??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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Off to Katherine

Again the threatening clouds dropped nothing. W leave Kakadu today. I had hoped to see a storm here but I have seen so many amazing things I can’t complain.

Today we drove in the direction of Katherine. Brian had one walk he wanted to do . He walked the steep path and I stayed in the air conditioned car 🙂

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The trip out of the park was green. The land even where burnt off has tall eucalyptus trees and palms in between them. Yesterday I learned that the palm leaves are used in strips to make dilly bags , rugs and wall hangings. They are dyed in varied colours using berries. We saw some brumbies grazing and eagles eating carcass of a young dingo. We passed green billabongs edged with tall reeds. Although it isry season this area is so ugh more lush tante environment we witnessed in Central Australia. The bright red landscape is replace too , with a browny red soil.Even saw a cloud that looked a bit like a gecko. Then we drove through he brick gates signifyingthat we had left Kakadu National Park.

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Approaching Pine Creek we saw a huge brushfire to the west. Black smoke swirled with red billowed up high into the sky. Turns out it is in Nitmiluk Park but it’s a huge park so it is no where near where we are headed…thankfully!

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Pine Creek has a population of around 700 people and it is he mining history starting point for Northern Territory. Gold was mined here in the early 1800s. Ate lunch here just after 2 pm then headed to Katherine our stop or the night. The hotel has a nice pool and w made use of it , refreshing after our long, busy, hot days. Had Chinese Food for dinner.

We hope to go on a gorge boat trip tomorrow. The owner here will tryo book t for us in h morning when e cruise company opens.

Glad I have finally caught my blog up. Being tire at night hasn’t been conducive to writing but also in many of our stays we just haven’t had reliable internet. I start posting and it cuts in and out so sending is inhibited.


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Nourlangie and Yellow Waters region

Despite the clouds last night no rain fell. Today the air was smoky and an oppressive heat surrounded us despite it being early morning. After breakfast we headed to Nourlangie and Yellow Water .
First stop was Nourlangie. It was a fairly flat walk with a few steep paths. I stuck to the flat path nursing my sore knee. The art here is also well preserved. Apparently they place silicon above the drawings which acts as an invisible ledge helping to stop rain run off traveling over the art. It is also touched up by the indigenous of the area. Though I must admit (should have taken a photo…but I’m sure there was a good explanation) I found it bewildering as to why the parks and wildlife utility truck had yellow brown red and black school style bottles of paint in a box in its tray) .

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Then we drove to Anbangbang Billabong. This was really a beautiful place. The serenity was broken only by the sound of wings as various birds flapped their wings flying to new pots on the billabong. A path winds about 5 metres from the waterline. At Bowali yesterday the parks and wildlife officer said there are crocodiles there but if you don’t go near the water you are safe. Brian walked the 100 metre path. I sat on a chair looking out admiring the beauty. Green lily pads covered much of the water. Pink and white lilies sat on the lily pads. Pelicans floated on the water. Other birds waded , pecking at things in the water. It was a place you could sit and watch for a long time. Just as Brian was walking towards me I turned my eyes back to the water. A pelican with another flew and landed on the billabong. In an instant the snout of an open mouthed crocodile slammed closed on the pelican. It tried to fly up as the jaws opened for a moment but again they snapped closed and a thrashing rolling crocodile rolled several times really fast with the pelican. Other birds flapped overhead screeching as if they were trying to offer support to the victim. Muddy water spun around. Then…stillness on the water. The lily pads rocked a little then the water was smooth as if the scene had never played. Birds however continued to screech loud and long. Those in the middle of the billabong flew to other spots. The shoreline waders seemed oblivious. No more than 20 seconds passed I would say. Another couple sitting near us just looked our way and said ‘croc’ . None of us had cameras at hand nor would we have been fast enough to capture this sight but it will stay in my mind for ever. We stayed for a while still trying to comprehend what we had witnessed and talking of what had happened. Warnings are everywhere about the danger of crocodiles but it had until now seemed like it might just be a little overboard. But now it’s an understanding.

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Continuing on we explored the Warradjun Cultural Centre. Neither of us understood anything much of the indigenous culture of the region but these centres are really teaching us informative lessons.

Next we took a look at Yellow Water. We didn’t go an a cruise here. The timing was wrong but we looked around at the billabong .20121007-222144.jpg20121007-222154.jpg

We were able to to use an unsealed road to travel then to Jim Jim Billabong. This was another beautiful billabong. The water here was a deep green heavy with weeds along the shoreline. I took some photos but after our other billabong experience I didn’t venture past the warning signs..

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Tired and hot (it’s around 39C )we drove back to the hotel. It was around 4 pm . We found just opposite the hotel is a fabulous bakery so we had an easy dinner and settled back to pack up ready to leave tomorrow, heading for Katherine Gorge. Tonight a colony of bats flew overhead as we parked in the hotel car park. They looked eerie as they flapped in the group of hundreds against the grey cloudy sky heavy with the scent of brushfire smoke.


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Jabiru and East Alligator Region

Awoke to feel another hot day brewing.its humid here and the heat is less tolerable than the dry heat. There at seven regions of Kakadu and we hope to see all except the Jim Jim Falls region as it is only 4wd access.Today our plans are to see the regions
Jabiru and East Alligator River .

We started off in the East Alligator River area. Here we started with a visit to Ubirr. It was a walking track that took us past some well preserved examples of rock art. Signposts explained the stories behind the art and at some parts of the walk guides gave informative talks. The hot weather dictates we drink lots of water. The flies buzz loud and relentlessly. It is now I wish I had purchased a fly net for my hat . There was a steep rock hill to climb so Brian volunteered to do it and get some photos for me. 🙂

It’s amazing how high up and in odd angles that the art work is. It is also interesting to learn more about the culture through these diaries that were created in pictorial form.

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From here we headed to Cahills Crossing. It is an entry into Arnhem Land and a permit is required to enter past the weir. Familiar crocodile warnings are on the water weir yet there were several men fishing ignoring the signs. The water here is an inviting turquoise colour with white sand banks. But the danger that lurks unseen prevents us from diving into these cool waters. While we were there on the safe landing viewing platform we watched a road train drive across the weir to deliver its stock to somewhere in Arnhem Land. A lot of precision was required in that!!

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Next we visited the Bowali Visitors Centre. It had an interesting display AND it was air conditioned . On the way back to the car I had a little trip over and my knees were little worse for wear. ..never trip over in fancy high shoes only ever in joggers…that should be a lesson for me hahaha. Went back to the hotel and made good use of my well prepared first aid kit.

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By now it was early afternoon and we were getting puckish. We drove around Jabiru looking at the school , clubs ending at the shopping centre. We ate fried fare in the cafe, bought some dips and chips from the supermarket and headed back to the resort. Brian swam in the pool and I sat in the room enjoying 17C on the air conditioner 🙂

Tomorrow we have more to explore and so we set the alarm for 6 30 so hopefully we can beat a little of the heat . Storm clouds hover tonight. A storm here would be special to see. They are overdue according to the seasons.