posted on May, 26 2006 @ 03:33 AM
Today Bob is taking me out to the gap and we are going to climb to the top of the rock slide, there is a cave right up the back hidden from the view
of the tourist walk. Mike from the CSIRO is also coming along, I love it when Mike comes on our little trips, he is always catching all sorts of weird
and wonderful things. My sister doesn’t want to come, thank god. After our last trip when all she did was whinge about how far it was, how hot it
was, and on and on and on. Have to go now and pack my rucksack, can try out my new torch at last. Yeah.
Wow, what a day, we left at about quarter to eight in Bob’s landrover and Mike followed us in his work truck. Before we left Mike showed me the
King Brown that he’d caught the previous night at Stanley Chasm, he still had it in the back of his truck in a large plastic specimen tub. It was a
female about six and a half feet long and was the most beautiful earthy color, brown and green, Mike said that she had probably just shed her skin,
she seemed to ripple when the sun hit her just right.
When we arrived at the Gap there was already a tourist bus in the car park so Bob had to do his talk and show them all around. Mike and I went down
to the waterhole to check the level, or at least Mike checked the level, I caught tadpoles, while Bob did his thing. After a while Bob came to get us
and we went over to the rockslide.
Most of the tourists had left except for one or two stragglers getting some last minute snaps of the Yellow footed rock wallabies that live in and
around the rocky slopes. It was still reasonably cool so there was about a dozen or so leaping about on the rocks about fifty feet up the slope.
Bob decided that it would be an easier climb up the left hand side between the base of the rock slide and the mountain wall, as well as being cooler.
Just now the sun is bathing the top half of the Gap in light, the red rock and shale glinting. The first part of the climb thankfully is in the shade
as its supposed to get up around 40 degrees celcius today.
Bob led the way with me in the middle and Mike bringing up the rear, we had to continuously keep stopping though everytime Mike thought he saw a
lizard or a mouse, even a fresh pile of wallaby droppings , all I want to do when I grow up is be a ranger like Grand Bob or work for Mike at the
After about forty minutes of climbing I could see the opening to the cave about another hundred feet or so away. It was just a gash really in the rock
wall about six feet high and three or four feet wide, there are two enormous boulders in front of it which is why it couldn’t be seen from down in
the dry river bed. Eventually we made it to the opening, heck my legs are sore but I don’t want to say anything, Mike and Bob are barely puffing.
We pull out our torches and head in through the opening, Bob leads the way again and Mike goes through next, when I come through it seems like a
passage from some medieval dungeon. It went in for about ten feet then all of a sudden opened up into this huge cavern.
And then it hit me.
I nearly threw up on the spot.
From above there was a sudden rushing and rustling like the wind blowing through the tree’s and then this screeching, chirping cacophony, and the
air was filled with little brown bats, I ducked without thinking but I need not have bothered.
Bob and Mike moved over towards the far wall and I followed them, my feet squishing in what seemed like an inch or so of bat poo. Whew, the stink was
getting worse the farther in we went when the cavern came to a sudden end about thirty feet in.
The bats slowly settled down again and Mike started wandering around collecting samples, bugs and dirt and droppings. Last of all he pulled a small
net out of his pack and we headed back towards the opening. When we were there Mike picked up a small stone and chucked it at the roof of the cave,
setting the bats off on a mad flight around the room, and he threw his net out and a little bat flew straight into it.
It fell struggling to the floor and Mike casually bent down and picked it up. He held it by both of its wings and spread them out so I could get a
good look at it. Boy are they ugly, this vision of me throwing the bat into my sisters room and locking the door flashed through my head as I peered
into its beady little eyes.
Mike slipped it into a small bag in his pack and tied off the top. As we were heading back down Bob pointed out a big Carpet snake disappearing into a
gap between two rocks, the part of it that I saw would have to have been about eight feet long and as thick as Grand Bob’s arm.
When we got back to the trucks it was about one o’clock and you could see that shimmer in the air when you know its going to be a scorcher. Mike
put the little bat into a container in his truck along with his pack.
Mike had to head back into town and Bob and I needed to go and check the water pump then fix up some fencing over by the information building. Mike
patted me on the head and promised he’d take me out trapping rabbits next time, I can’t wait.
So diary that was my day, we are going home the day after tomorrow, I wish the school holidays would never end and I could just stay out here every
day with my Grandad, how could life possibly get any better than this.