Up with the smell of Ray’s delicious bacon, eggs and onions for breakfast along with some honeydew and bits and pieces from our snack supplies. We were joined by a very handsome and very photogenic blue winged kookaburra who was stopping in to have a drink and probably suss out the food situation, however there was no bacon to be seen so he eventually lost interest.
We’d fuelled up and started out on our big 5 hour walk at around 8am and we were already feeling the heat of the day! Insane. The walk followed the dry creek bed of Picaninny Creek all the way along to Whipsnake Gorge, where we took some time out to enjoy the shade and spot some nasty cane toads hiding in the dark wet corners of the rocks, with dead frog remains scattered around them like they’d either been in some nasty row or (more likely) they’d simply taken over their habitat and kicked them out of the cool and wet spots they were originally in. Nasty things.
We walked back the way we’d came and stopped in at all the points of interest along the way – the Window, a hole in the rocks caused by some funky wind and rain erosion, a beautiful lookout across Picaninny, and the highly-photographed Cathedral Gorge, with good reason.
It was a stunning spot, even with the low levels of water in the midst of the dry season. The colours of the rocks and the sand and the water were lovely in the shade of the gorge. We had some fun with the acoustics and then trekked back out to the track home. On the way, there was a huge lightning bolt that lit up the rocks and sky around us for a second. We all stopped and gawked at it before our amazement turned in to fright and shock as a brain-curdling CRACK erupted right above our heads that made every one of us jump and shriek as it echoed across the creek bed, bouncing off the walls of all the rocks and gorges. Hilarious but terrifying! We must have literally been directly underneath the lightning there. Sure enough, within 10 minutes we had a cool but brief shower of rain which (sort of) washed off the sweat and dirt from our walk just as we arrived back at the carpark, tired and very thirsty but satisfied with our morning’s effort.
We jumped back in the car, grabbed a cold drink at the ranger station on the way out and took the 4WD adventure track back out of the park to check the Renault was still in one piece in the caravan park. It was, so we convoyed to nearby Halls Creek for a drink at the pub and to put our feet up before deciding that we weren’t in any mood to do more driving for the afternoon – so we settled in at the caravan park and got an early night. Good move.