First stop - Gagudju Lodge - Cooinda
It's almost cool our last morning in Katherine - nice temperature for the pack up to leave…
We head to Edith Falls on the road to Kakadu. It's a lovely waterfall and lake and a couple of brave souls venture into the water - the rest of us bask on the banks
- enjoying the sun for a change -
|Incase you can't tell!|
Then we stay to meet up with Maika and Miguel for one last time and the Canadians head on to our next stop.
M&M arrive and we have a quick lunch and quick update on all that has happened to both of us and then it's a sad goodbye as they leave to drive back to Cairns (and eventually Spain). It was a special friendship made in such a short time but I'm glad we had that extra five minutes with them.
(for some unknown reason we didn't take a picture - too much talking I suspect!)
The Canadians made it successfully to the next campground, on the banks of the Yellow Water Billabong without us - well done Canadians. They have even managed to get the ideal 2 x 2 setup so we have a nice space in the middle for our screened-eating tent.
The weather is still delightful and so we enjoy the evening with just a touch of mosquito repellant for those of us who want/need it and the others brave the few that do appear - then it's off to bed for a very early morning.
We are booked on the 6.45 a.m. boat cruise of the Yellow Waters Boat Cruise - which means we have to catch the bus from the campground at 5.15 a.m. which means it was very dark !
|still dark ...|
Then he drove us up and down and around and along into the flood plains, looking at the different birds, the odd croc and even a water buffalo!
|odd croc! (female = small)|
The birders missed their "Little Kingfisher" but everybody enjoyed the guide and the cruise.
Back at the lodge breakfast is included with the cruise ( my kind of cruise) and it's so much more than the instant-coffee and muffin we thought it would be - it's a full hot-buffet with good coffee. I'm so hungry - I haven't eaten in 12 hours (well except for the banana and granola bar), so when the buffet runs out of plates I go into panic mode and annoy the waitress/hostess by taking plates from another section because she just isn't moving fast enough for me.
After my tummy if full and my blood sugar returns to almost normal - it seems as though the day is almost over but of course it's really just beginning - a phenomena that those who wake early everyday, already know - so there's lots of time to rest and visit the culture centre and swim and, if you are a birder, go on three more birding walks! I should also mention that the humidity is returning as we head off to bed …
Next morning we witness one of nature's miracles … as day breaks and the heat and humidity begin … a million little baby mosquitoes hatch and there they are; in our van, outside the van, in my face on my arms, on my legs - urgh! they are everywhere!
We are of course camped next to one of Australia's eminent swamps and the edge of it is just past the next row of caravans. So we pack up and move out as fast as we can. Sadly the mosquitoes that were in the van are still there for the next day and night (even with a.c. they are biting) and even a few left the day after! I hate mosquitoes.
There are a few stops - one to make sure we didn't run over a snake! and a lot for birding - along the road to Jabiru but when we finally arrive the reward is sweet … we have an ensuite toilet/shower for each van!!
|...aaahhhh! our own bathroom!|
There is no pool at this park (we have no idea why) and not a lot of shade, but there is a tree near our van so that is chosen as the sight to setup the screened-eating tent where we gather at night - we don't want any mosquitoes here! There didn't seem to be many mosquitoes but there were bats!
There were one or two hanging in the tree that hung over our van and over the tent. These are Australian Fruit Bats - or Flying Foxes as they are commonly called. They don't look like foxes flying - they look like small stealth aircraft. They are the size of crows but when they just hang in the tree they aren't too much of a problem. When they fly out of the tree and almost run into you they are a bit more of a problem but "we" are OK with that -it's when the other 300 return to their roost via a flight path the includes our tree and the sky right over our heads that "we" have a bit more concern. The sight is like something out of a (horror) movie.
|Each black spec is a bat - a HUGE bat!|
|Can you tell how BIG it is?|
|This was on my seat next morning ...! Spiders and bats! urgh!|
Kakadu is older and more well-known that some of the other parks we have been to, so there are some must-see stops:
• Bardedjilidi Walk
- some parts are not accessible yet but it's a nice (easy) walk
|A "deposit" that proves that there IS a water buffalo nearby!|
|It's an easy walk!|
• Manngarre Walk
- rainforest walk (= mosquitoes = jill stays in van=no photos)
• Cahill's Crossing
- the road crosses the East Alligator River (the river is full of barramundi, catfish and crocodiles!) and it's the only way to drive into Arnhem land from Kakadu. Nice cool spot to watch the river cascade over the road just enough to make a nice small waterfall
|This is the "cascade" over the road|
- this has great rock paintings and a view to die for!
- after a bit of a climb - an amazing panorama of the area looking out towards Arnhem Land (permits needed to go there) and the surrounds of Kakadu.
We find the rock from Mischa's photo and the scene from Corcodile Dundee
|Mischa's rock behind us?|
... back to Fitzroy Crossing for lunch.
|Water now rushing into the river ... across the road!|
|Started at 0.4 now at 0.7|
The truck driver straps on the jeep to his truck and away they go … the jeep is being pulled but the truck has a heavy enough load so that they all make it safely across.
|Truck pulling jeep!|
Man - if we had chairs down here we (I at least) could sit here all day!)
|Nice to see my name mentioned here - and I think Jacob says it completely!|
One more night of our en-suite … and the bats … and then we are off to Dawin!