Monday, 26 April 2010

Southern Visitors

It had been over a year since I’d seen my parents and I couldn’t wait for them to arrive. I’d managed to wangle a few days off work and had an action packed week planned for them. We started on the evening they arrived with a movie on the lawn at the Darwin waterfront.

We hit the road bright and early, planning to explore Kakadu from the north to the south. The first day we started with Ubirr, which included a river crossing in the 4WD. It was a first for me and all the talk about bow waves was getting me nervous. I turned to my mum, “are you nervous”? She flippantly replied, “about what?” Oh well, if no one is worried maybe my concerns about getting stranded or washed down a croc-infested river are unfounded…

With the crossing safely behind I us, I kept a keen eye on the rain clouds in the distance as we explored Ubirr rock art and the scenic views across the wetlands. The artwork was amazing although it was a change being behind barricades with interpretive signs after the Kimberly’s. At least still being the wet season we had the place to the views, the peace and quiet and ourselves was amazing.

The next morning we headed to Gunlom for a hike to some freshwater falls. It was a top walk and well worth the effort in the heat. Luckily we had mum and dad to test for crocs before we braved the water!

The heat was almost unbearable, but we pushed on explored every trail, hill, lookout and art site around Gunlom and Nourlangie. By the end of the day we were all exhausted! Can we keep up the pace tomorrow?

After some discussion we decided we were all still keen and wanted to embark on the long drive south to Yurmikmik, followed by a 10km hike before driving back to Darwin. I was hoping being so far out of the way this was going to be the highlight of our trip and I was not disappointed. The walk was beautiful and scenic and once we reached motorcar falls the waterfall was in full flow with a beautiful clear pool at the bottom to cool our weary bodies. Here’s a little clip of our day.

Exhausted we limped back to Darwin. Mum and dad spent a few days cruising around town while I returned to work in an effort to appear dedicated. The following Friday, with another day off work scheduled we headed south to explore Litchfield this time. After the seclusion and isolation of Yurmikmik we had been spoiled and now found Litchfield a bit too pre-prepared.

Unfortunately dad had got too far into the spirit of the falls and had a fall himself on some slippery rocks. While he recovered I towed mum under Florence in a pool toy. Last I heard before she disappeared under the pounding water was something that sounded like, “I’ve just washed my haaaiiiirrrr!!!!” Eventually she popped out the side looking a little like a drowned rat with a huge grin on her face.

All too soon it was time to say Farewell. It was clear the bush-walking bug had bitten them both so I was trying to convince mum to come with me on the big Jatbula hike I was planning later in the year. She left keen but non-committal – watch this space.

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