Riding The Wave

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We are running short on our time in Australia so we cut down our loop through the southwest corner, omitting Esperence (which, depending on who we talked to, was either a huge mistake because we'd be missing out on the best beaches in the world, or a good idea because it was just beaches) and Kalgoolie (which was either vintage Golden Outback, or just a modern mining town). Our foray into the Golden Outback was going to be limited to Hyden which was home to another of those rock formations that was a must-see. On our way we passed by the Stirling Mountains and a number of dry salt water lakes that caused us to do a double-take; even up close they looked like frozen over ponds ready to host a pickup game of shiny. Rather than snow and ice, it was just the hot Aussie sun bouncing off the salt beds in the outback. Apparently this was only appealing to two ex-Canucks who were briefly homesick at the sight of a frozen lake, and even the ever-alert Aussie Tourism Dept didn't even bother labeling these geographic oddities, give them a catching slogan, or even providing a photo opportunity pullover bay.

There is no such oversight when it comes to the Wave Rock at Hyden which is front and centre on many brochures, and for good reason- it's one of those amazing works of art by Mother Nature. It does look to be a large surfing wave frozen in stone (and it will likely be the only time we'll be surfing a wave this size it the upright position). And neighbouring rock formations include one that, with imagination does look to be a hippos mouth, and a cave that was home to a legendary bad dude that took to eating people.

Unfortunately another of Mother Natures creations was omnipresent as we did our trekking- the dreaded bush fly. How irritating is this fly?? Well I'm always trying to convince DH of the benefits wearing fishnet (granted, it's mainly for my benefit), but this persistent little critter had her freely donning nets any time she was outside the campervan (granted these were the largely unappealing fly nets that you wear over your head).

These flys are a seasonal plague or I'm sure the locals would all be certifiably insane but there is clear evidence that a few of them have gone beyond the tipping point. How else to explain the thought process of one particular Aussie Outbacker who must have been standing near the Wave Rock one day, and was hit by a bush-fly-induced epiphany that had him convinced that what the Golden Outback was really lacking was a toy soldier museum. And sure enough, today- just a short walk from the Wave Rock is a building in the shape of a castle that houses the Hyden Toy Soldier Museum. Hyden isn't in the middle of nowhere but it sure is close. The museum is just so out-of-place and odd that it demands that you go inside just to see if you could gain some insight as to what kind of individual would think this was a good idea. It was actually pretty good and may just become a Mecca for those slightly eccentric types that are always on the prowl for a high quality toy soldier museum.
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