Adele’s Grove 2

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I am in love with this oasis in the middle of the desert. I cannot imagine how the first explorers must have felt, struggling through the heat across the land and suddenly coming across this. They tell us it is most unique due to the fact there was once so much water that the big trees grew and they grow even bigger in the national park itself. I just know it is so beautiful with the tall trees and the shaded walkways they create that lead down to the lush tropical shrubs and trees that frame the river. Pockets of water collect in places creating lagoons for swimming while other shaded places collect lily pads and tangled roots. You can see little fish darting in and out in the beautiful turquoise water.

The colour of the water is due to the high amount of calcium content and it is incredible with its light and dark shades of turquoise – very reminiscent of the waters in the Rockies which are also unreal shades of light blues and turquoise but due to the glacier milk content. Derek went kayaking along the little fork that meanders through our camp and while he did not have much luck at fishing, the views were spectacular. It is so quiet here, except for the amazing birds. Interesting that no water fowl use these waters (again the calcium content) but there are tons of little finch’s and the red one is the most brilliant and actually somewhat hard to find. Derek captured a couple on camera. There were tons of other birds hiding in the tall grasses.

He also saw some of the feral pigs who just rip up the ground and destroy everything around them. I did not know that they are the result, again, of people releasing domestic animals into the wild. They have been trying to get rid of the one pig around camp but have not been able to find him. Derek has seen him as he kayaked but no-one believed him at fist, except Derek had pictures of the dirt mounds. The second time he saw the big black one he did not have the camera with him but Derek said he was absolutely huge.

Derek tends to see quite a bit more than most people do – wildlife etc. I think it is his army training, he can be incredibly quiet with his movements, and then also he can see into the forest way beyond what most people pick out. It makes him a good travelling companion.

Turns out we love our privacy up here in our spot. We can sit out in the moonlight in our underwear on the hot nights. (haha – kidding! After Naked Man I am very careful not to fall into the trap of the outback. We will not come home without tan lines, scaring the grandchildren and our neighbours.) We leave everything in the caravan wide open. We can shower whenever we want. We just have to pack a lunch to take with us if we hike into the main buildings. It is really confusing – to figure the roads and the campsites. The first time we attempted to walk in it was so hot and after awhile I was getting nervous. A helicopter flew overhead and then we saw some people and I thought perhaps they were the rescue team come out to find us. Probably the helicopter spotted us and sent them in!

There is an airport right next to us. Very little travel as in – 1 rescue helicopter so far.

Fluffy did suffer some injuries on the way in. Despite the dust which was everywhere and we may spend the rest of our life trying to get it all off, a couple of door handles had fallen off. The rattling had worked the screws loose. Nothing was broken but everything was moved around, that was for sure. It took us a couple of hours to get it all back to semi normal and we now know what the books and experts mean about tightening everything down before you go over the rough roads. We will pay better attention from here on in.

Derek keeps hitting his head on the sharp corners of the cupboard handles. We have decided to change them all when we get home. But, while we are here, I decided to see if I could pad the corners. It might not be visually attractive but it would save his head. I wrapped them up and then felt the corner and thought that it was still so sharp, it might keep it from breaking the skin but it was still going to hurt like heck to bang against it. I was rubbing my finger over it and sharing my observations with Derek. I asked him what he thought so he obligingly banged his head against the corner and answered “no, not working” as he recoiled in pain, rubbing his head. It was then I realized he had already sustained at least 1 head bump too many.

Later that day as we walked around by the swimming holes, watching 3 or so Older European couples swim, we sat down in disbelief to watch them dive in off the steps, swim out to the pontoon and dive off it. All the literature for Adele’s and every Australian anything that you watch where they discuss water safety caution that you should NEVER dive into Australia’s rivers or lakes due to the number of large trees and limbs that are likely to show up unexpectedly with floods etc., just never seems to get in the way of the tourists who know it all before they get here. It is the same with the swimming in between the flags, obeying the warning signs for sharks, crocs and jelly fish and the dangers of too much sun. Australia is pretty diligent and consistent in the public service message department, but in keeping with the penchant the rest of the world seems to have these days with carrying on however you want without letting the truth get in the way, the tourists have it nailed. Certainly, you can see by the pics here, this river is filled with trees. But you cannot tell some people anything. It is like they are offended and seem to react as if you are trying to keep them from having fun when people are just trying to keep them safe, or alive. It was unreal to watch these people and everyone was telling them not to. Then a lady came along and dived in with her two dogs. All kinds of places where the dogs could have enjoyed the water that did not need to be the swimming hole designated for people. Sigh.

This led to us having a conversation with a lovely couple from Melbourne, Dan and Kathy. We started to discuss animals and I mentioned something about having seen someone had brought their cat but they let it loose here and of course a cat is going to go after the small birds and lizards. The dogs must be on leash at all times, but these people just let their cat wander. Derek then shared that he would like to take the cat kayaking with him and he would offer it up to the pigs he had seen. I had to tell Derek later that if we wanted to make new friends he probably should not introduce himself with “Hi, I am Derek. I would like to take the cats with me kayaking so I could throw them to the wild pigs.” Not necessarily the best way to encourage friendship. I don’t think Kathy was impressed. We waved to her and Dan a few other times we saw them but something about the restraining order they had taken out … never mind … we have each other.