The temperature had slowly risen since dawn and now the sun was breaking through clouds. We had arrived at the town of Parachilna (Population 3) on our way north and this is certainly a must stop place especially for the carnivores amongst us. Not really a town as such, but a pub with great food, even for us vegetarians and a few other old railway buildings that are used for accommodation.
It was just a little too early for a cold beer and probably a bit cool, so we indulged in great coffee and potato wedges with bush spice and sour cream. We could definitely afford the calories with a few climbs to come. The green grass is actually a piece of artificial turf which is a nice touch on the edge of the desert.
The clouds still looked a little threatening over the ranges but we hoped to make it through the Parachilna Gorge to Angorichina Village without getting our feet wet.
The ride through the gorge is always different depending on the time of year. This trip we found that the road had been recently graded and there was little water in the creeks.
Still there were all the usual hazards…….
and evidence of how torrential these creeks can become. Spot the rider in the photo.
Of course there are always spectacular views to keep your mind occupied.
We reached Angorichina Village to find that we were the only ones staying there. It’s a great place to stop with accommodation ranging from tent sites to cabins, but BEWARE, the sign on the gate. “Real people only – NO Yuppies”. To those not familiar with slang, a Yuppie is described as “ a well paid middle class professional who works in the city and has a luxurious lifestyle”. I’m not actually sure what they would do with a yuppy if they caught one, but I was certainly not going to break out my designer jeans and gold chains just to find out.
This place is not luxurious, but certainly more than adequate for traveller’s needs and with the bonus of selling beer. A “Backpackers delight” would be a good description with lots of bushwalks nearby as well as shaded areas and BBQ’s. In fact the Heysen Trail 1200km walking trail starts just down the road and the friendly owners often ferry walkers back and forth from the starting point.
Actually the place was built to house Tuberculosis sufferers returning from WW1 and was officially opened in 1928. The dry climate was very beneficial for their recovery and the place remained in use until after WW2.
The next day we were off on the hike to our destination at Blinman Pools.
Rain had been forecast over the next 2 days and we certainly hoped it bypassed us today. This is certainly not the place to be caught in a thunderstorm and flash flood as the only path is in the creek bed itself. I use the word track quite loosely as really it’s a matter of find your own way along the 4-6 hour walk. There are the occasional markers near the pools themselves telling you it’s another 1-2 hours to the second pool
This is wallaby country and they often watched us scrambling over rocks from one small pool to the next.
We eventually reached the Pools. A great spot to enjoy lunch, admire the views and watch the wildlife.
We explored the creek for some distance above the waterfall then decided it was time to return to camp. With no actual trail to follow we found ourselves occasionally retracing our steps but more often navigating another path home.
Another great day outdoors which culminated in an ice-cream and cold beer, while we sat at the Village shop chatting with the owners. Next day we also indulged in the local produce by riding the 14km uphill track to the town of Blinman where you can get a special bike riders sweet of Quandong pie and icecream. The perfect way to finish off the trip.