National Geographic : 2011 Oct
• the silky water ows horizontally along the cave- like chamber back out to the edge of the cli . We still have a thousand feet of air below us. We rappel directly into the bludgeoning waterfall. Halfway down I make the mistake of looking up, and the blast of water almost tears my head o . e next three descents are just as extraordi- nary and drop us into hanging ponds of frigid water, like swimming pools midway up a sky- scraper. We backstroke across these ponds, using the dry bags in our backpacks for otation. At 10 a.m. we share lunch on a sunny boulder with a water dragon, a two-foot, dinosaur-like lizard with a brilliant crest, and drink directly from the cool, delicious Danae. Holding my head under the emerald water, I spot blue-shelled yabbies, the native cray sh, clawing their way along the bottom of the pool. en we both strip o our wet suits. Robens is perfectly happy to continue in his birthday suit, but I pull on heavy nylon pants. Two weeks earlier in another canyon I managed to step into a stinging tree, a uniquely horri c plant that burns like stinging nettles and leaves a painful rash that doesn't go away for a month. Mine is in an unreasonable place.