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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Of Trains, and the Top End

Things have been moving along, my poor old knee is slowly improving.  Meaning that I can now walk with most of my foot on the ground, instead of hopping and stumbling along.  Nothing is guaranteed to make you feel like a 90 year old than a sore knee, or feet, or a bad back!  As my 99 year old Aunt used to say to me, “Getting old is not for sissies”.  Too true. 

After my accident and subsequent trip to the hospital in Alice, we re-boarded the Ghan to continue on our trip to Darwin.  The scenery certainly changed, and giant termite mounds were scattered everywhere.  The dining experiences on the Ghan were memorable – we got to try crocodile, buffalo and lemon myrtle cheesecake, all new experiences for us.

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In the restaurant carriage

We had an off train excursion at Katherine as part of the rail deal, and we chose to do the Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise.  This trip had the least amount of walking involved, we were told, all the better for my painful knee.  We gently cruised along, looking at the lovely peaceful scenery, the bird life, and keeping an eye out for crocodiles.

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Katherine Gorge

Later the next day we arrived in Darwin, a bit out of our comfort zone with daytime temperatures in the mid 30s – and it doesn’t seem to cool down much in the evening.  The highlight off our time here was a coach trip to Kakadu.  Our trip, starting just after 6.00am, was the Yellow Water Billabong Cruise in the Kakadu National Park.  We walked a short way to board one of the boats, and were soon on our way, gliding slowly across the water.

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All aboard the Yellow Water Billabong Cruise

It was so lovely and peaceful, calm water surrounded by trees, reeds, beautiful pink lotus water lilies growing,  and water meadows.  But the peace was deceptive, as under the water crocodiles were lurking.  One came up to our boat, and struck it hard with it’s tail – keep out of my space, it was saying!  We later saw another croc tossing a turtle around in the air before swallowing it down with a big gulp.

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Whistling ducks on the bank, and geese on the water meadow

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Watch out for the crocs

It was a wonderful trip, and we feel very privileged to have spent a little time in the huge Kakadu National Park.  Mind you, covering an area of 20,000km, we could only see a fraction of it.  Kakadu National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition of its outstanding natural beauty and as a living cultural landscape. 

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Next stop – Brisbane.

4 comments:

Maria said...

No there's not relief form the heat up in Darwin... Kakadu is beautiful we have been there as well as Katherine..pleased your knees on the mend.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Sorry about your poor knee Jenny. Thanks for sharing those lovely photos....its on our list!

Jocelyn Thurston said...

You are looking so well and happy, Jenny and Robin. Envy you the train trip part...just love train travel. And what sights...magnificent and thanks for sharing.

Jenny and Robin said...

Thank you ladies, for your nice comments. My knee is slowly improving, and we are having a great time. It's so great to see and experience so many new sights. Australia certainly is different from little old New Zealand!