Monday, 19 May 2014

Katherine Gorge and the Portabote

It’s funny how plans change and depending on how you look at it, they change for the best.

The first of the Katherine Gorges

Fiela and I had planned to go to the Katherine Gorge National Park Camping spot for a few days once all our repairs in Katherine itself had been organised, and from there get on a boat tour of the gorge and perhaps do a walk or two. But our plans changed pretty dramatically when the Braggs offered to take us up the gorge in their boat.
The Portabote. That's it on the car.


Yes, it does become seaworthy.
I must say I was a little dubious, looking at the ‘boat’ folded up on the roof of their car. But my doubts were allayed and everyone was taken by surprise at how this thing, a Portabote, unfolded, a few bolts put in and with an outboard engine attached to the back, it didn’t only look like a boat but it was a boat.

Cruising up the Katherine Gorge...

The first gorge and our picnic spot.

Looking back down the river.
We putted up the river, gazing at the high, colourful rock walls to the first gorge, pulled up at a little beach and set about having a bit of lunch. From where we were sitting we could see the rock art on the opposite side, impossibly high with strange figures all about. Fiela decided to take Marguerite over for a swim and a closer look, followed by the braver (or sillier?) Bragg. They made it over and while I was in the process of putting on swimmers and organising Caesar in his gear, a ranger also arrived on a boat. He looked at me, looked at the guys across the river and asked “Please tell me they didn’t swim across there!?” which is exactly what I did.

More rocks and water.

He was mortified, aghast and a little angry. We’d all forgotten about the crocodiles.


So I raced over and through a series of screaming, shouting and mime indicated to Fiela that a) he’s an IDIOT! and b) he’d have to come back over via the rapids. Then I looked down river and saw them- two crocodiles hanging around where they’d just swum over. More angry and frantic gesticulation as I watched Fiela herd Marguerite over the rapids toward Caesar and I.
The other side of the gorge.

Turns out the crocodiles were just rocks, though when the cleverer (clearly female) Bragg and I tried to trick the silly Bragg, he knew they were rocks but only because he almost shit himself when he swam passed them on the way over.
Crocodile Alley.

We packed up, putted back and felt we'd definitely changed our plans for the better- all the walks worth doing in Katherine Gorge were 10kms+ (and therefore too much for little Miss M legs), and the camping fees were even more expensive than where we were staying at the Big4 in Katherine itself. We also agreed we weren't going to see anything better than what we'd experienced today, so skipped the Gorge and headed straight to the next stop- Kakadu -  having saved ourselves time, money and effort. Winning!!!

The Captain, his crew and the Portabote.

More Katherine Gorge.

And more...

Thanks Braggys!!

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