Today started with a yummy breakfast of ‘Cowboy Beans’ and scrambled eggs. Jennifer Blake cooked us ‘Cowboy Beans’ on our last night at Giralia and Col has been quite taken with them, looking for the first opportunity to cook them up. Baked beans with onion, bacon and Worcestershire Sauce. Soooo good. While sitting and eating breakfast we notice that a beautiful Golden Orb spider has decided she wanted to build a web on our van and join our adventure. While I can appreciate her from a distance, like I can snakes, I don’t want her in the van! While my hand looks really close to the spider in this shot, I can assure you it was not. But she was a big and beautiful girl! Golden Orb Spiders are not venomous by the way.
Col was keen to go to Hancock Gorge and do the Kermit Pool Hike and the Handrail Pool Hike. Both of these are a category 5 hike which I really didn’t believe that I was up to. The Dales Gorge Hikes were category 4 and I felt that challenged me to my limit, but Col was very keen to do the Hancock/Weano Gorge Walks and assured me he would help me through. So, so glad that he did. Don’t get me wrong they were incredibly challenging and at some points really scary, but absolutely worth the effort. Just magnificent. There is something about overcoming your fears that makes it all the more worthwhile. This walk involved steep steps down the cliff into the Gorge that were rocky and slippery. There were parts of the walk where you met water and had to choose whether to scale the slippery cliff face or swim through it. Beautiful and challenging. We met so many different age groups and fitness levels along the way. Don’t let a number define you, but also know your limits. In saying that, I knew my limits and Col encouraged me to push past them. So glad that he did!
All of the photos and video were taken with the GoPro as I wanted to have my hands free for climbing, so I am limited tonight of what photos I can put into the blog. Col is working on compiling the video so I may add more footage in blogs to come. These photos really do not capture the beauty, but I encourage anyone to add this place to your list of places to visit!
There were places that you could choose to scale the cliff wall or swim. I generally chose to swim and Col chose to climb where possible. I didn’t like the idea of the rocks being slippery and clinging to the cliff wall, the water was cold but beautiful to swim through. Some places were thigh deep and some came up to your arm pits. You need to be careful as there are big rocks below the water so whether you are walking or swimming you need to move slowly and carefully.
This is where you pop out and then have to hold onto the handrail and straddle it to go down the rock ladder to the bottom. Not for the faint hearted! I was worried how we would go climbing out and it was certainly a little trickier when your feet and hands are wet, but it was easier than it looked I am pleased to report!
We swam across Handrail Pool and down another narrow gorge but stopped when it got dark. You could swim a little further and pop out at another handrail to scale down to the next section, but we were happy with how far we had come. We saw some tiny frogs which were very cute and Col got video footage of.
Do yourself a favour and google some images of Karijini, this place is spectacular. Col and I have never said ‘Wow’ so many times in a row. Seriously WOW.