Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 125. Karijini N.P.

Pilbara Princess

Today we woke to grey skies. The forecast was for possible isolated showers, but this suited Bec just fine. Yesterday she wanted subdued lighting to practice some new photographic shots she has been reading about, and today someone upstairs granted her wish.

Fortescue Falls

We all packed lunches, swimmers, towel and dry clothing for today’s activities. We want to stay close to our camp, so we are exploring Dales Gorge. This gorge has a number of features that have been highly recommended to us to check out, so that’s today goal.

Dales Gorge

First stop was Fortescue Falls; a 800 mtr walk down the gorge while negotiating a number of manmade steps on a narrow trail to the waterfall below. After yesterday’s introduction to the Karijini Gorges on the western side of the national park, we were eager to see what the eastern side had to offer. Everyone easily made the trip down to the waterfall; which was spectacular. We took a number of photo’s of this natural wonder before heading back up the eastern end of the gorge to visit our next stop – Fern Pool.

Flying Foxes

During the walk to Fern Pool, we came across a colony of Flying Foxes that were making a small racket in the trees above. We watched the antics of these wonderful creatures, but soon the sound of rushing water beckoned, and we continued on our way.

Fern Pool

As we came around a bend on the track and we were greeted by Fern Pool. As legend goes, Fern Pool (Jubura), is a special place. This pool was created by great serpents in a time when the earth was still soft. These serpents still live in the gorge pools today.

Swimming in Fern Pool

The water was a little cool, but Jace, Maya, Jo, Jai, Scarlett and myself, all braved the cold and slipped into the tranquil waters of this special place. The swim over to the falls was ‘refreshing’, but believe it or not the water falling from above was definitely a few degrees warmer. We enjoyed the calming cascading water before swimming back over to Bec; who was busy trying to capture this ‘sacred’ special place in the form of photos for the blog.

I forgot to bring a towel and a change of clothes for poor Scarlett to change into after her swim, so I climbed back up to the top of the gorge and to our car to get some, before Scarlett froze to death. By the time I returned to the bottom of the gorge, everyone had moved back to Fortescue Falls to continue exploring. I soon had Scarlett back into dry clothes, and we were ready to continue our journey deeper into the Dales Gorge.

Fortescue Falls
About an hour or so later; after negotiating a myriad of obstacles along the bottom of the gorge (incl: rock climbing, bouldering, water crossings, paperbark forests, and tall grass), we finally reached Circular Pool. This place is at the very end of the gorge where more water from the countryside above cascades down the rockface into a pool at its base.

We arrived here late morning, and as we soon discovered, it was a very popular spot. There were people everywhere (to Bec’s disappointment, as she wanted to take natural setting photos), but Jace and Maya braved the very cold water and took another dip. The temp here was near zero; so there was no chance of me sliding back into the cool clear waters of the Pilbara today.

By this time it was after midday, and all the kids (and adults) were getting tired and hungry. We decided to head back out of the gorge via a different route. The way up was very steep in places, and by the time we reached the top everyone was starting to feel just a bit exhausted. Luckily it wasn’t a very hot day, or I think we may have had an issue or two with the little ones.

By the time we reached the cars, everyone was stiff and sore. Bec even got blisters that ended up bursting, so she was feeling a little worse for wear. We drove down to a picnic area where we quickly devoured our lunches; and Bec surprised everyone with a moist date and walnut loaf that she baked in our caravan’s oven earlier this morning. It was a very welcome treat that we all savoured and enjoyed. Bec received much praise for her forward thinking, and great cooking skills. Out here she is earning a reputation as the Pilbara Princess!

The gang
The afternoon was spent relaxing back at camp. We were all too tired to do much else; but somehow the kids found the energy to ride their bikes around the area for another hour or two. During their travels, they soon learnt that a dingo had been spotted at a nearby camp ground. This spooked Scarlett more than I would of expected, and she didn’t want to go off riding her bike with the other kids after that.

Circular Pool

This evening Scarlett and I are watching TV (I have set up the satellite dish and we are using our solar panels to power up the system – which Bec absolutely loves), and just relaxing, while Bec – the Pilbara Princess, is up at Jo’s caravan helping her with her computer. Another day we will remember forever in the Pilbera.

posted by Shane

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