We went to the local Baptist Church and met some lovely people.
Arrived back in time for lunch and then packed for our flight out to the Horizontal Waterfalls. We were picked up in a courtesy bus around 2.20pm and boarded the 14 seater sea plane at the Derby Airport. The flight to the Falls took just 35 minutes and it was amazing. We never flew over 3,000 feet so the scenery below was quite clear. The amount of mud flats in this area is tremendous – totally exposed or covered at tidals times and totally inhabitable. Although we did see some 4WD tracks – the intrepid fisherman can find any way to get to good fishing spots!
The pilot flew over the falls a couple of times, banking each way so that passengers on each side could get a photo. MAGIC.
The landing on the water was so smooth. We then taxied up beside the houseboat which was to be our home for the rest of the day and night and after putting our luggage into our own private bedrooms, we boarded a specially designed water craft which was to take us to the 2 places where the Horizontal Falls were gushing through. Being tidal it happens twice a day and our flight was arranged to see the afternoon tide.
What can we say of the experience except W O W. It has to be the most amazing and exciting thing we have done. Everyone rated it as the best trip they had done on their holidays as well.
There were only 8 couples on board and there were about 5 staff who saw to all our needs with food etc. and were also the drivers/guides on the tour boats. There was also a private group there which had arrived in their own helicopter. One of these was Luc Longley (famous Australian basketballer who played in the USA for many, many years). He was a very tall man – 7ft 2in. A very nice chap though and he joined in whenever he could.
After seeing the Falls we went for a boat trip around some of the inlets (Cyclone Creek) etc. and saw some of the most beautiful scenery. At one stage the driver stopped at a ‘barge’ which was his home and he fed a few fish – large ones with stripes but we can’t remember the name of them.
We then returned to the houseboat and just sat around and chatted as we had afternoon tea and waited for the cooks to cook our barramundi meal for dinner. We had a great time. Everyone was friendly and when dinner was served we certainly had a good appetite and thorougly enjoyed the meal.
After dinner, we just sat around on the top deck until the sun set and then one of the passengers asked for most of the lights to be turned off so we could see the evening sky. Pure Magic.
There were sharks swiming around the boat all the time – tawny mouth sharks and one bull shark – these are actually encouarged by being hand fed each afternoon near a special shark proof pool which the passengers could enter. We chose not to as the water was FREEZING.
The young lad feeding the sharks unfortunately had his thumb and part of his palm bitten – he had to fly out on the next morning’s plane to go to the hosptial in Broome. It did look a little nasty.
We all retired to our beds around 9.30pm. Neither Ian or I slept soundly, but that often happens for the first night in a strange bed. But the night was lovely and quiet and we could just hear the water lapping the side of the houseboat. Our bed faced outwards and the wall was a large window looking out over the water. Again – pure MAGIC.
We woke early as breakfast was served around 6.15am so that we could all go for another trip on the special boat up to the Falls again to see how different the morning tide was. Well, this is hard to describe. We thought yesterday was fantastic, but this was even better. We could enter both openings yesterday, but not this morning as the water coming through the smaller opening had a 4 to 5 metre height difference and our little craft could not enter that safely. But we still did a few loops of the bigger entry and that in itself was truly amazing.
What speed – he could hold the boat still against the flow the current (at the equivalent of 30 kmh just to hold our position) so that we could take photos. We were absolutely thrilled with it all.
We would recommend this tour to anyone. Beg, borrow or steal if that is the only way you could afford to do it. It truly is something not to be missed.
On the flight home (7.30am) Ian was lucky to get the co-pilot’s seat. He absolutely loved it. It was an extremely smooth flight and only took 35 minutes or so even though it was a different route to the one we took in yesterday afternoon.
We got back to our Van – and headed here to Broome. We are at a Caravann Park (or should I say ‘city’) at Cable Beach. There are over 450 sites. Most of the people are regulars year in, year out. We have not been to the beach yet even though it is just a walk away. I woke up with a burst blood vessel in my left eye and we thought it would be best to get an optometrist to look at it before we did too much more. We were lucky OPSM are here and I got the ‘all clear’ from him. We then did a grocery shop for fruit and I decided I had better get this blog done as we are going our for dinner tonight -Ian’s cousin Maureen has invited us out for a BBQ tea. Should be great.
Love to all, Janese and Ian