So the time has arrived, Anjali and Rishi vs the tent! Okay let me rephrase Anjali Vs the Tent!
Yep you guessed it, we’re in Oz (Australia for you folk who don’t know) and we’re going camping in the outback!
We arrived in Darwin early at 5.00am in the morning, got shuttled to our Hotel (yep hotel not hostel), to then find we couldn’t check in for another 6 freaking hours!
So we decided to do what any normal people would do (NOT), go and have breakfast at the hotel buffet at 6am, sleep on our table, wake up at 10.15 and devour some more brekki before heading to our room. Nnoom nnnooom
That first day we kept as a complete chill out and sleep day to re-energize our batteries for the 6.30am adventure which would start the next day. Obviously interspersed with healthy eating, you know, Nando’s for lunch and Dominoes for dinner! Baaabbbyyy baaabbby!
So we were picked up by our intrepid driver/tour guide for the first of our two camping trips; 4 days, 3 nights traipsing around the top end.
The Top End, aka Kakadua, Katherine Gorge and Litchfield are amazing definitely but there was a hell of a lot of driving with the same scenery around of plain trees and forests. We occupied ourselves with looking for crocs and wallabys.. Especially as it was the end of rainy season meaning water was often higher than the bridges and so the crocs could be taking a stroll over the same roads we were!! EEK! Actually to be fair, despite the wildlife spotting and the tour guide’s chit chat, whenever I got on the 4×4 coach I would fall asleep (and so did the driver nearly a few times). Anj on the other hand had to do with twiddling her thumbs or watching me (even though she slept a little bit too).
We did see some cool stuff… The first stop, in my opinion was probably the best. We stopped at a crocodile boating experience (with “spectacular jumping crocodiles”). The crocs are scarily close to you and this is no Zoo, this is the real deal! We go to crocodile infested waters, with the most deadliest crocodiles, the saltwater crocs and offer them some meat on a stick, hoping they prefer that to us! And we don’t make it easy either, this boat is the only one where they get the crocs to jump out of the water to earn their meal!! And we saw some huge ones too, some at 5 meters in length!
What an experience. And to end it off they feed some wild birds, that looked like eagles, by hand…! Was superb and I can’t recommend the experience highly enough!
Another sight which stood out has to be the Katherine Gorge! With its stunning high winding walls, it is amazing to take a boat through (we did it in a speed boat :)). You can find many waterfalls everywhere and its beauty really speaks for itself.
I think some of the waterfalls in Lichfield park and the termite mounds (which were like 3-4 meters high) were incredible too. You could sit there for hours and take in the scenery! Really spectacular!
Other highlights over the 4 days, included climbing up 100m high rocks and seeing the vastness of the land. Plus understanding the aboriginal culture, which our guide was clearly passionate about, brought the whole place alive with the paintings found on rocks, in the wilderness everywhere which in some cases are over 2000 years old!
For me personally I felt privileged to have the opportunity to hand feed wallabys (mini kangaroos) and a peacock! I have to admit I love animals! And these were wild ones roaming around the fields, that I had to build up trust with first, to then feed! Was great! (Anji fed them too!! In fact she’ll tell u that she got closer to the wallaby with the joey sticking out of its pouch! So cute.)
Now before you all ask me, I know what your thinking, how did Anjali handle the camping?!
Well these camping sites in most cases were fairly clean, and apart from them having cold water for showering and frogs getting clean in there with you, they were pretty damn good!
The tents themselves were proper tents, but bigger ones so they could fit two camp beds inside. It was exciting using a torch again and being able to see outside through our see through tent walls. And apart from the odd horse neighing or chewing on our tent, we both slept really well. Though that could be because the “doodia” (insects) hardly showed themselves to Anj (well not in the tent at least – Phew)! I was really proud of her though! …
(zoom into the pic above… what do u see in the trees!)
So there ended our first camping trip…we’re now off to Alice Springs to start our second adventure. (If we make it that is..) We’ve been told Alice Springs is very dangerous at night due to loads of young drunkards roaming the city at night, fighting and robbing people…NICE!
See you there 🙂