Tête en bas

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

Florence Falls


  • English: Florence Falls
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The next morning, the termites are waiting for us. An other ranger talk in order to know more about those strange little creatures about whom I don’t know any thing. There will be actually two rangers. Explanations are interesting. I forget most of them… a termite queen can live up to 50 years old, doing 3000 eggs per day. As I’m a nice guy, I’ve done the maths. It means 55 billions eggs per queen. At the same time, as I’m writing, I’m doubtful. Fifty years old, for an insect, sounds a lot. Maybe I misunderstood. 5 years ? 15 years ? Information to be confirmed…

Any way… despite most believed idea, termites are really important in Litchfield. Because of the weather, temperature, aridness of the country, there’s no big animals living here. No big animals means no addition to the soil in order to help the circle of life to keep on turning. That’s not a problem. Termites are called “Litchfield Cow”. They do the job. They are everywhere. They are more than enough.

We thank our friendly ranger, before driving back to discover the amazing Tolmer Fall. It’s more the place than the fall by itself who’s amazing. I love this place a lot.

One more time, our program is really light. We’re heading to the next falls, Florence Falls, where we can have a swim. After a quick stop in a rock hole, we park the car at Florence Falls campground, and walk down slowly to the falls.

We arrive in an other piece of paradise, with those two falls in the middle of this great cliff. One is strong, the other one is more peaceful, like a shower. One more time, the temperature is just perfect. Water cools me done, and swimming is just perfect. I take a little shower under the lighter falls. Water is cold, it’s hard to breath, but the feeling is just amazing. The two rangers come back a little bit later to check that everything is okay. We share a smile, and they leave again.

Enjoying the freshness, one more time, and equipped with our books to fight again this hard afternoon program. It doesn’t last for long. My book is over. We start thinking about what we should do with all this free time. What to do this afternoon… Walking back to the car. Take a nap. Cooking. Take a nap. Watch a moving. Take a nap. Sounds like a great plan.

I see for the side of my eye this guy, little bit old, who doesn’t seems to be feeling well. An other guy gives him advice. “Wait until you feel better to start climbing again”. He, indeed, doesn’t seems to feel really good. We’re about to start the walk back, when we look at us. “Do you need help?”. “May be”. It’s her wife who answer. Her husband slipped on a rock, and hurt is knee. He can’t walk anymore. What should we do… we start thinking about helping him to walk, but it’s just impossible. The woman is really stressed. I remember those blue box that are spread all over the parks. There’s probably one at the campground. They’re used to contact the emergency service. I offer to go back to the parking to call, but the guy insist that his wife goes. Anyway, I won’t let her go alone. Hripsime follows. Adrenaline is working well: she climbs the 165 steps at a really impressive speed. We find a blue box. Try to call. Few times. No success. There’s no cell phone reception neither. A few young guy are hanging around. We explain them the problem. They have a HFS radio. Once again, no signal. Last attempt: there’s a bus tour a little bit further. I show it to the woman: “You should ask the guide, they might have what it takes to communicate”. She goes there and come back. “She’s going to call at the next blue box. She gave me this first aid box while we wait”.

We walked back to the falls. Malita is still really stressed. We don’t have any thing to do, and she seems to really appreciate our company, as we manage to help her to think to something else. Back to the falls, Joe is still there. We start talking. He seems embarrassed. “You’re in holiday, I don’t want to mess with your plan, you don’t have to stay”. We explain him that we absolutely have no plan, and that we are happy to stay with them. They are really friendly. We’re wondering how we will help Joe to climb the stairs. I bet on a stretcher. He would prefer an helicopter, much more romantic according to him. But the place doesn’t really fit for that.

A ranger finally arrive. One of the termites one. She joins the talk, as we still have to wait for the second ranger to arrive with the stretcher, and the young we’ve met on the parking. They volunteer to help us. Joe is even more embarrassed, but there’s not really any other option. He weights 100 kilos, and even if we are six to carry the stretcher, it’s quite hard. We forget about the stairs. Too hard. There’s an other path, heading to a campground reachable only on a 4WD. It will be easier.

We’re not walking fast, and we stop really often. A nurse arrive a little bit later, carrying crutches. She stays for a little while, to check if Joe walks ok. “We are only two nurses for the emergency, so as it doesn’t seem too bad, I have to go”. Joe is doing is best. As the stretcher doesn’t need to be carried anymore, almost everybody disappear, except two rangers, Hripsime and I. I help Joe as much as I can, stoping him to fall a few time. I don’t understand why everybody has left…

After a really long walk -Joe’s not going very fast- we finally reach the campground. No one’s here for us. We’ll understand later that there was a misunderstanding. The nurse though we were coming back with the rangers, the rangers though we were coming back with the nurse. We stay for quite a while, waiting, before a car finally bring us back to the campground.

Joe and Malita warmly thank us. They are embarrassed that they have taken so much of our time. They would like to thank us, but they can’t. What I don’t tell them, is that it’s okay for me. I have an other anecdote to put in my next book. I love those kind of meeting, see how people interact and act. It’s always a really interesting sociologic exercise, and I love that.

We’re finally back to the campground, cooking with the light of the car. Since we’ve sold Minma, we don’t have any thing left to cook. Only two plastic spoons. But we manage well. Our neighbors feel guilty and offer us a light, but we’re really happy with our really simple tools.

One Response to “Florence Falls

  1. August 15th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Kaly says:

    Sur le ouaibe, il est parlé de 2750 espèces de termites, certains ayant une belle longévité en effet. Quant aux pontes, on est pas loin de la mitraillette !

    Des chiffres toujours : si Joe pèse cent kilos, ça fait dans les seize kilos par porteur pour six porteurs. L’idéal serait d’avoir une courroie à passer dans le dos pour que la charge soit portée par le dos et non pas par un seul bras, ceci étant très pénible en effet.

    Courroie pas facile à installer !

    Ensuite, quand Joe a commencé à marcher tout seul, crois-en ceux qui savent : il a mobilisé des muscles qui ne servent jamais au commun des mortels, je suppose qu’il s’agit du haut des pectoraux. Chaque fois que je pars sur un nouvel épisode “cannes anglaises” (et non pas béquilles), c’est là que je prends mal. D’où sa lenteur, à Joe !

    Bon, les gens ont des programmes à remplir, des listes de sites à visiter, alors Joe les retarde, c’est pour cela qu’il s’est montré tellement confus ! C’est pour cela que tout le monde à fichu le camp dès qu’ils ont trouvé que le plus dur était fait !

    J’allais t’écrire pour râler (“pendant que tu te dores au soleil avec un bouquin, t’imagines pas comme on bosse ici”, ce genre de choses), et puis tu as rendu un grand service à ce pauvre gars. Parce qu’il était mal barré je pense. Alors je ne t’en veux pas.

    Bonne suite !!!

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