Unexpected Surprises

Wed. 15th May 2019

Mulka's Cave ArtToday we move on to York, not sure what is there but I know we will find some surprise. I am getting ahead of myself as we decide to visit Mulka’s Cave and The Humps first. These have mixed reviews, like “call that art”, and “nothing to see”, but the words which caught my attention was that this was one of the best examples of rock art in South West Australia and I wanted to be able to compare this with the art we will be seeing around Darwin. There are only two other cars in the car park and no sign of anywhere to pay an entrance fee. We paid to park yesterday so I feel a bit vindicated.

Harsh and varied sceneryThe cave is more like a short tunnel below ground this formation is known as a tafone. It started as a hollow in the rock but over many years of erosion became a hole or window in the rock. On entering the cave, once your eyes become accustomed to the dark, hand prints of all sizes can clearly be seen on the cave roof. The significance and the age has not been determined but the cave has its own dreamtime story of Mulka, the cross eyed aboriginal who was unable to use a spear to kill animals to eat, so he  resorted to eating children instead. He was hunted down and killed, with his body left for the ants to eat. Make what morals you like from that.

Informative sign boardThe Humps were much more an unexpected surprise than their name suggests. From Mulka’s Cave there is a 1.5km circular walk to the top of the hill or hump. Like yesterday there are boards describing the rocks and vegetation which grow in these harsh conditions. The rocks, salmon gum trees and other shrubs made a palate of many colours and beautiful to look at, which was a surprise. We enjoyed the walk and read most of the information boards and just liked watching the change in scenery from the path through the trees to being out in the open as we walked up the rocks. All very photogenic.

Motor Museum BuildingNow to find out whether York has any history to justify its existence or why we should stay there (other than just a convenient point to break the journey between Hyden and Perth). Well it is WA’s first inland settlement established in 1831 as a stopping off point on the way to the Goldmines in Coolgardie. It is full of historic buildings dating back to the Goldrush days in 1890. We just love this style of buildings and enjoy just wandering around the streets and along the Avon river. This is a typical example, but there were so many interesting buildings it is as if the town were a laving museum.

What a radiatorTo justify Dave’s choice of staying in York he announced that our first stop would be the motor museum. Really? Out in the middle of nowhere? How could there possibly be any interesting cars out here? It is actually a famous museum as it is Australia’s oldest (opened in 1979) and most successful private motor museum owned by Peter Briggs, a local touring car champion. We did learn that the buildings has now been sold to Avon Valley Motor Museum Association to be operated as a community venture. The lady on the front desk, a volunteer was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the museum.

Crocodile Dundee MemorabiliaThe exhibits vary from the pick-up truck (UTE in the local parlance) from the Crocodile Dundee films signed by Paul Hogan, to the oldest VW Beetle to be found in Australia. I liked the electric tandem but I don’t expect Dave would ride tandem on that with me! There as an early Alvis as well as an early Porsche, which looked similar to the later models and I am sure my Dad would appreciate the Rover 50 to name a few. In one corner was a large collection of motorcycles and all around masses of memorabilia.

To studImpressive displaysy it all would have taken all day but we need to check into the Spooky Hall Motel also advertised by the more inviting name of Suites on Avon. A lovely lady originally from Norwich greets us and checks us in, apologising that the room we booked was not available as an aged doctor had extended his stay and they did not want to move him! Did we mind and would we accept a gift of wine and chocolates? No problem to us! She also gives us masses of information on the area and we smile sweetly as we know we will not have time to see any of it. Still her advice of where to eat was gratefully received and the quirky accommodation was also an unexpected surprise.

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