Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Nut

It can be really really hard for our family to get away. We've canceled more weekend getaways, full holidays, & even had others cut short between pressing work needs & caring for an older relative the simpler things in life can be the most complicated at times. We'd been whispering about having a weekend away with the kids for months. Nothing firm, nothing too serious lest it should fall through. In fact, the morning we were suppose to leave the only one ready to go was Mr S, which is rather astounding because we often tease the poor fellow about procrastinating procrastination!

Despite the last minute realisation of getting away we had an amazing time & took the roll of tourist rather seriously hitting all sorts of touristy places while we were away. We also took way too many photos, & I even lost a few which was a bit of a shock to discover. Anyway, prepare yourself for photo overload of our mini-getaway.

The weather was overcast & super windy the day we arrived. We half expected the skies to open, but they didn't. We pulled off at the welcome sign, mostly so the kids could stretch their legs, but there was a lovely touristy area for photo taking of The Nut from afar & we indulged ourselves.

When I pulled over & the kids asked what we were doing {they were pretty hungry at this point} I told them we'd stopped to admire the lovely local rubbish bin. The crazy fellows decided to go inspect it in full detail & when I turned around from snapping the photo above I found them all posed around the bin. I'm sure we made a great impression on the local who were driving by. Despite that crazy overcast sky & the wind it really was nice.

If you're ever up that way & have the time it's worth stopping by the welcome sign because behind it is this awesome plaque full of snippets of history about the local town. We read the whole thing looking for each location as we could from being as far out as we were.

There's also a very small path to climb to get up above the road & signs to take a better photo.. unless you're like my family & have to play Lewis & Clark at every sign you see.

After checking into the caravan park & getting some grub we decided to climb The Nut. It was incredibly windy out, so much so the chair lift was closed, but the path itself was open & empty. While we could have walked from our accommodations to this path we opted to drive. I was sporting a bum knee & back the weekend we went away {actually I still am} & with both of them heavily taped we decided it would be wiser to save the strength for the actual climb. When we got there & saw this sign Mr S was reading it out & I said, "Let's just go with the zig-zag path thanks.." I hadn't read the sign myself & mistook him to mean we could take a longer zig-zag path or a steep short path. Ahh, yeah, we were halfway up this zig-zag path when I said, "I'm really glad we didn't take the steep path & the guys all burst into laughter."  Sadly, I had no idea what was so funny until we reached the top & I saw the sign up top. Oh dear.

That dark car next to the white one in the photo is ours. Yep, we were pretty high up! We spotted our cabin from up there too, amongst a great many other things. Aside from a few people working on the chair lift we had the entire Nut to ourselves which was awesome.

It was a little grey & dark when we got to the top, but aside from the wind we really didn't have any poor weather. It was nippy up there, but so so peaceful. The white splotch in the photo was plastic. They had some large plastic bags full of dirt & gravel as they were working on fixing up portions of the path up there.

The clouds came & went, beautiful view looking out over the north side of things. We stood there imaging what it would have been like prior to such easy ways to communicate & wondering how many people stood up there trying to be the first person to glimpse an incoming boat which would have had not only supplies but news from afar.

Same north side, just looking in a slightly different angle. The building you can just barely see in the left hand corner is an historical house which we visited the following day..

The view of Fisherman's wharf from up-top. The overlook for this was the windiest of all the overlooks up there. Perhaps because it was facing into the wind. Either way, it was like crawling uphill to get onto the overlook & attempt to hold our balance to snap a photo. I got blown over a few times & finally asked the guys to hold me steady for a photo.

Just pas Fisherman's Wharf getting closer to where we were staying.. You can "see" the force of the wind in the photos by checking out the ripples in the water. Crazy stuff!

The Nut is an extinct volcano & as we were walking along the path we spotted this small area, the only water source was saw up there & we wondered if it was the previous spout of the volcano.. or some of us did while others got caught up discussing The King's Fifth & wondering if the water was slightly sulphuric. If you've read the book you'll know exactly why we were thinking that!

Crazy views looking down as we circled the entire top. We enjoyed looking at the same places from a normal view point & then checking what The Nut looked like from typical ground level.

There's a small section, just past the Fisherman's Wharf overlook, where you walk through with no sea views. There was a considerable amount of wildlife in here, they seemed to prefer the less windy area. We spotted a variety of birds & wallabies having a time of it.

The foremost view of houses that all look alike with the green roofs is the caravan park we were staying in the larger building that looks more like a warehouse off to the right [green roof] is the local shop we frequented.

That's not a sundial, but a compass of sorts. It gives directional points & miles, not kilometres, in which the other towns are from where we were standing; the fact that things were written in miles instead of kilometres led to yet another funny discussion on how "recent" the metric system had been introduced.

Another quick view to be sure our car was still there as we came back around the front of The Nut. Funny thing was, one family member was standing with the large rock in their view & couldn't see our car, so I jokingly said, "Oh well, we'll have to take the shortcut the lady told us about to walk back to our caravan." He groaned about how he was nearly out of water & would never make it when I took a photo to show him our car was still right where we left it. The white van had some overseas tourist in it with several young children & we passed them going up as we came down. We paused as they'd asked Morgan to help them snap a family photo. He was completely taken aback by the fact that they just handed him their phone, but they quickly sorted out their language barrier & he complied with a quick photo for them.

Jayden took the path up & down at breakneck speed. I managed to stop him halfway down one of the steeper slopes to snap a photo. We had to use the railing on the way down to keep from being blown head over heel, & a word of warning: Last man in line has to deal with Bull Ants. Bum knee or not I went running past the lot of them when a bull ant decided he'd had enough of people walking past him & wanted to take a nice chunk of my ankle out.

Back down in the car park I snapped a semi-odd view of the side of what we'd climbed. The big flat rock up-top was the rock that looked like it was going to squash the cars in the other photos!  It's really well worth the climb just for the views alone, & despite the wind we really enjoyed ourselves. Had we waited & gone the next day we'd have had a lot of other people to contend with & the day was considerably warmer which would have made the climb up a bit sticky.

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