Seeing National Parks in China was easy. You turned up and walked about. Sometimes there was a free bus.
Kakadu i the bigger than Belgium. Just getting to it is a mission, let alone getting around it.
The biggest draw of Kakadu is the Aboriginal art. It’s not only remarkably clear but also complex.
The first is an accomplishment considering that Aboriginal art was never meant to last. It’s meant more as another dimension to storytelling, many paintings are simply painted over by other Aborigines. That said it’s very disrespectful to edit or correct a picture. It’s believed to ruin a stories spirit.
This was my favourite. It’s a several thousand year old menu. Each animal is drawn in x-ray, different parts coloured and isolated to display what can be eaten, where the most fat is and so on.
This is one of the spiritual figures of Aboriginal culture. He features in one of the many aboriginal tales passed down between generations. As well as talking about spirituality most tales also have a moral bent as well, teaching against stealing or showing the consequences of jealousy.
Sounds lovely and happy? Aboriginals don’t have quite the same moral rules as us. Suppose I sleep with your sister. You’re not pleased, but legally you can’t really stop me. Under Aboriginal law you can do whatever you want to me. Unfortunately the rule continues to pass onto my family.
My brother is understandably unhappy and now you stabbed me, he’s entitled to take revenge on you. Feuds spin out of control quickly. Alice Springs has one of the highest rates of knife crime in Australia.
This is the view from onto Ubirr, the art site. It’s a stunning area, and one that has more lightning than any other place on earth.
Waterfalls & Plunge Pools
Along with the aborigine art both national parks are home to collection of waterfalls and plunge pools, tucked away in-between the vast stretches of bushland and jungle.
Typically we’d drive to the middle of nowhere, trek through the jungle for twenty minutes then we’d emerge by a stunning river.
Swimming in crocodile land? The pools were specifically chosen for their distance away from the river. Even then they’re still closely monitored. They’d be gorgeous anyway, but when your thirty degree heat and 80% humidity, being attacked by hundreds of flies they’re a little piece of heaven.
We spotted this spider on the way to one of the pools. That’s Keith’s hand not mine. Camera’s need both hands.
Termites are like ant plus plus. They build cooler houses and live more exciting lives. There are four kinds of mounds.
These are cathedral termite mounds. Go figure.
The new ones are rougher due to the constant building, while the weather has smoothed down the ones which are no longer in use. Despite the size of them; the hundreds that sit everywhere, I never saw a single termite. Only ants. I’m pretty sure adventure tours builds them.
These ones are called magnetic termite mounds. It’s got nothing to do with actual magnets, but because they build them to catch the least amount of sunlight, they end up running along the North – South line.
This toad didn’t have it’s head cut off ten seconds after this was taken. It was also not licked.