Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yellow Water Revisit Part 2

Northern Dwarf Tree Frog just outside the back door of our lodge. It's body is about 2.5 cm long.

A painting of a bad spirit at Anbangbang (prounounced Arn-barng-barng). He apparently used to beat girls over the head with a yam, then abduct them...
A native Ginger plant (we think) in full bloom.

Yellow Water Revisit

We just got back from 3 day trip to Kakadu - specifically to visit Yellow Water at Cooinda again. We really just wanted to get away from the unit for a few days and do absolutely nothing, then managed to get an accomodation deal for this place - which was nice.
We didn't slum it this time, preferring instead to stay in a lodge with A/C, satellite TV, and a shower and toilet. Plus it rained a lot (the monsoon rains have finally started to kick in) so a tent wasn't the best bet. So in between watching crap, trashy TV (e.g. Jerry Springer, Cheaters, bits and pieces of shite movies in caught surfing between channels) and not so crap TV (e.g. Simpsons marathons, Twenty20 cricket), swimming in one of the two lagoon style pools, drinking beer (Vince did, Jodi stuck to the non-alcoholic champagne or just plain water), going to the restaurant and napping in airconditioned comfort, we managed to drag ourselves on to the Yellow Water boat tour. We went on it once in the Dry Season of 2005 with Vince's family and were thoroughly impressed with the variety wildlife in their natural habitat and the information provided by the guides.
We thought we'd check it out in the Wet Season this time to see what a difference an extra 2 to 3 metres of water does to the wetlands system (that is an extra couple of metres on top of the Dry Season water level spread over hundreds of square kilometres - a sh*t load of water!). Alas, the monsoonal rains hadn't hit their full stride yet, so it wasn't all that different from when we were there last. We still got to lots of decent sized crocs and plenty of birdlife. We were lucky enough to see a big croc eating a barramundi it found floating on the surface, and also a croc's nest with a manacing female submerged just next to it waiting for the chance to maul the next unlucky/stupid creature to venture too close to her eggs.
It was excellent again, and it should be on anyone's list of things to do when they visit the NT...

Mamukala billabong. You can see the big clouds in the background building up. This happens every day up here. Some days you strike it lucky with a downpour, others you don't. Once the monsoon rains hit, rain every day is pretty much a regular occurrence.

Yellow Water in the Wet. No matter how hot is gets you DON'T want to swim in here. Large lotus plants on the right. Above them is Arnhem Bamboo, which flowers once every 5 to 10 years. Once it's done flowering it dies. They're waiting for a bushfire to clean up the dead bamboo which flowered 2 years ago...

The first saltie we saw on the tour. Its about 2.5 metres long, which makes it about 3 years old. It's cooling off in the shade, as it's reptile brain (about the size of a 50 cent piece) can't deal with the outside temperature too well.

Some more of those giant lotus plants. Like the way the water still beads...

Monday, January 01, 2007

'Tis the Season to be Silly...

This year Vince and I stayed in Darwin for the Xmas holidays. Some may think we're mad for hanging around in the wet season, but after you've endured the 'build up' I think the wet season is your reward. We've had pretty regular bouts of rain and the odd storm - however it's monsoonal weather that I really enjoy! Squalls of rain, storms with blinding sessions of lightning and deafening thunder and drizzle that all lasts for a couple of weeks straight.. Bring it on - we've not yet been blessed, but it'll come!

Anyway - Xmas was a very quiet day for us this year. I woke up early and then woke Vin up with a coffee to open our presents. We were both on the same wave length this year giving each other gifts of books, CDs and DVDs related to music.. Nice. We got the roast pork on pretty early and had a few swims. We then headed out to Danielle and Dennis' place for a few drinks.

New Years Eve was much the same. We went to Kim and Mick's place for a wee gathering of friends and family.. Very nice evening. BBQ, glow sticks, karaoke and a bit of dancing. I made it to midnight with the help of a coffee around 9:30pm when I started fading. Everybody had a good time!!

Vince on his new "Pool Hammock" - Xmas day.

Family fun with glow sticks and disco - NYE

Vince belting out some karaoke for all his fans... NYE