04.12.2006 30 °C
I really enjoyed Kakadu park in the Northern Territory. On Fri I met my friend Peter in Darwin and we went for a few beers at a beach bar to watch the sunset over Fannie Bay. I know the Aussies will get a kick out of that name. Darwin is a very relaxed kind of town where most locals sport dreadlocks, facial hair or both. I was hoping for more for a Frontier kind of town, but its very built up. Sadly, a hurricane leveled Darwin in the 70s but the real tragedy is that most of it was rebuilt at that time so 70's architecture abounds in Darwin.
Then I joined a small tour of 6 others to head into Kakadu on Sat. We had a good group, save for the English couple, whose continuous belches and bum crack sightings and many other unmentionables gave the rest of us a few good laughs. There was a great German couple who were fun as well as efficient, thanks to Germany's obligatory 9m in the Army for their men, which is great camping training. I was teamed up with a cool girl from Quebec and together we managed to survive a horrendous but exciting monsoon like thunder/lightening/rain storm on our first night by desperately holding our tent together for 45 minutes. By the end there was so much water in the tent we had to check for barramundi and crocs before falling asleep. That was the first rain they had had all season, as the wet season is set to begin in a few weeks. I think they are off to a good season if that storm was any indication.
We covered over 1200 kms and experienced the usual, remote water falls and swimming holes, croc infested billabongs, emus with a death wish (we just clipped him as he darted into the road as we were going 80kms, he only lost a feather or two), wild brumbies, dingos howling at the full moon, wallabies, amazing bird life, Aboriginal rock art, and 40+ degree temps. As my Canadian friend said, there's warm, there's hot, and then there's Kakadu.
And lastly a night out in the Darwin pub filled with young backpackers and ridiculous games. The English guy did finally pull his weight by managing to stuff his gob with 30 marshmallows, thus winning us 2 extra points on the pub quiz and declaring us the winners. We did, however only win a $100 bar tab at the bar which I sadly did not get to partake in as had to catch my overnight flight.
It is great to be back in Australia full time after neary 2 and a half years away. I was there to see Jody get married in late October, with a beautiful reception at Aqua dining, just under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.