Published: November 23rd 2011November 23rd 2011
I feel more and more reluctant to update my blog, perhaps because we are nearing the end of our wonderful adventure, and while I am looking forward to returning to ‘normalcy’ and home, another part of me doesn’t want to stop this amazing - though at times exhausting - trip. Particularly now as we have hit the coast, and are finally spending lots of time at the beach. We are currently in Exmouth, right by Ningaloo Reef, a fantastic fringing reef easily accessible from the beach, which is great for the boys (and the budget). And not only is the snorkelling amazing, but the beaches are white with lots of shells to keep the younger boys entertained, and the water is clear and beautifully turquoise. I am in Heaven!
But first, what about Broome and Karijini? The first photos you will see were taken at Karijini National Park, by Oliver, just outside our caravan. We were lethargically observing quite a decently sized goanna foraging around, when suddenly, he stood up, and then lunged apparently towards Oliver who was taking photos, but then continued past him to catch a lizard, and then started to devour
this poor lizard whole. We watched in shock and awe as the goanna swallowed the lizard still alive and writhing. It was quite something to see, and even better, Oliver kept his cool and kept clicking away!
Karijini itself was beautiful, but quite hard camping, as there were no caravan parks, and with 37 degree+ days, it was quite hot. On day four we ran out of water, and my beloved Waeco (fridge) also ran out of cool, so it was time to move on. But we took full advantage of those days in Karijini, every day going out for long hikes into the gorges. Our favourite was without a doubt Hancock Gorge. The hike in to the two water holes was quite challenging, and involved clambering over rocks and cliff faces, wading through water and even involved a spider walk! Despite the heat, the boys did well, and we all really enjoyed the water holes when we finally arrived (leaches and all!!) The gorges have carved their way through the Hamersley Range, formed over two billion years ago, and rich in iron. We were hiking through tough, hot rock, but the colour and
shapes of these rocks were very intriguing (William did try and convince us to bring quite a sizeable chunk of variegated iron rock with us, but it was simply too heavy to carry back to camp!). On one of our walks we spotted this massive poo - bigger than Paul’s foot - obviously excreted by a carnivore, but what carnivore?? We concluded it must have been an olive python, and I have to say, I approached the following water crossings with a bit more anxiety than before. But I am alive to tell the tale. (Paul tells me now he thinks it is more likely to be from a wild pig after having studied python faeces in a wildlife book he came across).
Broome was not nearly as adventurous or tiring. In fact, we spent a restful few days there, with very little time spent on the beach as it was stinger season. We did venture out to see the dinosaur footprints, we rode on the camels along Cable Beach, and we were in town to again watch Cory perform. I also did a half day photography tour with WA photographer Nigel Gaunt (<span style="text-decoration: underline; letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #0b22a2;">www.reddirtphoto.com.au
) while the boys gazed at the stars with Greg Quicke, an eccentric character who taught himself how to read the heavens, and delighted the boys with his very simple descriptions of the various constellations. Other than that, days were spent lounging by the pool at our caravan park.
Some long distances have been covered between Broome and here, with the boys having to endure 6 - 7 hours in the car. We did stop by and visit 80 Mile Beach, as we were told it was stunning and we could collect some massive shells. While we did not find the fabled shells, the sunset while getting there was spectacular - and we did see our largest goanna (6-7 ft!) so far!
There are more photos below