May 20, 2009

Stay away from the water...

After a rather relaxing weekend in Darwin I took a 2 day trip to Kakadu Nationalpark. We were a pretty small - but rather strange - group of 16 people plus our guide. First stop was a boatride on the Billabong to view the wildlife and the crocs of course. Northern Territory is full of crocs, so you are not allowed to swim in any rivers, natural pools and the sea - that and thanks to the famous jellyfish that is. During our cruise we spotted a 3.5m crocodile sun baking on a tree. It was huge. And some other crocs chilling in the 30°C waters of the Billabong. On our way to Kakadu Nationalpark we came across large bushfires, and since we were in a 4WD, we just had a closer look. I had the best of them all, since I was sitting right in the passenger seat - despite the fact, that it gets rather hot up there and the noise of the engine makes conversation rather difficult - it´s a good spot and you get to choose the playlists for the bus! Yay! During our 3 hrs. drive to the park we spotted more kangaroos than on the whole way up to Broome - where there were supposed to be heaps. In Kakadu we drove all the way up to Ubirr to view the fascinating Aboriginal Rock Arts. Quite amazing along with their stories. Before settling in our camping site we headed to Yellow waters to see a fantastic sun set over the wetlands. I have seen so many beautiful sunsets in the past few weeks, I cannot tell you which one is the best of them all. Cable Beach is way up front up to this point.

Overnight was camping time, this time it was soo humid that a sleeping bag wasn´t really neccessary. Fortunately they had a refreshing pool there, were some of us, had a short jump in. That night I slept for like 4 hours tops because some animal was crawling around our tent, sniffing, digging and walkabout. I hope it was a wallaby. At dusk we were awakened by monsoon rain. That was pretty uncommon since it is dry season right now. After an hour it stopped so we had a dry hike to the Jim Jim Falls ahead of us. The road back to the remote area of the falls is only accessable by 4WD and that was fun. At the falls we met the other happy campers not so happy, because they spent the night in their swags and got a bit surprised by the rain. So all their swags and sleepingbags were drying in the sun. The hike to the falls were more rock climbing than hiking, and it was soo humid we all were drenched in the end. And in the end our effort was rewarded with a refreshing swim in the natural pool there. That´ s what life´s about.

Since it was only a two day trip we just had some time to chill at the waterfalls and then head back to Darwin. One of the Asian girls on the trip claimed to have seen a croc sliding into the pool just before the waterfalls. Since she was the only one there at that point of time, there is no proof. Of course, the signs warn you to swim anywhere because of the crocs and there are some staying there. Maybe she was just pulling our leg. Or maybe not!

After we arrived in Darwin we all met again for some serious partying at The Vic. Meanwhile my other travelbuddies arrived back from their trip to the Kimberly´s and we all had a warming up booze in the hostel. Since it´s a licened premise we weren´t allowed any booze in our dorms or anywhere, so we smuggled it in. Dinner that night was a half pack of crisps and 2 Bundaberg Coke.... needless to say, that party rocked that night. After the music got really bad at the Vic some of us headed with some locals to the pub, where they were playing live music. That was even better. Good times Darwin.

Hung over and tired we all hung out at the leisure deck at the MOM evenly divided between, sunbaking and a dip in the pool. Can it get any better.

Visual Impressions are found here!

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