23. Spider Walking 

Until just before I did it I had no idea what spider walking was. This was probably a good thing.

Walking through Hancock Gorge in Karijini National Park we reached a point where the Gorge narrowed to a crevice above the stream. The guide gave an explanation about the technique for getting through this section and then asked for a volunteer to be first to follow him. I took up the offer for purely selfish reasons, figuring that I had the best chance of putting my feet exactly where he put his and hopefully avoiding the discomfort of being wedged. The flaw in this scheme was that the guides’ legs were longer than mine.


What followed was a precarious edging along, suspended above, finding often small footholds, gaining increments of confidence until the gorge opened up again upon the glorious Kermit’s Pool. There, the water bowled in a curve of rock, changing shape and colour before my eyes. It emerged into the space in a bubbling splash, was calmed there for a moment before disappearing into a prism of light where the gorge dropped sharply away.

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