THE OLDEST TOWN IN THE FLINDERS & LOVELY
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Melrose with a population of about 200 is nestled beneath the 960 metre Mount Remarkable and is a very attractive little town.Lovely old architecture, wide streets, cafes and a great pub. Originally a copper mining town today it is mountain bike central with the 900 km Mawson bike trail going through the town. The famous Heysen Trail also passes through Melrose so you have a feeling of outdoor action here!
We checked into the Melrose Caravan Park and selected the bush camping area across the creek under the big Red River Gums. We had a brand new camp kitchen and plenty of firewood for nightly camp fires; the nights were freezing so it was absolute bliss warming ourselves by the bright flames. Why are camp fires so mesmeric and comforting? On our side of the creek there were only 3 other campers as most travellers chose the smaller crowded sites with power so we had plenty of space. The only downside was an extra hike to the laundry and shower; we did a load of washing at the cheap cost of $2 per load but it was slow to dry.
We wandered around the town and visited the North Star Hotel, nicely refurbished with a modern menu late afternoon and returned to our van to start the camp fire and prepare dinner- soba noodles with mushrooms and vegies topped with BBq rump steak- delicious.
On Friday we set off early to climb Mount Remarkable just behind our camp. It is a 12km trek but we abandond our journey about 3/4 of the way up because the views were repetitive, it was cool on the shaded side and the many areas of the track were set on scree which was slippery and meant you had to watch your step all the way. And we are spoilt for beauty and felt this walk was only a challenge in reaching another peak and we did not feel inspired to add another mountain peak to our list. So we headed back with coffee and beesting in our sights; we had a lovely afternoon in the sun!
On Friday night we commented on two cyclists setting out from camp just on sunset and wondered how they would traverse the track in the dark. Around 8pm they returned, and joined us at our magnificent fire; they had ridden to the pub for dinner and were camping here tonight before beginning their 3 day bike trip to Wilpena Pound.
Rick with his uncle Herb were doing a reconnoitre trip in preparation for being a support for Rick's partner Anna who was doing a major bike race here in the near future. Herb was a retired builder and Rick ran an outdoor education company and they were interesting companions on this cold dark night around the fire.
We called it a night around 11pm that night!