Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Maguk to Gunlom, Barramundi Gorge to Waterfall Creek

Well we survived! I'll post some tales of our trip over the next few days.

Mum arrived Monday afternoon, just in time to stuff her pack full of goodies for the next 6 days. Despite her brave face, secretly I think it was heavier than she expected… An early night and we hit the road the following morning. As we were walking from one creek and gorge system, over a ridge to the next before coming out at Gunlom we did a bit of running around dropping cars off, before finally setting up camp by the side of the road for night one. Mum seemed a little shocked at the mud underfoot, “are we camping here?” We managed to set up a 5 star camp and have a bit of shut eye before farewelling the car and civilization for the next 5 days.

As it was still the wet season the road was closed so we started our hike on the road. It’s been a good wet season, the end of May and we had the boots off for a crossing before we even hit the bush! Not wanting to risk crocs, we had a steep climb before breaking for lunch and a swim. Our swimming pool was a cliff top pool looking back over the waterfall and gully we had just ascended. It was just like the horizon pools you see in 5 star resorts only so much better! You could swim further on, flanked either side by steep red walls and more pools. I’ve got a great feeling about this trip.

We dragged ourselves away from the pools and continued following Barramundi Gorge. It was pretty rough going so mum and Kristin had donned some gators. Just skirting a ledge before arriving at camp we had a near miss. Mum slipped and almost plunged down the bank. Needless to say, we all slept with visions of the moment skirting our dreams. Camp Day 1 was a perfect spot by the side of the creek with a waterfall spa on one side and a large swimming pool on the other. After setting up camp, Kristin and I headed up stream exploring some caves with aboriginal art.

Day 2 started with a relatively steep climb, before we followed the creek upstream. At times the going was so rough we left the creek and headed to higher ground. Unfortunately there was no escaping the long grass, pushing through this was like bending into gale force wind, and with a heavy pack your legs soon start to burn. This day was filled with long grass. At one point a helicopter dropped some incendiaries to burn it out but unfortunately for us this was too late.

Camp Day 2 was a small sandy strip beside a beautiful crystal clear pool fed by two falls. A scramble up a scree hill behind camp led to the most beautiful horizon pool where we enjoyed our precious store of cocktails watching the sun set.

What a top start – we are all getting along brilliantly, enjoying the countryside. Stay tuned for the rest of the hike.

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