Sunday, 16 October 2011

Darwin Day Eleven -

Dear Lola,

We look forward to a full day exploring Kakadu. Lola, you are unleashed on the breakfast buffet and try one of everything. 

With full bellies and one morning nap later we drive to Nourlangie. The clouds hang low and after one epic roar of thunder and lightning strike (that felt a little too close for comfort) the sky opens up and it pours down. As we drive we are treated to a magnificent landscape getting a well deserved drink, soaking up every drop. By the time we arrive at Nourlangie the storm has passed, leaving behind blue skies and hot & heavy air. The dominant sandstone escarpment of Nourlangie also features a walking track and we stop & point out the Aboriginal rock art to you.  You prefer to continue rock hunting and explore the boardwalk steps. 

We trek up a moderately steep hill to Gun-warddehwardde lookout, which provides impressive views of Kakadu’s escarpment. It is also the most scenic nappy changing spot you have experienced Lola!


The flies and heat after the rain take us back to the car.

Next stop is Ubirr, a track that takes us past incredible, detailed rock art. Puddles have formed in the rock crevices and you enjoy sitting in them playing with the sand and rocks. You even spot a wallaby with a little baby in its pouch, pointing it out to others that walk by. You are a very considerate little peach.

We have booked a Guluyambi boat cruise for 3pm, so we pile back into car covered in sweat and dirt. You carry half of this sacred land under your fingernails, smeared on your arms, legs and because you have rubbed your eyes, it’s all over your face as well! We are quite a sight as we pull up to the East Alligator River. You get acquainted with the other five members of our tour, and as we board we spot our first croc baking in the sun on the bank.  You are really excited and don’t sit still for the first half an hour, and as the boat is reasonably small, our savior comes from a muffin we took from the breakfast buffet. If only for five minutes or so! 

As we slowly travel along the waterway we spot plenty of crocs and listen to our Aboriginal guide explain aspects of local Aboriginal culture. The river forms the boundary between Kakadu and Arnhem Land. Arnhem Land is an Aboriginal reserve and one of Australia’s last great untouched wilderness areas. The boat pulls up and as you can only access the land with a permit or guide we have this mystical & sacred place to ourselves. Lola, you head straight for the rock pool puddles, as we have one eye on you and the other on the stunning rocky cliffs that surround the river.

Lola we are impressed with how calm and cuddly you are as our guide gives us a spear demonstration. Back on the boat everyone forgets about croc spotting as you run up and down the aisle playing peek a boo with everyone and laughing as your new friends pretend to chase you. 

The day’s adventures have caught up with you, and before Papa even starts the car you are fast asleep.
A big swim in the pool removes all the dirt, before a poolside dinner of ravioli for you. You are in bed before 7pm , as we enjoy take-away pizza and play spot the cane toads as they jump about in front of us. 

Your mama

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