We arrived in Darwin on Friday, after nearly 24hours on the bus. We were ready to relax and recharge. However, no such luck, there's no time to stop on this tour! After settling into our hostel we went to enquire about our next adventure, Kakadu National Park. Our plan was to do this after a few days relaxing, as the rock tour and early mornings had taken it's toll. But the company had no availability for the day we wanted. It had Saturday though…but that's tomorrow….Arrghhh. It was going cheaper cos it was last minute so after some deliberation we decided to just go for it. Another 3 day camping trip, straight after a 24hr bus trip, straight after a 3 day camping trip. It's tough being on tour, but someone has to do it!!!
So off we set at 6 the next morning!! Ready for more!
Saturday consisted of some driving. The first thing we did was a croc ride. We took a boat on the river and watched some feeding. Apparently there are usually loads of crocs around but we only saw, either 1 or 2, I can't quite remember now. It was quite fun to watch, the dude fed some meat to the croc so she jumped up to catch it. She got bored after a while and fecked off. Obviously she was full. We got back on our way. We did some walking, checked out some rock art, some views, more driving, a museum, possibly some more walking, I can't remember…then campsite. The campsite was a proper camp, we had our own large tent thing for our dining room and there was toilet and showers etc and permenant tents for sleeping. This also meant there were permenant residents….yes. There was a crocadile warning, wild horses, strange large frogs, snakes, crickets in the showers, mossies, many other insects, and my favourite, spiders….Yes. I had to move tents cos I was para I was sharing with not just Karen…I'm sure I was still sharing in my new tent. We had no electricity in the tents so it was kinda hard to see what may be lurking. These are the only things that were worrying me, not the snakes, not the frogs that were everywhere, not getting eaten by a croc!…just spiders, and I didn't ACTUALLY see one. I know, para. Not much sleep was got on either of the 2 nights for that reason, also Karen's snoring!!(sorry Karen!) and I was passing out. It was so humid there but I didn't want to be exposed in case something landed on me in the night so I was still half in my sleeping bag. I have to say, I preferred sleeping without a tent! Of course I got bitten alive over the few days by the mossies. They love me, they don't like Karen so much, lucky her. But I got away lightly compared to some of the peeps!
Next day we set off at the splendid hour of about 6 am. What is it with these tours, I'm on holiday like. We basically spent the morning hiking around through the park. This landscape was a total contrast to the Red Centre. It was green and lush and foresty and a little wet. It was still the rainy season, this time me and Karen were prepared. We spent a fortune on our designer plastic bag type ponchos. We were robbed! Of course the one place we expected rain, it didn't rain!! How typical. But nobody minds that. It was really humid though. Very hot and sticky. Not the most pleasant weather for taking a hike, sweating like a man under my a backpack. Lovely. We walked and rock climbed and walked some more and climbed some more rocks and got lost cos the guide was a moron. I liked the rock climbing though, I think I have a talent for it! Haha. This was all new to me. I'm not exactly the outdoor, fit type but I have to say I was enjoying the hiking, thinking I may take it up when I get home….that's going well!!! And I'll have buns of steel after all this!! So true!
We EVENTually got to our destination. A waterhole!! Cue strip off and get in the pool! Great. After walking in heat and humidity, actually it was more like trekking, it was a great cooler. Waterfall at the back of the pool, to make for a lovely setting. I tried to swim under it but the currents kept pushing me away. After a nice long chill out some people decided they wanted to do some more rock climbing to get up to the next waterfalls. This would involve walking through pools and more rock climbing, slippy rock climbing and walking on stones and rocks in bare feet, which I hate. But we did it. We got to see a further 2 waterfalls. It was some scary stuff, steep slippy drops and walking on sharp rocks and stones in bare feet, falling, slipping. I got kicked in the back by Karen cos she fell into the pool behind me and kicked me out of the way, how rude. It was a great experience, something again, that I would never normally do. But you have to love it!! I am getting really into the fitness and outdoor stuff, it's great!
Back to camp after our gruelling day for some R&R. Yeah rite!! We had our long awaited dinner later that night. Kangaroo!! Yes! And it was quite delicious! That may have had something to do with the marinade stuff the guide had used before cooking but I thought it was delicious! He did overcook it a bit but I don't mind my meat a bit dead! Haha.
Up again the next day, even earlier :-0 jaysus they are trying to kill me. Not that I was asleep anyway, in fact I was glad to get up, especially knowing I was not spending another night with wildlife! Yeah! We did some more walking, went to another waterhole. This one was huge, it was cool. Don't know why he didn't take us to that one the day before. I don't remember what we did after that. The guide kept changing his mind so I'm a bit fuzzy about what we did then, as it's been a while now. We may have just walked back to have lunch. He was a bit of a dope. From doing the 2 camping tours, I could really see how a good looking guide can make all the difference. Hehe… no really I mean a good guide. This guy, besides being a smarmy little fecker (are we sensing Caitríona didn't like this guy!!!), he didn't seem to have any passion for his job, didn't seem to know much about the landscape, the flora & fauna or the aboriginal culture AND he got us lost, but of course wouldn't admit it It makes a huge difference to a tour when the guide loves his job and wants to share his knowledge. Anyway, once lunch was over, it was time to get back. We had a long drive ahead. I had an ole nap on the ride back. Much better than sharing a tent with creepy crawlies!!
We headed out for dinner and a few drinks with some of the tour crowd that night. We were all pretty wiped so it wasn't a wild one but then we had enough wild the last few days!! Phew, now it's time to relax!
I thought the National Park would be more spectacular. People had been going on about how great it was but I guess I had seen so much lovely scenery and waterfalls in NZ that I was not that impressed. I definitely preferred the Red Centre. Maybe the guide didn't help but we did have a good group on this tour. Plus it was totally overpriced and we got a discount. Still, it was good to see and I enjoyed the activity but it's not on my list of highlights. Boooo!