Published: May 1st 2008April 28th 2008
Green Tree Ant
So we last left you in Broome shortly after arriving there......Well Broome it's self didn't seem to have too much to offer, lots of shops selling pearls, and a huge beach (Cable beach)which you couldn't swim in cause of the 'stingers'! We did spend an evening on the beach to watch the sunset, as did everyone else staying in Broome, the beach was fairly packed with everyone sitting around in their deckchairs drinking wine. (nice enough work if you can get it!) So in an "if you can't beat 'em join 'em moment" we settled down alongside! Cable beach apparently has been voted as being in the top 10 beaches in the world. Well we wouldn't have voted for it, it was nice but not THAT nice. The local business are making the most of the sun setting over the sea (i guess cause the stingers stop them with watersports) and you can actually take a sunset camel ride along the beach for an hour, we declined, memories of the flea ridden sex mad Rajastani camels still to fresh in our mind! Anyway the sunset was nice!
Moving on from Broome we had known from the map we had some
long drives ahead with not much to see. We have found this top west corner of Oz our least favorite, but we were determined to find something out there! So first stop from Broome came Fitzroy Crossing, so called because the town crosses the Fitzroy river....(you could probably worked that one out for yourselves eh?!) We headed into town to see the sights, not many, but one of them was a pub (sounded good to us!) famous as it is the longest running/Biggest/smallest/longest name/something similar claim to fame pub in Oz. Well we started to get a little nervous when we had to slide open a huge iron gate to get into the place and noticed that there were 3 walls and a roof and what few bar stools/chairs etc they had were firmly bolted to the floor! Oh well in for a penny in for a pound (well a beer) We asked for 2 VB's and were told that we could only buy mid strength beer until 5pm as it was the law in town to stop so many drunken fights/assaults/crimes etc.....hmmmmm...So there we sat, with our mid strengths, looking around the place. We were the only tourists in
there and everyone seemed friendly and chatty, if a little/lot drunk. One of the signs on the wall banned "Humbugging" not as we found out having a downer about Christmas, but asking someone to buy you a drink or even to share yours! Anyway, we survived the experience and met some cool people to boot.
Heading East we headed for Kathrine Gorge where we spent a couple of days waiting to go on a breakfast cruise in the Gorge, it was worth the wait, being in the park there are some walks you can do where you go up to a look out looking down into the gorge but the only way to really see it is from a boat. It was very beautiful (and civilized!) cruising up the river as the sun rose eating a lovely breakfast! The other thing about Kathrine Gorge is the Huge colony of fruit bats there, there hundreds of them. During the day all you can see is big black things hanging from the trees, as the sun starts to set the start to wake up and the noise starts! They call to each other and scrap with each other and the noise
Thought he was dead in our waste water bucket but tipped him out and he hopped off
is like a nursery full of babies crying!
We weren't sure how we would be doing for time with getting to Darwin to leave for Bali. As it turned out we had plenty of time to spare and so decided to go into Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks on the way. Litchfield is a park full of waterfalls. We camped at Florence falls and were a five minute walk (and 160 stairs!) to the pool at the bottom. It was a beautiful place to swim but the first time we went down was early afternoon and there were probably 50 people there (seems the coaches do day trips) and so our second trip down just before sunset was much nicer, there were only a couple of other people there. There other place we visited in the park was Buley rock holes. A series of about 10 pools with small waterfalls in between.
Being that this is croc country we decided to go and have a look at some before venturing into Kakadu (which is where they filmed Crocodile Dundee!) So first stop was Territory Wildlife Park to see some from the safety of behind a window! Well that
didn't make us feel any better about meeting a wild one as their largest "Saltie" is in the aquarium and so you could stand nose to nose with him through the window. These guys have REALLY scary eyes and are huge!.....Anyway a bit further up the road we had our first experience of wild ones. We went on a "Jumping Crocs Cruise" Basically a bit piece of meat gets dangled off the side of the open boat a couple of meters out of the water and the crocs will see/smell/hear/sense it and jump out of the water and grab it! Well seeing 5 meters of Croc leaping out of the water and crunching its teeth was enough to completely scare the pants off me! At the end of the cruise (i think to calm people down) they were throwing scraps of meat out to the kites who would swoop right past you nose to catch it!
And so into Kakadu....Crocodile Dundee Country, we were expecting it to resemble the film but i guess it must have been made at the end of the dry season, and as we are now just past the end of the wet what we
actually found was lots of green! The only thing about visiting Kakadu at this time of year is that some of the roads are closed as they are still flooded, and some roads that are open can only be driven in a 4x4. Still we managed to drive around a fair bit and saw some of the aborigional rock art that is around.
The day we left Kakadu was Anzac day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) which commemorates Galipoli and all other armed conflicts. We stoped for the night in a road house and caravan park where they had live music for the day and were excitedly informed by the girl behind the bar that everyone would be playing "2-up" later and to come along. Well curiousity got the better of us and we went to find out what was happening. Basically people bet on the toss of a coin, heads or tails, there were huge amounts of money being bet, we declined to join in!
Going back to our long ago list of strange place names in Australia, we couldn't pass up the opputunity to call into Humpty Doo. It was just a little roadside town
and dispite asking numorous people we were unable to find out why the place was called Humpty Doo!
So we arrived in Darwin 5 days ago. There are lots of monuments and historical sites in town dedicated to the fact that Darwin was bombed in the second world war. In fact we have been told it was bombed more than Pearl Harbour. There doesn't seem to be much else here in the way of tourist attractions, and with another beach you can't swim on (Crocs!) we have spent a few days catching up on ourselves. Cleaning Tilly, doing laundry and doing this blog! The internet here is the cheapest we've found in Oz. Last night we decided to have a night out in the Casino, its not like Casinos in London, they are open to anyone and everyone. We gave ourselves a budget of $50 for the night to include dinner. Well we walked out 3 hours later having had fun gambling and eaten and had a couple of beers and we had $75 more than we went in with!
So tomorrow morning we fly to Bali. It seems strange to be going somewhere that we know little
about, and especially strange to be going on a package tour. Still i think we plan on swimming, eating and sitting by the pool for a week so it shouldn't be too taxing!.......
There are more photos below