Sunday, July 26, 2009

Baby, Kakadu, and Litchfield

Lots to report for this entry. Last week Jenni's mom came for a visit. It was a short ten days, so we decided to drag her around to everything possible and thoroughly tucker her out for the flight back. (Of course this failed miserably as she had enough energy to stop by Sydney for her last 3 days in Australia, seeing more of Sydney on her own than either of us had in our 2 weeks combined.)

The first stop though was to the Doctor's for our appointment. It was the big ultrasound where we find out what the sex is. And the big news is - WE'RE HAVING A HUMAN BIPED!!! If you want to know the sex you can look at the ultrasound video, we're sure it is as clear as day.

After that we took a couple days off and spent the weekend in Kakadu National Park. It is a beautiful area, and perhaps the reason people visit the territory. Jenni had been on a separate trip last year so this was David's first time there. We camped in Gunlom, which is in the southern end of the park. It said the road was 4wd drive access but our Honda CRV made it fine. It's another 40 minutes from the road, so it's a long drive. It is a great campsite right next to a swimming hole and good facilities. Driving there took the better part of a day, we went from Darwin through Adelaide River and entered the park just south of Pine Creek.

The next day we drove through the park and visited the Nourlangie rock art site (Anbangbang). There is some well preserved rock art there. They can provide dates for some of them based on the content like the rifle in the photo below. This is a few hundred years old because the earliest they would have seen a rifle in the area was with the arrival of Europeans. We also did a short hike up a steep hill to Mirrai Lookout.

A wallaby hanging out by the path

Rockart (Rifle in the second photo)

Hiking up to the Mirrai Lookout

On Sunday we packed up camp and stopped to do the Yurmikmik walk near Gunlom, which ended in a beautiful rock hole where we could have gone swimming had we brought our suits. That night we shifted camp to the Mardugal campsite. This would have also been a nice campsite, but the ants ate us during the day and the mozzies attacked us at night. We could hear them swarming around our tent when it got dark.

Start of Yurmikmik

End of Yurmikmik
Well, maybe we did tire mom out...

Our awsome Big Agnes tent made in Steamboat CO

Sulfur Crested Cockatoo hanging out by the camp.

Hmmmm...Wonder where all the mozzies came from?

On Monday we headed back into Darwin, but stopped to take the Original Adelaide River Jumping Croc River Boat Cruise...Extravaganza. Jenni has been wanting to do this for a while and having her mom here was a perfect excuse. David even didn't get seasick, so you know it was a pretty mellow boat trip. They fed the crocodiles, but also a couple of sea eagles, and kites that were in the area. All the animals know when the food is coming, so the birds start hovering and the crocs swim towards the boat.

Testing the waters...

"Small" Female Croc

5 Metre (16 feet) Male Croc
Smiling for the cameras...

6 Metre (19 feet) male croc

Sea eagle

Baby croc (12 inches) hidden in the mud

Kite feeding frenzy

We said a sad farewell to Jenni's mom on Thursday, and to keep up the momentum we decided to go camping in Litchfield over this 3 day weekend. We stupidly left Friday afternoon and by the time we got there we had to go to about 4 campsites before we found anything at the Litchfield Safari Camp. Not sure where the safari bit came in, but it was a decent campground. The next morning we woke up early and caught site of several wallabies hanging out along the road. Jenni wanted to do a long bushwalk (yes she is the pregnant one). So we tried going to Sandy Creek/Blythe Homestead but not even a 1/2 km in we ran across a deep (.7 m) creek crossing, and David said he wasn't going to cross. So we headed to the Lost City instead. This was a 10 km walk in one direction, so we loaded up with water and sunscreen and headed out. One person stopped and asked if we wanted a ride, but we turned them down. The walk wasn't too bad, but the last km wasn't shaded well so it got hot. Some nice people stopped as they were leaving and squirted us with their water spray, which felt quite refreshing. The Lost City is a series of rock formations, and it reminded us a lot of the Angkor and Bayon temples. After having lunch and swatting flies for an hour we started back, and again some nice people offered us ride. This time we accepted and drove for about 3 km, and then walked the rest of the way. Driving back to the camp we stopped to soak our feet at Wangi falls and then went to the tent for a feast of mac and cheese, mash, and peas.

This reminded us a lot of the elephant terrace

Reach! Almost there!

Cockatoos swarmed our campsite one afternoon

The morning we left we noticed hundreds of little spider webs covered in morning due. So naturally David had to spend his morning taking pictures in spite of his general distaste for spiders.

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