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Journeys : Dec Jan 2010
Verandah Cliffs, where the river closes in and jumbled rocks block our progress. We tur n and drift with the flow back into the Gordon. It's a bouncy ride down through the joggle of rapids that we'd portaged and paddled earlier. As we arrive at our camp, we're surprised to see three new sea kayaks draw n up on the beach. They belong to a trio of women paddlers who have made the upstream trip from Heritage Landing that day. After introductions, we share mugs of wine from our bottle and their ca sk. Chance encounters in the bush usually revolve around enthusiastic comparisons of favourite outdoor equipment and Paddle west The Gordon River Paddle is a full-day guided experience, operated by Pure Tasmania from Strahan. Departing on the morning sailing of Lady Jane Franklin II, the paddle begins with a safety briefing and gear check at Heritage Landing. In a safe, stable double sea kayak, you'll paddle upstream for a comfortable hour and a half in flat-water conditions on the lower Gordon. Go ashore to enjoy a riverside picnic lunch of fresh Tasmanian produce before an easy drift and paddle back dow nstream to meet the after noon cr uise back to Strahan, visiting Sarah Island on the way. The Gordon River Paddle operates all year round and costs $365 per person, with a minimum of two and maximum of eight people. Cost includes the cr uise, all equipment, morning tea, lunch, after noon tea and dinner. More: www.puretasmania.com.au/ gordonriverpaddle Notice anything odd about the photograph opposite? To see it the right way up, turn the magazine upside down. ex aggerated accounts of past wilderness epics. Neither of these themes interests me much, although I've had my share of both. Now, with a new audience of like-minded gear-freaks, my companion morphs into River-Guide Man and soon the talk is all of dry-bags, wet rescues and the power phase of a paddle stroke. I retreat to my tent with a mug of red and The Fatal Shore. The second mor ning is still, silent and sunny. We break camp, pack up and launch our kayaks, aiming to meet Lady Jane for her after noon cruise back to Strahan. I had never paddled with an iPod before this trip. That morning it was the early sun that made my eyes water, but now, every time I listen to k.d.lang, they prickle at the memory of gliding dow n that wonderful river with her voice, a smoky cello, in my ears. I match my paddling to the slow and measured cadence of the songs, although I feel reluctant to break the river's perfect mir ror. With my head full of music and my eyes full of reflections, I round the last bend at the end of Limekiln Reach; and there's the cr uise boat, waiting at Heritage Landing to take us back to the world. Campsite on the Gordon River Lower Gordon reflections Sir John Falls In Tasmania today 47 December 09 / January 10
October November 2009
Feb March 2010