The Pilbara - Karijini National Park and Canada's own "Weapon of Mass Destruction" is unleashed!

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 00:00

Mick O

Friday 2nd July, 2010
A creek bed to the west of Karijini

It was a very chilly morning with no fire. It encouraged us not to linger so after pack-up we immediately headed down to Fortescue falls and fern pool. What a contrast the interior of the gorges are. No wind, lush growth, huge paperbarks and fig trees, birds and bats and water seeping from the confining walls allowing lush stands of ferns to flourish.Fern Pool was magnificent, heightened by the fact that we were the only people present. Fortescue’s cascading waters are the parks only permanent water fall although most others do run during the year. The water has a bluish tinge to it and is quite chilly although this didn’t deter a few young kids from having a paddle. With no biting wind, the sun made a warm place to relax for a while before returning to the gorge rim via the steps to the now full car park. From here it was along to the circular pool lookout and then out to the visitors centre.

The visitor centre was as one expected and appeared to have lost a little of the lustre of years past. Just that little bit run down. We trekked the 40 km in to Weano. The track although starting off corrugated was well graded for most of the journey. There were the usual flocks of campers and “Fritz in Britz” as the ubiquitous European traveller in their hire 4x4’s are termed. On arrival at the car park we had a bit of lunch before walking along the rim of the canyon to and descending into the northern end of Weano Gorge. The stroll through the iron tainted water was pleasant, the gorge deepening and narrowing as we headed south. At Day Pool the rock hopping began and we found ourselves taking circuitacious routes up and around water obstructions and pools rather than get wet. One of the climbs took us into a narrow cleft between the rocks leading again down to the valley floor. Then the narrow walls closed in to make a narrow cleft of the gorge, the rock sides worn smooth by countless years of water passing through. This eventually opened out into the cathedral like handrail pool from which we could go no further without getting wet. Heading back, Scott committed a crime against nature and one of the cruellest acts against his fellow man. The gorge was narrow, the wind was blowing along it strongly, Scott had seafood pasta last night...need I say more!!! I was 10 metres from him and Gaby, 15 metres but the effects were significant on all. There was no where to run, nowhere to hide and we had to run towards the perpetrator of this vile crime! In the words of the man himself, “one of the best I ever dropped”, and it was! We ensured we kept up wind of Canada’s own “weapon of mass destruction” for the rest of the journey back I can assure you.

Evacuating the disaster area, we returned to the car park and headed for the west exit of the park vowing not to have another night without a fire. Heading out we hit the bitumen of Karajini drive and then spent a short time trying to find the track to Bruce Bore, which no longer appears to exist. We ended up turning into the first major creek crossing we came to and then drove north a long the soft creek bed to find a lovely little camp on a high bank about a kilometre off the road. The back drop of Mount Bruce highlights the location. A decent fire is roaring. Dinner was a minor masterpiece that I thought I'd try on the willing Canadians prior to uleashing it on the princess in a few short weeks. Chicken with a green peppercorn sauce. Bloody beaut!

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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