The decision was made to go and explore the Kalbarri National Park Gorge walks, so we headed off early to check these out. We decided on the River Walk at the Z Bend of the Murchison River. Wow. Such a beautiful and challenging walk. It was only 2.5km return, but over steep rocky terrain, which made it challenging. You are climbing rocks and stairs, so if your knees are bad, I wouldn’t recommend this walk. For everyone else, seriously add this to your list! It takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to navigate. That is including stopping for photos. Some of the photos below are to try and give you an idea of the trail and the steepness, but this is hard to show in a photo. The challenge of the walk was fun, it was not too strenuous, I think it looked worse than it felt.
When you get to the bottom you can go for a swim. It didn’t appeal to Col and I as the water was pretty green. But there were people swimming in the water. It was just so nice to sit and watch the dragon flies and the fish swimming around. So peaceful and relaxing after the walk down. Just breathtaking.
Col let me know that he wanted to go for a walk up the river to fly the drone. I was happy to sit and take in the beautiful surrounds. After a while I started to wonder if Col was ok, as I had expected him back sooner. It was about 30C and I was sitting in direct sunlight. I was keen to start making my way back to the car, as it was an up-hill climb from here and was not going to be easy. I waited, and waited, and waited. Every now and then I saw a glimpse in the distance of Col. Just a flash. Enough to know he was alive and well, but I was wondering why he wasn’t coming back. He had been a very long time. I don’t know how long, as I didn’t check the time that he left. But I was getting very uncomfortable in the sun.
Finally I see him heading back towards me and I was inwardly rejoicing. When he got near me I could see that his face was red, he was sweating and breathing heavily and very clearly stressed. But otherwise, he looked ok, not injured. Col said…. ‘I have lost the drone’. Whaaat? Oh no! Really? (no April Fools Joke here). Col came back to let me know what was happening and wanted to go look for it. He said that he had flown it up above the cliff edge and the wind had caught it, it then ran out of battery and crashed somewhere up the cliff face. I kept saying to Col that the cliffs are made out of sandstone and very crumbly, the drone is not worth risking your life for, just let it go. He was adamant that he wanted to try and search for it.
We agreed that I would head back to the car. There was no mobile coverage there so I wanted to know when to initiate the emergency help plan. Col and I agreed on three hours, as the drone had crashed approximately 1km away. That gave me an hour to get back to the car and gave Col 2 hours to look for the drone and an hour to trek back. So off we both went, in different directions. It was fairly stressful.
I had been back at the car for approximately 45 minutes when I see Col turn up. He had found the drone!!! There is a last known GPS co-ordinate saved when it lands and Col followed this to the location. It said he was 50 metres away when he reached the base of a cliff wall! He found a way to climb up and this is the view looking down the cliff face.
Just a reminder of what this place is like, to get an idea of this Cliff face from a different angle.
Col found a way to climb down and this is what he sees.
Not sure how he found it, but what relief that both he and the drone were ok. I was so happy to see him come back in one piece. We watched the video of the drone after it had crashed and it shows Col walking briskly backwards and forwards, crossing the river, climbing the cliffs. So close and yet so far! I don’t know how many kilometres Col covered that day – the 2.5km return walk, and then many kilometres backwards and forwards, up and down cliffs looking for the drone!!! Thank God for Surf Life Saving and Col’s incredible fitness levels!!!
So after recalibrating and recovering, we headed off to another short walk to see Natures Window. Absolutely stunning. Needless to say that the drone stayed in the box in the car!
View from the lookout on the walk to Natures Window.