Monday, April 11, 2011

Kakadu was wet - and random thoughts about Oz

From Cairns, our last stop was Darwin, at the extreme north of Australia, and more precisely the National park of Kakadu (awesome name for our french readers, I know)
The aboriginal Australians have inhabited this area for over 1000 years, and it's a place where you can see part of their culture. It seemed very promising if not for one problem: the wet season lasted a little longer that usual and 90% of the park was still flooded and inaccessible. The good news for us was that, since we only had one day to spend there anyway, the choice was easily made and we didn't have to worry about what to see.

So we went on this walk that passed by caves and paintings left by the aborigines more than a thousand years ago. Frankly, being there while everything was wet, with mosquitoes, and under the rain, I wanted to give kudos to the aborigines for sticking out there for so long :)

Not enough to scare away a Cajun!

"If a tree falls in the forest..." - well, we heard that one

The walk was fun enough despite the rain, and between that, watching some movies about the different seasons and their impact on the local fauna, and checking out bats coming out at dusk, we had a pretty good time that day.
The next day we went on another small hike to check out the view from a lookout before taking off for the airport. As you can see, it was sunny and cloudless :)

The big scare came when it was time to leave. Our plane was leaving at night at 7:30pm but since the airport was 3 hours away we decided to leave in the morning anyway. Good we did as we quickly ran into some parts of the road that were slightly underwater... until we arrived at a part cut by a flow of water that we didn't really think we could cross with our little rental car.

There was a lot of current too

Thankfully a ranger was there, and even though he wasn't supposed to, he helped us cross... It didn't take very long but we were super tense the whole time, with water flowing around the car, scared that we would lose traction and be carried away (we actually lost traction for a few seconds and thought we were going to be taken away by the current...). That's the closest we've been to really been worried about ourselves and our stuff so far, and we felt an immense relief when we made it to the other side. Needless to say, despite the rain the rest of the drive felt very uneventful!

Now all I have to do is learn how to play the diggeridoo!

You can check out more photos out here.

As a bonus, some random thoughts about Oz:
- They take a lot of pride in "Aussie-built" or "Aussie-engineered" stuff. But with 20M people, I wondered how superior their engineering is
- Aussies have it nice, with a huge country that offers many different kinds of weather and destinations, plus many exotic and popular destinations nearby (Fiji, Bali, all of Indonesia,...)
- Australians also striked us as relaxed and very friendly
- People had warned us, but yes, Australia is a pretty expensive destination
- They sure do love cameras here. I mean security cameras. They are everywhere, and so are the signs warning you of them

Some art in the streets of Melbourne proves that I'm not imagining it

View Australia - Darwin in a larger map


  1. And if you ever find yourself in Perth, Australia, you and Denise are welcome to stay with me and Vince (I met Denise at cooking school in Bali). Safe travels in India!

    (PS. The Aborigines have been in Australia, and at Kakadu, for over 40,000 years!)

  2. Do you think if I go north in Australia that I'll gain some insight into Australians? Could be useful for me :)