Searching for locations: O’Reilly’s guesthouse

Sometimes it’s not about the destination, but getting there, because sometimes the destination is not what you were expecting.

I have had some experience it staying in iconic guest houses, both here and overseas, and I guess those stays spoiled this one. I have a preference for old, creaky but warm and inviting old mansions mostly built around the early 1900s.

That was what I was expecting this time too, given what I’d read.

The road, from the turn-off from the Greenlee cottages, is narrow, winding, and not one you can go faster than 40ks.  Buses and trucks are restricted to 20kph, but as you get further into the mountains, it’s difficult to see how they can get along the road at all.

It’s difficult enough in a mid-size SUV.

But, in all fairness, these are the sort of roads that nearly always lead to that mountaintop retreat.

At times the road is so narrow that you wonder how trucks and buses could get between the trees, because the close you get to the guest house, the narrower the road. And, at times, the car has to scrape by the overhanging branches, especially when having to make way for oncoming traffic.

The road is definitely not wide enough for two cars, and there are a lot of points where you can pull off to the side to let them pass.

It is tarred, but being in the middle of a dense tropical forest, it’s pitted and rutted, and very uneven.  There is not one moment where can relax, or take your eyes off the road, as some of us do, to take in the surrounding scenery.

But, whilst most of it looks the same, it’s certainly not boring, and every now and then you break out of the darkness into a clearing. And, sometimes a house.

Yes, people do live on the side of a mountain, and, just to be clear, their view, every morning, from the back verandah must be spectacular

At the end of the three-quarters of an hour drive, we emerge onto a mountain top, and what is O’Reilly’s guest house, though, after a more investigative look around, the guests stay in motel-like rooms.

There is an old wooden structure, but if this is the original guest house, it doesn’t look like people stay there anymore.

But, it’s not the accommodation the people come here for, it’s the endless bush walks.  Of course, there’s other stuff there, but it’s more about communing with nature, discovering the wildlife, and taking in the fresh country air.

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