Kayaking up Katherine and a swim in Edith! – Day 278 – 23 October


The view from just outside our van, not too shabby eh!

Our latest campsite was right by the highway and the commotion of the rumbling road-trains during the night meant that I ended up having a bit of a fitful night’s sleep – boo! So I started my day by going for a wee whilst half asleep and then just sat there slowly waking up by watching the very many different kinds of bird who seemed to be stopping off at the campsite.

A fellow early morning riser!

Besides the toilet and water tank there was a covered table and seating area that looked like a great big bandstand and it was here that I watched these fellow early risers. They were definitely far more colourful than I was and knew the campsite much better too, I watched as they queued up to help themselves to the water dripping into a pan from one of the big storage tanks. All in all it was a most excellent way to wake up and it was not long before all the bird commotion woke Liz up too. So we both had our usual ‘ritual’ bucket shower each and then we were off hitting the highway!

A Parrot trying to look camouflaged by some lime-looking things!

We drove off towards our next stop and being as we had woken up so early it put us in great spirits for the day ahead. Our elation was soon to be short lived however as at our first stop, a petrol station, we found out that due to us either crossing one and a half time zones or us travelling through a space time wormhole thingy, that the time was one and a half hours later than we – or even our timepieces thought it was! Then, once again, we were slightly shot down again when we reached the  Katherine Gorge visitor centre where the lady serving seemed only interested in the high rolling big buck spenders, who seemed to be mainly Chinese but were definitely not us! So it took her ages to get round to us British paupers!

My wife pointing out how many of us should be rowing!

Anyhow we soon enough got the gist of it all including where we lined up in the ‘pecking order’ and after all the kerfuffle we eventually got our picnic provisions from the van and went down to the gorge to pay for a half day on the kayaking. Based on the approximate times we were given we knew that we could quite easily kayak up the gorge stop, have a bit of a picnic and then make the return journey – easy eh! We just had to make sure our heads were covered and we had plenty of suncream as it was already very hot and after getting hotter!

For some reason a white turban seemed to be just the thing for kayaking down the river!

The kayaking trip really was money well spent. Like Lake Argyll before, it just seemed so strange that when everywhere else seems so very dry that here is a gorge full of water, very wet water at that! We had our cameras at the ready just in case we should see the elusive ‘Freshie’ which I believe to be an Australianism for the Freshwater Crocodile. Should we have spotted one, especially close up, I am not really sure ‘oh look there’s a Freshwater Crocodile’ would have been the first thing to spring to mind but we did not see a one so, ‘no worries mate’ (another Oz colloquialism, it is almost like I am going ‘native’)!! We travelled down the first part of the gorge and then reached the second bit where we went for a swim – watch out Crocs! We needed to swim if only to cool off and we made sure it was near slower swimmers or ones with children so we had something to throw at the Crocs should they get too close … lol!

A Herony-thing, as readers may have guessed I have very little ‘Twitcher’ in my blood – but plenty of Twit!

We stayed here for quite a while and chilled out and had our bit of a picnic too it was really nice but, although it might have been at a slower pace time was still ticking on so all too soon we had to be paddling back. Although the Crocs had not put in an appearance the birds had and after this morning’s birds these gorge-dwellers were not the most colourful but still very good to see.

The Moving Rock, possibly going down to the river for a drink!!

We also watched what appeared to be a moving rock or possibly it was a trick of the light caused by us moving, who knows? I am quite easily fooled especially when trying to keep my eyes peeled for Crocs, everything seems to be moving and in a threatening way too! We had had a great time on a great trip but we had to move onwards to get to our next campsite, however just before setting off one of the residents did pop over to say Goodbye to us!

A ‘Roo’ popping over to bid us ‘Adieu”!

We were hoping for good things at our latest ‘home’ because it we were to be pitching up at a place called Edith Falls and we do like a good fall! The camp looked lovely and although it came in at a bit above our budget, time was getting on and if we stayed here we could go exploring. So we got parked up and went for a bit of wander and came across the lower pool and falls and decided to cool off with a swim, so back to the van to get kitted out and then we came back and in we went. Though these falls were far short of spectacular it was great to be able to go for a dip and I had taken the GoPro so tried my hand at freshwater underwater filming, filming fish nibbling my shoes no less – soon to be seen on the Blue Planet! We had been assured there were no big nibblers here so it was great to just relax and mess about in the water. All this exercise had built up our appetites though so off we sloped back to the van for something to eat. We had ourselves a really nice bite and even treat ourselves to a beer or two that we had bought previously and whilst enjoying them we actually had a spot or two of rain – yes rain – all in all it was a very English way to finish off what had been a most Un-English day!

The only way to end a hot and sweaty day!



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