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.

DCIM101GOPROWe 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.

DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPROSo, 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.

DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPROWe were short of time (the working class had a 1PM start), so we only made it as far as the start of the third gorge before we had a quick morning tea and returned.

DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPRODCIM101GOPROAs 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…

20130713_RCH_8449After 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.

DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPROIt 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!

今日は、キャサリン最後の日。 ロスの同僚たちは、今日は、1時から仕事なので、それまでに戻れるように早めに出発。

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!
同僚のアンドリューさんとロスとりさチームで3人乗りカヌーチーム。
もう一チームは、ジョンさんとエイドリアンさんがそれぞれ1人乗りのカヌー。 
3人乗りは、なかなか息を合わせるのが難しく、かなり蛇行運転。しかもかなり力いっぱい一生懸命漕がないと前進しない!  それに比べ、シングルチームは余裕にゆーったりのんびり漕いでる。

先日歩いて行った2つ目の渓谷との境目は、小さな滝になっているので、カヌーを持ち上げて移動するのになかなか手こずりましたが、1つ目の渓谷より少し狭くなっていて、景色も変わり、なかなかステキでした。

3つ目の渓谷で休憩のモーニングティータイムを取り、残念ながら引き返す時間となってしまいました。  この先は、徐々に狭くなって8つ目の渓谷まであるそうですが、ここまでたどり着くには2日間のキャンプツアーになるそうです。(ロスはやたら行きたがっていた。)

キャサリンでの大食い三昧、プール三昧、日光浴三昧なホリデー(ロスは、終日仕事だけど笑)も終わりキャサリンを出発し、カカドゥー国立公園へ向けて出発しました。

Edith  Fallという滝でキャンプをする予定が、なんと満車。なので、ジャボンと泳いでリフレッシュ後、次のキャンプ可能地へ出発しました。
かなり滝としては落差はなく小さいですが、いい感じの天然プールになっているので、とっても気持ちのよい場所でした。

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