Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Road trip, part 2

I'm getting lazy so this is an excerpt of an entry from my offline blog, my precious moleskine.

22 March this time, it was quite late, but we headed for the Katherine Gorge anyway. Started the walk to a waterfall at around 1 p.m. Blazing hot sun. Trail quite pleasant, tons of things to look at. Argiope species in Pandanus and later under a rock near the waterfall. Reached the lookout point (Pat's lookout) and magnificent view of the gorge. Sandy beach on the opposite bank way down below. Boat with passengers-could hear the microphone of the guide even at this height. They drifted out of sight - and it started raining. We could see the rain drift across the horizon slowly towards us. Decided to proceed to the waterfall anyway, since we were soaked in minutes, it really didn't matter how much more wet we got. Steep climb down. Wooden steps in places. Iron chain railing. Waterfall fantastic, but it was really pouring and we didn't go into the pool. AJ put his bag under a rock and then when he turned to check it, he noticed that the water level of the stream that fed the water-hole rising. It took me some time to realize that the path we had followed down to the waterfall would be flooded in no time.

We quickly clambered up again, marveling at the change in water-level. First time I'm seeing a flash-flood in action. Adrenaline rush. We kept to the left most part of the trail, just next to the rock face as we raced up to the top. Some spots dicey, esp. a creek that was raging at the top. The iron railing across said creek was a help but legs pushed in all directions. We continued walking and just as we were congratulating ourselves on a narrow escape, we came across another creek in flood.

This had been a small negligible stream when we'd encountered it before, but now it was almost a river. There was an iron chain leading into it, but when I pulled at it, the end came into my hand. I tried walking across, but the current was too strong, water upto my waist. We looked if there was an easier place to cross, but no luck, even tried our hand at placing a fallen tree across, but the tree was too heavy. After a while we decided to go for it. I tied the loose end of the chain around me and got AJ to release it slowly from the bank as I stepped across. The chain got really heavy when it went under the water, but I somehow made it across. I held the chain straight (there was nothing nearby to tie it to) as AJ walked across. Made it back to camp without further incident. Streams and mini-waterfalls everywhere. Amazing transformation of the landscape. camp overrun with Kangaroos and honey-eaters, all begging for scraps of food. Too hot to sleep in the tent.

Lady at the visitor's center warned us about that last creek, but all she said was,' You might need to take your shoes off.'!!!