Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Pool With A View

After our hike across a flood plain and some lunch we were ready for a climb. We began by calling in at the Gunlom Plunge Pool, a large natural pool set at the base of a towering escarpment. The jagged rock face was worn smooth by the seasonal waterfall, which continued to flow even though it was the dry season. 
As we skirted the large pool I spotted the white float that was being used to determine if the area was crocodile free. I closely kept my eye on the survey device waiting for it to bob up and down--the sign of a croc nibbling on the bait below. Even though it remained still, but I couldn't help but be reminded that in this part of the woods I was not at the top of the food chain.

The croc free pool (at least temporarily) was left behind as we began the steep climb through a patch of monsoonal forest and savanna woodlands. Our final part ascent included a scramble across the exposed rugged sandstone terrain, and to our relief the well marked path soon brought us to the top of the plateau. Had we not been breathless from the final exertion the scene that spread before us would have taken our breath away. It was as though we were standing on the edge of the world as we looked out across the sweeping views of the southern hills.
In addition to superb views the top of the escarpment also offers numerous rock pools. We had been told that they are salt water crocodile free, and that it is safe to take a dip. However, even though the serene water looked inviting I just couldn't overcome my fear. Instead we sat at the edge of one of the pools and enjoyed the view as we sweated profusely.  

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