5th to 8th month

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Karijini 12 - 16 June

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12th June
Rest stop just before Tom Price
After the disappointed of Cape Range we decided to go a completely different way and headed towards an inland National Park.

We couldn't make it in one day so we made one of our famous over night stops. This time we had to go down a rather steep rocky embankment. Which never seems quite as steep until you are in the middle of it. Tomorrow morning's drive out should be interesting!
We never rearrange too much in the van when we are only stopping for an over nighter so it was quickly done. The kids spent some time fossicking through the many rocks that surrounded us which always keeps them amused for a while :o)
While Rasmus and I sat and pondered life's problems, as we are want to do from time to time!
I made an interesting observation during my routine middle of the night wee. Actually, it was Rasmus who put me on to it. When you shine your torch on the ground to watch where you are walking sometimes you have some shininess radiating back at you. If you look a little closer it is often the eyes of spider you have found!
Makes for fascinating chitchat if you ask me!
Going up a rather steep rocky slope
In the morning we sat and pondered the job that Alfie had ahead of her; pulling The Beast out of the rocky nest we had made for ourselves last night.
We decided that to make it as light as possible me and the kids would stand out and walk up the incline while Rasmus and Alfie made the trip up together.
We held our breath and crossed our fingers and....it worked! Out safe and sound :o)
Climbing back into the car we headed to Tom Price to do some shopping before we got into the farawayness of the National Park.
I went into the supermarket while Rasmus took the kids into the library which was situated just over the road. For a tiny little logging town I was expecting some pretty hefty prices but it was all good and I could stock up to my little hearts content. I love it when I can do that!

13th-16th June
Karijini National Park
The Cape Range failure meant that we had some extra time up our sleeves so we decided to check out Karijini National Park. I had never heard of it of course, but that went for most of the towns we had already visited.
Mount Nameless being demolished in the coming decades
It was up higher than we had been along the coast so the landscape changed from the flat, yellowness we had been seeing to huge hills covered in greenery. Not the lush, forest stuff of the Dandenong Ranges, but green nonetheless, which was a welcome relief.
There was also a lot of mining up this way too. The mountains were heavy with red iron ore and we could see where the machines were taking slices away until the mountain was completely gone. It was a bit sad really. We told the kids to take a good look around as the mountains might not be here the next time they come through.
Karijini itself was lovely. On entering the park we went to the most organized Caretakers we had seen up til now. They had their tent set up where people came to them to get their camp spot allocated and walky talkies to communicate with staff. It all made them look very important.
They gave the kids a Karijini Newspaper which was full of activities which they could complete and then become junior rangers, very fancy...and educational.
The camp spot we had been given was a nice big one with access to other campers which I like, being the social animal that I am.
Actually, the moment we pulled up Molly spotted the family with kids! Show time! Out she jumped and off she went.
The whole camp ground was covered in the red soil that the miners coveted so much but which mother's find quite irritating when washing clothes and bodies!. It was a fun experiment however, when we put a magnet in the soil and pulled it up covered in the iron filled earth. The kids were fascinated...me too actually :o)
Looking at gorges began
It was at this place that we began our furore into the world of gorge walking and like any novice we were filled with excited anticipation to begin.
Arriving at the car park we filled our packs with the necessary equipment; water bottles, bathers, towels and food.
Naturally, the trek down into the gorge was steep. Steeper than I had anticipated. However, it wasn't the walk in that had me worried...we still had to get out of here!!
By the time we reached the top of the waterfall, which was at the bottom of the gorge, my legs were shaking. While I sat down to regain my poseur my children scrabbled up and down the tiered walls of the waterfall, making me feel even more old and unfit...thanks a lot kids!
After I have finally get my energy back we make our down even further into the gorge via the steps of the water fall. That was the easy part. Now for a 3km hike following the path the raging river takes during the wet season. It really is quite lovely despite the heat, sore feet from the new boots I am wearing and the heat. Did I mention it was hot? We were all looking forward to seeing the water pool at the end of our trek.
In a gorge pool
After a couple of hours, 1500 “I'm hungry” and 1000 “are we there yet?” we finally do arrive at our destination. Off comes the gear and....I'm the only one to get in!!! It's cold...really cold...icy cold. So, the kids chicken out but Rasmus finally makes an entrance.
Later, Ben discovers that there are leeches in the pool so Rasmus high tails it out but I, the stoic one, brave it out. Geez, where is there sense of adventure?
Layers of Blue Asbestos in the cliffs
We then have a quick bite to eat to regain our strength for the trek out. This time however, we plan to walk up, straight up. By my reckoning it is about a 150o! No, I am not kidding, really! And my legs can confirm it!
Goodness me it was bloody hard work! But again, in an endeavor to make me look as unfit as possible, my husband not only bounds ahead of me to get up and out, but he runs back to the beginning where we left the car and drives it back to pick us up!! Well, perhaps he was actually being really sweet, but I felt really, really unfit looking at him :o)
Over the next few days I can hardly walk and I need a hit of pain relieving drug after going down the 2 stairs from the van door. But the rest of the family solider on. Back to the gorge for more swimming at a warmer water hole they found, walks to the lookouts, riding endlessly on their bikes and self guided nature tours. I really am tired and sore just from looking at them :o)
Ranger and Kids (Kasper with eye covered)
Only one glitch in the week. Kasper scratched his eyeball on a tree branch! Poor Kasper. He came home crying and wailing as only our Kasper can but I can understand his pain. We wrapped up the eye and decided to wait till the morning, our leaving day, to see if he still needed some extra care. As we were in the middle of nowhere and the hospital some hours away.
Come day break he still had blurry vision so we knew what was on our agenda for today.On our way out of the NP we took the kids activity newspapers to the HQ where they received their Junior Rangers badge. Kasper also got some TLC from the ranger for his eye and off we went in search of the Port Hedland hospital.
Bye Karijini National Park, we really enjoyed you.

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