Joffre Falls & Hamersley Falls
We had to checkout by 10:00, and did so at about 09:30. We had planned to hike to nearby Joffre Lookout, then the Class 5 hike down to the water, expecting to take about 2 hours. It only took us an hour. We didn’t make it to the bottom. Although my ankle sprain had become a constant dull ache, no longer twinging with sharp pain at any slight rotation of the joint while weight-bearing, I didn’t want to slip. Daniel was happy to return. Ben & Dion watched longingly as the 2 girls that had followed us nimbly descended, but they didn’t follow. We bought chicken and salad wraps from the Eco Retreat cafe and left.
Hamersely Falls was a good drive back out of the park, towards Tom Price, then North. The dirt road was mildly flooded in some areas. Dion coached Daniel how to identify the shallow periphery of the giant puddles that covered entire sections of road: follow the tire tracks from the last vehicle, don’t drive too fast but don’t stop and head straight. I imagined the worse: we were going to be immediately bogged, the light rain would become a thunderstorm, nobody would drive by and we’d miss our flights home, probably get bitten by a snake too. I literally was on the edge of my seat. Ben stared out his window. We didn’t get bogged. We didn’t see any more snakes.
Dion drove us back to Paraburdoo, via Tom Price. When Dion’s phone picked up signal and email notification banners began to display over the GPS on his phone we all disabled Airplane Mode on our phones and eagerly checked out emails and notifications. Only 72 hours disconnected and we were plugged right back in.