Karijini; gorges, hiking and swimming

Karijini; gorges, hiking and swimming

The last few days have all been about spectacular gorges, hiking down into them, swimming in cool water then hiking back out again. The scenery here in the Pilbara is just spectacular, arid and dry above, lush and green below in the gorges. It’s been a lesson on geology, I am very happy to be exploring this area with a geologist who can take my comments of “ooh that’s pretty colours in the rocks ” and explain how the colours, layers and faults have been formed.

I’ve celebrated my 11 month stem cell birthday here, in a beautiful place with great friends. I managed to walk further, and more strenuous technical walking, than I would have thought possible a few months ago. There is no way I could have managed this walking prior to AHSCT, uneven ground and big steps, lowering myself down on a handrail with rocky steps, slippery rocks.

Yes, I was slow, and unsteady. I had a lot of help, and assistance from both Andy and Christine. I took a lot of rests, and the swims in cold water at the bottom of the gorges helped cool me off so much. But … I completed those walks.

There has been so much rehab, MSGym work outs, focussing on eating the right food, not to mention the whole time and expense of going to Russia for the treatment, but managing Grade 4 walks every day and a Grade 5 walk ( the rating system here is Grade 1 = flat paved path, Grade 5 = technical walking requiring use of hands for ability, extremely uneven track and very steep sections. There is no Grade 6) has made it all worth while.

The scenery is amazing here, layers of rock and faults, cut through by time and water; red dust and scrub above, with lush grasses and gums below in the gorges. The water in the gorges is somewhat refreshing in places, depending how much sun the gorge gets, but that coolness is so welcome.

it’s also lovely, in a very peaceful way, to be somewhere with no cafes except at the luxury camping retreat, very little phone reception, and huge skies at night. I’m staying with a ranger and his girlfriend, so we are not roughing it too much, but relishing the tranquillity.

Some photographs of the gorges, and we have seen only maybe half of the gorges.

Tomorrow we start the long drive home, 1499km over two days !

I’ll be glad to see the cats, but I am sad to be leaving the red dust, the heat and the coolness, the dry and the lushness, the peace of the Pilbara behind.

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