Friday, December 18, 2015


When we first started thinking about what to do to celebrate my 60th birthday, we thought about taking a steam train trip around the Christmas markets of Bavaria. Lindsey and Ian were going to come too. But then they were invited to a wedding in South Africa at the time the steam train would be going. We thought about other options, but the timing was too tight if we were going to be n Melbourne for Christmas without a great deal of rushing about. I didn't want to rush about!

I thought about it a bit more. And then decided that coming into Australia via Darwin might be the way to go. Neither The Builder nor I had ever been to Darwin. I started investigating, and found that among the many, many things we could do was a day's coach trip to the Kakadu National Park. This all seemed like a suitable celebration for a sixtieth birthday, so I booked it all.

And this morning we were waiting at 6.00 for the coach to pick us up. An early start. But Kakadu is about a 2, 2.5 hour drive from Darwin and there was much to do when we got there. I had had the foresight to pack sandwiches for breakfast - no time to eat before we left, and really it was much too early!

I enjoyed the trip out. It started to rain here about two weeks ago and has very quickly turned the plains green from the parched brown they were by the end of the dry season. We paused for a coffee stop about half way, and then made our way into the park and to a cultural centre depicting the way of life and traditions of the indigenous Traditional Owners of the site. From there we made our way to a cruise along the billabongs and rivers of the wetlands (now filling up again after the dry season). Then lunch, and then a walk to view some aborigines rock paintings. And then home, arriving back at the apartment at about 8pm

It was a very long day. But it was also a very good day. Our driver guide was informative and entertaining. We saw brolgas and jabirus, sea eagles and egrets, little tiny jacanas, or lily hoppers and various herons, and of course the ubiquitous sulfur crested cockatoo. We saw lots of wallabies, some feral pigs and a young dingo. And we saw crocodiles. Lots of crocodiles! We enjoyed our lunch of cold meats, salad and tropical fruit. We very much enjoyed the river cruise and the rock art was fascinating. 

And we really have been lucky with the weather. No rain at all today, apart from a bit when we were on the coach this morning, and rather more when we heading back into Darwin this evening. But none at all that inconvenienced us.

So Darwin and Kakadu were my main birthday celebration. And a very good celebration they have been too. My ticket for the sunset cruise on Wednesday was paid for with money given to me for my birthday from work colleagues. Tabitha, Gareth, Freyja and Simon contributed towards the Kakadu trip. Contributions towards adventures are an excellent birthday present. 

There are photos to come. I'll let you know when they are ready. 

And now it is time to turn attention away from my birthday and forward towards Christmas. We're off to Melbourne this morning.

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