29 Apr 2016

Mind the Gap

Whilst in Albany in SW Western Australia two weeks ago I visited the Gap near the old whaling station.See Postcards from WA  below.
The Gap is where the sea pounds into a large chasm/gap in the rocks.Even on a calm day such as when I visited the sea was roaring below. Apparently on a stormy day the waves crash into the Gap so fiercely that spray rises upto the top of the cliffs. Until three weeks ago the only way to see into the Gap was to climb right to the edge of the chasm. Not surprisingly many people have died there through accidents or suicide.
Now the WA National Parks have built a viewing platform which projects out over the Gap so that you can stand on it and peer down into the sea. The photo above was taken from the edge of the platform.
I was very fortunate that the platform had only opened the previous week. It is a spectacular engineering feat as it is anchored into fractured rocks and is apparently able to take the weight of 5 full sized elephants. Note to overseas readers whilst we do have exotic fauna in Australia elephants are not amongst them so there is no real prospect of this claim being tested.
The floor of the platform is a steel grid -not spooky and scratchable glass. Walking onto it feels normal. The good news is that there is absolutely no charge for going onto the platform-and they have not littered the surrounding area with security fencing and warning notices. It is all very tasteful and if you want to take the very considerable risk and climb out to the edge of the Gap then you can still do so.
When I went onto the platform my camera battery died and it was some walk back to the car so the only shot I managed to take was the one above. The photo of the platform below I have lifted from the Albany tourism website -see AMAZING ALBANY

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