On Sunday Ian thought he would like to go to Shannon and buy a paper and Sue tagged along for the ride which was fortunate as having left the van before 11am we returned at 5pm! During our drive we travelled down some interesting dirt roads which we can’t do when we have the van on and we discovered Northcliffe and Windy Harbour which seemingly appeared out of nowhere and is the most incredible settlement of 50 or so tiny houses made of fibro, crammed together with hardly a metre in between, no backyard or front yard for that matter, painted in any and every colour including a beautiful canary yellow one ….. with a for sale sign. What a fantastic patchwork studio it would make and what a wonderful Mothers’ Day present it would …….. have been!!!
And then the dream ended and we went on to Pemberton before returning to the camp resolving to visit the Bicentennial Tree (fire spotting tower built in 1988) on our way out in the morning. There are still four of these magnificent Karri trees which are still used as fire spotters when the weather is unsuitable for flying. The Bicentennial tree is available for the incredibly brave or stupid visitor to climb which absolutely horrified Ian as he mumbled (several times!) about the obscene OHS risk and how can they let just anyone climb 75 metres around and around this massive tree with only the staircase made from spikes nailed into the tree for support. At the top of the tree is the three storey spotter’s hut which of course was painstakingly constructed by taking many of the requirements up the winding staircase to the top many times. Despite much cajoling Ian only went a short distance up the tree and we watched as two young Italian backpackers gingerly making their way down having made it to the top looking very pleased with themselves.
On one of the visitor information boards a conversation between a spotter and his superior during a fire is recalled as the spotter says he would like to come down because he feels unsafe with the fire so close. He is instructed to remain at his post despite the danger as they need the information he is providing! Tough work for those men we think!
Just to show Ian did venture up the tree here is proof and also how beautiful our campsite looked as we packed up to leave.