Mudgee to Darwin Day 34 Katherine gorge, and a rescue

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 09:59

Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW)

Mudgee to Darwin Day 34 Katherine gorge, and a rescue

Blog and drive, listening to Deep Purple

I forgot to put in the last blog, the recovery of a group of young Japanese people, bogged at the corner of Jim Jim falls road. We were coming back from the twin falls area, and came across a hired "Jurassic park" Nissan Patrol, bogged in the soft hot sand at the turnoff. A young Japanese man came running up, saying I need your help, please help. They had tried to turn too sharply in the soft sand and got bogged to the chassis. There were two young men and three girls, not much English between them. We said, you will need to dig, and one of the girls mimed digging with her hands, I said its ok, we have a shovel on the roof rack. After considerable digging, Peter tried to reverse the vehicle using our sand tracks, but the 4wd didn't seem to be working properly, so we ended up winching it out. Then we said, you all have to push, to get it back onto the proper track, so four of them pushed till they were on firmer ground. They were very grateful, the girls came running up to Peter, I thought he was going to get hugged, but they just patted him on the back and brought us each a lemonade. They were planning to head down to twin falls, but we were concerned that they wouldn't manage the 600mm water crossing, the 4wd in their vehicle didn't appear to be working properly, plus they were almost out of fuel, so we said you better go back. They still had over 50km to go back to tar road. We saw them later that afternoon at the yellow waters cruise, and said Hi, they were very excited to see us, and we were relieved to see they made it back safely.

Anyway, on to Katherine gorge. We stopped in Katherine at Hobbit auto electrics, as something has come loose and the camper isn't charging properly from the car. They were very helpful and replaced the Anderson plug on the car, but we are still having issues, will need to investigate further. We did some shopping at woolies, then waited to buy beer till 2pm as due to alcohol restrictions the bottle shops dont open till then. boy there was a queue at 2pm, people everywhere! We booked in at the gorge on a powered site, started to set up, then realised that the thread on the bracket holding the jockey wheel was stripped, so we couldn't use the jockey wheel. Luckily our camper has a stabiliser leg at the front so we were able to use that to unhitch and support the front. Peter went back in to Katherine to try to get a new bracket, but there was nothing available that will suit, so we will try to get the bracket modified at Borroloola, Peter's cousin Jock is working there in construction and should know someone who can weld a nut on to it.

We got set up, had a swim in the swimming pool at the campground. We managed to book a cruise of the gorge for the next day, we had hoped to do a dinner cruise one night, but it only ran the first night we were there and was fully booked. If you are heading to the gorge, book your cruise early as they seemed to be booked out every day. The cruise went for a couple of hours, we motored up the first gorge, saw a couple of freshwater crocs, a few birds, and lovely deep water and nice scenery. It was very hot, we were grateful for the cold water available on board. At the end of the first gorge there was a short walk to the second one, then another cruise of the second gorge,then the reverse to come back. Our guide was from the local Jaowyn people, and gave an interesting commentary. Back at camp we had a lazy afternoon, swimming in the pool, reading and transferring photos to the laptop. A big day tomorrow, Borroloola is about 700km. We decided to take the highway rather than the much rougher road via Roper Bar to save time.
Toyota Hilux SR5 2010 D4D
Echo Kavango
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