Days 224-227

Trip Start Sep 14, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

On Friday night Naomi, Sarah and Alex arrived in town so we met up at the bar next to the YHA hostel I'm staying in. Synna was still here and we were joined by the Australian outback-dwelling James. He has qualified as a doctor and is seeing Darwin before starting work in Katherine, the tiny town we stopped at on the Ghan.

Saturday was our trip to Litchfield National Park. The hostel receptionist woke me up at 7am after realising I had over-slept so that was kind of her! The girls were already on the bus and our group of about 12 people sped down the Stuart Highway towards Litchfield. We weren't the only ones who'd been out the night before as another English guy made the bus stop so that he could go and throw up in the hedgerow!

Our first stop was called "Window on the Wetlands" - a nice lookout point over the Adelaide River and surrounds. The river was where we had our first excitement - a jumping crocodile cruise! The boat was adapted for watching the Salties (salt water crocodiles even though this is fresh water) jumping from the water to grab meat that was dangled over the edge by the staff on the top deck. We were all at water level watching through windows - two of which were open! The biggest ones we saw were about 4 metres. It was amazing to see them jump almost entirely out of the water. There were plenty of big birds circling as the staff were throwing scraps to them too.

We went from watching crocs to eating them. A nearby crocodile farm was serving up portions of fried croc for 3.50 dollars. I was hungry and lookinf forward to trying something new but the pieces were full of bones and I didn't really enjoy it. I was hoping for a succulent croc steak like the kangaroo from Nathan's easy-rider barbecue but it wasn't to be.

Carl, our tour guide, took us some termite mounds in the park - I'd seen loads before but these were huge! Photos attached. I saw some termites and was surprised that they didn't look much like ants at all. There was a second type of mound called magnetic termite mounds because they are flat and face West and East so that which ever side the sun is on they go to the cooler side.

All around the National Park we saw little fires that had been lit by rangers. Apparently the aboriginies have been doing this for centuries so it must be for a good reason but it was beyond me.

We spent the afternoon at two waterfalls. They were quite popular with a few other groups present. The first one, Florence falls, was most impressive. The swim was very refreshing given the heat of the day. On the climb down to it we saw Rock Wallabies. One mother with a joey in its pouch - very cute.

Carl had a day off the following day so he was keen to get us all down the pub for a few drinks after the tour. We went to the "World Famous Vic Hotel" though I'm not sure about the world famous bit! It was a cracking night and I met a few new people that I intend to hang out with until I leave on Wednesday.
Sunday was a chilled out day. I swam at the hostel and went back to the Vic with Synna for dinner. The English girls were off in the morning to Cairns so I headed to their hostel to say goodbye and got an early night.
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kath on

they light the fires to simulate a bush fire, this clears out the rotten vegetation and allows the seed pods of the native plants to grow, here in australia the native plants drop their seed pods and they need extreem heat from the fires to open and grow into new trees

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