Jim’s Travel Diary

Friday, 29 Jun 2007

Location: Katherine, Australia


Katherine is the artistic capital of Oz. Hence when we got to Katherine we saw lots of locals drunk in the streets shouting incomprehensible’s at each other. Very artistically though!
We went out to Nitmiluk (Katherine gorge) to stay for the night as we were up early the following morning to go canoeing! Hot, hot weather and water and great scenery the scene was set for a great day the only problem was our broken canoe! For some reason our canoe didn’t want to go straight! It was the kayaking equivalent of the wonky shopping trolley! To begin with I blamed Debbie, but even when she stopped paddling the damn thing seemed to want to do anything but head straight so I blamed Debbie anyway as it was easier! Luckily we only had to traverse the first gorge before we swapped canoes. In our shiny new green canoe, with no sideways tendencies, we half paddled/half floated up the river gazing at the spectacular gorges (well Debbie gazed, Jim had a fantastic view of the back of her hat for most of the time) Shotty has nothing on these babies!! We got to the top of the third gorge, our specific turnaround point, took some pics then headed down to this beautiful watering hole, great waterfall, secluded etc but a tour group had just arrived so we shared it graciously with them for a bit, spotted a goanna and had a dip in the beautiful warm water! After the tour group left we were quietly enjoying our lunch with only us and a family in the gorge. That was when Debbie tried to scare the family away by ‘growling’ at them, in between our fits of giggles, Jim thought it would be a good idea to join in the effort to scare them away, which didn’t help the giggling any! The kids seemed to notice but the parents seemed to hush them up and tried to ignore us and the echo’s!! It seemed to work though as they swiftly packed up their lunch and left us to ourselves! Jim was contemplating a skinny dip when another tour group arrived. For some reason this made Debbie think I shouldn’t do it so we packed up our stuff and headed back down the river!

A leisurely paddle back down the gorges followed, until we got to the first/last gorge and the bloody broken canoe which unfortunately no-one had stolen in our absence. We twisted our way down the river till we saw a couple of inept girls who were part of a group the first of which we had passed half an hour before. They were barely 20m from the put-in jetty twisting and turning in a good green canoe complaining that no-one has told them how to work it. We sympathised with their fate and told them they must have a broken canoe too (it wasn’t though it was a shiny green brand new one they were just crap!) giggled to ourselves and left them to spin and swear in peace!