Saturday, October 11, 2008

Karijini National Park & Wittenoom

Ghost Gums in Karijini National Park Fern Pool Dale Gorge
As the gearbox won’t be leaving Perth to come back here to Port Hedland until at least Friday we decided to spend a couple of days exploring Karijini National Park and Wittenoom Gorge. The Karijini National Park is over 300kms from Port Hedland. It is owned and managed by the traditional owners, who are the Banyjimi, Yinhawangka and Kurrama Aboriginal people. Evidence of their ancestor’s occupation dates back more than 20,000 years. In the park are several gorges and pools. The views of the gorges are absolutely breathtaking. Picture red cliffs, green and brown Spinifex and ghost gums silhouetted against a backdrop of blue skies and green foliage. Cool pools ideally for swimming nestled down the gorge amongst beautiful ferns and lovely foliage. I also learnt something today , the Aborigine people used to grind the spinifex into flour and used it in their damper (damper is a type of bread cooked in the campfires and can also be baked in a normal oven)We spent the day discovering the joys the park offered and settled for the night at Auski Tourist Village. After a leisurely breakfast we set off for Wittenoom.
To those who don’t know Wittenoom used to be a thriving mining town. Blue asbestos was mined here for several years and the asbestos was used in a lot of earlier buildings all over Australia. It has since found to cause breathing problems and many people who lived and worked amongst the asbestos have developed Asbestosis and died a very painful death. The town is now nearly deserted with only about 8 people living in the actual town. The town was actually closed down several years ago but a few people refused to leave. Electricity, phone and water have been cut from the town and there is no evidence on road signs of it ever even existed. We drove up into the Gorge and again we were astounded by the breathtaking views of the magnificent rocks and shady rock pools. We arrived back in Port Hedland and visited Barb and Dave (the couple who were staying at the cattle yards when we first broke down). I have arranged to go to patchwork with her on Sunday. We received a phone call from Heavy Automatics in Perth and Detroit still hasn’t fixed the problem with the gearbox so it won’t be on the truck today. So it looks like we will be here longer than originally thought. Oh well! talk to you soon Jan.
Wittenoom Gorge

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