Wednesday, May 23

Tales From The Outback – Part 3…..

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Monday 18th – Next stop of tour with new guide Bryce, the best one of the lot. We travelled in a 4WD for the whole 3 days. Started in Litchfield National Park at Florence Falls, where we went for a swim under the waterfall. Very Timotie shampoo advert looking stuff. Next we went to Buley Pools which were several rock pools which we swam in. After lunch went to Mary River and had a 2 hour crocodile cruise where we saw tons of freshies and salties, the largest 5 metres. They were basking on the banks, and we got so close, and they are unbelievably fast running into the water, you would not stand a chance if they went for you. They are fantastic creatures though, so fascinating. Settled back at camp and went to the bar.

Tuesday 19th may – Went to Kakadu National Park and went to Ubirr and saw some Aboriginal rock art, then walked to a lookout over the forests, floodplains and rocks. There are some rocks where Paul Hogan stood in ‘Crocodile Dundee’ swinging the rope to make a ‘telephone call’. Camped at Jaburu and could hear the dingoes howling at night which was great, they sound just like wolves. Next day we went to the Jim Jim falls, hiked down to the bottom which was death defying over the rocks, but the guys helped us out and saved me from breaking my neck. It was definately worth it, we got to swim under the beautiful waterfalls and bask on the rocks. There was a python curled up on the rocks by the falls right by us, but it didn’t care about us. We chilled there for a couple of hours then it was the home stretch back to Darwin. The group all met up for dinner and drinks in the evening at ‘The Vic’, and we had a great night dancing away. Was really quite sad saying goodbye to everyone at the end as it was like a little family. Great trip though.

Saturday 23rd may – been in Darwin a couple of days and the heat is sweltering. At least I’ve got away from the flies in Alice Springs, but now there are loads of mozzies. I resemble a leper after being eaten alive on tour, even though I sprayed liberal amounts of 100% DEET repellent on, and that stuff is like paint stripper so god knows what it does to the skin – obviously the mozzies don’t care. Can’t stop scratching, I know it’s bad but god it feels good to scratch them. Anyway, met up with scouse Paul from Melbourne as he’s been in Darwin for 2 weeks waiting for me to get here, so we hit the beach markets again with Nicky and Narmin from the tour. It’s the best market I’ve ever been to; there are tons of stalls selling jewellery, crystals, didgeridoos, trinkets, massages, the lot. There are bouncy castles and slides for the kids, loads of food and juice stalls, the didgeridoo guys were there again playing, and there are several bands scattered about playing, it’s like a mini festival and it gets rammed. Next day me and Paul went to the harbour and the museum. Part of it is about cyclone Tracy which completely demolished Darwin on Christmas day 1974, and 66 people were killed. There was a video of the aftermath, and a sound booth with the actual noise captured on tape by a resident. My god it would have been terrifying. Also looked at some of the creepy crawlies, and I’m lucky enough not to have seen huge spiders in real life. I had the thought that when I got here I would constantly be checking under the loo seat and the corners of the room – not once. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and the way forward, as looking at the ones in the museum, these babies have arses the size of Jennifer Lopez’s – HUGE!!! There was also a 5.1 metre saltwater crocodile called Sweetheart there. He went about in the 1970’s attacking boats in Darwin at regular rates, but it’s thought that the noise of the boats imitates another males noises, so he was defending his territory. Well these ‘so called’ rescuers came along to relocate him to another place, and after capturing him they completely messed up the sedation, Sweetheart got trapped under a log and drowned. Mission successful then. There was a video of this happening and the guy said that the stress of the relocation move would have probably killed him in a week anyway. YEAH RIGHT!!! Talk about a lame arse excuse trying to cover his back. He may well have just said “Yeah look guys, we totally cocked up, we’re so totally incompetent arses that we murdered the croc because we had no idea what we were doing, but hey, s*** happens, and at least you guys get to see him all nicely stuffed and on display in the museum now. It’s a win win situation”. Err, no. I doubt very much poor Sweetheart envisioned his life ending up as a stuffed museum display. Poor Little b****** (okay, not so little at 5m) was just minding his own business when these morons came along and drowned him – with the ‘best intentions’ of course (ahem), but if the idiot guy thought the ‘stress’ would kill him anyway – WHY DO IT!!!?????? RIP Sweetheart. God love you, and you are extremely impressive in all your stuffed glory.

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About Author

Thomas Neal was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a bookseller before shifting to publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for millennials, and as a book reviewer of adult and young adult novels. He lives in New York City and is obviously a voracious reader. He has just released his debut novel and working on his second already!

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