Last night the stars were great, you don't that many in Perth. We had agreed to meet up for breakfast at 7:00 am but I am over there at quarter to seven.
Just a bit excited ... Understatement.
We are doing the West Oz Active 'Red Gorge' tour today, aka 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' with Pete West. We have met him two nights now in the restaurant and he is very friendly and nice, a real character. Must run in the family as he is related to Foxy from the Iron Clad in Marble Bar.
Travis and our Commission hostess join us at the allotted time.
At 7:30 we are on the verandah of the retreat and meet the other two people completing today's trip, Sabrina is showing her mum, Birgit (who's visiting from Germany) the Pilbara. We have our run through and form signing session with Pete and then into the Flying Sandgroper bus to headquarters to get kitted up. We're given a 2 piece wetsuit, socks and reef walkers for the day and then harnessed up, along with our first lesson. Bit of a safety and rescue brief and we're ready to go. Back on the bus headed for Knox Gorge. From here we carry a tube ready for water rafting and head on down the class4/ 5 track.
We pass the DANGER sign and enter into the restricted area, class 6 here. You can not do this without a guide. And it involves abseiling. We are constantly going down, lower and lower. We throw the tubes ahead and are lowered down a narrow waterfall by Brenton. Ropes off and then a terrific natural rockslide that drops off into a deep water pool. Oh my goodness,
scary but .... what a buzz!
Next we abseil down another waterfall into a pool with Pete holding the safety line. This Is great fun. Swim across a small pool with the tubes, a small climb over some rocks and into a larger pool across to what Pete likes to call 'morning tea island', now we are out of Knox Gorge and in Red Gorge.
So, it's time for morning tea. How utterly unbelievable to be sitting at the bottom of a gorge surrounded by rock walls and water, having morning tea! A muesli bar, cuppa, short break and we're keen to go again.
Tubing down the river gorge ... On a lovely Saturday ... Gorgeous and relaxing ... Canyoning all the way. How's that for a song Pete?
After a while we come to junction pool, where 4 gorges meet- Red Gorge meets Weano, Hancock and Joffre. Weano comes out as a beautiful tall waterfall. We head into Hancock Gorge and around the corner is a gradual rock waterfall, beautiful to look at and we climb this one, walking up with a rope to hold.
Great view back down.
We hike through the gorge to Reagan's Pool. There is a story here of the selflessness of people who come to the rescue of others and give the ultimate gift for their fellow man and that is the story of James (Jim) Regan who died in 2004 saving the life of another. This is a stark reminder that as beautiful as the Karijini is, such places can be extremely dangerous and extreme care is needed.
So here we are some 10 years later with a highly experienced and safety conscious guide absolutely fixated on our safety and our enjoyment of a beautiful day in the Karijini. So, quick swim, and then we get to do some real rockclimbing! Hooked up with the harness again it's pretty much straight up. Awesome! Climb without having to worry about falling, like Pete said, "a kid's dream". Next we traverse along a cliff ledge where you're constantly secured by 2 ropes and hooks at all times.
The we are back out into public territory, back to class 5 then 4 track. Its's still awesome... swimming through a narrow rock river again. Up the dirt track and on the road back to West Oz Active base. Somewhere in all of that, we were provided with a most delicious lunch.
Absolutely awesome day, not just a highlight of 'My Pilbara Adventure' but a highlight of my life!
To top it off as we enter the restaurant for dinner Pete gives a wristband USB with photos and videos of the day. Okay, blog done before dinner so now I can relax and enjoy our dinner. We will sleep well tonight!
Of course as it is our last dinner at the restaurant, of course it will have to be the Karijini Deluxe Burger.