Following a much more comfortable might, the group divided. More than half set off to go ‘canyoning’. I am not quite sure what this entails but understand it involves rock climbing, absailing, jumping in and out of pools, scaling waterfalls and other such joys that I would rather not contemplate.
Those of us with a rather less adventurous disposition (or with out the wish to spend $ 300 Australian on a higher than normal risk of injurious activity) set off on more walking excursions.
Our first walk was to Joffrey Gorge which could be reached on foot from our camp. We soon reached the lookout and could see the waterfall carving its way down the cliff ahead of us.
After posing for a team photo, subsequently lost due to camera failure (not mine) we started down the Gorge. Sadly it was not long before the grade 4 start of the walk evolved into a tricky level 5 scramble downwards, once again too challenging to my short pegs. Not too disheartened we climbed back to the surface and found our way back to the Resorts rather smart Centre. and restaurant – where normal people sip martinis, eat meals prepared for them and sleep in normal beds with no fear of frostbite. Here we sipped a cool drink. While waiting for the others to return. It was very pleasant. In fact it felt quite holiday like!
For our next walk we headed by truck to the Weano Gorge area. The others set off for the Level 5 walk while Keith and I took the Level 4 route to the Upper Weano Gorge. It was great. We walked along the Gorge floor navigating the rocky obstacles and shallow pools along the way.
The red rock walls of the Gorge reared up on either side, but our route was skirted by small trees and grasses where the rock allowed it to flourish. We had one area of scramble where the path became very narrow and the water almost blocked our path…….
But we eventually came to a larger pool where a young couple sunbathed with their feet in the water
Shortly after this we came to a pool completely blocking the path. A number of people were gathered there. The only route forward was through waist high water. People were wading across and we could see our compatriots on the other side
Once again we decided we would not go further, but would instead climb the steep path to reach the surface. Having achieved car park level we sat on a bench soaking up the sun and admiring the flowers and silver barked trees around us.
We lunched in the car park when said compatriots returned and then most of them (not all) took off for another challenging clime. We started this, the Hancock Gorge, but abandoned it to the more adventurous fairly shortly after the start. Instead we took the opportunity to wander to the Oxley lookout point to look down heart stopping drops to the rocks below where the various gorges carve their determined way through their rocky channels to meet. A truly awesome sight.
It was too hot to walk much further so we returned to a shady spot near the truck to join two others who had decided against the afternoon excursion, a young Dutch couple. Not long afterwards two more joined us, having found the extreme walk too strong for their taste too. We are not always alone in our wimpishness! I think perhaps fear with its associated caution does come with age.
It was then back to camp for our last night of in Karijini.
One of the best things about the Karijini camp site was the stars they were truly amazing and the sky was full of them. With no light pollution they could all be seen perfectly – the frontrunners clear and sparkling, the supporting cast showing as clouds behind. The Milky Way was a large smudge across the black world roof landscape. Truly very special.