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With more time on my hands these days, this gives me something to do. I hope you get some pleasure, along with me, in sharing this new stage of my life.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Top End Escape - Kakadu, Day 4/8, Monday 20th May 2013

Today we started our 2 day 'Kakadu Short Break' with AATKings.
 The bus promptly picked us up from the resort and, with Sean at the wheel, we are away. First stop is at 'The Bark Hut Inn' for morning tea, handing out of the park passes and for some, feeding the obliging water buffalo and emus. This is only my second organised bus trip, the first was when I was in 5th or 6th class (approx. 1957), so, as you might expect, I was pretty excited.  The first thing I noticed was the driver wouldn't stop every time I saw a new bird or plant but, I suppose he had some sort of timetable to keep to. 
Seriously it was all good, well paced and we got to see and learn a lot about the natural and cultural aspects of this part of the country.
Our transport for the next 2 days.

Watching the passing scenery.

Maybe we could use this to replace the Camry.

Crossing the South Alligator River. There was a crocodile swimming in the
river but we couldn't stop as there was a road-train behind us.

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Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie rock.

Namarrgon - Lighting Man (figure in top right).
 He wears his lighting as a band around him connecting
 his arms legs and head. Stone axes on his knees and
elbows make the thunder.

The mob press on.

Sandstone Pandanus  (Pandanus basedowii).
 Aboriginal people use it for medicines, fibre, dye and food.

The summit of Nourlangie Rock.

Sean educating us on the cultural history of the area.

This solitary boulder is the feather which Namanjolg's( The Lighting Man)
 sister took from his head-dress after they had broken the incests laws.
 She placed it here to show others what they had done . Later she became
 the rainbow serpent.

The landscape around the lookout.

The series of three tall pillar-like cliffs (behind Lynn) along the
 Arnhem Land escarpment is the home of Namarrgon the Lightning man.
 It is a dangerous, sacred place ( a gjang andjamun site). Like all
 djang andjamun  sites, if disturbed wide trouble will result.
Also, many years ago those cliffs were 3000 metres high and snow-capped
but now they are only 300 metres high. Those cliffs were also the edge of the
mainland and where we are standing, an Island, with the ocean in between.
Funny how things change.

Another gallery at Nourlangie.

The Mimi are tall, thin beings that live in the rocky escarpment of
 northern Australia as spirits. Before the coming of Aboriginal people they had
 human forms. The Mimi are generally harmless but on occasions can be
 mischievous."When Aboriginal people first came to northern Australia,
 the Mimi taught them how to hunt and cook kangaroos and other animals.
 They also did the first rock paintings and taught Aboriginal people how to paint.

The Mimi and others.

Lunch (supplied) spot at Cagudju Lodge, Coorinda. 

Yellow Waters billabong cruise.

Yellow Waters billabong cruise.

Jabiru and Pygmy Geese.
 I saw Jabiru closer but the bus had no brakes.

River Pandanus    (Pandanus aquaticus)

Look closely and you will see the baby Jacana.
Ooohhhh, it's so cute.

A native bamboo, Bambusa arnhemica. You learn something
new every day.

A Nankeen Night Heron shakes itself after a bath.

Yes, we finally find out where handbags come from.

No, I didn't smile at it, just sat in awe that this animal could
rush the boat, drag me out and have me for breakfast.

Clockwise from top right:  Masked Lapwing,
immature White-bellied Sea Eagle, Whistling Kite, Darter
and  Torresian Crow.

Clockwise from top:  Green Pygmy Geese, Intermediate Egret,
Plumed Whistle Duck.

A roof over our heads for the night.
Our room at Aurora Kakadu, South Alligator.

Part of the grounds at Aurora.

Yes, Agile Wallabies do it as well. Would you believe that
this is the only photo I got to take of a wallaby.

Screw Pine / Screw Palm  (Pandanus spiralis).

I passed these 3 signs on the way to the billabong at Aurora,
I think I was lucky to get back alive.

The billabong at Aurora from the pontoon.

Hello my little friend.

Flowers from today: Dryander's Grevillea (red),
 Yellow Kapok and I don't know what I've picked up.

Lotus Burning. Sunset on the Billabong.

Billabong Burning

Nice way to end a great day.

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