Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Finding Sammy

We've got an amazing little spot near Eliot and Fruitbat Falls which has enough room for us to camp on the bank without pushing the vegetation unnecessarily, no tourists, no crocodiles and the best part about it is that we get our own private waterfall. It's magical!

For a week the kids and I and another mate, adventured down the old telegraph track on the quads and tried to find some spots we could see on Google Earth.  We spent our days swimming in the crystal clear waters, jumping off the tops of waterfalls, quading new country, cooking up camp oven roasts, attempted doughnuts and did naughty things.  All my favourite things!

We have a rule in our house. No one swims ANYWHERE until I say it's ok.  Not that there's crocodiles but there could be numerous other dangerous things and my 6 and 7 year olds are wildies and would rarely check before jumping.  They get it from their Father.  We're also at least 4.5 hours from any hospital should something happen and my first aide kit is waterlogged, rusty and full of dirt.

Anyway, on the third day I could hear them hollering out for me to hurry up so they could jump.  I was lugging the esky down the 10m strip from our swags so we didn't have to walk too far back to camp lol.  They were already in position and I had to climb down and check out the water.  We'd had some cars go through the crossing earlier on in the day and the water was murky and white from the clay up the river so I couldn't see anything.  I knew the bottom fairly well by now after drinking beers in there for several hours each day so was fairly confident that it was going to be fine.  I couldn't see any snakes or anything untoward this time (have come face to face with a python under a waterfall previously so now I make a point to check).  The coast seemed clear.

I waded out into the water to about my chest and took a leap and froggied my way out to the middle where the kids were standing about 3metres higher on the ledge ready to jump when a brown, scaly monster popped up no less that 10cm from my face.  For a big girl, I can really really really move. I'm talking walk-on-water-move when faced with a brown reptile in close quarters.  I was out of the water so fast that I couldn't breathe and almost had a panic attack.  I was pumped full of adrenaline when I had to get a closer look at what it was. It was too far from the coast to be a salty.  All I'd seen was the shell part when the bloody thing popped up again. It was a plate size long-neck turtle.  OH. MY. GOD. Talk about age me another 10 years!!!

We called him Sammy.

Over the course of the next 2 days we strapped a Go Pro on his back and watched him swim into all the crevices and secret spots in the caves.  We followed him around with googles and flippers, feeding him sausages from our hands and patting him like we were best friends.   The kids all got to touch him and chase him around too which they thought was beyond cool.  He did get a little too friendly towards the end and enjoyed swimming right into your nether regions and tried biting ANYTHING that looked like sausage.  The poor boys had a few close calls.....

And just as he appeared, he was gone and was never seen again.  We don't know how he got into our little waterfall oasis nor how he got out but we do know he was full when he left.

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