This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2006 Travels July 6 – 9

THURSDAY 6 – SUNDAY 9 JULY     LITCHFIELD

The days went by mostly as usual. I phoned John most evenings, to check what was happening at home.

One afternoon, a couple of the Park rangers came in for a coffee. In the back of the ute they had a metre long saltie croc all trussed up. It had come out of one of the traps in the Wangi Falls plunge pool! As the pool had been opened for swimming a couple of weeks ago, they were not broadcasting this particular find! It was destined for relocation to a croc farm.

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Can never be quite sure what is lurking in that beautiful  plunge pool!

On M’s day off this week, she arranged to go with one of the Rangers out the 4WD tracks to the Lost City rock formations, and to Blyth Homestead and possibly on to the falls beyond. These tracks  were still officially closed, due to mud and the heights of some of the stream crossings. They got to the Lost City, and then around to Blyth Homestead but could not get much further due to the height of the Reynolds River. It was great that she got to do some extra sight seeing like this. Most of her explorations to date have been solo, because of our days off not matching.

The Lost City rock formations are tall columns of sandstone that look like they really belong in some ancient Mayan ot Aztec civilization.

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Lost City 1993

When we had visited them, in 1993, we’d been impressed by these remote sentinels.  It had been worth the effort of traversing the rough 4WD track to get in to see them.

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Resize of 7-14-1993 Litchfield NP Lost City 1

Blyth Homestead was the remains of an outstation built in 1928 and used until the 1960’s. There was also an old tin mine nearby.

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John had found that our tenant and neighbour had done a good job of cleaning up the house. We owed them both, big time! D’s husband was there, when John got home. John said he was getting on alright with the man, who was quite elderly. John felt sorry for him and suspected it might not be the first time he’d had to step in to retrieve a problem caused by his ex-wife. Between them, they got her belongings packed up, to be delivered, along with her car, to her daughter’s place down on the Peninsula.

After spending some time with the man, John was prepared to have him remain in the house until our sitters arrived. The ex-husband had indicated it would suit him. So John did not have to remain there until 20th. He enlisted son’s help to arrange a flight back.

On Sunday, I worked as usual, through until 4.30pm, going without a lunch break. Then I knocked off, changed, and drove to Darwin – using the longer, sealed main road, just in case of a breakdown.

I refuelled again at Coolalinga – $1.37cpl and 291kms.

Drove to the airport. I went to the Essence restaurant at the airport resort, and had dinner – an eggplant pizza, which was really yummy. Then I sat round at the airport, reading and waiting. John’s flight was delayed by a few hours and did not arrive until 2am.

Nothing ever happens quite as it should, in the NT!


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1998 Travels July 7

TUESDAY 7 JULY     KALPOWAR CAMP

After breakfast, John checked over Truck. He found a loose fastener on the air hose intake, apparently not done up properly in Cairns. A black mark against the Landrover service centre, which otherwise had impressed us.

I walked around the camp ground – now empty except for one other lot. Being close to the river, it is well treed and an attractive area. The Rangers must go to some trouble to keep the grass as thick and lush as it is.

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The Normanby River at Kalpowar – lined with paperbarks

We saw a snake near our tent – by the tap. It went into the grass nearby, as we looked. John said it had a rough back – is there a venomous snake with that characteristic? Times like this, I am so grateful that I had the foresight to get the tent maker to put velcro strips along the door base flap and the door, so that the lower part of the entry can be totally sealed!

We drove to the North Kennedy River, a little to the west. There is bush camping out here with, like Kalpowar, a series of numbered campsites – but with no facilities at all. We drove into Camp 1 at Seven Mile Kennedy Waterhole for a look around. Parked Truck, walked a little closer to the river – and there was this HUGE saltie on the opposite bank! It looked to be well over 20 foot long. A real monster. It quietly slid into the water when it saw us, floated for a while and then submerged, and we didn’t see it again. I do not find them attractive to look at, but looking at the water where I know one could be lurking is even less attractive!

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Waterhole on North Kennedy River at Camp 1 Seven Mile – home of one very large saltie

John decided to do some fishing there – which I thought was a crazy idea. He even ventured onto a low bank, at one stage, which I considered foolhardy, and told him so! This made him cross, but he didn’t stay there long. I have seen more of what crocs are capable of, due to my NT school trips, whereas John still underestimates them.

We had our picnic lunch at this place, then followed the North Kennedy along, downstream, to the north, visiting Camps 2-9 along it. We saw a couple of great swamps with magpie geese and other water birds, and lots of water lilies.

It was starting to get a bit late by then, so we stopped taking every side track we came across. We did not stop at Breeza Kennedy Waterhole – another time! In parts the tracks were a bit confusing – more than were on the map, but we found our way back to the main track. We did go through one rough crossing, with a drop off, where we bottomed something on Truck in the muddy water.

In an area not far from the North Kennedy River, where it looked like it might flood at times, there were some interesting termite mounds – really sharp edged and tall. They occurred really close together on that section of plain.

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Termite mounds near the North Kennedy River. The track is the main one through Lakefield.

It was a great day’s exploring.

When we got back to camp, there were people on the site opposite. They said that, during the afternoon, they’d had to get the Ranger to remove a snake that kept coming their way. He captured it and took it away – said it was a Slaty Grey Snake, and venomous. It sounded like our visitor from this morning.

Tea was Irish stew – I just had time to cook this, but it could have done with a bit longer. Probably not the best meal choice for a day when we were away from camp, but I needed to use up the lamb chops that had been bought in Cooktown.