This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2002 Travels May 8

WEDNESDAY 8 MAY     ROMA

Mail from home came in today. That was faster than we expected. The package from J hasn’t arrived yet, though. What else did I expect?

We went walking. Looked at the Big Rig – a former oil drilling apparatus that has been set up to commemorate the first drilling for oil and gas in Australia, in this area, in the first half of the 1900’s.


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2002 Travels May 6

MONDAY 6 MAY     ROMA

We went for a walk to the town centre and shops. Browsed the shops, bought some food supplies.

Came across the most incredible shop – Ace Drapers. I have never seen a place with so much stock, just all jammed in. I was drawn to it initially by the heaps of stock displayed outside on the footpath. So much material, wool, every imaginable sort of sewing supply. I bought some fabric for my embroidery – at a good price too.

The caravan park fills up by each evening, then empties out the next morning. Travellers are heading north, in a steady stream. A number of rigs have boats on the vehicle roof – suppose they are heading for Karumba or places on the coast like Cairns.


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2002 Travels May 4

SATURDAY 4 MAY   CARNARVON NP TO ROMA   245kms

My son turned 28 today. I had sent him a card while we were in Brisbane.

The very lovely interlude at Carnarvon Gorge was over, so we had the usual pack up.

The big purple truck was also leaving, but he very considerately delayed his departure until he could be fairly sure that everyone else who was going, had left. He explained to us that he would be snail like on the hills out of here and found it easier not to be holding up other traffic. I wish everyone was so considerate.

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Ready to go

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Near Injune

We made our way back the way we’d come on Monday, as far as Roma. Here, we booked at the Villa Caravan Park, for a week. It cost us, after discount, and a free night, $102.60. We would be getting mail forwarded from home, so allowed a week here for that – and for the fridge part from Jeff, if it gets sent! There is not a great deal in Roma that is of tourist interest, but it does have a bowls club!

Now that we were back on 240v power, decided to try the fridge again. It shouldn’t make any difference, being totally 12v, but it seemed to be working properly again. Maybe Jeff, for once, was right, and the switch is sticking! Was nice to have the fridge again, but I wouldn’t be fully trusting it for a while. If it does turn out to have been the thermostat, further down the track, well, we would have a spare with us.

John went off to check out the bowls club.

At night I phoned son and talked with him.

Phoned the house sitter and asked her to send mail – Express – here.


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2002 Travels May 3

FRIDAY 3 MAY     CARNARVON NP

After a rather lazy morning, just enjoying the atmosphere of this place, we decided that we should not leave here without at least attempting the walk up Boolimba Bluff. This prominent part of the gorge wall is very obvious from much of the campground. We had heard a few of the other campers talk about doing this walk, and about the excellent views to be had from the top.

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Boolimba Bluff

We had also heard talk about how steep and hard the track was. With my well established dislike of uphill terrain, I had some doubts, but decided to tackle it and see.

It was not a long walk – only a bit over 3kms each way. But Boolimba Bluff is about 200 metres higher than the campground, so that is how much altitude must be gained – over a short distance! There was something like 300 metres of stairs, steps and ladders to be climbed! Definitely not normally my scene.

The Bluff track left the one we’d already walked, across the other side of the creek. At first, it was reasonably pleasant walking, through the forest – and different from the creek side track of the other walking we’d done.

Then we reached a warning sign beside the track. The gist of this was that the next 300 metres were very steep and rugged and suitable only for the physically fit. Not sure if that was us, but……

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Some of the many steps going up….

With lots of stops to catch breath and rest our unhappy leg muscles – mostly mine – we made it to the top.

It was a pity that we had left it till the afternoon before tackling the walk, because the views along the gorge, and that across the campground were excellent, but the light was poor for photos.

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Looking up into the Gorge from Boolimba Bluff summit

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Looking down on the campground (in sun); the gap we’d come in through

 

What goes up……Coming down the steep track sections again was quite hard. Our legs were definitely shaky as we made our way back to camp.

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That it was!

Hot shower again – much needed. Ditto early night.

Have loved our time here. We could see why the stay was rationed to a five night maximum, to allow access for as many as possible. That time was sufficient to see most of what was on offer. However, had it been possible to stay longer, we would have, just because it was such a pleasant campground and place to be. If the campground does close, except for some school holidays, then the commercial Takarakka will be the only option for most of the year. One would have to drive from there to the start of the walks, whereas being able to walk to them from the campground here, has been ideal.


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2002 Travels May 2

THURSDAY 2 MAY   CARNARVON GORGE NP

Today was another walking day.

Our plan was to walk the track along the creek, through the gorge, as far as Wards Canyon – about 4.6kms – see that, then turn around and work our way back, visiting the other special features as we came back.

The walk back up the creek was as pleasant as it had been two days ago. The gorge is just so beautiful.

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The creek in Carnarvon Gorge

Wards Canyon was up a steep little side track alongside a small creek for about 250 metres, past a little water rapid. It was a deep and narrow gorge – almost just a cleft in the rock. It was notable for the King Ferns that grow there – the world’s largest ferns. It was quite dim and cool in there.

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King ferns in Wards Canyon

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Walking track in Wards Canyon

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Creek in Wards Canyon

From that point, we were returning the way we came.

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Not far back along the main track from Wards Canyon was the side track off to the Ampitheatre. This was a narrow, scrambly track, some 600 metres in. At the end of this there was the steep side of the gorge wall, with a ladder to climb to go further. At the top of the ladder was a really narrow cleft that was the way to get through to the Ampitheatre.

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Ladder access to the Ampitheatre

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The narrow cleft leading to the Ampitheatre

The best way to describe this was like a big cave without a roof, open to the sky – high up. It has been eroded by water, over time – presumably the water followed fault lines or lines of weakness in the rock, in order to erode so steeply and deeply.

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Inside the Ampitheatre

Because of the light, plants can grow in there. These were mostly ferns, but there were also some surprisingly large palm trees – the fan palms of this area.

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Lush fern growth inside the Ampitheatre

The ladder climb – even though it had a type of protective cage around it – did not thrill me! But it was worth the raised heart rate – very dramatic and grand inside, cool and cathedral like. Sounds echoed in here.

We found places to sit in here and just soak up the atmosphere, whilst eating lunch. We had the place to ourselves. which made it even more special.

I imagined the earth giving a little hiccup, and the very narrow entrance cleft closing! No other way out! Also wondered how this place was originally discovered, pre-ladders. Perhaps it was known to the aboriginals who clearly spent much time in the gorge area.

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The way out is through there!

Our last side track, back in the camp direction, was to the Moss Gardens – a 650 metre walk from the main track. This was another small, gorge like area, very cool and damp, with a little creek and waterfall. As the name suggested, there were lots of mosses growing, and ferns. The sandstone walls here are very moist which contributes to the humidity and general dampness of this micro environment.

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The Moss Garden

Then we had the walk back along the creek to the campground – about 3.5kms from the Moss Garden. The last part seemed much easier than two days ago – we were not so tired.

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Crossing 10 – meant there were 9 more to go, on our way back

Overall, we walked about 13kms today. One does not notice the distances so much when there is so much that is interesting to look at, as you go.

Another lovely hot shower back at camp. Another early night.