Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Land of Sobek Crocodile God


In North Qld there is a tension between the heat and refreshing watery vistas and the threat of crocodiles.  Even the main tourist beach in Port Douglas has signs about stingers and crocodiles (salties) and there was added signage on the day we arrived because a salty was seen off the beach last week.

The normal beach sign
Frost about to swim at the beach with the
RECENT CROCODILE SIGHTING sign in front of it.
We were reassured by the lifeguards that the salties seldom attack swimmers in the sea - its not like the rivers.  The salties go in both fresh and salt water but they seem to prefer to attack out of the real ocean.  Even so, a friend mentioned that one of the researchers working in the area had their foot bitten by a salty when they were on a paddleski in the surf.

Today, on the way to Daintree Village, we stopped to look across the river and saw two fat wild crocs lying on a sandy inlet on the other side.  As we drove over a small bridge past a tributary stream, Mum mentioned that on a previous visit to the area they learned that a man was killed by a crocodile swimming in that creek at night.

A freshwater croc at the Rainforest Habitat Center.  He is green
from algae in the water, not his usual color!

Warning by the Daintree River.
We saw this big information sign on a National Park walk.  Its all crocodiles and cassowary information everywhere.  Cassowaries = GOOD and Crocodiles = BAD. 

Crocodile information board
In an interesting synchronicity, Wren and Frost have been listening to a CD of Egyptian mythology and we learned about Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile-headed god who was an aggressive and troublesome fellow.   Perhaps crocodiles are the bane of all riverine people.  The hot weather, the tempting waters, the lurking jaws.  

Looking out across the Daintree river today at the beasts on the shore, I certainly felt the tension.

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