Still in the Northern Territories, Jack flew us from Home Station and over the wetlands. We were staying in a wilderness lodge overnight – and believe me it was very wilderness-like. So cold at night, icy in fact. We were prepared for day temperatures to soar to 50 dg C.
“I can see crocs,” we all squeaked simultaneously. “Big crocs too! As usual there was some wit aboard warning about smiling at crocodiles so we swooped in for a straight-faced landing onto another airstrip, evidently cleared of scrub and wild grasses the night before.
It wasn’t long before we were all aboard another ‘outback jeep’ bumping and rattling along a track made for occasional visitors. After about 15 minutes we tumbled out of the van. We were drenched in perspiration. I admit there was a lovely breeze where we’d stopped so I didn’t need to do what I did next. Herein lies the lesson to all sweaty, exhausted, dehydrated backpackers and less intrepid tourists! DON’T PADDLE. Don’t even think of throwing yourself into the cool, shimmering water lapping over the hot sand. I had spent a lot of time thinking about not doing this, but of course the heat had sort of shut my brain down and down I went to the water’s edge; glorious! The water was as soft as silk and the temperature divine…..
“Come back, come back Lorraine – get out!” Yes John had spotted me in time.
“I was only paddling,” I excused myself.
“Didn’t you see them? Three sets of eyes had you in their sight.” One of t
Watching from the river bank was Cedric. Cedric is the oldest known saltie croc known in this part of the Wetlands, very big, very hungry and yes, he’s got many notches on his belt for human consumption and is the leader of the pack. A tourist had been taken from this spot a week before. Needless to say I sprang from the water’s edge pretty quickly and took myself off to a tree for shade.
Despite the start we boarded, what seemed to me, a flimsy aluminum boat to set out for the photo shoot. All the pictures I’ve put on this post are Harry’s because he caught the bird-life so well. My Samsung phone can’t begin to compete.
The heat continued of course but it was more tolerable out on the water Oh yes, I caught three barramundi – all undersized so were returned to their watery home. I was very pleased they got to swim another day, if the crocs didn’t get them first.