Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Back from the outback

 oh what a great break!

We saw some incredible places and had an amazing time - I don't think I realized just how much I needed to get away until now that I am back. We have stacks and stacks of photos, and before getting back down to embroidery business, I really want to share just a few snapshots of what we got up while on the road for the past 3 weeks.

We drove... A LOT. Well, I didn't drive.. Adrian likes driving, while I am more than content to just sit back and enjoy the ride 😀

The 'main drag' up the centre is long (very long), flat and very straight. We joked that we could probably just tie the steering wheel in place and both take nap. The aim was to just 'leg it' the 2700km (1678 miles) from Adelaide to Katherine in just a couple of days, which we almost managed. 
As soon as we reached the 'Top End' we slowed down...

I have lost count of how many waterfalls we visited (not all flowing this time of year) and how many rockpools we swam in. LOTS - for well more than a week we went on a rockpool crawl, moving from one amazing spot to the next every day. 

The water in the rockpools was a clear as can be, with fish swimming around you and nibbling at your toes. In one pool, we had company of a small water monitor. She? looks massive in the photo, but really was only about 50cm (20") long.

It was too hot for long hikes, but between swimming in those incredible natural pools, we did quite a few really beautiful walks.
The landscape is vast (enormously vast). I know that for some people the vastness makes them uncomfortable. I LOVE it. There is something so special about being out in the middle our 'nowhere' feeling very, very small and insignificant that for me, puts everything into perspective.

Apart from Jim Jim Falls, which was the most spectacular rockpool of them all, there was less swimming once we got to Kakadu National Park. Partly because there is less rockpools but mostly because where there is water there is crocodiles. Big ones!
The landscape, with majestic rock formations and ancient rock art was breathtaking.

Nothing here is subtle. Everything is big. The land is vast. The heat is hot. The sun is fierce (and so are the mosquitos). The water is murky and full of crocodiles. The rock is as old and solid, as old and solid can be, and makes you feel like a little insignificant ant (well, ants are important but you get the picture).

I have seen plenty of pictures of Aboriginal Rock Art, but standing in front of a rockface filled with paintings, some of which are dating back more than 20,000 years, is truly humbling. 

I never stops to amaze me, just how much wildlife there is in these arid areas. In Kakadu, the birdlife is abundant especially along the rivers. We were lucky to see dancing brolga, kites, sea eagles, numerous types of ducks and geese, king fishers and kookaburras, Jaribu storks and egrets.. the list goes on.

A family of blue-winged kookaburra hung around our camp one day. They can't 'laugh' like their southern cousins here, but they are ever so colorful. This guy was so tame, just short of eating from our hands. 

We had more close encounters a the Territory Wildlife Park just south of Darwin. I never knew there was such a thing as freshwater sting rays and hand feeding these creatures was fabulous. The highlight though was to meet Quirky the Northern Quoll (sorry about the fuzzy photo, but these guys are NEVER still). 

So many adventures in such a short time... Did I stitch?

...not much. I had roughed up a piece of 'doodle stitching' as I often do when I am away but I didn't get far. Never mind.. I guess, we will just have to go on another trip so I can work on it...

I hope you have all been keeping well and safe, despite crazy weather around the place and the never ending turmoil of the pandemic.

Stay safe & keep stitching,
Anna xx