Friday, 4 August 1995

AUC 1995 - Sweetwater Walk

My morning started predawn, with a visit to the main pool.

Sitting there with a cup of tea and my camera, I was able to watch the colours change, as first the trees at the top of the ridge, then the walls and finally the water, were exposed to the initial hour of sunlight. Like much of what were becoming daily experiences, I was filled by the natural beauty of the scene which unfolded in the waking day. The thought that this had been happening, in much the same way, every day for thousands, perhaps millions of years, was very sobering. It again reminded me of the smallness of each individual's existence in comparison to the rest of creation.

A longer trek was to take us to Sweetwater Pool, after following the advice of the Ranger. He had observed that we appeared to be keen bushwalkers and we would enjoy the walk.

The track commenced after the ascent up the hill we had climbed to start our walk the previous day. From there, it became a real adventure. There was no track as such, just a succession of metal track markers which were attached to trees. This meant walking to each and then sighting the following one. The ground was rocky and uneven and this made passage very rough and slow, until we reached the river.

Sarah & Sam at Sweetwater
The next two kilometres basically followed the river through a succession of rock pools and small water falls. Again, it was the combination and strength of the colours which overpowered us. The water was clear, darkening to a rich blue in the deeper pools. At the water's edge, palms and trees grew with shades of green which were striking in contrast to the blues of the sky and water. The bed of the river was invariably a rich, profound red.

In this artist's palette of colour we spent several hours swimming - sans clothes, much to Sarah's disgust - eventually picnicking beside one of the the pools. To describe the feeling of relaxing in this fashion, is impossible. Suffice to say, thoughts of home and of the responsibilities there, where not even furthest from our mind... they just weren't there!

Here we made our only real error. We swam too long and returned in the heat of the afternoon, resulting in three overheated and exhausted children, who struggled to complete the final kilometre of the return journey. An important lesson to learn.

The cool of the evening was a relief and we all slept very well.

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