Special Watch

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Downs and Ups

Hi hi,

Been in the dumps for a couple of weeks. But things finally brightened at the close of the case. The Tolkien books I ordered arrived at the same time, and in time for my trip too. Hmmm... Was literally floating amongst the clouds then. Then, came the much-awaited trip.
Visited a country that has never fail to touch me. It's a place where:
1. People say thank you to their public bus drivers, teenagers included
2. People have big hearts and go all their way out to help one another
3. People laugh at everything, even when the situation is irksome to them
4. People go round greeting everyone else with a 'How's it going?'
5. People and pets are so friendly (even dogs come to you, trusting that you will shower love on them)
6. For someone like me, who never fail to learn something
7. People appreciate everyone else Ah... my kind of place.
Here is the route:
1. Darwin (wonderful monuments recording the cruelty of WWII and Cyclone Tracy, Mindil Beach Market)

2. Litchfield National Park (swimming under waterfalls)
Wangi Falls - just opened for swimming a week prior to my arrival (no crocs here)
3. Katherine (where the proprietess of Springvale Homestead took such great care of me and watched out for me, and where the night river croc cruise sets off every night, and where the guests at the bistro taught me the game of rugby)

Springvale Homestead - where I called home for a couple of nights, boasting stunning sunrises and sunsets, where wallabies roam, where the people's hearts are more beautiful from anywhere else (perhaps because the place floods every couple of years and evacuation is often needed, that people here have such big hearts)
The nightly croc river cruise where you get to see the wild freshies up close

4. Manyallaluk (where I had a great time learning from true blue aboriginal guides and tasting bush tucker - spear throwing, playing the Didgeridoo, bush walking and intro into uses of plants all around, Aboriginal painting, basket weaving, fire making)

Life for the Aborginals is certainly hard (you can tell that I probably fail in all the above). And much as I would love to pay tribute to my 3 wonderful Aborginal guides/friends, I have to refrain from putting their names and pictures here for cultural reasons.
Bush plums - a nice nibbly full of Vit C

Damper, billy, ordinary bbq food plus skippy tail (a bush delicatessen)

Learn to make a bush paint brush and the paint (the white piece of rock)

5. Mataranka (springs, historical homesteads, Baramundi feeding)

6. Nimiluk National Park (where the beautiful Katherine Gorge is found)
It's absolutely beautiful here

The cruise

7. Pine Creek (mining settlement)

8. Kakadu National Park (Aboriginal museums telling enlightening stories about the Aborginals, Nourlangie Rocks and Ubirr with 360degrees view of the floodplain and the escarpment, Yellow Water floodplain and its legendary sunset)
Yellow Water cruise

Never seen such a beautiful sunset before
9. Cooinda bush camp (my first attempt at bush camping but ended up not able to fall asleep because of animals sizing me up all around the tent, and being a light sleeper does not help matters)
10. Territory Wildlife Park, Jumping Cros Cruise, Croc Farm, Windows on Wetlands, Fogg Dam reserve, Didgeridoo Hut (a short stop that captivated me heart absolutely - an Aboriginal Art Gallery that has been nicknamed Noah's ark, for the owner is a volunteer in housing injured wild animals - where a galah hops onto your finger when you say 'hop on' and a little joey who has losts its mum in an accident and a dog who requests a few loving pats from you etc)

The guide cum skipper getting the pork ready

There it goes - the agressive salty

And then I set off for home in the most grouchy mood possible. Sigh...