Kakadu Dreaming

Welcome to another update on this wonderful adventure of mine, though as it comes to a close I feel a little sorrowful at the prospect of it all being over; not because it won’t be nice to see home, I miss my family and friends very much but because I’ve had such a wonderful time out here and met so many awesome people and I don’t want it all to end!

That melancholic moment out the way lets gets back to the chronology, the backbone of my story telling, I left you at the end of another, and thankfully my last , ridiculously long train journey (god how easy going to London on the train will seem now). I arrived into Darwin and its ridiculous oppressive heat, wow, searing.

Like the clown I am I lost my hoodie on the bus into the city, but as I didn’t realise this at the time I will get to that later! Upon arriving at the hostel I checked in and arranged to head to a place around the corner for a $3.50 meal (£1.75, BARGAINS) with a few peeps off the train.

I had a lovely early start (7am) for my tour in the morning so I was going for a quiet night; upon getting back to the room I started to pack and realised that my hoodie wasn’t there, after a fruitless search of all the places I’d been I realised it must be on the train or the bus from the train. Argh.

On calling Great Southern Rail I found a disgruntled employee who was obviously snoozing on the job, she haughtily informed that she would call me in the morning if they found anything. So that was hoodie gone then in my book! I finished packing, felt a little sad at losing a hoodie thats been touring the world with me for three years and promptly went to sleep!

I was awoken not by my alarm but by a much more polite employee of GSR informing me that they had located my hoodie, hallelujah, slight problem being that I was heading off to Kakadu in ten minutes and couldn’t collect it; no problem, we’ll leave it with the hotel across the road and you can pick it up when you get back; HUZZAH. I wasn’t going to be happy until it was back in my arms again though.

So it was time to jump in for my next tour, nine of us piled into a Toyota Land Cruiser, myself, 2 Swiss, 3 Germans, 1 German-Indian and 2 Canadians. Along with our mentalist Australian tour guide Dan. It looked like a lot of couples on the journey so I took the front seat, near to the iPod and the source of knowledge.

The first stop of the tour was a jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide river, basically you sit in a boat while someone holds large chunks of meat on sticks and gets the crocs to jump out water, in a similar manner to how they would snatch a fruit bat out of a tree I was informed. WOW, those things are crazy, they get SO far out of the water and you can see that they would tear you apart in seconds. Amazing. Oh and I held an even bigger snake there (of the animal variety for all those of you twittering at the back) and I ran into JackJack of west coast fame on my way out of the cruise place; surreal.

The next stop was to buy booze and thats when I worked out this tour may be very different to a lot of the others, not in a bad way, just different and this is why, I bought a modest ten cans for two nights, the other eight bought 26 cans between them. A little over 3 cans each for TWO NIGHTS. Eek. We stopped for lunch, cold meat sandwiches, the tour classic and we saw a dead horse. Very pretty.

Then it was on to Nourlangie Rock and aboriginal rock paintings that are ridiculous amounts of time old, they were absolutely wonderful, check facebook soon for all the photos!! From there it was time to get back to camp and get the fire rocking and start cooking. Lamb chops, baked potatoes with sour cream and cheese and stir fried veggies. Mmmmm.

After a few quiet drinks it was off to bed in our glorified mosquito nets, which prevented nothing as I woke up to discover I had been devoured by the little bastards. Ah well. Breakfast over it was time to get the Land Cruiser into its element; sandy, dirty bumpy paths and river crossings. Awesome.

Our first destination was Twin falls, an absolutely gorgeous and idyllic spot involving an excellent hike and biscuits. Sadly no swimming in that area due to the crocodile risk; a shame but I’m not Croc Dundee or Steve Irwin so I didn’t fancy my chances.

Back in the 4×4 and headed to our lunch spot we got stuck behind an absolute clown shoe of a driver, in a big massive 20 person 4×4 who wouldn’t let our little nippy Toyota past, what an absolute prick, driving with no etiquette isn’t clever, its retarded, I hope the engine went on his truck. If you come to Darwin DO NOT go with Top End Tours, rubbish.

After we eventually got tore into lunch it was time to head on to Jim Jim “falls”, I put falls in commas as when we got there it was to find out that for this season Jim JIm has already fell so to speak; the waterfall was dried up. The pool underneath it however wasn’t and I took a swim across the large expanse of water to where the water would be crashing down in the wet season. Depsite their being no risk the thought of crocodiles did cross my mind a few times as I swam my way across and back.

That left us time to jump in the resort swimming pool before heading on back to camp to get the fire a blazing! The nights meal of choice was kangaroo steak, buffalo sausages, mashed potatoes and veggies. Delicious. The variety of meats you can out here is badass, I love it!

Another quiet round the fire contained one main highlight for me, the following riddle;

A man wakes up,
Goes upstairs,
Turns on a light
And dies

Answers on a postcard people…. we got to the end of it, eventually, good one though. Back to the giant mosquito tent (I swear there was more in it than outside) and snoozing away. Morning came and breakfast went and it was off to the final big stop of the tour: Magook (spelling most likely incorrect)

After a lovely short hike we arrived to the kind of place which is the reason you go exploring the world, paradise, the freshest cleanest water, a picture postcard landscape and massive rocks to chuck yourself off into plunge pools. Absolutely amazing, had a wonderful time there, the pictures will be on facebook soon, crazy jump action, loved it.

After the hike back all there was left to do was get in the Troopie and hightail it back to Darwin, with some more shitty drivers in the way and a Chinese Fire Drill (everyone gets out at the traffic lights and runs around the vehicle) at the final set of traffic lights. Then it was time for one of the greatest showers of my life, aside from the fact turning the hot water on to my body notified me that I had massive sunburn all over my back and shoulders. The first I’ve had in the whole of Oz, alll because the water washed my sun cream off and I didn’t think, bastard!!

For the night I caught back up with everyone off my tour for some food and had a mostly great evening, watching Dawson win a $50 bar tab, even though he doesn’t drink on a vacuum fashioned into a didgeridoo was classic. I also won a free pint and meal for knowing Peter Sellers was the actor in Pink Panther, which I’ve never seen so not sure why I know that lol! After some dancing on the tables (prompted by the DJ) some friends I met on the west coast arrived.

I proceeded to get off my tits by the end of the night, make a clown of myself and stumble off home, so apologies for anyone who saw or spoke to the state I was in, I wonder if they shall ever speak to me again. How embarassing. I then of course proceeded to come in and blow chunks in the sink (why not the toilet? I dont know) before passing out in rather inglorious fashion, after a good struggle up the ladder to the top bunk. Classic Jon.

I woke up this morning feeling any better than I had right to, took a wander outside and instantly ran into Malcolm, the owner of Hostel 109 in Adelaide, how weird lol! After a brief chat I headed off in search of food and ended up in an Irish cafe waiting for a beefburger and reading my book, about the golfer Seve Ballesteros, interesting.

From there I headed to global gossip and had a good read of SI and ESPN, can’t wait for NFL season, WOOP WOOP! I then just about caught up on my facebook (sorry Jutta, I didn’t quite have time to reply to your essay but I will in the next few days, promise). Chrissy from the Kakadu tour came and caught up with me and we had a little wander for awhile before I came back here.

Since then the only highlight has been talking to my favourite travel agent and trying to sort out payment for all of my east coast stuff, I’m halfway there at this point, Australian bank cards are shit but I should have it all sorted by monday, fingers crossed 😛

Right I’m off to go and use my free meal voucher at the Vic and catch up with a few people, I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest slice of my adventures and it finds you happy and smiling!

Love and Riddles

J. Xx

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One Response to “Kakadu Dreaming”

  1. Magook sounds heavenly, watch the drinking to excess!!


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