THURSDAY 13 MAY WILPENA
The day got off to a fairly slow start, after John stayed up really late, playing his game.
We decided to walk part of the Wilkawillina Gorge Track. The information about this walk made it seem interesting, and it was one we had not tackled in prior visits. We had seen the country around that area from a vantage point on the Skytrek drive. It is still within the general area of The Bunkers ranges.
If we’d had two vehicles, could have put one at each end of the walk through the gorge, and done a shuttle, to avoid retracing our steps. But we don’t – so decided to tackle the northern end of the walk, and do about half of the track – both ways!
While John was getting organized, I cooked up some potato for tonight’s tea, expecting that we might be a bit late back. Made lunch.
Drove back to the main road and turned north again. This time we stayed on the unsealed Blinman road, past the entrance to Willow Springs, and took the right fork – the road to Wirrealpa. About 40kms from Wilpena, found the track north to the Mt Billy Creek Trailhead, drove the 7kms to this and parked Truck.
We ate our lunch at the car park at the Trailhead, at the start of the gorge track. Spotted a spiny cheeked honey eater in some bush by the creek.
We walked to the 4.2km mark, through interesting and varied terrain. There were some excellent waterholes in the Ten Mile Creek that goes through the gorge.
In general terms, this eastern side of the Flinders is drier than around the Heysen Range and Wilpena, so there is mulga rather than the cypress pines of the country we were in yesterday.
The rocks in this area are a mix of sandstones and limestones – the latter more white than red. In one place we could see water ripple marks, made when this was deposited under an ancient lake or sea bed.
At the 4.2km mark – we were following track notes, so we knew where we were – it was time to turn around and retrace our steps, to make it an 8.4km walk in total.
Before we left camp, I’d persuaded John to try walking in the HiTec boots that were Dad’s. I’d brought these with us to use myself. He found them comfortable – no problems with blisters in these. Dad would have been pleased!
It was just about dark by the time we got back to camp, having driven 97kms.
Tea was pumpkin soup, followed by salmon cakes.