Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The wild barra lives!

Next morning checking the traps... Did the croc leave me anything?
I didn't get any fresh water crays but i did catch some favourite Barra bait.
A Big mouth
Ivanhoes crossing was still closed so we headed in via the back road on the old Wyndham rd .
No crowds as the water level is still a bit high to warrant fording it on foot to get to the opposite bank

Ah the serenity

Fatboy catching live bait

At this point I'm in! Troy get me that Net... STOP TAKING PHOTO'S... first Barra nerves set in

I hooked him on a little lure that looks like one of the local grasshoppers that come out this time of year during the build up to the wet. The local Aborigines would know the storm season was approaching when they started to hatch. It pays dividends to read all those information boards on the walking tours... Leichhardt's grasshopper.. Secret weapon 456 .. Its a keeper

This little fella was just under 40 cm. Local size restrictions meant we had to throw it back. You can keep anything from 55cm and up. I was stoked as you can see in the photo. Back it went to fight another day.

Kites on the scavenge for the next meal

The pelican saw Troy swinging about his live bait on the rod & figured there must be lunch near by. He did far better than we did pulling in several fish in a short time

After lunch it was off to the Hoochery...
 to buy some hooch?
They have to grow their own sugar cane as the region now grows mainly sandalwood with the sugar cane industry going under  some time ago

Ahh Rum....

Please ring the bell 3 times if counter unattended! Troy couldn't help himself & rang it anyhow

Katherine hot spring .... German backpackers in the foreground...
This artist is good. They must have been there on the same day we did.

Geoff kindly offered his tinny for us to explore the Ord river in.
We didn't have to think twice about that one...

Off to the rapids to try & catch a 2nd for the day.

We parked up stream & clambered over the rocks to get down stream into the holes were the Barra are hiding out

A local grunter impersonating a flying fish .

It gets dark up here very quick. No longer had the sun hit the horizon we headed back to the boat. Twilight only lasts about 20 minutes so we had to high tail it back to Geoff's place before it got dark

10 minutes later back at Geoffs. What a magic spot. Ken  I could see you up here! wanna buy the 10 acres next door?  

On the way back to the boat before we left secret spot X and no fish in hand......I had a small incident with a lure.

It won....

A quick pull with the pliers achieved jack shit apart from inflicting serous amounts of pain with no results. Rather than contend with a lure & the hand throttle of the dingy I chose to remove the hook from the lure & figured it would be best to deal with this on dry land with some proper medication close at hand. Back at Geoffs place I sough his advice on the best way to remove it. Geoffs cop out was to ask Troy, he is the paramedic after all!
After much discussion it was considered that it wasn't life threatening. The general consensus was if Troy attempted the extraction then it soon could turn out to be.
Geoff recalled a youtube video he saw where a bloke had a huge deep sea lure stuck in his hand and it was successfully removed without any need for any major surgery while still out in the ocean. A quick search of the net found the video in question. It was studied closely & just the barb it self on this guys hook was as as big as the whole hook in mine. Harden up Hemington I though.... Time for self extraction. with a loop of braid around the offending barb & a count down from 3 it was removed with very little fuss.  As usual Tan's ESP kicked in & the phone started ringing just about at the point of extraction...Timing impeccable as always my love!

Tomorrow we head off up the Gibb in the direction of Kulumburu so today its time to restock the fridge & freezer with supplies for the next week or so. Geoff has a mate at Honeymoon beach known as "Frenchie" who has a box of mangoes en route, delivery care of the big red truck due early next week. A bit of a bribe to help us con the good fishing spots out of the locals. Thanks for that Geoff

The blog will remain stagnant for a few days as we wont have any mobile or Internet coverage until Derby early in November.

Watch this space. Fishing photos to follow soon

Monday, October 18, 2010

Go west young man

Troy with the only photo of Katherine Hot springs.
German back packers doing what only backpackers can do... Sunbake.. Good work Troy

Another long straight road

The nights camp at Big horse creek just out of Timber creek on the Victoria Hwy

Troy promised Danielle he would hug a tree for here on the trip... It was bad enough he let the bloody Barra go because of her.
Hippies doing what hippies do best.... Damn Tree huggers

Sunday was Caseys Birthday.Small party for the little fella.. All the other campers looked at us a bit strange! All good

Home Made in the camp oven the night before... Honest

Thies dudes live in the Boab trees & do a on mass migration. No mozzies .... I guess something has to take its place. We are up north after all

seed pods on the Boab tree

When they fall they must be pressurised because the explode with the sound of breaking glass

some more successful breakages

We head to the boat ramp  just at the end of the camp ground to see whats cooking. One of the crew who just pulled up reports a successful day with a whopping 108cm barra caught! FARK... they did have to travel 70 km down a croc infested river in a very small dingy to achieve such results. I never did see that barra... I reckon she worked for NT tourism commission. All the campers had a similar story to  mine.. No damn Barra yet..

Evening on the Victoria river

Troy having a nervous laugh after he found a legless lizard under his arse while sitting on the rock wall. The old fella in the back ground said only worry about the big ones. Last week he had a 12ft Python drift through the same point while he & his boys where fishing. It was a better option than the local 14ft croc that was waiting at the end of the boat ramp for them...

NT speed signs .... Object unachievable

WA speed signs .. Realistic... especially when you have a camper in tow
Yea baby home at last..... maybe!

Wrong turn here could end in more than just tears

Hey kids ... radiator springs off in the distance... Yes?.. No??

A 10 mtr walk to the waters edge from our camp greets you with this view of the Ord river

FARKIN electrical fault... It only happens when you get water in the engine bay.... Troy was pissing himself with laughter yet again for the 10th time this trip... Thought i fixed it with some WD 40 on the windscreen wiper motor plugs earlier.... Job for tomorrow ......

Fisherman's paradise

Croc's paradise. No fish landed while we observed them all fishing. A few Darwin locals sat near by laughing. They wouldn't do this up north. I recon they must have very good ESP or eyes in the back of their heads. 

We head off to visit a workmate in the area & say hello. It will be quite plesant to greet him with a hello & a beer in the evening & not the usual 3 am phone call from Melbourne with the usual spiel about a telephone exchange that's in trouble & we need him to drive 10 hrs to rescue it ... yada yada yada....
Above his guard dog greets us at the gate.. A bit like my old mate Guinness.....  with the drool & very happy to see you but without the humps...

Before we left I threw in a few Opera house nets to catch some fresh water crays. On return I went to check them to find a 5ft Freshie waiting down the bank. I will leave him be and wait until morning to check them. Hopefully I get the rewards for all my hard work & not him

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Good by Mozzies of Kakadu Hello Katherine Gorge

The night before we stayed at a camp ground at Merl . The mozzies where so thick it was unbelievable. As it was so hot I slept with the roof hatch up. The mozzies spent all night rein acting the battle of Britain only 20 cm above my head! the next morning when I opened my eyes i had a dozen of them on the fly screen above my head still eyeing me out for breakfast! Pack up that morning was a shocker. 90% humidity & already in the high 20's a shower was required before we hit the road.
Next day we opted for something a little more civilised with a safe water hole to swim at.
The pool at Kakadu resort.

After a big night on the coronas we had the worst case of the cant be's for moving on so we decided to stay another night & I also managed to get the blog updated.

That evening we hit Ubirr once again with travelers we had meat at Darwin earlier in the trip. This time we where rewarded with a spectacular sunset.
Don is the local ranger. ( the one who busted us for cracking a cold one on the rock last time) He makes sure no one disturbs the rock art or enters any restricted sacred sites. The lost his right leg at the age of 12 & makes his way around on crutches. Very impressive to see him negotiate the rock. He and his wife have been traveling for the last 2 years. check out 2followthefoot on blog spot... In a few more years I reckon they would have covered it all.

Just one of the dozens we captured. It changed from minute to minute.. Had to be there

Don doing the round up clearing the rock before the last light goes.

Photo already framed !

The next morning we headed out from Jabaru in the direction of Katherine & opted to check out one more art site in the park. Nourlangie rock had 2 galleries on display with the art work showing some fantastic detail.

First settlers ( Above)

The lightning spirt
He makes thunder with the stone axe attached to his knees and the hoop is his lightning
and yes yes there was more Barra pics! f#&king Barra....

In the car park we came accross this "Wicked" camper. I wonder if they get any takers?

Troy is considering repainting Tommy the Tvan in a similar style should this ploy work... I may have to purchase a tent ! 
Another NT storm building up

That afternoon we pulled into Katherine gorge. It had a pool with a one man band just 20 mtrs from our campsite. Bernie cranked out some mean tunes on his guitar while we sat back & enjoyed a few tasty beverages with our dinner. What a way to finish the day.

One of the locals coming in for a closer look...
We have moved only 200km south of our last camp & what a difference that made. Little to no Mozzies or croc's & I had to crack the sheet out to stay warm... Bloody tropics

Next day we went for a paddle in Katherine gorge with rod & lure in tow 

The landing beach just before the rapids 

fishing down stream of the rapids

Not a Barra but a Sooty Grunter. Good fight. A quick kiss & back it went to fight another day

The one that should have got away..... Poor little bugger ended up floating past on its side soon after.... DOH!

Even the Croc's have there own canoes to float down stream. (Caged for their safety) ..... At this time of year its a "safe" water hole but the sight of this was enough to put most off going for a dip.

Wish you where here!