from 23 July
We continued on t0day to Karijini National Park. It was a full day of driving, and when we were 2 km from camp we blew not one, but two tires. We managed to limp into camp on our spare, but we have to modify our entire agenda for the three days in the park until we can get properly sorted.
from July 24
After a chilly night sleeping on the red dirt ground, I crawled out of my swag for a yummy bacon-eggs-and-toast breakfast. Australians really need a lesson from Canadians on how to cook bacon though; their back bacon never really gets crunchy and is full of fat.
After breakfast we set out to Knox Gorge, a steep descent down loose shale rock. The hike was classified as grade 4/5 out of 6, but I’m fairly certain the rating is based on danger, not physical ability. Aside from the loose shale and a few precarious ledge climbs, the climb wasn’t too physically demanding. Our guide took us as far as he could until we hit the grade 6 part of the walk, which required advanced certification to continue. The hike up was less challenging in terms of footwork and stability, but it definitely got the heart rate up.
In the afternoon we descended into Joffre’s Gorge, a class 5 hike where we carefully followed a dangerous path of layered sedimentary rock to the bottom. Before heading down our guide Mick told us of a guy who wasn’t paying attention to where he was stepping and rolled his ankle, causing him to fall 25 m down and break his back. It’s a miracle he didn’t die. The story sobered us all, and we were extremely quiet and cautious until we got to the bottom. There we discovered a wide pool of water, though it didn’t look too inviting for swimming. We took our shoes and socks off and bouldered along the edge of the wall until we reached a waterfall.
Mick took the group halfway up the waterfall, weaving like a maze up each layer of the rock. It started to rain lightly, so we made our way down and back to camp. On the grill for the night was steak and potatoes, and we were pleasantly surprised with home made onion soup and bread. It was a late night – we didn’t get to bed until after 10 p.m.! Lots of chatting and funny, inappropriate stories, and even dancing with sparklers to 90s classics. It was a good day.