Wow that bed was comfortable. Waking up early but sort of snoozing listening to the birds, watching they are in and out of the trees, listening to vehicles coming and going and before you know it is 7:00am. Out of bed and head for the shower which is attached to the tent with walls around but only about three quarters of the way up and the open at the top. Under the roofline though. Which is all a bit different / nice. You have to come and check it out yourself.
Off to breakfast and finish yesterday’s blog. Still no wifi today at the Eco Retreat so this is a bit of an issue, to get information out.
Collected ice and lunches so, we are good to go. We set off for the Visitor Centre first and meet Mel the Manager and Lewis the assistant working there today. Mel offers a solution to the blogging issue but it means our Commission host is typing away in the office and we are delayed getting moving. But that’s okay = lots of souvenirs to be bought. Finally after what seemed life forever we are going again. Nearly lunch time and so we stop at Kalamina Gorge for lunch and what a perfect place to go for a swim. Cure little waterfall which we climbed up to have a look at but not a swimming spot on the top. Walked down the gorge a little way but not a lot of time so didn’t go far.
Packed up and on again, heading for Oxer Lookout and Weano Gorge. Probably need to have a whole week to spend here to really soak in and to see everything.
We start the walk into Weano, it says difficulty level 4 then 5 for the last bit so should be okay as yesterday’s walk into circular pool was a level 4. It start out quite similar, steep but decent steps. Then it really increases in difficulty – water to wade through, ledges to shuffle around – unless we wanted to swim but we are carrying bags and cameras. Wait to swim at the end of the trail. Handrail Pool. Pretty soon the gorge is becoming narrow and slippery. It is just gorgeous, you think when you start that if the trail gets too difficult you will turn back, but there is no way I want to miss this beauty and splendour.
The narrow bed of the gorge opens up into a small circular pool, only knee deep. Then it’s even more narrow than before, and you can easily touch the rock wall on each side. A little way further there’s a handrail that needs to be gripped quite tightly as it is very slippery underfoot. The handrail is then part of a ladder that takes you 6 steps down and we are now at handrail pool. It is amazing. I am speechless. Words can’t describe it. Every gorge you see is better than the one the day before. Someone down there said, ‘What’s your favourite gorge?” The answer is “the one I saw today”. Had a lovely swim and certainly felt like we had earned it.
Chatted to a couple from Belgium who have travelled all the way from Sydney around the bottom of Australia and will go from here to Port Hedland and then on up to Broome and across the top. Shame really that they will see so little on the Pilbara. We are only at day 6 days and we have seen so much but so much yet to come. I gave them a magnet to hide and invited them to check the ‘mypilbaraadventure’ website and blog and the Facebook page when they have a chance.
Another older couple who are Australian though living in America have travelled from Brisbane down through each eastern seaboard mainland capital city and across to Adelaide and Perth / Fremantle visiting relatives. Then up the west coast, stopping at various places including Karratha and Port Hedland which they saud was interesting and were fascinated buyt eh huge export port visible from the park in town. Their Karijini stop will be a short, one day, then they travel to Newman and then back down the inland road. They came on a working holiday for 3 months.
Back to the Eco Retreat and after a quick stop, head on to Joffree Gorge for another walk, think we can squeeze in one more today.
The trail is rated 4 / 5 – no problem! Toward the end we are climbing down very steep drops for yet another gorgeous waterhole and another swim. We go to each end of the gorge to check it out. A short walk in one direction reveals a big circular rockface and waterfall. The other end drops into a lower body of water via a small waterfall. Magnificent.
Back to the Eco Retreat for a shower, then a yummy dinner in the dining tent. Plus a banana spilt … like these.
Actually, just a bit of energy left to dissipate so we go for a short walk up the road and see if we can get a better view of the lightening over on the southeastern horizon. Too many trees in the way. Who would have thought the Pilbara had such a landscape of mountains, hills, trees, shrubs, endless bush and grasslands though the spinifex is no surprise. Ouch. Stay on the tracks.
Okay now it really is goodnight.