Southern Coastline Day 186 - Esperance to Adelaide

Monday, Jan 25, 1999 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

We still had a lot to explore in the Cape Arid National Park so leaving the trailer in the camp ground we visited nearby Poison Creek and Jorndee Creek - all great sites. We returned to collect the trailer and spent some time pouring over our maps to decide which roads to take. We had been warned, by the girl at the Esperance Tourist Bureau, not to take a particular road marked "4WD access only" but we were keen to get to Mt Ragged where the road led. Taking this road would be a good short cut across country to meet up with the Eyre Highway at Balladonia. In the end, we took it and had no trouble at all. We're been seeing lots of wildlife in this part of the trip, since leaving Augusta - mostly emus and rabbits. But we didn't see one vehicle the whole day, which was just as well because it was a very narrow track.

Reaching Mt Ragged we found there was a summit hike of about 3 hours. The 585m high mountain is a steep-sided pre-Cambrian ridge surrounded at about one-third height by a wavecut platform (sound like a Geologist don't I). We found a great little free bush camp right below the mountain and stopped to have cup-a-soup and cold sausage for lunch before beginning our mountain summit!

The climb was unbelievably difficult. The track was loose rubble and the incline so demanding I had to stop to get my breath every ten steps or so towards the top. It was a 1.5km climb up the steep slope but at the top the views were rewarding and we even wrote our names in the visitor's book at the top! The visitor's book showed only 2 other groups of people had climbed Mt Ragged this year and we supposed that meant no one else had camped here since them as there is nothing for miles and miles in any direction.

We had the camp ground to ourselves and it was absolutely perfect. We were pleased to find no fire restriction - finally we cooked our roast lamb we had cryvaced at Pemberton. David built a great hot fire and we put tons of potatoes and pumpkin in the small camp oven and the huge 1.2kg leg lamb roast in the large camp oven. I spread cranberry sauce and fresh rosemary on the lamb and we cooked dried peas in the billy and served it with hot gravy and a bottle of very special red wine from Margaret River. A perfect day!
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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