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Sunday 14 Sep 2003
Darwin, Australia

Back to Kakadu...

Lots has happened over the past few days and here I am having to catch up (AGAIN!) so here goes... btw Ive put up a few more pics of my trips to Darwin/Kakadu on THIS site (some should be visible there on the right)...

Wed 10th Sep

Met up with Haydn this evening... night went on and we ended up playing pool with a pair of scottish lasses Aileen and "Moo" till the wee hours of the morn... Actually ended up playing ALL night since I got no bloody sleep!

Thurs 11th Sep

Met Haydn for lunch and spent rest of day lying on the beach chattin away to Pauline, a German girl parking in the same Harbour car park as I...

Went to the Sunset Market in Mindil Beach. This was like a cut-down hippy version of Disneyland: they had amazing shows, international spicy food, lots of people from around the world mingling and, of course, plenty hippies selling the weird and wonderful. I bought myself a pair of "Devils Sticks" (a pair of sticks, with which you try to juggle a larger stick; spinning it around like a true street-performer). Yet ANOTHER toy Ive got to spend time learning how to use...

I had a great time watching the several performers (including the flame-throwers, Pete & Jes, whom I had met the day before while cooking my hamburgers at the public BBQ) and highly recommend a visit to this market as part of a trip to Darwin. It IS Darwin.

Was supposed to go to Full Moon party later on but was too tired after not sleeping the night before!... That night I crashed in Megans house (a friend of Haydns) on the sofa after the three of us finished watching a particularly dodgy art-house video.

By the way, I recently purchased an electric piano in Alice Springs for only 35 dollars in a second-hand shop. Its a rare antique from the 80s and it was worth the purchase-price for the kitsch value alone! Its really good fun and hopefully Ill develop my piano skills too... along with my classical guitar, didgeridoo AND devil stick "skills". Who says Im gonna be bored in Western Australia?

Fri 12th Sep

Saw Pirates of Carribean in cinema.. very good.. not much else happened today since I was still a bit tired

Went to play Lawn Bowls in Afternoon with Haydn and Megan... pretty damn good fun actually.. and me winning (although Haydn would protest) was the "piece de resistance"!

Haydn invited me along with Megan to visit an aboriginal Open Day in Arnhem land on Sat.. as a way of showcasing the culture to non-aboriginals. This was a rare opportunity to visit the restricted aboriginal lands where tourists are not allowed without a permit. This is REAL aboriginal country and so I couldnt afford to give this a miss.

Sat 13th Sep

Drove off early from Darwin back to Kakadu with Magnus (a Swedish friend of Haydns).. after 5 hours of long driving (albeit in an AIR-CONDITIONED 4x4!!) we soon arrived at Oenpellie - the aboriginal community. To our dismay we had arrived a little too late to see the main events ... nevertheless we walked around the town and got chatting to a few of the locals and saw a local aussie-rules football match against a nearby aboriginal school (The locals won!). Saw some artists at work, plus saw how they extracted the dye from raw plants in the back shed. I would have liked to buy a "bark-picture" here (a painting on wood), but they were around 750 dollars... ah well maybe next time...

That night I crashed in a tent with Magnus... bit rough and a lot of flies, but thankfully I was prepared THIS time and armed myself with my head fly-net!

Whaddya know? It worked!


Took dip in Gunlom plunge pools again and headed back to Darwin

Met a French couple who taught me the French words for plunge-pool: "Trou DEau" and Waterfall: "Cascade"... another French phrase I have learnt while in Oz is : "Les Etoiles Filantes". It means shooting stars. Plenty of em.

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