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Wednesday 10 Sep 2003
Darwin, Australia

Nemo Nemo Nemo

In my rush to complete the entry yesterday I forgot to mention the bane of my travels whilst travelling through Katherine, but moreso through Kakadu: flies. FLIES! AND MORE BLOODY FLIES!!!!

The place was literally swarming in flies! And theyre not the usual ones you get at home that fly off after being brushed away.. these are the real "famine-Africa-style-stick-in-your-face-till-you-kill-it" sort of flies. They really liked my ears for some reason. REALLY liked my mouth. I must have breathed in about 30 flies during my 3 days in Kakadu. They still came.... at one point, whilst waslking up to one of the lookouts on day 3, I was swarmed by about 50 flies and several biting horseflies too...

Only yesterday I purchased a fly-net for my head and it occured to me that I hadnt actually mentioned any of the flies in my previous entry. Doh!

I spied a lucrative business opportunity right there in Kakadu. An entrepeneur who might drive into the camp sites selling these fly-nets would make a bomb since you cant actually buy those things in there.

Im surprised Lonely Planet never mentioned the flies. Apparently this is the GOOD season. The bad season is approaching where it would literally be IMPOSSIBLE to breathe with the cloud of flies surrounding you.

Another after-effect of my trip through Kakadu is STILL giving me trouble. Red Dust. A VERY fine dust layer has permeated through the edges of my window-screen and is now clogged inside my engine and covering my clothes. I had a MAJOR laundry load yesterday which has sort of helped the situation and today Im going to splash out and spend several dollars giving the van a THOROUGH scrub before heading off west. The spark plugs too are giving me trouble so Ill drop the car in for another service (the service I got in Alice Springs was terrible since they left my van with oil dripping out of the bottom - I fixed that in Katherine). Gangster-mechanics eh?

Saw "Finding Nemo" in the cinema yesterday. A beautiful little flick set in the Great Barrier Reef, Oz. Lots of little in-jokes for us scuba divers too

While Im here I might as well give my impressions of Darwin. Its a pretty little town.. quite friendly and has a very relaxed atmosphere. Activities tend to be grossly determined by the climate: people get up very early here... dont see much happening in the heat of the day and then everybody comes out at night to sit out in the many open-air bars that line the main streets. Its quite a lucrative cosmopolitan society. Plenty of Asians and the largest Greek population in Oz live here, driving around in their flash cars. Some of the streets have restaurants eschewing forth spicy smells that remind me of Thailand and the choice of restaurants delights the taste buds. Last night I passed by a large tree which was home to 10 small possums that were being fed by passers-by.

Id live here if it wasnt so humid.

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Kakadu National Park

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