Despite aching muscles and a dear longing to crawl back into bed, was up and awake in time for the morning canoe, and hopped aboard for the misty sail.
Yungaburra is already a pretty place, but in the mornings it becomes almost fantastical.
The mist rolls in every morning, and when combined with the lake, you get this incredible landscape of floating haze echoed by the morning wildlife. Just standing by the edge of the lake was worth waking up early.
I was in the canoe with Darius and the youngest of our 3 travellers for that day. The other 2 were in their own canoe since they’d paddled before, and the other guys from the hostel would be taking Chief and going in their own canoe as they were putting down baskets for crayfish, so we left them (and a whining Chief) to it and headed out into the water.
There was little animal life around the waters edge, but most of the birds were waking up or still a little sleepy, so would let us get a lot closer than they would during the day. There was one rather large darter bird on a tree branch that let us get right underneath him without flying off.
That said, the biggest shock of the day came when we were paddling along in completely still water, only to see a giant barramundi fish shoot out. This thing was easily a metre long, and back flipping out of perfectly smooth water. What made it more impressive, was that barramundi only do that to escape predators, and for a fish that size, only thing that could be a threat is a crocodile. Freshwaters supposedly live in this lake, but nobody’s seen one in about 3 years. May very well have had the first evidential sighting that they still do.
When we completed the circuit and headed back, the third canoe joined us, complete with an agitated Chief. He’s a kelpie, a born herder, and Darius has said that when he comes canoeing, he has to be in the front canoe or gets very agitated. Being in a canoe separate from Darius, and not in front was apparently very upsetting…to the point that he would jump out of the canoe and try to swim to us. Thankfully only did it twice before calming down and the boys could get him back into the canoe pretty easily.
When we headed back, somebody had gotten it into their heads that they wanted to make pancakes, so we made a quick pitstop to the Foodworks convenience store and grabbed some fruit and quick pancake mix (much to the dismay of the actual chef in the group!). As it happens, the group were from the Netherlands which is what inspired pancakes, although our attempts were fairly doughy and not all that up to Netherland scratch.
I wasn’t able to enjoy them for too long though. I was still sore from wake boarding and the canoe hadn’t helped – and I still had the hostel to clean. At least it was still quiet, so I was able to wash and change the few sheets fairly quickly and focus on cleaning the floors, doing the dishes and cleaning the toilets before 12 noon…and then spent the entire day lying in the newly installed hammock in the back garden reading for most of the afternoon while preparing for tonight.
Why? There was a huge group from the On The Wallaby tour, and Uncle Brian’s tour bus was right behind them. Since UB’s lunch box goes with them, have to get it washed and dried before they leave, and get started on the OTW box before dinner or else I’m washing constantly for 2 hours. As it was, got both boxes finished in time to have barbeque dinner, and then start the cleanup once again.
Better get used to this – hostel is going to be very busy for the next few days…