Today was another really early start as 5 of us attempted to visit Kakadu national park in one day. It started with us piling into my 2WD car at about 4am all looking very sleepy...not a good thing for the drive ho hum. The journey seemed to take forever and a day to get there and I did warn the passengers that they had better stay awake if I had to be awake too!
We arrived on the border to Kakadu just as there was a thunderstorm and torrential rain came lashing down...wet day in Kakadu I guess. We stopped at the Mamukala view point which looks out to some marsh land just as the sun was coming up. Some of us had water to drink and ate some fruit for breakfast...others....cider...no points for guessing who *wink*.
The sunrise was amazing to see it reflected in the water with all of the birds swarming in and making noises. Stephen was a little fixated on the flies...hahaha going to have fun with that today! We left for the Bowali visitor centre to the most unhappy looking guy behind the counter ever. No job satisfaction there I think! He told us what we already knew was closed in the park and then we jumped into the car to get to the first location...Nourlangie.
This involved a walk to a look out and several walks round Aboriginal sites which included one with paintings on the rocks. We went to the very top and I discovered that Stephen has a fear of heights just like me but I held his hand close to the edge so he could peer over...although...I doubt I'd be any use if he'd gone over! He seemed to be racing round the circuit as Kevin, Claudia, Sergei and I walked it so I challenged him to a race up to the next point...yeah that didn't last long lol. So tiring but I made it to the top! We also chose to walk down a path which said it was closed due to crocs and I was in the lead heading straight for the marsh land. I spotted a few croc tracks and when I turned round everyone was miles behind me! Thanks!
The thing about Kakadu is people come here to visit the waterfalls and the swimming holes, at this time of year though there isn't really anything to see because of wet season it's all usually closed. However I did notice that on a map there was a small swimming hole at Gubara. We got there and promptly discovered there was a 3km walk to the swimming hole so we set off. Only to discover the smallest little swimming hole ever on arrival. I didn't care it was water and dismissed the fresh water croc signs. I went further up the river whilst the others sat down. I suddenly screamed as I got a spider web and spider straight in my face and Stephen was the only person to get up and think about running to my rescue. The way he put it was that the others sat there with an attitude of sod it we'll get the body later! Claudia said she knew it was a spider scream which them prompted lots of mick taking from Stephen as he thought it could have been a croc lol. We sat and had lunch before going to a final lookout point. Oh my god...what a climb that was. Stephen gave up right on the crest of the hill and I just ploughed on and made it to the top, the view was amazing and it had better had been for the climb we just did!
We made our way back to Ubir which opens at 2pm every day (due to the heat) and closes later on just after sunset. It was wonderful to climb to the top and watch the sun descend over the landscape, you could look to the left and see a thunderstorm then look to the right and see the colours of the sunset.
The drive back to Darwin really took it out of me though and I thought everyone else would be asleep after I had my shower but Stephen was willing to come and find food with me even after he tried to keep me awake on the road back. Going to Kakadu was a good idea even if we didn't get to see Twin falls or Jim Jim falls...and as I said...never let someone tell you the whole place is closed! I said I would find a way to go there with or without a 4WD!
The 5 of us at the top of Ubir.