My last activity in the Northern Territory was another three day camping trip, this time to Kakadu and Litchfield national parks. Kakadu is the size of Switzerland and has lots of rock art and waterfalls and crocodiles in it. Litchfield also has a lot of waterfalls. My bikini's hardly had a chance to dry over the last few weeks with all the wild swimming I've been doing, but this time it had that extra fun factor in the fact that a big croc might jump out and eat us at any point. Well, not really, but the thought's always there!
Got picked up at 6am and found that Parys and Claire who I had dinner with in Alice Springs were on the same tour. There were seven of us in total: us three brits, German Christina, Dutch Olly, and Belgian Hanne and her Dad, Daniel. It was a pretty good group seeing as everyone agreed to speak english the whole time (despite the fact that almost everyone including the Aussie guide spoke Dutch) and actually had a sense of humour - something a bit lacking in a few other trips I've been on.
First stop was Corroboree billabong where we went on a croc spotting cruise with a lovely old chap called Ted. The crocs were just lounging on the side of the water looking like they wouldn't hurt a fly, bless. Ted got into a bit of a rant about National Geographic and Steve Irwin and how crocs are so misunderstood... which is fair enough, people flinch whenever you mention the word 'croc' despite the fact that freshwater ones have never killed anyone. Same for sharks I guess. And dingoes. They're all lovely really!
Saw about a million different birds as well which kept Daniel busy since he had bought along his binoculars and was happily ticking away birds in his bird book. Knew I should have bought my binoculars! Then it was time to go to see some indigenous rock art which was a lot more detailed than those at Ayres rock, although the fact that nobody has any idea how old it is is a bit strange, some of it is thought to be 10000 years old and some just a hundred, bit sketchy. The indigenous people themselves probably think we're a bit weird being so excited about their equivalent of doodles.
After a night camping under the stars (it was so much warmer than at Ayres rock, I didn't even have to get in the swag) we sat around waiting for hours while Jordan (our guide) was interviewed for 'Lost in Australia'. Bit annoying! Eventually we set off for a short hike up a hill to see a gorge and some waterfalls and go for our first swim. It was stunning as usual, but so is everything over here. Then it was time for Jim Jim falls. This involved jumping from one massive boulder to the other for ages until this little beach appears from nowhere in the middle of the gorge, with a giant 180m waterfall above it. We went for a swim, saw a cool monitor, then me, Jordan and Daniel went off to swim in the waterfall while all the others wussed out. It was awesome, you're surrounded by towering cliffs and the water feels a bit like stones hitting your head it's so cold, but definitely worth doing! Headed off to Litchfield in the cramped truck with everyone in the back whining about their knees being crushed, then camped by the fire once more.
The last day was a bit of a mishmash of 'how many different places can we swim in' with two waterfalls and a rockpool. Bit hurried - it was my last day in sunshine and I wanted to get a tan dammit! It was nice, but I preferred the other days. I enjoyed the tour but it wasn't as exciting or as well planned as the rock tour, more about chilling out I guess and there are so many old people around here on the millions of tour buses that I guess you have to slow the pace down a bit! Nobody was really up for drinking much either which to be honest was quite a welcome change, I can't be bothered with compulsory drinking and 'forced fun' anymore!
We did go to the bar afterwards for dinner where I probably drank a bit too much considering I was flying to Melbourne at 1am. I got on the shuttle slightly tipsy and met a German guy called Matthias who was going to Melbourne too and was determined to change my mind about Germans (still haven't let go of Fraser island!). So goodbye sunshine, hello freezing feet! I was shattered so I fell asleep before takeoff on both flights (we stopped in Sydney) before arriving in Melbourne where Matthias' luggage went missing. Guess I passed on my bad luck then! I was pretty pleased though since they gave him a free muffin and a drink which he gave to me and I also got a free shuttle into town cos the power was out and they couldn't work the ticket machine. Win!