Saturday, 15 October 2011

Darwin Day Ten -

Dear Lola,

Today we are off to Kakadu. We briskly pack and tidy up the house as we won’t be back. A house we have only stayed in for a week but have grown attached to. It’s funny how it doesn’t take long to become attached to a place, forming little routines, becoming familiar with everything in the kitchen, the sounds, smells & knowing how long it takes for the hot water to come through. Although in this case it was how long it takes for cold water to come through as the water is always hot here in Darwin! I think you will miss the cheeky pups the most. Oh and the giant stuffed teddy bear that you had to cuddle & kiss every time we walked down the hallway.

The car is loaded and we are off. Lola you chat away in the back as we enjoy some new scenery. We are trying to teach you to say Kakadu – you can say Kaka so easily and every time I say “Lola where are we off to today?” you announce “kaka” and then let out a burst of laughter. This entertains us for about half the trip there.  You fall asleep and we look for crocs with every bridge we pass over.

We arrive at our accommodation, but we don’t check in till 2pm. It is only 11am. We go for swim in the pool and while papa is at the reception desk we go for a stroll around the grounds. There are ducks, geese and plenty of cockatoos for you to wave at.  Then I freeze as I spot just a few feet away from us a big ol’ brown snake curled up on the grass. My heart races, I think I may even stop breathing as I quite calmly turn and walk away. Lola you may not know this, but I am terrified of snakes, lizards and the like, even those little skink lizards make me jump! Papa comes to the rescue and we inform the front desk of our discovery. 

Lola's new buddy     

We drive to Mamukala wetlands. We are hungry so I prepare some wraps in the front seat and then we eat them on one of the picnic tables in the car park. The three of us sit there with our legs tucked up (easy for you Lola) as not to get bitten by the giant ants that are enjoying your lunch that you are carelessly tossing off the table. Little do we know that if we had walked just a few hundred metres down the track we could have had lunch with a view overlooking the wetlands. We thought people who passed us in the car park were looking at us funny!
The wetlands are most dramatic at this time of year as thousands of magpie geese congregate to feed. The observation platform is a safe place to watch the birdlife, the hot pink flowers and wallabies. We are on constant watch for crocs but don’t see any. 

We head down the road to Jabiru region, the main township in Kakadu, home to the giant croc hotel (we drive past  it for your Omi and Opi who have stayed there) and then buy some supplies at the local supermarket. Heading back to our hotel from here we stop at the South Alligator River, are on croc patrol again (from the safety of our car) but don’t see any. The suspense of it all is enough for your mama anyway. That and convincing your papa to stay in the car, “Marty we have a one year old to consider!”
After another swim we step right out of the pool and onto a walking track which takes us to a nice billabong. For some reason you aren’t a fan of having anything on your head at the moment so we don’t stay long. Now if the snake scare wasn’t enough of a fright earlier today then the raptor that swoops down and picks up a huge snake before taking flight again, with the snake dangling from its talons sure is!

Dinner at the restaurant is pizza and salad, and we are as impressed with the food as the surrounding guests are with you and your constant waves and smiles. You also let out his rather fake laugh now when someone waves back that gets you extra attention.

Bath in bore water (no you didn’t pee in the bath, well at least we don't think so!) and then bed without a peep from you. Papa and I retreat to the balcony to read and enjoy a lightning show off in the distance.

Your mama

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