Today was an early start, breakfast was out at 0530 and we departed at 0630 - another long day of driving planned ahead. We drove to to Kalbarri National Park, about 130 km north of Horrocks. This was our first gorge, a fairly easy climb down compared to some that we did later in the tour. We had the option of going abseiling 30M to get to the base of the gorge (at an extra cost of course) however the guy that was supposed to take us down got drunk the night before and didn't show up. A little unprofessional if you ask me, but whatever. We spent quite a while at the gorge as we all as seemed very intrigued by it and did a little exploring, one of the guys, Rich (AKA, Richie or dickie by the end of the tour!!) even went for a brief swim - it was a little too shallow for me!! After the gorge, we headed back up to the bus and drove to the other end of the gorge for a BBQ lunch as well as a look through "Natures Window", a very cool rock formation - see pictures below. After lunch, and a beer of course, we drove to Shark Bay, which is a World Heritage Site, the first in Australia to be given this title in 1991. In order for a place to obtain WH status is must be of outstanding universal value, and meet one of 10 criteria. Check out http://www.sharkbay.org/default.aspx?WebPageID=68 for more details.
Once in Shark Bay we headed to a place of significant value, Hamelin's Pool where stromatolites exist. They are the oldest living organisms on the planet and are believed to be the first living organisms on Earth, the first to provide oxygen. The oldest fossil record is 3.5 BILLION years ago.....CRAZYNESS!!! The funny thing, is that this is not the first time I have seen these, there are fossilized one's in the arctic, Tree River to be exact, where I saw some. A friend suggest I try and make it to see all the stromatolites in the world! Brazil here I come! LOL! We also got to watch the sunset at Hamelin's pool before heading to Denham, in Shark Bay for our next night accommodation. Located right on the water, a very small fishing town. We arrived late, like usual, and didn't eat till after 8, so we didn't get a chance to see the town, apart from early in the morning the next day - which was once again, an early one!