Into the Mountains

Time to be escorted again. In Stanley, at about 750m elevation, we are already in the high country but Michel had designs to take us up into the really high country. We were heading over 1500m to Mount Buffalo. The drive was 95 km and would take 90 mins, if you went directly there, that is. Naturally we didn’t.

_17C7089The scenery on the way gets quite alpine-looking apart, that is from the fact that the trees tend to be gum trees. I’ve noticed a woeful lack of gum trees in the Austrian alps. Above a certain elevation, as the road winds and twists its way around the side of the mountain, the white lines suddenly switch to yellow. This is because yellow shows up better in snowy conditions whereas white tends to  … well, you get the idea. Part way up we stretched our legs beside a bridge over a stream with waterfalls tumbling down. From here, through the tree canopy we had a glimpse of a more precipitous waterfall near the beginnings of the water course up at the 1500m level where we were heading.

_17C7085Francine, having strappy sandals on her feet, was not dressed for scrambling so I took my life in my hands armed with Francine’s camera and descended a slope of mostly loose-ish soil to get to the stream itself down at our current level. I wasn’t worried so much about falling into the torrent but if I’d damaged Francine’s camera … Luckily all went well. As I was scrambling back up said slippery slope a damselfly unexpectedly landed temptingly on a fern beside me. By the time I’d told Francine, it had performed a very effective disappearing trick.

Chalet at Mount BuffaloAtop Mount Buffalo is a so-called Chalet. I say “so-called” because it’s bigger than anything called a chalet that I’ve ever seen. It was clearly grandiose in its day and is now the subject of some serious restoration work. It remains impressive but apparently lacks some modern tourist expectations, like en suite bathrooms. Michel remembered to snag a picture of it on his phone.

_17C7102Opposite the chalet is the obligatory view point allowing us to look back at the way we had ascended.

_17C7127Having played tourist at the chalet area long enough we drove around on top – it’s a something of a high plateau and found somewhere for a bite of lunch (water bodies but no odos – still too cool up here, I suspect) and paused to take in the atmosphere of an alpine lake that belies the altitude. Does this look as if it’s at 1500m? I think not.

On the way back we called into Bright, which, off season, was a pleasant enough town complete with a grassy recreation area (and a brewery) beside a picturesque river. It was still quite busy now though, so in season, would be absolutely heaving with tourists and would be best avoided, for those who prefer peace and solitude.

Posted in 2017 Australia, 2017 The Antipodes

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