Umbrawarra Gorge May 17 - 18 2021
  Just to remind us of how great are the distances between places in Australia.

Alice Springs 1,263 km. We've driven about 4,500 km in nearly a month.

The more astute will realise that Alice Springs and Katherine are to our south, while we are generally heading north and west.

We took a quick detour into Pine Creek to use the dump point then backtracked a couple of km to find the road west to Umbrawarra Gorge.

  A couple of nights in the campsite. A lazy first day at the gorge.

Admiring the grass (which is subtly different to watching it grow).

There's also spinifex.

  Near sunset we raced (well, perhaps stumbled, or crawled due to the lack of a path) up the escarpment behind the campsite.

The gorge is to our left. The campsite below. Our bit of escarpment is much like the nearest in the pic.

  A quick panorama.
  The vegetation atop the escarpment is much different to that in the valley.
  The gorge is about 4km long. We managed perhaps a bit more than 2km.

The first part has a concrete path, which deteriorates to a walking track, which fades to boulder hopping.

This is early in the boulder hopping. Cross the creek to get past the cliff.

  Then cross back to avoid a paddle in the next pool.

Which is somewhat bizarre as part of the exercise is to have a swim.

Take a plastic bag for the camera next time?

  One pool more than the last passable one.

Bluffs on both sides.

  A bit like something from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Where the hero stepped courageously into nothing, to find a rock bridge.

Looked at from the side of the pool there was a sand bank, a bit more than knee deep. But unlike in the film, a gap at thefar end.

And coarse sand under water tends to allow feet to sink into it.

I'm not feeling courageous. And its not a film .....

  And not really visible from the front.

A couple of steps and retreat was in order.

  While some swam others gazed at the rocks.

Illuminated by reflections off ripples in the water.

This is even more relaxing than watching grass grow.

  Return to campsite was uneventful.
  In the distance some "controlled burning".

Too far away to worry us. Though we did notice the occasional bit of charcoal ash descending.

Common in the Northern Territory.

  We'll borrow the bird book tomorrow! .......

and, yup, tomorrow arrived .....

its a silver-crowned friarbird.

  While waiting for tea we were entertained by a goanna. Enchanted by its markings.
  Trying to observe whether the skin pattern extends to the end of its tail.

Which is very important for identification .... some are more rare than others ....

  A last check of the camp before leaving.

Not sure where to, we'll stop in Pine Creek for dump point and internet to do a little planning.

Probably along the Daly River somewhere.

Oolloo Crossing May 19 - 23 2021

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