Double River waterfall is 89 feet high. Enormous butterflies sashay through the sunbeams, because that way the light will hit them just "so". The water is as cold as ice, and crystal clear. I had a pedicure courtesy of some crayfish who picked around my cuticles and under my toenails very ticklishly. The crayfish were brown, blue, turquoise, yellow, red, and orange; and Chas caught one that was HUGE! 8 inches? We let him go, being too blissed out to think of taking any home for lunch! We fed them bits of OUR lunch (tuna sandwiches) instead!
We took an hour and a half to walk to the waterfall, at 6-year-old "Max" speed. Khalil is 5, but he is just like Chas... He has gotta GET THERE! And the rest of us better HURRY UP! So Chas and Khalil sped ahead, with Kelly mostly keeping up with them, Kamala in the backpack. Max and I lagged behind, and Sam was either up in front, or in back, or in the middle on his own.
We saw no snakes. In fact, we saw not a living thing! What with Chas and Khalil keeping a high-volume commentary up front about the scientific names of different crayfish sub-species, and Max and I singing "follow the muddy ol' road" to the tune of "follow the yellow brick road", and Sam yelling "ARE you guys EVER gonna catch up?" at intervals, I am sure that every wild animal had crawled, flown, hopped, slithered or swum away as far as they could go and hidden, trembling, till it was all over.
When Chas was about 5, we took him on a long hike and he talked incessantly till we passed a sign on a tree. One of those weird signs the tourist board puts up to say "take nothing but pictures" or whatever. Chas paused in his chatter to ask "what does that say?" and my wise sister-in-law Miranda said "absolutely no talking beyond this point!" She is a genius. It kept him quiet for a whole minute!
It rained briefly, but only enough to make things steamy - not to wet us properly (what RAIN? In a RAINFOREST? Gee!) and we got to use our rainjackets for 5 minutes. Not that we needed them, but they are just SO cool, ya know? The boys got absolutely caked with mud, and my car... Oh boy, when the car guy sees it... I can hear him now "this is gonna cost ya extra." I drove in as far as possible, and the boys wanted to sit in the trunk with their legs dangling out which was fine by me. Chas fell out accidentally-on-purpose, in a muddy patch. Luckily I was doing about zero miles an hour.
Kelly and I had a great time just talking girl talk and noting that our kids are the best in the whole world. We had no men, because my Sean worked on Saturday and was on the sea today helping out at a kayak race with my brother, the photographer guy. Carl, Kelly's husband, had taken a tour deep into the bush for the weekend. So it was a really girly weekend, in spite of being so outnumbered by small boys!
As we were starting back, I slipped and landed on my knee. OW OW! I put arnica cream on it, and walked it off, but I am going to so feel that tomorrow! I was really impressed with everyone's walking- we stopped for no breaks, and pushed Max and Sam pretty hard. We know what they are capable of now, and we can plan longer hikes. Max and Khalil were especially impressive because they had stayed up till after 9.00 the night before, giggling in bed, and got up so early in the morning! I thought for sure they would crash, but they didn't. They are big boys.
Chas found an enormous and wonderful flat rock. He carried it all the way back.
I love my "lands end" shoes, but all of the water doesn't run out of them when you have walked through a river. What should I do? My feet were NOT impressed to walk in half a centimetre of water for an hour, no sir. Can I put some holes in the shoes further down from the existing holes? Any ideas, anyone? Should I go back to Teva sandals? But I want my feet covered! Surely there exists a shoe somewhere... The lands end shoes are so comfy otherwise!
The small, lightweight "graco" kid-carrying backpack that Kamala was in, is the best in the world. Kelly has a super, mega, ergonomically designed fancy backpack. But she uses my old backpack that Sean bought secondhand nine years ago. It must be sixteen years old, and looking a little shabby but WORKING! I wonder if you can still get them? They are a great buy.
Other things to take on a hike next time:
*cheese sandwiches, as Sam doesn't like tuna this week.
*Sam's Tevas, which he forgot and had to wear his big boots. Which I ended up carrying. Full of wet socks. Work those biceps!
*something chocolatey, for the return journey. Hide it well, or it will all get eaten on the way there. Again.
*something to take crayfish home in, for tea!
*another fishing net.
*my hat, because even if it looks like its going to rain, I can still get sunburned. Especially after my sunblock has been rinsed off in said rain.