Sunday, June 14, 2009

Darwin & Kakadu Escape, Day 1

Arriving in Darwin at midnight has the advantage of you having ample space on the roads while getting used to a manual gear stick again. The inconvenience on the other hand being the increased difficulty of finding appropriate accommodation for the night. Since the night was already well advanced I decided to rough it a bit and see how comfortable a night in the Yaris would be ... Lets just say that I used a few hours trying out all 4 seats and none of them proved much better than sleeping on gravel.

Early morning I happily left the Yaris for a quick morning stroll in the park - it seems there are a lot of Toyota owners in Darwin, since the park was full of people that had actually chosen to sleep on gravel rather than in their car. I happily saluted at least 50 happy campers slowly waking to greet a new day. But quickly got a bit scared about the fuel economy of the toyota, since the greetings were constantly meet with a plea for money .. guess I was lucky to go for the 1.3L!

CousCous is dead - long live gnocchi! :-) I have started really liking to cook with gnocchi in the bush, they take a fraction more gas than CousCous, but makes a much better meal .. and will function as an excellent (but over time shrinking) pillow. I got myself fueled up on gnocchi, fruit, gas, water and other necessities in Darwin and apart from using 2 * 20 min in two carefully selected parks I could not wait to get out of Darwin and take on Kakadu.

Center of Kakadu lies approximately 260 kilometers East of Darwin, with a speed limit of 130 most of the way that makes the drive a piece of cake ... except there are quite a few places on the way worth visiting and the automobile I was flying had a sound profile going exponential towards the stratosphere when pushed above 110km/t.
First stop on the way was Fogg Dam (Danes have to be very careful with the pronunciation here) which constitute a failed attempt of rice farming turned into excellent wetlands only 70km out of Darwin. This was also the first encounter with signs warning about the risk of being eaten by a crock!

Fogg Dam was an amazing place - please take a look at more pictures by following the Picasa link at the end of this post - but Kakadu was calling and I was getting tired. When it comes to welcoming tourists Kakadu does really well. Soon after you have entered Kakadu you can pick up the "visitor guide" that tells you everything the average tourist needs to know - and probably even a bit more - in combo with a very helpful visitor centre in Bowali I decided to camp at Malabanjbanjdju, not because it was particular good, but because I was tired and it was close. Hm ... next to a billabong means:

Only one thing to do - eat so much gnocchi deliciousness that no crock would be able to swallow me and then hit bed hard so that I could be in top shape for day 2, just before going to bed I went down and took a look at the water, no crocks spotted only a snake - I could sleep safe :-D

Darwin & Kakadu Escape, Day 1

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