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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?

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nadja #

    Hey guys,
    about time to leave a message for you two. I REALLY enjoy following you on your trip, after Thorsten let me know you are doing this blog. I don’t know if you can imagine HOW exotic some of it sounds for someone thousands of miles away, working on a piece on some genetic disease, looking out on German autumn-rain… I hope there are still many adventures for you to come and you will tell each and every single one! And do me a personal favour – do NOT upload any more snakes please! 😉
    Best wishes, Nadja

    • Thank you for your lovely feedback, Nadja I really appreciate it. Fall in Germany, yes, that sounds exotic to me so I can only imagine what our trips must sound like. (BTW the thought of cold rain and gusty winds makes me smile as I’m wearing a summer dress and it’s 35 degrees while the sun slowly sets, hehe). Please keep reading and commenting, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      • Nadja #

        You’re welcome. And from now on words like “summer dress” or every phrase that contains “degrees” will be punished with diregard – leaves are falling all around, we need to turn on the heating and I personally try to get rid of the first bronchitis of the season for more than a week now. So be aware of what you are writing! 😉
        Some of the photos show unbelievably beautiful sights. But I have to admit that I still wouldn’t set foot in a land with that much creepy crawlies! I need a holiday, desperately, but I think the German shore will have to do, some day soon.
        Keep on waltzing!!

  2. Scott #

    I have to say that I did laugh out loud at the thought of Thorsten spitting on you! ha ha. You are very brave to be hanging around wild crocs I have to say! I do envy your 35 degree heat, its been very windy and cold in Sydney. However its now warming up to 25 these past few days! I have never heard of these little fish, how interesting they sound. The wonderful amazing things Australia has to offer is in abundance. I am so glad Thorsten and yourself sound like you have fun each day and that your relaxing and just enjoying life! (I do envy it)

    Love you and miss you lots

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, Scottie. It’s my way of telling you about everything that happens along the way without calling you every five minutes… I miss you too and I’m sending you some warm thoughts!

  3. Katha #

    Hallo ihr zwei ,
    ihr habt euch ja echt super schöne Plätze da ausgesucht. Hier kommt ein wenig Fernweh auf . Genießt eure zeit . Kühl und feucht Grüße aus Wedel .


  4. Nadja #

    Hey! Loads of snow in Marburg. We are waiting for news from you guys!!


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