The Dusty Road Behind Hell’s Gate
Actually, apart from a few patches of bitumen the road is dusty to the east as well as the west of the Hell’s Gate Roadhouse, a little petrol station along the Savannah Way that connects Broom with Cairns.
I’m currently sitting in our van under a shady tree in front of Borroloola’s supermarket, where a few minutes before we’ve stocked up on our food supplies for the next days ahead. We’ve run out of a few things the last couple of days, but to stretch our stay in the Lawn Hill National Park was well worth not having any fresh fruit.
In some respect it is quite ironic. Back in Cape York, where it was hot and the open sea looked so inviting for a cool bath, I had longed to jump in for a swim. Here, in the dry heat where I had never expected any other kind of relief than the cool from our air-condition we were able to dip into the green cool of the rivers. Around Lawn Hill National Park and Kingfisher Camping ground plenty of waterfalls hinder saltwater crocodiles to come all the way upstream, this makes the rivers and waterholes relatively safe to swim in.
We didn’t see any freshwater crocodiles while canoeing at Lawn Hill National Park, but plenty of turtles and fish. I’d never believe this myself, but while we were enjoying the crystal-clear Indarri Falls something spat at me, and it wasn’t Thorsten. Little Archerfish were mistakenly thinking I had flies on me. That’s why they were spitting little water fountains in the hope of hitting a little insect that would then fall into the water. Thorsten was testing their spitting accuracy by catching flies and holding them up over the hungry fish. Well worth a try if you come across Archerfish. It’s very entertaining and they’re pretty accurate.
From Hell’s Gate onwards the road leads closer to the coast and although plenty of rivers were in our path swimming isn’t recommended as saltwater crocodiles love a good sparkly river too. The steep river banks made it hard to find a good spot to stay overnight, but eventually we did find a pretty place. This morning when the sun rose above Foelsche River I watched Jabirus flying by. Quite a nice start to a day, isn’t it?