Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Carnarvon Gorge Part 1

Well happy readers, the reign of the grandparent (adopted or otherwise) has come to an end: the United States of Mum and Dad have arrived and the war has begun! Like all good conflicts, there was quite a lengthy period of unrest and cold war like activities (1 day in the car + 1 day camping after “Glengarry”) until the actual battles began to materialise (both sides sustained heavy casualities of  the psychological and physical kind). And it is not over yet!

We left “Glengarry” knowing the Nana and Poppy Hangover would ensue fairly quickly and like absolute rookies we did nothing at all to prevent this. Instead we drove for around three hours through fairly monotonous countryside interspersed by the odd town clearly spruced up on mining money. Miles was the most obvious example: lots of temporary accommodation and new motels in fairly sparsely populated areas reeks of mining money. Even in Roma, the place we stopped at for lunch had a 90% immigrant employee ratio, every second, third and fourth person is in high-vis gear and again the words ‘boom’ and ‘industry’ spring to mind. Great big billboards in the middle of nowhere either promote the rights of the farmer or the philanthropy of the mining companies. Either way, business is booming for someone out here in Central Queensland.

After lunch, the kids had a simultaneous meltdown of the ‘let’s just get some bread and get out of here’ kind in Woolies when we tried to get some groceries. Then we attempted to put them in the car for a leisurely drive ‘only two hours up to Carnarvon’ which surprise, surprise turned out to be much longer. We arrived at the Takarakka Campground at 5:20pm in time for more meltdowns from every member of the Uys Huis. The kids ate some potato salad. Fiela and I shared a packet of chips and a few beers. We all fell into bed.
Platypus hunting at 6.30am.

The next morning, still shell shocked after the previous day’s horrors, was spent doing very little. We did a walk up to a look out in the campground and had a wander through the crystal clear creek, put the kids in the naughty corner every five minutes, sorted some stuff out in the van, more naughty corner… Nothing much.

The campground itself has nice big plots though shade is a little hit and miss (we missed more than hit in this respect), and a great camp kitchen and amenities block. There are a billion kangaroos and wallabies bouncing around which entertained Caesar no end; Marguerite grew tired of them pretty quickly.

Saturday and Marguerite and I woke up early and went platypus hunting. Whilst she took this very seriously, I really just wanted to get her out of the van so Fiela and Caesar could have a little sleep-in. She was great as we headed down to the creek where platypus are usually spotted, even turning to me and stage whispering: “Mama- I can hear the sounds of nay-cha!” We saw one: it was playing with a little fruit that had fallen out of a tree, but it scooted as soon as someone sneezed, then coughed then said “Ooooh hello little platty-pus”. Platypus adventure over.

Rock hopping over Carnarvon Ck- obviously the best part of today's walk.
We finally made it into Carnarvon Gorge at 9.30am, (saw an echidna at the entrance- both monotremes 
 in one day!) just in time to realise it was really too late to do any walks of consequence. Instead we did a quick 1.5 km around the national park office itself so Marguerite could whinge a bit, then took the kids to the Rock Pool for a swim which should really have been titled ‘Cess Pool’. Whilst the creek is running, there isn’t a lot of water so everything here was green and sludgy. With a bit of rain to flush it out I’m sure it would be lovely but needless to say we took the kids straight back to the car, affording Marguerite some more whinging time. Tomorrow the real Carnarvon experience begins!

Looking back at Carnarvon Gorge.

Echidna a few hours later.
Bath time.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure that your story sounds so great but the pictures look fun! I am glad Marguerite found a platypus! You're a nice wife letting the boys sleep in too!