Thursday 21 August 2014

Possibly the best photo ever taken at Gunlom Falls...

Pardon me for boasting, but I really like this photo (despite the sky being a bit blown-out). I took it about 10 days ago at Gunlom in Kakadu, where I went with World Expeditions: there's a pretty magnificent waterfall from some stepped plunge pools at the top of the cliff, down 70 metres into the final one at the bottom. The rock is super-smooth, as you would be if you'd had 3 billion years of water flowing over you - polished, even, as you see.

I toiled up the rocky path from the camp site below intending to have a swim while I waited for the sunset, and by the time I'd picked my way up there, following the rough track and the orange triangle markers, I certainly needed a dip - hot and humid, don't you know. But, alas, despite the climb, there were lots of people disporting themselves in the inviting pool at the top and nowhere that I could, with propriety, change into my togs. Yes, of course I should have done it before I left my tent, I know that too. Say something helpful, why don't you.

So instead I sat near the edge of the falls and waited for the sunset, which was rather inconveniently just around the corner of the bluff, to lengthen the shadows and suffuse the gum trees below with orange, and to make the opposite cliff blush warmly. While I was there I sneaked this photo of the surfer dude lying completely at his ease right on the edge of the cliff, comfortably fitted into a couple of smooth dips in the rock. I countered his relaxation with extreme anxiety on his behalf that he would stretch, roll over, and disappear into the void.

And then, uncomfortably aware of how tricky the descent would be in the dusk, I teetered and tottered all the way back down again, still missing the path on the way and taking a precipitous short-cut; but was rewarded afterwards with a fabulous dinner of Scotch fillet, braised asparagus and broccolini, glorious cheesy scalloped potatoes - all cooked on the open fire - and then chocolate ripple pudding with whipped cream. Amazing!

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