You’re standing atop a tall escarpment, which cuts through the Arnhem plateau. The mottled ochre rock curves from horizon to horizon, juxtaposing the green mass of the canopy below.
Only the toughest of plants survive here. There’s little soil, no rain half the year, and harsh, strong sun. Spinifex grass, and thin trees with few leaves are the main contenders.
The midday sun is unrelenting, and your every pore exudes sweat, but there is one upside to all the heat: every breeze feels ten times as wonderful.
There is no need for music, or chatter, the birds sing, the wind whistles, the leaves rustle, all part of nature’s symphony.
And the best part: the water. Your skin sings with joy as you slip into the cold water. Then you rush back out squealing and laughing because it’s far colder than you were expecting.
The river cascades over a few large drops before reaching the edge of the final fall, the hundred-meter (or so) drop over the cliff face. The sheer cliff face that overflows with pounding, water in the wet season. But dries to a trickle in the dry season.
You head off after lunch, exploring the smaller pools dotted along the sides of the river, relics of the raging river, reduced to a stream by the time the road is opened. You’re shoved underwater more times than you can count, and you shove your fair share too.
There are grins that stretch from everyone’s hearts, to their ears, and yours is no exception. It’s hard not to be overjoyed, with so much beauty around you. So much peace. So much constancy. So much space. So much nature that doesn’t care about your worries. For just a few hours. You don’t care about them either.
You’re standing atop Jim Jim Falls, on Jawoyn Land, lost amid the wonders of Kakadu National Park, and it is marvellous.