Sunday, 20 July 2008

Mataranka - Katherine - Nitmiluk NP

144(3876) kms

I had a shocking night with side effects from the medication and was again in panic mode by the time we set out just after 8:00am for the short hop to Katherine Gorge, in Nitmiluk NP. On our way to the gorge, in our best traditions, Sue and I talked the problem through and had some workable potential solutions by the time we reached Katherine. I visited a pharmacist (it’s a Sunday here) and he was able to reassure me than these are normal side affects but that I was on a double dose and would be wise to half it! Armed with that, we lit for the gorge.

Katherine Gorge is actually a series of gorges on the Katherine River, that are owned by the local Jarwon people and National Parks assist in the management of. The Gorge camping area sits above the river and by marked contrast to Mataranka, has improved out of sight since ‘95. Nitmiluk Tours now run all activities on the gorges, including the camping area and it’s clean, tidy and very well organised. There are sprinklers going in fallowed sections so that most times, most visitors will be on grass. They have a huge camping kitchen where I can access power for the computer despite having a non-powered site. There have been people cleaning this and maintaining that all day since we arrived at 10:30am. The old kiosk is no longer the entry point and they have installed a very large swimming pool as well as additional amenities, They cater for campers, vans (powered or unpowered) and tour groups without anyone seeming to get in anyone’s way.

We had intended staying two nights here, but the cruise we wished to take won't happen again until Tuesday so we are taking that as a signal that we need to slow down. We are both relieved with the idea. More about the cruise later (8 hours, 5 gorges, bushwalking, bar-b-q lunch, swimming). Tomorrow we think we'll go out in a canoe for a few hours depending on how I am settling on the new dose of medication from the puffer.

Today is the best I felt for three weeks.

Hope you are all well. Sue wishes all her work mates a happy return to work and says if that first day back is tough, try to conjure the image of her paddling in a canoe in 35C heat and a steak and red wine dinner at night. She actually believes this image is helpful for you.


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