Hi Vallee

Hi Vallee Farm Stay
The winter weather, combined with a busy week, at work meant that the last thing I wanted to do this weekend was go camping. Fortunately The Newby convinced me it would be a good idea, so I let him organise us and on Friday afternoon I got in Maz and away we went to Hi Vallee. Having not left home until after 5, we didn’t arrive at the farm until after 9, but Joy and Don were fine with that. Part of our delay was thanks the road works and part was from a stop to fill up the water tanks in Badgingarra. But as usual, once we picked a spot to camp we pretty quickly everything sorted and I had dinner served. Despite nagging The Newbie for alcohol all the way there, I only managed one g&t before heading to bed in the peace and quiet of the back paddock. 
Saturday morning we finally hauled ourselves out of bed for breaky about 8.30 and just in time to meet Joy, who brought us a map of the property and a book about the wildflowers on the property. There is a large section of preserved bush that visitors are welcome to explore. In fact you can explore the whole property, including wandering around the farm buildings that have some great old machinery. So we headed off to wander through the bush although the season is slightly off. We did find some lovely winter flowering plants and a couple of kangaroos, as well as evidence of a big emu or two. Our plan was to ascend to the lookout but we didn’t make it for two reasons. Firstly we misread the map and were actually trying to climb Mikes Hill (which we didn’t achieve) and secondly we couldn’t make out a path the top. Oh well, we had a fabulous walk.
After lunch we decided to move the camper to a spot that appear to be a little more protected from the breeze and a bit further from our neighbours. There were 2 others groups of families enjoying the large paddock reserved for camping so there was really no need to be within 50m of each other. After the move we got a heap of firewood stacked before riding the bikes up to the farm house for a shower and chat with Joy. The Piper and I took a wander around the old trucks and buses too, then all cleaned up, the 3 of us headed “home” for a fabulous evening around the fire with a few marshmallows and some good music. We were lucky to have Girlie the dog join us for a while. She even dressed up for the evening, wearing her pretty beaded necklace.

Sunday sleep ins are a fave anytime but when you’re camping they are even better. This morning was no exception. We finally finished a lovely breaky in the sun as Joy arrived to say hi. Refreshed from a great sleep and a leisurely breakfast we packed some water and headed off in search of the lookout. Once again finding a path was elusive so we skirted the hill and came at it from behind, eventually arriving at “the lookout”. The view was great but it came at a cost, with scratched legs and roughed up boots. On the way down we made our own path, making it to the bottom in about a 10th of the time (and distance) it took to get up there in the first place.
Tired but happy, we wandered home for an ice cream then cooked up bacon and egg wraps for lunch before we repeated yesterday afternoons wood gathering and showering regime. Today we perused the old car graveyard, complete with an array of Datsuns and a really old Prado. Our showers are a real treat, in some very nice bathrooms with water that is heated especially for us by Joy. A fire is lit underneath the water tank to heat the water. Their own hot water in the house is also heated this way. Old fashioned but very personal. It also really makes you appreciate the simple things in life. Fresh from the shower we headed back down the hill to enjoy a gorgeous night around the fire again, spotting satellites and falling stars. After a huge day it was grand to fall asleep in the silence of the bush.

Monday morning and no work! Also no early check out time so we had a leisurely breakfast before heading off on another lovely walk. This time we finally made it to the top of Mikes Hill. Just like the walk yesterday, there was no defined path so we bush bashed our way there and back again. Along the way The Piper collected a couple of sheeps skulls for The Drummers collection. Unfortunately the forecast bad weather eventually hit us and we were forced to pack up and head off on our journey home. After saying goodbye to Don and Joy we only made it a few short kms before deciding to stop for lunch. We enjoyed our spag bol toasties and then a short pedal through the local bush that provides a home for the carnaby cockatoo. Great nesting logs were everywhere, along with feathery evidence of their presence at some stage.
Back in the car we rolled down to Badgingarra and out to get a geocache. We haven’t secured many this weekend. We also fuelled up, as always preferring to leave our cash in the regional areas, and then spent a few minutes admiring the spectacular eucalyptus macrocarpa, growing outside the petrol station! Eventually the rain made it impossible to be outside any longed so we finished the journey home with The Piper already engrossed in the screen. Thank goodness for weekends like these where it is possible to escape the craziness and really relax. Can’t wait to do it all again.

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