It was our last day camping on the Gibb. A couple that we had previously chatted with told us that there are no crocodiles in Tunnel Creek. As we scrambled over the large boulders outside the cave, we passed a group of men who said to us “Watch out for the crocs!” I can never really tell when Aussies are kidding or not, but these guys weren’t joking. So Mom and I quickly made friends with the people walking shortly in front of us and together the six of us braved the dark Tunnel Creek. It was like safety in numbers or like some sort of mob mentality that if one person decided it was safe, we all kind of agreed and went along with it. Well, almost. Mom was grabbing on to my backpack so tightly, I thought she was about to choke me. I eventually had to ask her to please let go of me and just hold my hand as I dragged her along with the group. About half way, there was an opening where we could see a bunch of fruit bats hanging from the trees above. Then back in the pitch black cave, we passed a freshie on the bank and two more swimming in the underground creek. We had to wade about ankle deep in the water to get to the end and I was so proud of Mom for braving it! On this trip, my mother, the adventure club ring leader, the sky diver and all around adrenaline junkie, definitely showed me a different side to her fearlessness than I had ever seen before.
That night, we camped near Windjana Gorge and shortly before sunset at around 5:15pm, we went exploring. The water in the gorge was filled with freshwater crocodiles (the small, harmless ones) and we sat on the beach waiting for dusk. About quarter to six, it was like clockwork: swarms and swarms of fruit bats came flying out of the gorge by the tens of thousands. It was like something from a horror movie! Neither of us had ever seen anything like it before. The fruit bats had woken up to hunt the bugs and the crocs were floating around in the hopes to snatch up a bat or two. The twilight made it increasingly hard to see, so it was utterly insane to randomly hear the water splashing as the crocs snapped at the bats. Witnessing the circle of life firsthand was the best word of mouth tip we received and it was such an unforgettable way to end our mother daughter adventure in The Outback!