Tête en bas

Down under wandering. Archipelagoes to islands; beaches to deserts; mountains to cities.


  • English: Gunlom
  • Français: Gunlom

There was this guided walk, this morning, at Gunlom. We were 30 km from the entrance of Kakadu. There was then an other 45 km to drive, including 37 on gravel road to get there. It was appealing. But it was at 8:30. That would have mean a morning stress that we finally decide to avoid, even if we kept the idea to go at Gunlom. We arrived there a little bit before noon. The english name for this place is “Waterfall Creek”. Because of that, we were expecting to see a waterfall. It was there, in deed. Mostly quiet, during the dry season. I image it way more impressive during the wet season.

For the anecdote, we talked crocodile quite a while during this day, and we’ve decided to watch Crocodile Dundee during the evening. Gunlom is actually the place where Mike Dundee has been attacked by the crocodile, and where he came back later with the american blond journalist. The park is doing a lot of survey, after the wet season. They have never found any Saltwater Crocodile around here. That’s the one who’s dangerous. There’s seldom Freshwater Crocodile. Smaller, shier, and not dangerous as long as you don’t annoy him. Still, I was quite surprise to discover that this movie -according to my own limited knowledge- was actually quite accurate. At the question “what do you think of aboriginal claim to have there land back?”, Mike answer sounds true: “aboriginal don’t own the land. Land owns aboriginal”. Of course, it might be a trick of the movie maker to avoid a very sensitive question, but still… the answer is really interesting.

Once you’ve seen the waterfall from under, you can see it from above, climbing to an amazing viewpoint over everywhere. Occasion also to find this little sign explaining that for aboriginal, this land is known as “the sickness country”. Some place are sacred/forbidden, because they make people sick. For white man, on the other hand, they are known as really important uranium mine…

View form the top is amazing, and the place is actually pretty quite, even if there’s a few tourist. Hripsimé enjoys the water while I’m taking a nap contest with a lizard, but he win without any effort…

Curiosity encourages me to have a look over the next small fall. Climbing is not a big issue, and allows me to discover a little piece of paradise. With absolutely no one this time. Hripsime follows me. The small gorge, over there, is so tempting, that I don’t even hesitate before jumping into the water. I don’t have a waterproof camera anymore, and I’m annoyed by that, but can’t do anything anyway. Water seems to be deep. It’s dark. Can’t really see anything. It’s good to know that we’re not going to meet any big crocs here, and that the small one, if there’s some, will avoid us anyway. We climb a small rock. Hripsimé frightened me when she slips, and fall straight into the water. Without hurting herself, fortunately. At the en of the gorge, there’s a small waterfall, completing this little paradise. We’re surrounded by rocks. The sound is amazing. We stay a little while, enjoying the place, before swimming back. Just at the perfect timing: there’s now half a dozen people wandering around.

Time to dry in the sun and to climb down to the car, there’s an other guided walk in half an hour, and we decide to do it. We didn’t really learn anything interesting, except that we are in a “wetland”. During wet season, we would be under 2 or 3 meters of water. I invite you to slide up to the picture where Hripsimé is meditating on the rock, and to imagine that all those tree, over there, are in the water. Hard to think, isn’t it?

The walk over, we go back to the car. By night, the road took ages, but we finally manage to go back to the bus, where the dogs are waiting for us, trying to make us feel guilty. Yes, we know, we’re coming back a little bit late.

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