Monday, August 17, 2009

going beyond my comfort level....

Day three of Kakadu, we were up around 7:30, this time no one needed to wake me up!  I slept beside the truck in a swag with a mossie net draped over me so I wouldn't get bitten.  The mossie net was tied to the door of the truck and the other two had there mossie nets tied to the front of the truck - we looked kinda funny all attached to the truck!!  We had a 4W drive to our first stop - Jim Jim falls which we heard wasn't running any water, but we decided to go anyways.  The northern territory is at the end of the dry season so most of the waterfalls are at there low point - but we didn't care!  We arrived to Jim Jim, and look at that, not one other vehicle was there.  Cool!  We took the km walk in - me in my running shoes, thank goodness as lots of loose rocks and big, and I mean, big, boulders to climb over.  Karen and Troy had been here, actually, they had been to most places we went to, and we where warned the water here was extremely cold.  I was in some pretty cold water in Karijini, so I was somewhat prepared, or so I thought.  After getting up some courage, I just walked right in to the water, and wow, was it freakin cold!!  It actually took my breathe away it was so cold and it took me about 5 minutes to get used to it - or maybe I just became numb and didn't notice??  Steve, Troy and I swam out to the 'falls', or what falls there was - it was just a trickle.  We where the only people there and it was kind of eerie swimming in this massive pool with 100m high cliffs surrounding us and the water was black as black can be - so weird.  We had heard of a cave that you could go exploring in and it needed torches.  We had lights on a couple camera's and went to go check it out.  It was a tight squeeze to get in and Paul and Troy checked it out - but wasn't convinced it was going to be that easy, so we decided not to do it.  We chilled on the amazing white sand of the falls until a couple tour guides showed up, and then we decided it was time to leave. Funny how things are different not being on tour!! haha
After getting back to the truck we continued on the 4WD track to Twin Creek Falls.  Man how much fun 4WD'g is!!  At this fall, you are 'supposed' to take a ferry up the river to see the falls, but we had other plans.  There is a trail you can take that takes you up to the top of the falls, that doesn't cost you anything!!  We got to the top - after taking my time as it was in the heat of the day - and up-hill, ugh.  At the top you cant't really see the falls - pictures will explain, but the view was still amazing.  We continued following the creek bed and found a nice deep section and some shaded area to chill out.  We pulled out some snacks and had a bit of a lunch - and then, we all crashed!!!!  Yup, we all had about an hour nap on the rocks!! haha  I didn't really sleep that well as the flys where annoying the hell out of me.  I tell ya, but the end of the day I was close to a nervous breakdown they where driving me SOOO crazy!!  After our little nap - and  a dip in the pool we headed back to the top of the falls.....and this is where the title of my post makes sense.  You see, there is this crack in the cliff, about 8m high, that with assistance, you can climb down using your back against one side pushing your arms against the other side, and using foot holds lower yourself down.  I really really wanted to do it, but wasn't convinced that i would have the upper body strength to lower myself down.  I contemplated it for a good 10 minutes, then decided nope, I better not, I didn't want to hurt myself.  Troy had done it before so he went first, then helped Karen down, then Steve.  I watched very intently the whole time and it looked easier then it looked, which is what I had been told.  SO, I said, OK, you can do this.  I lowered myself to a platform about a meter and a half down, then Troy guided me and told me where to place my feet and what to do, and before I knew it, I was down!  I had so much adrenaline going threw me I was shaking!!!  Now, next, was another small section that you had to squeeze down and move horizontally to the right, again, using foot holds and your upper body to move threw.  This section was about a meter and a half long and mostly horizontal.  It was pretty narrow, and thanks to my womanly hips, I was able to wiggle myself threw quite easily!!!  I was so pumped that I made it threw, and it was so amazing.  There where a total of three falls before the big one, and we climbed our way down all three of them, swimming in one of them.  The climbs down where pretty difficult as well and I needed help from Troy for one of them - I just have this fear that I am going to slip and fall and seriously hurt myself - I think I am justified there??  But in the end, I managed to do everything, and the view of the falls from the top was stunning.  We couldn't see the actual falls, but that was ok as the view was breath-taking.  We where careful that no one saw us as we technically weren't supposed to be up there, as it was kind of dangerous getting down, but thanks to now fences holding people back, we took the risk.  The sun was slowly starting to descend so we decided it was time to head back up - oh yeah, we have to go back up that??  Haha, it was actually easier climbing back up then getting down as you are able to pull yourself up the rocks - and I managed just fine!!!  We started our climb back down the trail, which was much easier then climbing up, just harder on my knees being careful not to slip.  Paul had headed back before we climbed down the waterfall so he was waiting for us, and when we arrived at the base, we where the last car left and the park guide had told Paul that if we weren't back by 7pm he was calling search and rescue as we where supposed to be out of the park by 6pm.  Oops, it was 6:30 when we got to the bottom.  We went and found the park guide and told him we where back, then cracked a much needed beer and headed back home on the 4WD road.  Once again we arrived after dark, and quickly set up for supper, which was a combination of left overs!  We where all so knackered from the long day (first ones in the park and last ones to leave!) we hit the sac pretty early.  But man, what a great day it was!

Jim Jim falls 
It was really really cold
Troy Steve and I swimming to the 'falls'
Me at the very top of Twin Creek Falls
The creek above the falls
This was coming back up, I'm at the bottom here
Hardest part over!

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