Where am I/what am I doing? PART 1 HERE
For 10 seconds, I ran the newspaper headline through my mind:
“53-yr old woman succumbs to heat exhaustion while bashing through the untamed Australian wilderness, within 100 metres of fresh water & a clearly-marked track.”
That is absolutely NOT going to happen.
But shit: my water bottle IS empty; this backpack IS damn heavy; it IS over 30 degrees C (86F); & we are definitely NOT going the right way.
‘What are you doing G’ ask the readers of bone&silver again? Well PART 1 is here again.
When I was offered the chance for this adventure, I jumped.
Kakadu National Park is vast, and some locations even require a permit and key to a locked gate, as the Management team control the balance between tourism and protecting the diverse ecology and wildlife population.
But guess what? We had both permit and key.
So with 4WD vehicle hired, 12 meals faithfully dehydrated (incl a gourmet vegetarian gluten-free pasta dinner), and backpacks crammed (but with restraint this time, as I learnt a lot on that Tasmanian bushwalk, when 15-17kgs was definitely
stupid waaaaay too much), off we set.
Two intrepid, fit, adventurous women, leaving their teenage sons behind to
have lots of parties fend for themselves, stepping away from the grid to do a 4-day off-track bushwalk/hike, carrying everything we needed, including a map and compass.
This is going to be fantastic! The adventure of a lifetime indeed. Until reality sinks in, slowly but surely:
- ‘This map is hard to read without my glasses. Where did I put my glasses?’
- ‘No G, it’s too soon for morning tea, we’ve only been walking an hour. And you are peeing a lot as it is [I blame the goddamn waist strap].
- ‘Well, we can’t swim in that first pool, there may be crocs.’
- ‘We can’t get across, we have to climb up.’
- ‘We can’t get across, we have to climb down.’
- ‘Holy shit, that’s a long way down. Do we have a rope? We need a rope. Actually, we need to be 20 years younger, and related to Indiana Jones…’
- ‘So you’re telling me we need to cross to the other side of the river, floating our backpack contents back & forth on one of our sleeping mats, while holding aloft our boots and mobile phones?’
*Generalised sighing, sweating, deep-breathing and mumbled complaints follow
But that view from our campsite on the river is the reward.
And all that was just the first day; Part Three to follow.
With eternal gratitude for my tough little legs, G xO