September 20, 2013
We are in Jaburi, Northern Territory, Australia, which is a tiny, remote town in the middle of Kakadu National Park, which is a enormous, remote area! We drove about 250k on fairly straight, 2-lane roads. I had to deal with road trains, which you may remember from my Alice Springs/Uluru trip with Bob and Sally, are super, long tractor trailers. Today we saw something new and that was a truck cab pulling not three but four trailers! I even had to pass one of these quad trucks~that was exciting! There are many quarries in this part of the Northern Territory and these trucks were hauling rock!
Kakadu is a World Heritage site because of its unique biodiversity and its cultural importance. The Aboriginal people are the traditional owners of this land and now jointly operate this park. We drove through forested areas to get into the park and then drove past rivers and their extensive flood plains. There is a large escarpment that travels a good length of the park and we drove to one end of this escarpment where we got to see lots of Aboriginal rock art and climb up on the escarpment to watch the sun set. For tonight’s sunset there were only about a hundred people on the rocks, compared to the thousands that were on Mindil Beach last night in Darwin!
The heat was a factor today in that we saw 39 C., over 100 degrees F., and it was humid! We instinctively hiked at a slower pace! Speaking of hiking, we did one 2.5k hike to see some sandstone outliers. However the trail also went along the edge of the East Alligator River and there were signs everywhere, cautioning us about the possibility of meeting up with crocodiles.
You may wonder why there is a river called the East Alligator that is filled with crocs! The story goes that one of the early explorers thought the crocs were alligators and therefore named all the rivers after the mighty, but absent alligator!
We enjoyed 2 ranger talks before our climb to sunset rock and learned about Aboriginal life and their rock art.
It has been a good day in a beautiful and important place. Tomorrow we take a 4-wheel drive tour to two waterfalls. Should be fun! I don’t have to drive and Jim doesn’t need to navigate!