A bright and early start to the day. Steve and Tania shot off across the river to take photos, while Teddy and Tracey and I had bacon and eggs for brekky. Ted motivated the troops into getting us over the river to have a look at the Pandanus Park Veterans retreat. We drove across the river and through Kalpower Station onto Pandanus Park, stopping all the time for photos of the different landscapes. Some beautiful scenery, if you are open to seeing it.
Pandanus Park has been a veterans retreat for many years, providing a sanctuary for all war veterans and a place to relax and charge their batteries again.
While we were chatting to Ivan a call came over the radio that a croc was swimming up river, past some of the camps. So we jumped in the vehicles and headed up to Matt and Val’s camp, just up river. Matt acted as our safari leader and guided us to where we could see the 4m long saltie cruising up the river. Through the trees and riverside tangles, we spotted the croc. He (or she?) was on the surface, cruising along the far river bank, very slowly. It seemed quite unconcerned as we quietly crashed through the river side scrub, shooshing each other to keep our voices down, stomping on branches and crunching leaves underfoot, chasing it up the river. Our chase took us along the bank, through another camp (don’t mind us, just doing a bit of croc chasing!) until finally we tip-toed noisily down to a cleared area on the bank and, taking care to stay well away from the water, got some decent shots. The croc apparently swims up river during the day and hunts back down the river at night. Amazing to see such a large croc with so little effort on our part. Makes you look at the water differently, after seeing such a large predator simply melt into the water and disappear. Scary.
Back at the retreat, Teddy organized some visitors for the next Vietnam Vets day with the president. We headed back to Kalpower crossing camping area for lunch and an afternoon snooze. The wind has been howling all day. Late afternoon we walked around the loop walk that runs behind the camping area. It is a beautiful walk, through the riverside forest. We expected the walk to take us along the river, that’s what the map leads you to believe. It isn’t the case! Be warned! It is still worth walking and we spotted a couple of piglets running along the track. The walk heads past a couple of billabongs that look like they could have resident crocs. Back to camp just on dusk. Tania has cooked a lovely meal for everyone and now time for serious relaxation. The video camera seems to have developed an issue with its screen, so everyone may be spared our video torture! Hopefully it will come good and we can bore everyone to tears again!
Bob & Tracey