We are a family of 4 females, the Awesome Foursome. On a not good day, we might be Not So Awesome, and on a bad day, really UnAwesome. In all our travels, our most valuable lesson is to keep smiling. From deep within our beings, to keep smiling.
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  • Day7

    Settlers Common, Brookton, Beverley

    August 30 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Today is the restart of our wildflower trip after a refreshing shower and sleep at home in our own bed. We sat off to Settlers Common in Armadale, to see especially, a hybrid orchid of a Cowslips and a Pink Fairy cross. Settlers common had lots of Donkey, Cowslips, Snail orchid but Ruby spotted the 1 and only hybrid.
    We then went to Brookton to nine acre rock which was suppose to be popular picnic spot for lunch. Nothing to write home about.
    We then went to Beverley, and at Brooking Street reserve, the orchid display was mind-blowing. There were all the usual suspects and more. There was a Fringed Mantis, and a Greenhood orchid that I have never seen before.
    The highlight of our trip was when we came across a long neck turtle crossing the road on route to Greenhills. We have never seen this creature before and were super excited to see one.
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  • Day5

    Canna and home

    August 28 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    After we decamped from Tenindewa, we visited the church that Monsignor Hawes built called Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The church is beautiful, and the stonework astounding.
    Then we went to the Mullewa waterfall. There wasn't much water running anymore but the wildflowers were abundant.
    We then made our way to Canna church and dam. At the dam, we saw lots of spider orchids, and a new one that I haven't seen called pink candy orchid. I got rather worried as Ruby was talking to an old man who I thought was taking a natural break in the bushes. Before I knew it, he was telling us to wait, and he'll find some snail orchids for us, and show us some ant orchids. The snail orchids were well hidden amongst the undergrowth, and we'd have never spotted it had he not taken us to the spot and pointed them out. We had to follow him in our car to the now closed Canna shop for the ant orchids. He then gave us a map and instructions for the vanilla orchid by the church.
    We were undecided as to whether to head home or camp out one more night. The decision was made for us when we realised we had not showered for 4 days and the campsites were filling up with big caravans.
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  • Day4

    Pindar Wreath Flowers

    August 27 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    The wreath flowers are the best display in many years, the locals keep telling us. It is unbelievable that out of dry arid road and hardly any nutrients in the soil spring these incredibly beautiful flowers.
    We were told that people used to hunt for hundreds of kilometres and would consider it a good day if they found half a dozen wreath flowers in one patch. At Pindar today it was jaw dropping awe-inspiring to find wreath flowers 3-5 deep, spanning 500m along both sides of the road.
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  • Day4

    Mullewa

    August 27 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    It rained last night but we stayed dry in our tent. Grace even slept through the rain, and both of us slept in way past dawn. We woke when the sun was up, but it was still freezing when we emerged at 7.20am.

    We attended the Mullewa Wildflower Show, and was approached by a lady who told us she owed us an apology. When we were looking for a suitable spot to start up our tent last night, we asked a couple if we could set up near their caravan. He barked, "there's lots of space here, no need to be on top of each other." We would have been at least 15m away,  and would have faced our tent away from them. Anyway, we left and returned to the first spot Grace found which turned out to be an excellent location. Now, in these free campsites, one just sets up wherever. Most people are in caravans,  campavans, or camper-trailers. Very very few of us are in  tents. There's lots more to consider when setting up a tent. We do not want too much wind, hopefully some shade, but no trees with wonky branches that might drop our tent. The ground needs to be flat, not full of stones, and easy enough to drive pegs in without breaking the drill bit. Yes, we have to pre-drill for some ground, and then use special screw-like pegs that are driven in by a cordless driver. In this peak wildflower season, there were not many suitable spots left, especially when we arrived at almost 5pm. Anyway, lady apologised profusely, and said that her husband was rather disturbed all night with his grumpiness, and hoped that we had found somewhere suitable.  The husband also apologised later that day. Ironically, we would not  have recognised them at all. We must stand out as a Chinese female couple, as we've had numerous come up to us, chatting away like ol' friends. After a while of very careful conversation, we find out that they were our camp neighbours, or we passed them along some hike, or even on the way to the public conveniences. Now, just because I nod and smile, or even have a casual chat with someone, does not mean I'll remember them. I'm dreadful with faces and worse with names. Grace is much better, and she does not even remember most of them. Anyway, it's always lovely chatting with people, context and history not always necessary.

    Back to our day.

    We went for a morning and an afternoon guided wildflower walk where I did not chat to anyone but actually paid attention to the guide. They were really old, and volunteer guides from Kings Park in Perth who came all this way as volunteers, so one must be respectful. We learnt that Mullewa is at the junction of 3 botanical regions in Western Australia, therefore the unsurpassed variety of wildflowers in this region. We also found out that the flower in yesterday's photos which Grace thought was Granny's Button is actually called Stinky Roger.

    Highlight of today, and probably will go down as one of life's highlight, was the Wreath Flowers at Pindar. 
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  • Day3

    Mingenew

    August 26 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Our new Coleman Instant Up tent is amazing as it doesn't flap or shake at all. Much easier to set up and take down. After we decamped, we attended the Three Springs Art and Wildflower festival. Great effort put in by the locals to have a mini wildflower display like at the royal show and labelled exhibits of the different wildflowers growing around the area. Then we headed to Mingenew.
    On the recommendation from our dear friend Tony, Ruby and I made a bee line for the Mingenew Bakery. Best pies in the world! I had the best Cornish pasty and Ruby had chicken and camembert pie and we finished with a vanilla slice.
    Another good friend of ours, dear Fiona, took us for a wildflower tour around the Morowa area last year and taught us the how to hunt for wild flowers. Using her winning formula, we headed to the visitors centre and was told to go to the sports and recreation centre to find some orchids and to Depot Hill. We found none at the sports and recreation centre. At Depot Hill, we saw heaps of cowslips orchids but couldn't find the elusive spider orchids. While wandering, we met a local who kindly took us to where the spider orchids were and gave us directions on how to find the donkey orchids. She also added that we had to go to the sports and recreation centre to see clown orchids and more spider orchids and gave us specific instructions on where to find them. We had to go back to the bakery for second lunch of sausage rolls.
    With full bellies, we went to Coalseam to walk off the meals we had. Coalseam was covered in pink, white and yellow everlastings. Quite spectacular!!!
    Now exhausted we found a lovely free campsite in Tenindewa Pioneer Well in Woolya Reserve. We are camping amongst white everlastings, under the Milky Way.
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    Fiona McLaughlin

    Fabulous with you in spirit. Just loving the flower pics xxx Fiona

     
  • Day2

    Carnamah and Three Springs

    August 25 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    After a very comfortable sleep in the car, we headed to Tathra National Park where Ruby befriended a dirty dozen cows. She had them well trained, they walked right up to her and followed us on our walk when she told them to.
    Carnamah had an orchid I had not seen or heard of before called snail orchid growing on the side of the main hwy.
    Got to Three Springs in good time to pitch our tent and headed to Dookanooka National Park in search of the spider orchid but didn't find it. Did see the Donkey orchids, cowslip and blue fairy orchid.
    After cooking our dinner at the Talc Mine Lookout, and having dinner there, we are staying in the car waiting for sunset and then for the stars to light up the skies.
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  • Day1

    Perth to Eneabba

    August 24 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Setting off on a roadtrip to the Midwest, chasing the bumper crop of wildflowers produced by a very wet winter. This is the very first trip I have embarked on where no, zero, nadah, accommodation is booked. I'm exploring a new frontier of free and easy travel where we pack our tent, an ice chest full of food, and we just pull up where we happen to be, where we are allowed to, and set up camp. If it's too late, or the conditions are not suitable, we'll just sleep in the car. This is Ruby at her bravest letting go of plans... Now that's too far. I have an itinerary. I have marked out potential camping spots along the way. However, as nothing is booked, we can change our minds and change our plans.

    In keeping with that, along Brand Highway north towards Eneabba, at the last minute, we decided to detour to Lesueur National Park, renowned for its diversity of wildflowers. There was an 18km loop drive through the park with numerous stops at signs that highlighted and informed about the flora in that spot. We even managed a small 4km hike, part of the 6.5km up to Point Peron. Too late and tired to pitch our tent, we opted to sleep in the car tonight. We drove through Lake Indoon free campsite looking for a suitable spot, but were chased away by swarms of mozzies, and I mean Swarms of Mozzies. Now at the Eneabba Roadhouse for a burger before car-camping at the local council campgrounds by the recreation centre.
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  • Day18

    Home

    June 12 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Ruby truly surprised me. When we talked about camping about a year ago, the issues we had were scurrying creatures, shared toilet, dirty drop toilets, not being able to wash ourselves, and having enough stuff. But now, what bugged Ruby the most was zips... Go figure.
    We camped in the car on our last night at Garden Rock in our car. We were the only ones camping over night but all locked in, it felt safe. We had instant noodles for dinner then star gazed and watched Netflix till bedtime. At midnight there was a sudden downpour, worried that there might be flooding, we moved the car nearer the road out.
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