Had the worst dream that my camera bag (with my camera and all my lenses) was stolen – felt anxious/upset all morning.

Twin Falls would have to be one of Australia’s most difficult to access waterfall. First, there is 50km of unsealed road, followed by 20km of 4WD trails (including a rather serious creek crossing – more on that later), a walk, a boat ride, and more walking. If it’s this hard to get to, and people still go in significant numbers, it must be good, right?

20130716_RCH_8693I was a little nervous about the river crossing, especially since the ranger took one look at our car and dismissed it (she actually suggested we should hitchhike). We saw someone cross it easily yesterday, but still, the thought of destroying our car weighed heavy in my mind. It didn’t help that when we eventually got to the Jim Jim Creek crossing, there was a Nissan Patrol (with big suspension and wheels) stuck on the exit of the crossing. If they had problems, surely little Deli-chan will struggle too? I double-checked the water depth on the side of the crossing – 600mm. I double-checked how high 600mm was on our car, and as I thought, it was less than the height of our tyre. A couple of tour busses went through, but they were bouncing around a bit over the crossing… maybe the bottom isn’t very smooth? Anyway, I convinced myself that 600mm was nothing for our little Deli-chan (I’m sure it was deeper going to the –funny enough- twin falls camp ground in Cape York). We drove through slowly with absolutely zero problems. Not only was it not that deep, the ground felt smooth/even. We proudly drove past the broken down Nissan, checked if there was any way we could help, then proudly kept driving. Deli-chan gone did good.

20130716_RCH_8696 20130716_RCH_8700 20130716_RCH_8702There are two walks at Twin Falls – an escarpment walk, and a gorge walk. We opted to do the upper walk first while the temperatures were moderate. It says it’s only 1.5km, but I promise you it felt much longer (and harder) than that. It probably didn’t help that trail-master Risa lost the trail and was following an old creek bed/gorge for a while (but, it was full of butterflies, so she is redeemed).

20130716_RCH_8699 20130716_RCH_8704There was a lookout about halfway up the hike, but there wasn’t much to be seen (well, it was pretty, but no waterfall viewing action). Some of the rocks looked like abandoned buildings that had been swallowed back by the forest, like the way Angkor Wat looks (in pictures, since I’ve never been).

20130716_RCH_8705 20130716_RCH_870720130716_RCH_872020130716_RCH_8722When we finally reached the top of the waterfalls, I think my jaw hit the floor. It was such a massive sight – the scale of the area was immense (and not just the size, but also the age). There wasn’t much water flowing, but there was more than Jim Jim falls. It was really interesting the way it was flowing – lots of it was seeping into the cracks/cavities in the rocks, and coming out below.

20130716_RCH_8717I really, really, really wished we could climb down to the area 50m below the top, but I left my Spiderman suit in Brisbane.

20130716_RCH_8725 20130716_RCH_8727We followed the water further upstream and it turned into several beautiful waterholes. It was scorching hot and we were sweaty, so it couldn’t have come at a more fortunate time. I have to say, the walk back to the car/car park was a struggle – we were hungry, hot and very tired.

20130716_RCH_8729 20130716_RCH_8732 20130716_RCH_873520130716_RCH_8736 20130716_RCH_8738After lunch (and some much needed rejuvenation), we tackled the gorge route. It was a short walk to the boat, then a 5-minute ride with a tour guide who pointed out various features (caves/flora/fauna). The water was absolutely amazing, spectacularly clear, but it was forbidden from swimming in it, and not just because of the risk of crocodiles. We’ve seen it a little bit recently, but still amazing seeing white sandy beaches by waterfalls. I heard that the white sand in this area is actually ocean sand from times past when the inland of Australia was under water.

20130716_RCH_8740Risa said it first, but I tend to agree with her now, if we’d only seen the waterfalls from below (here) we’d be a little disappointed. The gorge was far more impressive than the falls. Still, the area as a whole was spectacular. It was just a shame that we couldn’t swim in the stunning water that was right in front of us. It was damn hot, so we agreed we’d had enough, and returned (on the return trip we even saw a big turtle and some small freshwater crocodiles!).

20130716_RCH_8753 20130716_RCH_8763I couldn’t resist taking some photos of Deli-chan crossing the river, since we knew that it wasn’t a problem. Not deep at all! I don’t know what they did in that Patrol this morning… With the sunlight in the afternoon, we could clearly see that there was even a nice flat concrete slab to drive on!

20130716_RCH_8776Two-hours drive (give or take) from the Twin Falls car park to Kakadu Highway. No sooner were we on the highway then I saw a turnoff for a scenic lookout. It was a 50-minute return walk, so the poor tired little Risa stayed and guarded the car. I wish I’d given it a miss too! It was a steep scramble up to the lookout, but from the top I could see almost nothing as the trees were blocking all but the faintest glimpses of the surrounding escarpments. I felt a little cheated – doubly so because sunset was rapidly approaching and there was someone I wanted to be, I just didn’t exactly know where that was.

20130716_RCH_8778 20130716_RCH_8950I saw a picture in a pamphlet about sunset at Anbangbang Billabong Picnic area. Conveniently, it wasn’t on that map. Using some cross correlation with Lonely Planet, I worked out roughly where it was. Fine tuning the location by comparing what we could see with the view on the flyer. We got there eventually, with about 15-minutes before the sun went behind the escarpment. It was a beautiful sight, especially with the billabong that was absolutely teeming with bird life, which kept Risa happy. We sat, ate some instant noodles and enjoyed the light show.

It’s been three days, and we’re still on the southern loop of the Kakadu Highway! I didn’t expect it to take us so long. But, we’re in no rush to be anywhere.

63日目 7月16日 (火)カカドゥー国立公園 3日目

今日は、Twin Falls探検の日! 昨日のJim Jim Fallesからの分岐点まで戻り、右折してさらに10kmほど細いガタボコ、ジェットコースターな道行くと昨日下見しておいた川に到着します。

昨日もパークレンジャーについ、最近韓国人観光客が川のど真ん中で故障して立ち往生して、レスキューされたという話もきいたし、しかもこの川にはクロ様も住んでいるのだよー。 どきどき。






そしてデリちゃんの番! 楽勝と思ってたけど、実際に目の前で故障しちゃった車を見るとちょっとドキドキ。。。

が、そんな心配もよそに、スムーズになんなくクリアしちゃいました! すごいぞデリちゃん!


とりあえず最初は、往復3kmの登山。このTwin Fallesのてっぺんへ行けるらしい。



汗だくで到着した滝の上は、なんとも壮大な景色が広がっていました。 あぁほんと言葉では、表現、説明ができないけど、とにかくスケールがデカい!!

現在の乾期シーズンの水量がとても少ないもしくは、ない時しか来れない場所。 今立っているのは、普段なら滝の水の底で、なめらかな大理石のフロアのような岩が広がり、端までいくと100mほど下の滝の下を見下す事ができました。  ここは、何億年も前は、海の底だった場所。 その証拠にいくつもの岩肌には、ウェーブ状の模様を見つけることができます。 これは、ビーチでみかけるのと同じ、砂に残った波の痕。



滝は、何段かに分かれていて、それぞれの巨大なステップに滝が流れているのですが、岩の幅が広いせいか、他の巨大な岩のせいか、不思議と下を眺めても恐さがあまり感じられない不思議な場所でした。 それにしても面白いのが、私たちが立っている上のレベルからは、滝が下へ流れていないこと。(雨季にはながれている)


先を進むと泳ぐ事ができるロックプールがあると聞いていたので、さらにごつごつした乾いた川底と砂(海にある砂と同じ。海だったときの残り物)の上を進むと小川が流れていました。 岩には、藻が沢山着いていたし、泳ぐ程今の水位は高くないので、足をつけるだけだったけど、それでも炎天下の中リフレッシュできました。



5分ほどトラックを歩き、ボートに乗り(昨日のキャンプ場でレンジャーから一人12.50ドルでチケットを買います)、10分程で滝のそばまで着きます。 水はとっても済んでいて、大きな魚も泳いでいたり、


ボートをおりて30分程また岩をひたすら飛び越え進むと、大きな滝が目の前に。 この部分は、上からはちょうど見えない角度になっていたので、上から見たものと全く異なり、おもしろい!


帰りのボートからは、ちいさなフレッシュウォーター クロコダイル(真水のみに住むクロコダイル 体長は、大きくても2m以下で細身でシャイ)を何匹か見る事ができました。ロスは大きな亀も見つけましたよん。



今日はそして、お父さんのお誕生日でした!ラッキーなことに電波があったのでメッセージを送れました☆  ハッピーバースデー!! いつまでも元気でね☆☆