Day 29 – The Healing Properties of Intravenous Drips – Karumba to Leichhardt Falls (250km)

In the continuing saga that was my wellbeing, I woke up feeling OK. Not sick, not sore, not tired. OK. I took some Imodium yesterday, and since then the diarrhoea has come to an end. So, I thought I would try to eat a regular breakfast. I managed, but after the first two bites it was a struggle. From then on I started feeling worse again – cold shakes, sweats, stomach aches, dry reaching… so I knew I probably wasn’t better.

We went and had another attempt at fishing, but with Risa and I, it really is a case of the blind leading the blind. I have no idea about fishing, but I know more than Risa does… We tried using the lures that the shop in Cooktown recommended, but no luck fishing from the beach in Karumba. We could see that other people were catching small fish (catfish, puffer-fish and other exotic delicacies) but they were using pilchards. But, since I was feeling really unwell, and we had no idea what we were doing, we gave up and made our way back to Normanton.

20130611_RCH_3365 20130611_RCH_3366We stopped next to this giant crocodile statue, and here I was thinking that it was a re-creation of a fossil or some other Gondwana super-mammal era crocodile. Nope, worlds biggest recorded crocodile shot here in Normanton by a lady in 1957! 8.3m long! And weighing an estimated 2,000kg! Sounds a little suspicious some of the facts, but, hey, it’s the Guinness Book of Records holder.

972143_259326750859326_820347229_nFrom here I went for what I thought was going to be a quick visit to a doctor at the local hospital. Ironically, the doctor from the Normanton hospital was in Karumba today… but, there were some very helpful nurses on hand that gave me help, starting with some rehydration fluids and ending with a 1000cc intravenous drip and some anti-nausea medication. They wanted to give me 2L of the drip, but I was feeling incredibly full and uncomfortable, but otherwise feeling very good, so we departed Normanton. Finally.

It really was incredible the difference I felt. I was making jokes (or trying) – I was a completely different person to the zombie that walked in to that hospital.

20130611_RCH_3368 20130611_RCH_3367I wished I’d paid more attention to Australian history classes in school, as once again we’ve come to a location that has significance, but I can’t quite remember the whole story about the particular explorers and their plights. (Luckily, most places cater for gaps in knowledge like this with information boards, but still, would be more impressive if I’d remembered more…). We came across Burke and Wills final camp on their massive journey north to get to the Gulf of Carpentaria. They technically achieved their goal, but they didn’t live much longer after achieving it. I can’t (truly, I can’t) imagine the efforts that early pioneers went to on these kinds of expeditions. I also can’t imagine what gains could be worth it (though, I guess more than one hundred and fifty years later we’re still talking their names).

20130611_RCH_3376 20130611_RCH_3379Heard a few cockatoos in the distance, so went for a quick stickybeak. Holy science! I have never, EVER, seen so many birds in trees before. There must have been 10-20,000 of them. It looked like the trees were covered in toilet paper, except it was noisy, and they were constantly taking flight between trees. Really cool sight, though have no idea what they were doing there…

It was 4:30PM and I wanted to push a little further before making camp for the night. I saw on Camp 7 that there was a free camp a little way away near some waterfalls, so, we pushed on.

20130611_RCH_3384 20130611_RCH_3386The sun started to set, and still we pushed on…

20130611_RCH_3387And it was dark, and the kangaroos were out, and still we pushed on! Foolish, yes. But, I like to think that since we were going so slow due to the poor condition of the roads (which is why it was dark by the time we arrived), hitting a kangaroo wouldn’t cause much damage!

29日目 6月11日(火)
今朝は、もう一度釣りに挑戦することにしました。 浜に着くと海は満潮に近く、昨日とは別の場所に来たようでした。 ほとんどの人たちは、船で釣りにでかけますが、浜でも多くの人たちが釣りを楽しんでいました。  昨日浜でみつけた重りをルアーにつけたままだったので、(昨日は風強かったので)今日はそれが仇となり何度も砂に沈み引っかかり、ルアーを1つなくしてしまいました。(私のお気に入りのレインボーカラーの魚ちゃん、さようなら)
うまく竿がなげられないわ、ルアーはひっかかるわ、ロスは体調悪そうに椅子に座っているだけなので、今日も早々ひきあげ、隣の町Normanton(っていっても80kmも離れてるけど)の病院にいきました。

Normantonの町の中心には、この辺りで1957年に捕獲された体調8.63mのギネスレコードで一番大きなクロコダイルの実物大の(本当かわからんが信じましょう)像があったので、もちろん写真をとっておきました。 こんな大きくなるのに必要な魚(人間?!)ってどんだけ? 他の種が絶滅しそう。
町外れにある病院で、ロスは結局点滴をうってもらうことに。 皮肉なことに今日はドクターはKurunbaに出張に行っているらしい。(Kurumbaには病院がないからここに来たのに笑)

点滴が終了するとまるで別人の様に復活。 あっぱれ点滴。お腹の悪い虫がロスを脱水症状にしていたようです。

時既に3時すぎ、これからLawn Hill国立公園方面をめざしもう少しドライブすることに。

途中オーストラリアの有名な探検家とその仲間達がオーストラリアの南メルボルンから出発し、Kurunba周辺の湾の調査、探検をする為にやってきましたが、雨季の季節にこの辺りに到着するも、(すでにもう病気や食料不足で瀕死状態だった)沼地に足をとらわれ前進することができず、あと一歩の所で1人を残し全員がこの地で息絶えたという場所に立寄りました。

ちょうどその場所を離れる時、鳥の大群の声を聞いたのでどこか探してみると、なんと川岸に1万匹くらいの大量のコックトゥーの群れが!!! これは、鳥好き(とくにコックトゥー)の私には大感動のできごとでした。
キレイに表現するなら、木々にこぶしの花が満開に咲き乱れているみたい。又は、木々に白いひらひらがうごめいてるのが、誰かがいたずらしてトイレットペーパーを木に投げた様にも見える。。。

途中写真をとったり、スローなトラックの後ろについたり、舗装されていない道の状況がなかなかよろしくなかったりで、この日のキャンプ地 Leichhardt Fallsという川に到着したのは、日暮れのあとでした。 キャンプ地は乾いた川に好きな所に駐車してキャンプしてくださいって所でした。真っ暗で周りがよく見えないけど、他にも数台キャラバンがみえます。川底でキャンプって不思議だなぁ。。

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