Day 61 – Katherine Gorge 3: The Canoeing.
After a week of gainful employment, and long days working with computers, it was great to get out and enjoy nature again.
We tried to book canoes again, and on Tuesday when I called, they only had two single canoes. Two! And they were only available for a half day… not full day as I wanted. I should have booked them on Friday when I had the chance… long story short, we were able to hire a three-person canoe from the RAAF welfare centre, the catch was I had to pick it up from base, and bring it back after our paddle on the gorge. Deli-chan looked ridiculous with the giant blue boat on the roof.
So, there were five of us out there in the gorge this morning, and it was beautiful. Well, to be honest, this morning was overcast and everything looked a little dull, but still, it was definitely the best way to see the gorge.
With the two single canoes that we hired from Nitmiluk centre, they could be parked at the first set of rapids and you could walk to the other side of the rapids and grab another canoe. Us in our RAAF canoe (which we had to pay $16 for permission to access the area in a private boat) though, we had to lift it up and carry it over the rapids. Not so hard, but those river rocks are slippery! It also took us a (very) long time to get stable in the boat. I think we travelled twice the distance of the other boats due to all the zig-zagging we were doing trying to paddle straight.
As we were returning, the sun started shining, and things were looking beautiful again. Coming back down through the rapids I tried to get a little extreme and ride the giant canoe down. Great idea, piss poor execution… At least it made for a funny video. I just wish I had a can of Solo to drink afterwards…
The morning’s events just made me want to explore the entire section and see all of the gorges, but it requires an overnight stay. I’d love to do it, but I’m not equipped to do it, and in reality I’m probably not fit enough, either…
After returning the boat back to RAAF base Tindal, we made our good-byes with my work friends and we re-started our journey. We wanted to spend the night at Edith Falls (also a part of Nitmiluk National Park), but the campgrounds were full. So, feeling sweaty and hot (A/C seems to be suddenly out of gas…) a swim across the pond to the waterfalls was exactly what we needed.
It was only 150m, but it sure felt further than that, probably because I was swimming with one had holding a GoPro tied to a thong (for recovery buoyancy). There were signs about not climbing up the cliffs. I tried, but they were really smooth and slippy on my bare wet feet.
Kept travelling north, and set up for the night in a rest area near the start of the Kakadu highway, just east of Pine Creek. Looking forward to a night back in our own bed (instead of the hard hotel bed).
６１日目 ７月１３日（土） キャサリン渓谷でカヌー！
カヌーは、空軍基地から昨日ロスが借りてきて、デリちゃんに乗っかっています。 ３人のりカヌー。 巨大なデリちゃんからもはみ出るほどでかい！