End of the line for Oz

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
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Trip End Jun 30, 2006


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Monday, May 22, 2006

The top end of Australia has an abundance of three things: stunning scenery, hot and sticky weather, and mosquitoes. Over the last two days, I experienced all three on a Kakadu National Park Safari.

Our 4WD truck set off early yesterday morning, after a bit of a mixup with my booking. Apparently my last guide hadn't confirmed it properly when he sent in the booking, so they never came to pick me up at the designated time and I had to hitch a ride to the head office to get it all sorted out. Not a big deal, just a pain at 6:30 in the morning. At any rate, we set out with 16 people plus the driver. Most of us had been on the previous tour, and one of the new people was in my dorm the night before (and woke me up by accidentally spraying bug repellant in my face... it's okay Magali, it wasn't your fault!) so there were a lot of familiar faces.

We first went to Adelaide River, where we went on a one-hour cruise to see saltwater crocodiles. Anytime they spotted a croc, they'd dangle some meat from the side of the boat to make it jump up. After that, we went to a park for lunch, and then to a cultural centre to learn about Aboriginal art and history. Next, we went on a bushwalk to see plenty of Aboriginal rock art, and a stunning lookout over the whole area from the top. The contrast between the grassy wetlands and the rocky, tree-filled forest was amazing. Last night we camped out, where we tried to play didgeridoo around the bonfire, and got attacked by insects.

Today, we set out early and drove to a stunning waterfall. The largest and most famous waterfall, Jim Jim, was still closed due to flooding in the area, but we went to Gunlum falls which were amazing nonetheless. A steep climb to the top took us to a pristine rock pool where we spent a couple of hours swimming under the waterfall, and then we climbed back down and swam at the base. After lunch, we headed back to Darwin. The trip to Kakadu was short and sweet.

I now have less than one day left in Australia. It's hard to believe that I've been wanting to come here for so long, and now it's over and I'm leaving. Tomorrow it's off to Singapore for a quick stopover, then onto Europe and the next adventure. But there's still loads more that I'd love to see here in Oz, so I hope I can come back someday to experience it all.
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