Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Long Walk continued...

Instead of following Barramundi Creek, Kristin’s google earth images suggested we might find an easier route if we cut over the top of the sandstone, crossed a tributary, rather than following it down to the lowlands and descending into Buff Pools down (hopefully) a gentle gully.

Despite being steep the first part of the day couldn’t have run smoother. We climbed the ridge behind camp, passed our sunset bar and headed uphill to a beautiful Alison Carpia forest for morning tea. We then ummed and ahhed a bit and trudged through a rain storm before finding the most spectacular lunch spot. A beautiful swimming hole, with an underwater entrance to a cavern in the rock dug out by a gorgeous massaging waterfall. Ahh bliss!

Luckily we found flat ground most of the afternoon, even a paddock of green grass and flowers to lay in. While breaking for afternoon tea we spied a cave in the distance. Curious, we all headed up hill and were amazed to find an aboriginal site – complete with a mortar and pestle at the entrance in a big old stone. On the rock ledge we saw worked spear tips and tools, with some rock art adorning the walls.

After descending our last slope of the day we arrived at Buff Pools, our Camp for Day 3. We were all relieved to remove our wet clothes and boots and relax out by the waterfall. Mum even braved swimming out to the falls on her own – twice!

This was a lovely camp and I only wish we had more time to explore the creek upstream of the falls. But given tomorrow we needed to cross over to the Gunlom valley – via a damn steep ridge we had better preserve our energy.

Early the next morning despite donning wet gear and another shower overnight, the girls team were in good spirits and looking forward to the big day ahead.

The day did not let us down… it was hard! At times I’m sure we were only running on adrenalin as Kristin and I took turns climbing the creek bed to what we hoped would be the top of the ridge, doubling back to take mums pack and help her ascend. It was rocky and steep and took all morning to get there, with a thunder storm hitting us on the way!

It was like being on top of the world with the only concern being how to get down? While contemplating our options, we enjoyed lunch and a quick dip in a spring at the top. We were unsure if we’d get cliffed out, but as luck was on our side we found a steep hill and zig zagged down… very slowly.

I’ll sign off en route to Camp Day 4.

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