Millie and I were up before sunrise. She could see the sky becoming orange in the east, and stood for a while to see if she could see the sun come up – it was still a good while until that would happen so she snuggled back in to bed with Tony and the iPad, and I got ready to go for a walk. I’d wanted to walk across the old railway bridge near town, which is now a pedestrian bridge, and see the low level nature reserve further down the river. Tony had ridden his bike around that loop the night before, and we’d talked about me riding his bike to see it but even with the seat down it was just too big for me. I thought about riding Caitlin’s bike but figured I was way more comfortable walking. LiAM woke and wanted to come with me and I said I was going to walk fast and far – he decided to stay at the tent.
It was a beautiful morning and it was cool seeing the trees light up as the sun rose. I went to the pedestrian/railway bridge end first. The middle of the bridge was solid metal, the edges were metal mesh so I could see through it down to the river, a little scary actually. The edges of the bridge were quite high so it was hard to see the river from the bridge, there was a raised area on each side where you could stand to see the view. I was looking upstream towards the car bridge and saw something floating in the water – it looked like a crocodile head but I figured it could easily be a log. It went under an overhanging tree and then I saw lots of ripples coming out from under the tree – then the whole crocodile emerged and I saw it floating along and under the bridge. I didn’t see it come out the other side, so it either submerged or went to the shore under the bridge. It was long – a couple of metres I’d guess – and a yellowy green with black stripes. It had quite a pointy noise so I think it was a freshwater – still very exciting to see my first wild crocodile.
I continued over the bridge then checked out the steam engine in the park near town, then walked down the bike track along the other side of the river. It was a long walk, just along the side of a street, with trees on my right so I couldn’t see the water. Eventually I reached a school – lots of kids were being dropped off at 8am, I wonder if school starts earlier here? – and found some steps leading down to the hot springs. Tony had said swimming was closed there the day before, but I couldn’t see any signs that said that. There were a few people swimming and it looked divine. I dipped my hands in and the water was a beautiful temperature – not hot, but it would have been easy to get straight in.
From the springs it was a short walk to the bridge which crosses the low level. There was a weir there and lots of rocks, a really beautiful spot. There were picnic tables on one side and easy access to the water, although there were also signs here saying don’t enter the water because of recent croc sightings. This bridge was very close to the water level and also metal mesh on the pedestrian part – a little shaky when cars crossed the bridge but not scary like the high bridge was. The walk back from the low level was along the path I’d walked some of a few days ago, but I couldn’t remember how far I’d come last time. It was hot by now, I wished I’d bought a hat. I felt like I’d been walking a long time since the low level bridge, and I still didn’t recognize the path, so felt like I had ages still to go – and suddenly I saw the caravan park so I was back! It had been a 2 hour walk (LiAM was very please he hadn’t come with me, although a little disappointed that he’d missed the crocodile). I was pleased with my new shoes too – that’s 2 walks I’ve done in the 1st 2 days and they are comfortable and my feet don’t sweat in them!
|The weir at the low-level crossing|
We had a quiet morning, catching up on a few things, I tidied up all the paper and stuff that had accumulated in our car, then went and plugged the computer in and did some email and blogging. Tony took the car back and the guy said that it’s probably a radiator problem, when he looked at the radiator he said it is made of plastic and quite brittle and if he tried to do anything with it it would probably crack, and getting a new radiator is probably the way to go. He ordered the parts and will put it in tomorrow morning.
By this stage the girls who the kids had been playing with were back from their trip to the caves, and they spent the afternoon all playing together. They explored the little fish ponds around the owner’s house, catching fish in bowls and putting them back in and comparing all the different types. Tony and I had wanted to go to Edith Falls and maybe have a swim – the kids were freaked out by stories of freshwater crocs in the water and said they wouldn’t swim. LiAM wanted to go and see the falls anyway, Caitlin was undecided and Millie was a definite no. They were having so much fun with their friends that we decided to give it a miss and just have a true rest day, hanging out at the caravan park and doing very little. I read my book and did some puzzles and some more blogging, talked to the girls’ mother, did a little more tidying of the car and had a very relaxing afternoon. The puppy was back and forth to our tent, and one of the kittens came over at one stage too (but was soon chased back by Bundy). Tony and Caitlin did the bike ride that Tony had done the day before. The Hot Springs were closed with a sign saying a croc had been seen there today - they were full of people swimming though, and the water was so clear that it would be easy to see a crocodile if it was there, I guess. Caitlin had a quick dip - just in, across to the other side and back and then out.
The kids played together until it was dark then went to have their respective dinners (we had sausages, tomato and pasta) then got back together and went exploring the park for frogs and geckos and spiders. One of the girls had been desperate to see and hold a green tree frog and they were all thrilled to find one. Everyone had a hold and the frog was released back into the garden. LiAM found a little brown frog and caught it for a brief pat as well.
Millie was really tired and went to bed as soon as she could after tea (she was delayed a little by the frog then headed for bed). I had an early night too, Tony and the other two had showers and came to bed a bit later on.