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Bush camping, jumping crocs & a seriously long train ride!

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So, after a great night out with our tour group, the three of us spent our last day in Alice hanging out at our tour guides house having a good old aussie barbie (no shrimps were thrown on though i'm afraid Dad!). We then got the train to Darwin at 6 in the evening....but this is no ordinary train journey...oh no.
..We wouldn't be getting to Darwin until 6.30 the FOLLOWING evening...so we settled on down to enjoy 24 hours of train riding fun...and it actually was!

We were obviously in the cheap seats..so no platinum sleeper carriages for us - but the seats reclined loads and there was heaps of room..and even a shower (which Tobey insisted on using just for the novelty value!). We'd stocked up on food, books and crosswords and had a jolly old time watching the wilderness whizz on by, the slept till the one stop at 9 in the morning! In Katherine we had a few hours to stretch our legs and wander round the town (there wasn't much to see!), then we were back on the train up to Darwin.

I'm not going to lie...i was glad to see the back of the train in the end, but it was a pretty cool adventure to travel 1500km through the outback. (And if i was ready to see hte balc of the train...just imagine what the people who'd got on it in Adelade felt like who got on the day before us nearly 3000km ago!)..

Our first day in Darwin we just spent wandering around (in the stupidly hot heat and humidity!). Had a look round the shops and water front - but no swimming allowed is we were in prime salt water croc territory!

The following day we went on a day tour of Litchfield national park. It started with a crocodile cruise...to begin with i thought i would have seein it all before on the tour i went on in Cairns...but OH no!! Rather than looking at crocs which might as well have been fake just sat motionless on the bank, on this tour they dangled raw meat over the side...naturally.

I tell you, it is a whole different ball game when you suddenly see a huge wild croc or 2 swim rapidly towards the boat to about 8 ft from you... and then they start waving the meat around on the end of a string, generally trying to piss the croc off as much as possible. And it works. The jump out of the water like you wouldn't imagine - it was amazing, if a little nervewracking!!! I've got some video's i'll try and put on here...though you'll have to put up with listening to mine and Lina's squealing!

On the rest of the tour we saw some crazily huge termite mounds, loads of beautiful waterfalls and got to swim in some cool waterholes. We then headed back to the city to the famous Mindil beach night markets which were amazing! Loads of amazing stalls and food all along the beach, with a little jazz band playing as the sun set. It was awesome!

The next day Lina and Tobey left to head for the west coast...so it was a rather emotional goodbye...but i'll be seeing them again soon!

I now really was on my own!!! I spent the next few days just relaxing by the pool, reading a lot and generally chilling out deciding where to go next! I ended up making friends with some french girls in my room who were lovely! They'd in turn made friends with some french guys who had a car and were going to head to Kakadu National Park for a few days and they invited me along...

On every other part of my travels in oz i'd done things like this on an organised tour so it was great to do it differently - a definate adventure! They had tents and camping gear, so we just headed to the supermarket to stock up on food and off we headed for an outback adventure!

Kakadu is about 3 hours from Darwin and as far as i'm aware is the biggest national park in australia...it's the size of Slovinia and half the size of Switzerland!!

We left for the park in the afternoon so by the time we got there we just had time to get to our camp and pitch the tents before the sun started going down. The campsite had...well..a bench and drop toilet and that was about it. We collected some fire wood, built ourselves a little campfire, made dinner, had a few drinks then went to bed in preperation for a full day tomorrow!

After packing up camp we headed off for a 6k walk to some pools and waterfalls which were beautiful...and we saw some pretty impressive spiders on the way! After that we drove a bit further beofre walking for another hour or so to see some aboriginal art work in some caves.

We then set off for our second nights camping. The boys kindly gave us their airbeds so we slept a lot better...but while we were sat having dinner we got eaten alive by ants so we woke up the next morning well rested but seriously itchy! Also while we were having dinner we heard some howling dingoes in the distance!!

This morning we drove to see the best waterfall ever with a huge lagoon we could swim in (most of the other spots and water holes had crocs but this one was safe). After a very welcome swim we wnet for a short but seriously steep hike to the top of the huge waterfall where there was this amazing sequence of pools which all ran into each other before going over the top of the cliff intot he massive lagoon we'd been swimming into earlier. It was the most incredible spot. None of my photos did it justive but i stole some of the french guys photos so luckily i'll be able to remember it properly and show it to you!

Once we'd dried off we started back on our long drive to Darwin so a seriously looked forward to shower!

My last day in Darwin i relaxed by the pool again and headed to the library to do a few bits and bobs including planning the next part of my trip which involved booking my train back to Alice Springs to stay with some friends for a while...oh yes, 24 hours of train riding fun again but this time on my own!! Clearly i'd not seen the back of that train after all!


Posted by Lucy Hood 21:37

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