Day 3 - Hawker to Rawnsley Park Station - 87kms
Last night I went out for dinner at the local pub. As I like to save my provisions for when I need to cook for myself. Last night's dinner, beef lasagne, was pretty big and yummy.
This morning I was on the road at around 7.30am. For the first 40km I followed the sealed road until I got to the Moralana Scenic Road turnoff. I had a really nice tailwind pushing me along and got to the turnoff by about 9.30am, where I stopped for second breakfast.
After, I followed the scenic road. I was back on the dirt but had really nice views along the way. About 10kms later I took the turnoff for Blackcap lookout. About 1km in the road began to climb steeply. As it was only another couple of kms I decided to walk the last bit. When I got to the carpark I found it was still another 1 hour (each way) to get to the lookout. So I stopped at the carpark and enjoyed the view from there before heading back down to the bike.
I continued on the scenic way for another 20km, where I joined the main road heading to Blinman. Thanks to the good tailwind I got earlier, I continued on to Rawnsley Park Station. It is a big farm which also has a large camp area. Still being school holidays it was a little busy. But there is plenty of space.
Later in the afternoon I had a little walk around the area. There are plenty of nice views to see. I then enjoyed sunset from my camping spot.
Today's ride was a little longer than planned, but I had plenty of great views along the way. Tomorrow will be a short ride to Wilpena Pound.
Day 4 - Rawnsley Park Station to Wilpena Pound - 25kms
Enjoyed using the camp kitchen last night and this morning. The facilities at Rawnsley Park Station are very well maintained and they have amazing scenery all around.
I continued to follow the Mawson Trail this morning. It took me closer to some of the ranges along a dirt track. The track crossed a number of dried creeks where I had to push the bike through. So a little slower than planned.
After about 8kms I rejoined the main road and rode for about another 15kms until I got to Wilpena Pound. My destination for the day. It was only 10.30am when I arrived. I went to the visitor information centre to get a camping spot and to find out about the walks. There are a number of walks around the pound. I picked the climb to Mount Ohlssen Bagge.
I started climbing at about 11am. The walk is about 6kms long and is meant to take around 4 hours. The walk began through lovely, leafy gum trees before starting the climb up. It is quite a rocky climb up and being later in the morning started to get warm. I got to the top at about 12pm and enjoyed the amazing 360 degree views across the Wilpena Pound. It was literally breath taking.
After, I began my walk back down. Had to take my time coming down with it being rocky. Got back to the information centre at about 1pm and had a bite to eat.
Tomorrow I haven't decided what I'm doing, as have a few different ideas. One is to do another walk here and then ride out later, another option is to leave and head straight for Blinman or the final option is to follow the Mawson Trail to Blinman and stop at one of the campsites along the way. Will try and make my mind up today.
Day 5 - Gone for a walk at Wilpena Pound
About 30 minutes after I got into my tent last night it began to rain. It has been drizzling for most of the night and looks the same for this morning. Have decided to stay for one extra night at Wilpena Pound. As it should clear up later on today and I can continue my ride to Blinman tomorrow via the Mawson Trail.
Today I decided to go for a walk up St. Mary's peak, which is the highest summit in the Flinders Ranges. It was still raining a little, but at least it will be cool. The first hour or so went through leafy bushland before starting the climb up.
It was very cloudy and the rocks were quite slippery. But it was a well marked trail. I just needed to take my time going up. As I was ascending I was starting to get some views across the Pound. I could also start seeing a bit of blue sky coming my way.
About 3 hours after I had started my walk I was at the top. The rain had stopped and for a few minutes the clouds broke so I could see Wilpena Pound clearly. The views was just outstanding. Before heading back down I enjoyed my lunch there, when I met this French couple. We decided that we would walk down together.
On the way down we had the option to go the same way back or we could walk through the pound. Going through the pound is a less steep walk but does take about an extra 3 hours. As the way up was still pretty wet we decided on the long way down.
The weather was getting nicer and I was able to get the sunnies out for the first time. We had great views descending into the pound. When we got to the base in was a mixture of pine like trees and gums. We even spotted a few kangaroos in the clearings.
About 3km before we got back to the start we stopped at the restored homestead. The family that lived here thought it would be a great spot to farm sheep. As there was only one way in and out of the pound, which was via a dried creek bed. They spent a couple of years building a wall across the creek, when there was a big flood which washed all their hard work away. A little later the homestead was abandoned by this family. During my rides I have noticed a number of these dried creek beds, which do still fill up and flood every few years.
20kms later we were back at the start. We all had tired legs from the walking but agreed it was very much worth it. I decided to go to the bistro for dinner as was starving. I ordered the steak, which was massive.
Today did not go as planned, but in the end it was a great day for a long walk. Tomorrow I'll be leaving and heading towards Blinman.