We have learnt another “travelling” lesson. Don’t listen to all the naysayers who whinge and complain. Go and find out for yourself.
We headed off for Karijini NP looking forward to getting back into some walking and gorge exploring. We had heard and read all about the school holidays and the ensuing bedlam at Dales Camp Ground. It is extremely popular and heaving with people.
Horror stories included getting bumped to multiple “overflow” areas and awaiting the knock on the tent door to say “congratulations, you can have the pleasure of packing up all you stuff and moving down the road to Dales”.
One family we ran into told us of how they camped outside the park the night before. They were up at 5am and in the queue to get in at 6:30, with half a dozen other families as well!
So back to the lesson we learnt… for all our worry and stress about getting a spot, we rolled up at 11ish, went to the office and met some lovely rangers, who I think were volunteers. They promptly allocated us a spot, gave us a map, took our cash and had a chat to the kids about what lizards to look for. No queue, no overflow, no problems at all.
The next day we ventured down Dales Gorge. This is a reasonably difficult walk that is classed as a grade 4 and takes in Circular Pools, the gorge floor, Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool.
What a great day walking through the red rocks that the Pilbara is famous for. We held our breath as we passed seams of blue asbestos and spent a long time explaining to Chloe the disasters of the 80’s, lung cancer and the irony of Lang Hancock making his fortune here.
We noticed beautiful gum trees, paperbarks and ferns. There were birds everywhere and we also saw some wild bees buzzing around their hive making bush honey. We only noticed them because Bolo taught us what to look for but none of us was game to get some for our toast!
There were three waterholes to plunge into. Circular Pools was the first. OMG!! It was cold! I dipped in, shrieked a bit and got out before I suffered anymore painful shrinkage 🤣 For some reason no one else in the family felt like a swim!?
By the time we got down to Fern Pool the sun was above us. Kaz, Chloe and I braved it while Noah did a “half-dip”. It felt quite warm to me after being in Circular!
We emerged out of Dales Gorge exhausted but very happy with our adventure. Next up we are heading for Exmouth where we are determined not to stress about how to get a campsite in the Cape Range NP. Apparently it is booked out for the next 6 months! We will see…