Karijini’s Kalamina Gorge

After lunch we drove into Kalamina Gorge over gravel roads. It took us about 45 minutes. We parked and followed the signs to the path that would descend down into the gorge. Signage warned us not to go too close to the edge of the rim.The view from above was beautifulbut after descending the rocky stairway the refection was even more superb.We made our way right towards the small cascading waterfall.apparently the white marks on the rocks were asbestos stains. After carefully making our way back along a very narrow, wet ledge we began our walk along the gorge. There was quite a bit of water underfoot and a number of small ponds.It was mostly to the left so we made our way along the right hand side.From time to time we stopped to look more closely at the amazing native plants growing in seemingly impossible positions. This one is a Downy Corchorus (Corchorus laniflorus) I believe. It had small delicate flowers and very soft hairy leaves ruggedly beautiful.After a while we had to cross to the left side of the gorge as there was quite a steady cascading flow of water coming down the right hand side of the gorge.Even though the rock walls were mostly a reddish brown, occasionally we saw layers of rusty grey brown rock.Eventually we arrived at a very large reflective pond. As time was getting on and the way further up the gorge was a much narrower path we decided to begin our return journey.We arrived back at the steps leading up to the car park just before five o’clock. The drive back on the gravel road with fading light was quite bumpy in spots. We had completed two fantastic walks but there was a twist in the tale. Just as we came off the unsealed road near the Visitor Information Centre we sensed something wasn’t quite right with our vehicle so we pulled up about a hundred metres along where there was a shoulder to safely stop on. Bugger! We had a blown out tyre! We had been lucky to this point and never had a flat with the Hills. This meant taking out the manual and reading where to install the jack and how to release the spare which was under the back ute section. Just as we were getting started another ute pulled up behind us and a guy and his wife and three young sons clambered out and offered to help us. We gladly accepted. They lived up in Port Hedland and were on a day trip to explore a bit of Karijini and return back home again. That’s a round trip of 800Kms plus whatever they had driven in Karijini! Turned out he was a trucky working in the mines and was well used to long drives and changing tyres. Between us we did the changeover just as darkness came on. iPhone torches are very useful! After a bit of a chat and thanking them we made our way slowly back to Dale’s Campground for the night. Sadly tomorrow wouldn’t be exploring more of Karijini as planned. We would be carefully making our way to Tom Price and looking to replace at least one tyre.

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