Today we all did The Big Walk – all the way to Big Bend, stopping to look at the Cathedral, the Art Gallery, Wards Canyon, and the Moss Gardens on the way back. A total of 23K. The beauty of this gorge just can’t be described – it’s sheer precipice sandstone cliff faces on both sides is truly stunning, changing from morning to night as the sun moves. The Carnarvon Creek wanders the whole length of the gorge with about 20 rock hopping crossings of it to get to the end. It’s clear and fast flowing and mostly quite shallow though there are a few good swimming holes on the way.
The Cathedral and the Art Gallery were both important meeting places for aboriginals who performed ceremonies, and created their rock paintings here. These paintings tell their stories. They also buried some of their dead, wrapped in nets, in holes/caves in the sandstone cliff face.
Wards canyon, off to one side was cool, ferny and very pretty. Here are some of the last specimens of King Ferns in this area. The King Fern is notable because it lives close to water because it’s fronds are held up by water pressure, like a fire hose. Interesting! I think this canyon is my favourite part of the Gorge.
The Moss Gardens are just amazing – the sandstone walls from a certain height are covered in mosses, with many small ferns around too, and a constant trickle of water emerging from the sandstone from the level of the moss. Apparently the water soaks down through the sandstone, from way up top, until it meets a level a shale where the water then moves sideways along this level until it comes out and trickles down the sides of this little gorge making a perfect habitat for mosses. So pretty, and cool, and amazing to think this water may have fallen as rain a long time ago and is only now filtered through and coming out. Love the moss gardens.
Arrived back at camp pretty well knackered. Trish, bless her heart, had volunteered to cook for us all tonight, and we had a delicious meal of ‘pull-apart chicken and beef’ – must get that recipe off her.