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Published: April 18th 2014
26km of corrugation
The road that buggered the water pump!
Sunday 13th April - went into Exmouth to collect our Whale Shark DVD and photos so didn't get away until 12 noon. Called in at Visitors Centre to find 2 Emus wandering around the car park! Pushed on as over 400km to do. Very hot over 40 Degrees so changed drivers every hour. Quite a few Road Trains, some 4 trailers long, on the North Western a Highway but when we turned onto the 136 at Naturra Roadhouse we only saw 2 cars in the next 186km! Also saw our first big lizards crossing the road (very quickly). Pulled into Beasley River rest area, several caravans already parked up which reminded us that ths was the first weekend of the school Easter holidays.
Monday 14th - up and away by 8.30 heading for the town of Tom Price on the edge of Karijini National Park. The town has only been in existence for less than 50 years and was named after the American geologist/entrepreneur who proved to the Australian mining companies and government that the surrounding mountains contained vast amounts of iron ore. Riotinto now carry out the mining operation. Picked up info on Karijini and it's gorges
and headed out of town towards our campsite near Joffres Gorge. First 40 km went well but then we had 26km of the roughest corrugated gravel road we have ever driven on. Arrived, shaken but not stirred, although the water pump for our drinking water appears to be buggered! This Eco friendly campsite has a number of loops with little individual pitches in the bush. We were within walking distance of Joffres Gorge and waterfalls so on with our walking boots and rucksacks and off we trudged. Bit confused as the terrain looked so flat but we should have been prepared as the path was classified as Grade 5 (grade 6 is the most difficult). Sure enough the path ended in a series of ledges leading down to the pools at the bottom of the Gorge. What beautiful colours ranging from the dark brown and deep red of the iron stone rocks to the cold clear green waters below. We then made our way around the edge of the Gorge to the waterfall where it all started and sat cooling our feet in the pools with a sheer drop of 200 metres to the valley floor below. The water was
so cool and refreshing on hot feet and giant water beetles nibbled your toes inquisitively - hopefully they all survived and didn't die of food poisoning!!! Made our way back to our trusty campervan and sat outside under a full moon drinking an ice cold beer - isn't life tough!
Tuesday 15th - left the site and made our way back down the 26km of gravel road in the hopes that it might get our water pump working - no go! Drove to the other side of the NP to explore Dales Gorge with the Circular Pool, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool. Walked along the Gorge rim and then climbed down to Fortescue Falls - easy Grade 3. Continued along the gorge bottom to Fern Pool, similar to the Crystal Pool which we found near Abel Tasman this beautiful pool has sacred connotations to the indigenous people. However, provided you treat the area with respect you are welcome to swim in the pool up to the waterfall. So it was off with our kit and on with our swimmers and into a deliciously cool pool with little fish for company. Speaking of which we had only been
swimming for a few minutes when Lyn had a tap on her shoulder and it was Hannah one of our 3 German girls. They are camping just above the gorge where we also hoped to spend the night. Around the pool there were a number of trees, in one of the Eucalyptus trees there was a colony of large bats - these are carnivorous and feed on smaller bats and small birds as well as "traditional moths". After our swim it was a steep climb back out of the gorge and along to book into the Dales Gorge Camp Area. This consists of a series if small loop gravel roads with marked spaces set amongst the trees. Loads of space we were in the Dingo Loop, Bay 67. We had just finished a beer when the 3 girls strolled past on the way to their pitch no. 72. We've promised them coffee in the morning before we all go our separate ways. Another BBQ tonight and tomorrow we need to get away early as we start our journey south down towards Lake Ballard and Kalgoorlie which should take 2 to 3 days.
Tot: 2.193s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 14; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0356s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb