Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Teatime Kakadu National Park, NT, Australia, Tuesday, 14 June 2011 12:45pm

I've stopped at a picnic area in Kakadu National Park to have a spot of tea. I made sure to get my $18 worth from the breakfast buffet today, so I'm not actually hungry enough for a full lunch, but my camper van is equipped with no fewer than three ways of making tea (microwave, electric kettle, and conventional kettle on the gas stove), so it seems only proper to have tea. Since the van isn't plugged in to external power, the only option is to use the gas for the first time. It takes a little debugging to discover that there are two shutoff valves in the system, not just one, but tea is a success, with milk, Bundaberg sugar, and arrowroot biscuits.

The buffet breakfast was included with the Yellow Water cruise I took at 6:45 this morning. It was a great trip around the South Alligator River and associated waterways. The river system was mapped by an explorer who'd recently been mapping in the US and had lost some of his team there to Alligators. He prudently steered well clear of the local reptiles. It wasn't until after they'd printed the maps that someone took a close enough look to realize they were crocodiles, not alligators, and it would have cost too much to fix the maps.

In addition to a number of large saltwater crocs basking and swimming, we saw a lot of birds: whistling ducks, geese, egrets, kingfishers, ibises, jabirus, jesus birds, and sea eagles.

After the cruise, I stopped in at the Aboriginal Culture Center and looked at a lot of displays about their traditional practices. Lots of information about food gathering in various seasons, and some on kinship relations, weaving, and painting.


g-na (Anonymously) Friday, 17 June 2011 9:28am

Ooh, saltwater crocs! Those things get massive, I believe somewhere near 20 feet long. And it must have been great seeing all those birds as well.

aneel Saturday, 18 June 2011 3:09am

Yeah, I got to see some pretty large ones. I think 6m is not that uncommon for the males, and there are probably-fictional reports of some up to 10m.