Feeling Hot

Trip Start Jun 24, 2004
Trip End Jun 17, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, October 3, 2004

After spending a few more days in Darwin, I really began to enjoy the city and its surrounding area. I think when I first arrived, I was a bit tired of exploring new cities because in some ways Australian cities are very similar when you first see them. There are many beautiful walking paths and lookout points in and around the city. There is even a small lake to swim in, which is beside the ocean. It appears that in most of the cities/towns in which you cannot swim in the ocean there is a lagoon or some type of swimming area. I believe that the Town of 1770 was the last place where I could swim in the ocean with a beach and no mud flats and without being harmed. Further up North, the jellyfish pose a problem, and in the Northern Territory crocodiles are a big problem, as well as sharks and boxed jellyfish. Even though I have been right by the ocean for
almost my entire trip. I can't always go swimming :( The ocean was very inviting during the mid-day in Darwin when the temperature was around 33'C.

I have come to realize that watching sunsets should never be a planned activity. Every time I watch one, there are no clouds in the sky, so all the sunsets that I have seen look the same. They are still beautiful and great to see, a good activity to do before dinner.

After leaving Darwin, I left civilization for 8 days until I arrived in Broome. I've had an amazing time during the past several days hiking, swimming and camping. I was extremely happy to have a shower in Broome since I was only able to have one during my travels, and the laundry machines were great to see since my clothes have never been that dirty or smelly before, we did swim at least once a day so at least we stayed a bit "clean".

Waking up at 5:00am to the stars, a very strange feeling especially when that was the last thing that you saw before going to bed. It feels like you've taken a short nap in the middle of the night. I'm always so excited to wake up to the stars because it's the start of a new day with tons of new things to see and do. People sometimes look at me strange at that time in the morning since I'm a little too excited. With such an early start, we were always in bed by 9pm except for the night when we were waiting to eat freshly fire-cooked damper filled with chocolate and gummy worms.

We did many hikes to gorges during the heat of the day. Some days reached 48'C in the sun and 37'C in the shade...those were some hot days, I lost track of how many litres of water I drank. I still felt dehydrated, probably from flushing out most of my salts from my body, I need to find some gatorade powder. We were always greeted with a beautiful swimming hole and sometimes we could swim down the gorge, going over several small waterfalls. I am getting over my fear of touching unknown objects (usually logs and rocks) while swimming in fresh water, since some days we were swimming in three different spots. I love the North-West portion of Australia, it's absolutely beautiful, I have not been disappointed. The fresh water swimming holes in the North have been so clean and clear. I've been able to see 10m to the bottom when on shore. A lot of the river creeks that we drive past are dry, the wet season is in about 6 weeks, then certain parks and roads are closed down. It's so much fun going through creeks with a 4WD.

I've seen 2000 year old boab trees, 54m road trains, experienced Aussie outhouses (they still scare me because of the mysterious insects here. I almost flushed a frog down the toilet, luckily it didn't get sucked down the drain, they love the toilets here. I still prefer the outhouses as oppose to using the bush, spinifix grass is kind of harsh on the bum. There are ants with green bums, which are filled with absorbic acid (lime juice). I've seen lots of bats, both at night and during the day. I still enjoy seeing cockatoos flying around.

I've been attacked by the sand flies and the March flies. One seems to always find a way into my swag. The ant bites hurt the most, they hurt more than when the truck door shut on my forehead. I still haven't seen a gigantic spider...do they really exist???...maybe once summer hits.

The Bungle Bungles remind me of the Flinstone houses. Kakadu reminded me of Jurassic park. The scenery is amazing...I love it all. All the enormous rocks and gorges here are made of sandstone and turns a reddish colour due to the oxidizing of the iron.

Some things about Australia that you probably didn't know:

The Aboriginals burn the land in the North part of Australia to clean the land and to help prevent large forest fires. It's a strange concept, but the fires never get out of control, and they slowly burn without supervision. Once we were camping in the middle of nowhere and saw what thought to be another campfire some distance away, after my friend and I went on a hunt, we found a mini-campfire attacking part of a tree that had fallen over, which never turned into a bonfire.

There are certain areas in Australia where you can kill dingoes, then skin it and bring the skin into any Australian post office to claim $10 from the government...maybe only cattle/ranch owners are allowed to do this, who knows... it's still kind of strange. The cowboys that I talked to love bringing the skins into the post offices of large cities.

They believe that 50% of all trees in the Northern Territory have been hallowed out by termites, everywhere you look there are tons of termite mounds.

I've seen a few wild camels about, there are so many here that they export them.

Thanks for reading, hope you've enjoyed this essay :) I'm off to pack for another adventure. I'm heading down to Perth.
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