even for an old piecemealadventurer like me.
It had been a good fast ride from Adelaide through to the Flinders ranges and as the sun set I sat outside my tent, with a coupe of beers, at the Rawnsley Park Station and took in the grandeur and changing colours as the sun sank lower over my shoulder.