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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 202: Karijini to Pardoo Station

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 25 May 2008 | Views [1517]

The Easy Rider camp at Karijini NP

The Easy Rider camp at Karijini NP

Sunday 25th May

I had set my alarm for 05.30 so I could get up, wake myself properly with a shower, and meet the other guys who had dragged themselves out of bed at such an early hour to take a walk through the bush to witness the sunrise. I had seen many of them on the trip – and would no doubt see many more over the following months – but it was always a pleasure to welcome in a new day in a location as different as the one we found ourselves in.

Our guide for the morning was an Italian guy called Thomas who had hopped off the ER bus a few days before and had stayed at Karijini NP for a few days, so he knew some of the trails that he was to lead us on. We walked through the bush and saw some more gorges, took a few photos and tried to take it all in before we got back on the bus for the rest of the day. It was a good start to the morning and I'm always happy to make the effort; I'm a big fan of the old lie-in, but it doesn't feel right to waste the opportunity when you have such a different place at your feet, and I try and make the most of it.

We boarded the bus and left Karijini at about 07.00, by which time the sun – along with the rest of the ER people – was fully up. Our destination for the night was the small development at Pardoo Station, and this would require a drive back aong the highway towards the coast, covering a distance of a few hundred kilometres, which was par for the course on this bus trip.

The morning was taken up with a visit to Dale Gorge, one of the sections that make up the large network of Gorges in Karijini NP. We took a walk through the red rock valleys, over the small rivers that wind through them, and some of us took a swim in the refreshingly cool water of several natural swimming pools that provide welcome relief from the heat of the day. I took a dip at the 'Circular Pool', and it was a wonderful sensation to dive into the chilly fresh water after spending an hour hiking through the rocky gorge. It's a great place to relax for a while, and it's a fun pool with ledges to jump and dive off.

There are many more places to visit in Karijini but we had limited time (and Val wasn't overly enthused about taking us to anywhere more than the bare minimum that she was required to show us), so we left the park and headed back in a northerly direction, and passed through a few small towns and 'servos', before we arrived – yet again after dark – at 'Pardoo Roadhouse', our accommodation for the night.

'Pardoo Roadhouse' is basically a collection of about five or six buildings that serves as housing for the workers who are stationed in the mines in the area, while it also offers accommodation to any travellers who might wish to use it as a stop-over (it really is a stop-over, you're not going to spend anymore than a night there). Despite it's isolated location, it is still an entity in its own right, and, because it is so far from anywhere else, serves as a landmark even on the large-scale state maps.

While there wasn't much to the place, the manager at the roadhouse was a very friendly woman and made us all feel very welcome. Our busload of people shared a small bungalow, which was very comfortable. Some of the guys made pasta for dinner, choosing to look beyond the bag of meat that he had taken with us after our barbecue at Karijini the night before. It contained the rest of the sausages and chops that we couldn't eat, and it looked gross, but it didn't stop me and a few others dipping our hands in and pulling out our dinner for the night. After heating up a couple of sangers on the hotplate and sticking them between two slices of bread, it tasted pretty good. I got chatting to Thomas, the Italian guy who had just joined our bus that morning, and he seemed like a really nice guy. But, it wasn't long before I was in bed. I had come to realise that sitting on a bus all day can leave me feeling more tired than if I have had a day of activity.


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