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Judy’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 17 Jun 2007

Location: Roper River and Beyond, Australia

MapThursday we packed up - can’t believe that we have been here 2 weeks. Friday we braved the corrugations again and headed off to Mataranka. There are some beautiful trees in flower everywhere we go. One in particular is a small gum tree with the most vivid orange blossom. Others are purple, and others yellow.

We plan to have a meal in the restaurant, not barramundi and wash everything we can (by machine not by hand as I have had to do for the past fortnight)

Saturday, we drove onto Katherine. Had an amazing meeting in the office of the caravan park. We were waiting to be served, and there was a group from Tasmania ahead of who were having trouble with their booking. I heard “Martyn - with a Y” and I could not believe it. I said “you are kidding, and introduced myself.”(those who don’t know Martyn is my maiden name)

They were camped across the road from us and we had a lot of fun each night with my long lost cousin - we decided it was easier to be long lost cousins, rather than trying to work out if we were related. Diane will have to solve this one for us.

Katherine is a nice town. Monday we were going to the gorge but it is cold , wet and windy so we decided to see the other sights today, and do the gorge tomorrow.

We went to the Cutta Cutta caves, hot springs, railway museum etc in the rain. Hope tomorrow is better as we have booked a helicopter flight as well as the gorge boat triip

Tuesday is a much better day. Helicopter flight first about 30 minutes, flying over the 13 gorges and landing on a rocky outcrop overlooking a waterhole. The pilot was very young, but very professional and the flight was fantastic. The topography of the gorges is fantastic, and you really only appreciate the size of it all from the air. Great fun.

Next we took the 4hour boat cruise through 3 gorges, with a lunch break at the waterhole under the waterfall. seeing the gorge is wonderful,the cliffs are just huge and it is amazing how it was dug out over millions of years. Saw a couple of fresh water crocs, aboriginal rock painting and the cliff that Jedda was supposed to be thrown off in the movie.

Wednesday, we drive on to Douglas Daly Tourist Park for a couple of days. We plan to visit the hot springs (these are really hot, some spots 60degrees. There are thermal springs, an arch that the rapids run through into a waterhole at the park.

Park is lovely - very isolated, no phone, no TV, but nice to have a bit of a rest after the running around of the past week. Douglas hot springs are lovely, just looks like a lovely creek running through sand, but it is really hot, like a hot bath. Some parts, especially the edges and shallow water where the springs bubble up are so hot you can burn yourself. We wallowed in the warm water for quite a while.