SUNDAY 23 SEPTEMBER PORT AUGUSTA
For the first time in a week, we were not moving on today, so there was no alarm waking us up at some horribly early hour. I got to sleep in – until all of 8am!
John had agreed, yesterday, that since there was no football on today, we could have an outing of my choice. My preference was to go walking at Alligator Gorge, in the Mt Remarkable National Park, east of Port Augusta. Many, many years ago, whilst still uni students, M and I had hitch hiked from Melbourne to Adelaide, and from there joined a group of phys ed students who were doing a two day hike in the Mambray Creek section in the south of this National Park, but I had never visited the northern part.
Refuelled on the way out of town, at one of the servos favoured by truck drivers. $1.37cpl.
We had to take the very familiar Horrocks Pass road to Wilmington, then the Alligator Gorge road to our destination, the Terraces and Narrows Circuit walk – a bit over 3kms.
From the car park, we descended down some steep steps to the creek level, then turned roughly north, to walk along Alligator Creek to the Terraces.
The creek was incised into a gorge, mostly not all that deep, compared to, say, those of Karijini, but still interesting with red rock walls.
The track was rocky and rough until we reached the Terraces.
The Terraces were, as the name suggested, broad flat “steps” in the creek valley. It was a tranquil place, with varied plant growth.
We had passed section of grass trees.
After spending some time looking at rock pools – there was a trickle of water in the creek – and just sitting enjoying the spot, we retraced the way, past the steps we’d come down, and on along the creek.
Here the gorge was deeper, and in parts overhung the path below.
The Narrows was a section of the gorge where the rock walls really closed in, forming a cleft that was only just wide enough for a person to walk through.
This was not a place one would want to be in a heavy rain storm – I felt that it could be subject to flash floods at such times. It was actually quite a spooky section, I thought.
This short walk was really quite dramatic, with much contrast in the nature of the Gorge. It was quite a little gem, and a walk I’d like to do again, if we ever came back this way. Given that it was a weekend, it was surprising that we saw no other people walking, although there were a handful picnicking up top at the carpark area.
What comes down, in this case, must go up again…..after passing through the Narrows, a track climbed steeply – including up lots more steps – to the Blue Gum Flat car park. From there, we followed the road back to our parking area, and Truck.
This had been a most enjoyable short walk. It was so good to get some exercise after the week of sitting in the vehicle. The weather was just right for this sort of walk – not too hot.
John was not in a particularly good mood, and not interested in any more exploring, so it was back to camp for the rest of the day. Computer games for John, reading and sewing for me.