Katherine: crocodiles ruined my canoe trip

from July 1

Canada Day! It also happens to be Northern Territory day, so we all chipped in for some fireworks tonight. But about the day.

It was exhausting. We stopped at Edith Falls, a short 15 metre hike that got the heart pumping, (yes, really, only 15 m), followed by a relaxing hour basking in the sun at the upper pools.

Canoeing the Katherine river wascancelled because it wasn’t safe. I’d never canoed before and was really looking forward to it, but the rangers hadn’t yet cleared the waters as crocodile-free after the wet season. Instead, we were given the option to pay $35 to paint our own Aboriginal art (not my idea of fun for so many reasons), or we could go for a walk.

I opted for the walk, and the majority of us did the most boring 8 km hike to a lookout point of Katherine Gorge, part of Nitmiluk National Park. It was a great view but very similar to other landscapes we’ve seen here. I was still feeling disappointed I didn’t get to go canoeing, which marred the experience. We did see some wild pigs though, so that was interesting anyway. My legs felt like jelly after so much walking and climbing these past few days, so I am looking forward to a long day of travel on the bus tomorrow.

We also walked past the largest colony of bats I have ever seen. Australians call them flying foxes, which sounds much more interesting, but once I realized what they were, my skin crawled realizing I was surrounded by hundreds of them.

Oh, and two young girls, they must have been 19 or so, found a frog in the ladies shower tonight. After they stopped screaming long enough to find out it wasn’t poisonous, they adopted the frog for the night and called him Nigel. I wish I had my camera!

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