Ok, so driving 2500 KM through the outback wasnt the smartest thing Ive ever done. Two days driving for 12 hours before pulling over and sleeping in the back of the van, endless roads shimmering in the 40 degree heats, countless flies attacking every time I pulled over and running out of peterol/money before I could reach Darwin. It was certainly an adventure! luckily the car stopped outside the northern teritories third largest city, Katherine. unfortunatly I had really b*****ed my foot which meant that walking the 10 kilometre into the city wasnt an option - along came adrian, an aussie guy who gave me my first experience in Northern teritory racism, something that certainly shocked me. walking through the outback in the dark I didnt think anyone would stop to give me a lift untill a large 4x4 pulled over and I was told to hop in. "Im just trying to find my black guy, the idiots drunk in town and wants more money". since The arrival of James Cook the situation for the Aboriginals has gone down hill, from masters of the land most have now taken to drinking all day and fighting all night. "I can't give him all his money at once or he'll just drink himself to death" said Adrian, who it turned out owns alot of land and cattle in Australia. He offered to help me further by grabbing a gerry can from one of his farms, excellent I thought. so we drove out of town and up a long, dark, dirt road - if you've ever seen Wolf Creek you'll understand what was going through my mind at this point...Mum its probably best you dont watch it! everything turned out ok, infact he even gave me some peterol for free and drove me back to the car.
the Northern Teritory is nothing like the east coast, its what i imagined true Australia to be like. I was intrigued by the way Adrian spoke about the Aboriginal people - later I found out more on the situation.
for the next couple of days I hung around Katherine and made a friend who needed to get to Darwin and could pay peterol. we spent hours at the natural hot springs, the air temp was 35 degrees and the water about 30 - refreshing but still warm. swiming up the spring we found the source, a huge deep, dark hole in the ground surrounded by tropical plants and baby turtles - very pretty! the next day we did the exact same but made friends with a group of Aboriginal children. they took great delight in making us repeat Aboriginal words which I'm pretty sure wernt quite cosher!
it was soon time to leave Katherine. Anders (the Danish guy who I am now traveling with) and I took a quick stop at Edith falls, a huge lake fed by a water fall and framed by towering canyon walls. a sign read 'fresh water crocodiles inhabit this area - please do not interefere with their habbitats' - it did make me wonder what kind of an idiot would mess with a crocs home! below the sign another warning read 'salt water crocodiles can enter the lake undetected, swim at own risk' the dark waters suddenly didnt look so inviting! we swam anyway and I'm still around to tell the tale (I would love to tell you all about the 8 metre salty that I wrestled but I dont think You'd beleive me).
Once in Darwin I got my chance to get up close and personal with the crocs. entering the crocoseum we watched the 'big boy' feeding, the staff needed a volunteer - just like in school my hand shot up before she'd even finished asking the question. I went back stage and got given a stick with a piece of meat on the end "just tease him a little bit" said the croc guy. so I dangled my meat infront of the 5 meter giant - snap - the damn thing was fast and grabbed the meat before I had chance to think! later I held a baby croc, the skin was alot difernet to what I expected, smooth and soft.
last night was definatly the most interesting night Ive had down-under. Anders and I made friends with an aboriginal guy called Bobby. we learnt alot from him, about whats happened to his tribe, what beleifs his people hold and how he lives now. I complained to him that I couldnt get a real aboriginal experience - as I hoped he offered to take me out to an Aboriginal comunity in the bush. so this weekend Anders and I are going to be emerged in real Australian culture! I'm pretty sure it will make for an interesting blog entry! I also got a free ticket to Australias biggest Aboriginal festival which is aparently very elite and not many white people will be attending. all of this, I hope, will give me a much better insight into aboriginal culture.
I think thats about all thats happened to me so far, I hope you all enjoyed!