Of course I was back with my walking running buddy, so met Joyce at 8am to go for our morning walk/run. Let me tell you that 8am was a little too late as it was well on the way to heating up and you really felt it when running. We had a very cute fan club watching us intently, a herd of young cattle of all different colours. I wanted to go over to pat one but the minute we walked toward them they ran away.
So Col and I planned a wonderful day out today, we were heading to Katherine Gorge and I had booked us on a canoe tour through the Gorge that goes for the whole afternoon. This is my sort of thing and I was pretty excited. Combining being on the water with seeing stunning gorges, I really couldn’t wait. So off we went, but unfortunately we put into Google ‘Nitmiluk National Park’ where Katherine Gorge is, and off we headed. We had timed it perfectly…. or so we thought. Nitmiluk National Park is huge, and unfortunately Google took us to the other end of the park at Edith Falls! We started to put 2 + 2 together and work out that we were not in the right place and the tensions were going up rapidly in the FJ Cruiser, as the canoe trip was not cheap. Suddenly we came across a car accident and our attention was diverted. Three men came piling out of the car as the accident had just happened before we arrived seconds later. No one was hurt but I cannot believe how they escaped this unscathed!! Two back tyres had blown and gone bouncing off the car. It was towing a big trailer with motorbikes in it and ran up a steep embankment on the side of the road. But somehow they didn’t roll and they all walked out of this vehicle! Col and I stopped to check they were ok and to offer assistance and all was ok thankfully.
So after making sure everyone was ok we called the Katherine Gorge Tour and let them know we were not going to make it. The girl was lovely and kindly offered us a voucher to use later this year. As Katherine is only 320km from Darwin we are happy to come back on a weekend to do the Katherine Gorge. We are happy not to have lost the money and will book this in another time.
So the new issue was what to do with the afternoon. We considered going to Edith Falls as we were so close, but we were dressed for a canoe ride and not a hike, so that ruled out that option. You really don’t want to go hiking in these locations unprepared. We decided on a visit to the Katherine Hot Springs, neither of us was very excited by this idea as we had our hearts set on Katherine Gorge, but we headed there regardless. I was worried about going into a hot spring when it was already really hot. Col was not keen on a fake environment where hot water was simply pumped into a pool. I am pleased to say that we were both wrong and very pleasantly surprised. It was a beautiful, natural environment and the water was a perfect temperature. Enough to cool you off, but comfortable to get into the water. It was also free of charge, again something worth noting when you are travelling with a family or on a low budget. Katherine Hot Springs is definitely worth a visit. They are currently upgrading the Hot Springs too, so future visits will be even better.
We then headed back to Manbulloo Station and went for a walk with James and Joyce down to the river on the property. Such a beautiful spot. The river was so still and serene at one end and then poured over rocks and became beautiful rapids in front of us. Loved the contrast.
I loved the reflections of the trees in the water too.
We noticed many small cone shapes in the sand along the bank and Col taught me about ‘Antlions’, a small insect that digs a cone shape hole and waits at the bottom for an unsuspecting ant to stagger in and slide to the bottom where it is attacked. We picked up some small shells and dropped these into the cone shaped holes, it was hilarious, the Antlions managed to ping the shell up and out of the hole! It was very funny to watch. Col tried to dig them up but we didn’t manage to see any, only to watch the interesting antics of the Antlion trying to clear the cone.