23 juni 2018 - Kakadu National Park, Australië

Almost 7 months ago I left for the Big Trip leaving everything behind; my home, my job, my family, my friends. The adventure pulled me to the other side of the world, where everything is new. The surroundings, the city’s, the adventures and off course the people.
During those 7 months I met about 8 travel mates before Darwin. Some were a success, some I gladly left behind.
On a quest for a new travel mate I quickly found Max. He was keen on driving the center with me and was the first on board. After that I met a few other people, but none made a good impression.
A German girl left a message, saying she would like to join me, but only for the Kakadu NP. I would rather pick up a travel mate for a longer time, but I decided to keep her as an option. We agreed that if I didn’t find anyone before Saturday, she would join me.
When I saw her picture on Facebook however, I instantly hoped no other people would come ringing; she was drop dead gorgeous. Her eyes, her smile, she was almost to perfect.

Days flew by and no other travel mates came along. I decided to at least meet the German girl. I met a few Dutchies that day and was going to dinner with one of the guys. I asked if she wanted to join me. She brought a few friends from a earlier tour and so we went to a restaurant close by.

When I first met her, my jaw dropped. The cutest girl came walking my way and I knew I was sold. The brightest smile, sparkling eyes and an enthusiasm I haven’t seen in a while.
Christina brought her American and English friends and we went to dinner with the four of us.
The next day I decided to join them to the market, where I arrived early. Soon both the other girls where gone (good fortune, or intently?) and Christina and I went to the beach. Sitting side by side we went ahead making pictures of the sunset and each other, enjoying people juggling fire and the warm weather.

Max, Christina and I left after my car was serviced. I thought it was best to travel as far as we could and I was happy to be back on the road again. The first night we spend on a free camp ground that we could only reach over a sketchy gravel/sandy road, but we made it. We went to bed right after arriving and for a moment it got exciting; who would end up sleeping next to me? I boldly asked Christina if she would, thankfully she said yes and Max was oke with it as well.

The first day we entered the Kakadu NP and started walking around the Nourlangie rock art site. There was a guided tour by a ranger around sunset and we jointed the big mob. The guide was insightful and she explained several beautiful rock paintings we passed along the way.
When we were seated at one of the sites, Christina and I where sitting next to each other, caressing one another on the back. Max saw it and said we looked ‘like a married couple’. It felt a little award and nice at the same time. That I was so close to Christina was already more then I hoped for, anything else would be a bonus.
After seeing the sunset on top of a hill, we drove to the second campsite of the week. It was with $15 per person more expansive then I hoped, but at least there where hot showers and clean toilets. Too bad the mozzies had the same information, they where a pest at the campground. So, we had to sleep with mozzie nets for the doors, otherwise we would be eaten alive.

The next morning Christina wanted to go for a run, so she wanted to get up early. Amazingly we were awake before 6. We ran about 5 km without any trouble. It was lovely to run on the empty roads of the Kakadu park, we had it all to ourselves.
When we came back we left for yet another ranger accompanied tour, at the Manngarre walk. It was quite insightful and the rock formations where interesting to look at. The scenery changed quickly as we went along, from grass plains to tropical, it had a lot. It even had an old Aboriginal cave.
After that we walked at another rock art site at Nourlangie, where they had more beautiful rock paintings. It’s hard to imagen that it has been around for thousands of years. The area must have been a perfect living area at the time; there was plenty of food around (if you knew where to look), it had towering shelters with plenty of room and the views at some places was excellent.
Time flew by and the last walk was around a lake, surrounded by lilies, a rock formation and tranquility.
Just around the corner we found the Nawurlanja lookout, what was one of the better views of the park. Max went up the hill and Christina and I had a nice moment for ourselves.

Christina wanted to do a boat cruise over the yellow river, so we decided to join her. I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to be worth it, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. We had our first illegal ‘camp ground’ of the trip, sleeping in a little ditch for excessive sand from a gravel road. I can’t say I slept well, but it least it was free and close to the yellow river.

The next morning we got up early for the cruise, Christina wanted to do the dawn cruise at 6:30. Sadly by the time we got there, they weren’t selling tickets anymore. She was a bit disappointed, but eventually settled for a dusk tour instead. We went down to the pier to check it out anyway and it was very nice. Big birds where fishing at the edge of the water, mist and dew where hanging over the long grass and the sun gave of a beautiful radiant glow. It turns out to be one of my favorite moments alone with Christina, where we talked about things like love and girlfriends, while enjoying each other’s company.
After that we still had a lot of time to kill, so we went to the nearby Aboriginal culture center. It was quite insightful in the past and present life of these amazing people. I bought yet more souvenir junk that I didn’t need, but what the heck.
We had lunch in a grassy patch near the parking lot, when I found out that there was a swimming pool nearby! We packed our stuff and went to the place, which was conveniently around the corner of our pickup.

The tour itself was better than I expected. We saw several freshwater crocodiles, a beautiful black wild horse, a buffalo and dozens of interesting birds. That all under the entertaining narrative of the knowledgeable tour guide. The water plains started to change color as the sunset came in; from gold, to orange to deep pink and purple, it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in a while. I’m glad Christina dragged me to this tour, it was well worth the money! Even when the mic of the tour guide didn’t work half the time. After the tour we enjoyed the sunset some more from the docks, it was just lovely. One of those moments I could freeze in time and experience a thousand times.
After the tour, disaster struck in the most inconvenient time and place; in the dark, while being hungry on a lonely road, the pulley of the power steering decided to call it a day and jammed. The belt snapped and I had to pull over as fast as I could. My world was upside down for a second, but thank heavens there was reception. I called road assistance and they would come and tow my van. We made some fast dinner on the side of the road, while a tow truck came after an hour. We had to split up, only two people could accompany the truck to the parking area for the camper. Max would stay in a hotel back at yellow rivers and Christina and I would get back with the truck. Just as I thought luck was turning on my, I realized it was in a positive way;

I was going to spend the night alone with Christina. All that, because the car broke down!

The next morning a mechanic of the garage we were parked at, looked at the car and said we could drive it back to Darwin where it could be fixed. He cut out the broken belt and when Max arrived, we set of for Darwin, with a max of 80 km an hour.
When we arrived at the mechanic, who conveniently didn’t fix the pulley in the first place, he fixt it immediately for buy in price. We could leave the same day and we ‘only’ lost 24 hours! We had some dinner at the hungry jack, got some grocery’s and got some fuel. By nightfall thousands of noisy birds landed in the trees, what was quiet the sight. In the dark we set of for a campground at the side of the road, halfway Kakadu. We played some rummicub and left for bed on time.

The next day we did some more groceries at Pine Creek and we decided to get to Gunlom. The way in was over a 30 km gravel road that was one of the worst in a while, but we eventually made it to the first hike at the Motor Car falls. The hike to the falls weren’t that exciting and it was hot, everybody was glad to reach the pool. The fall itself dried up and was nothing more then a leaking faucet at that time. Still the surrounding was nice to look at, with towering edgy rock formations and a big crack in the middle. We got out of our clothes and into the water, which was wonderfully refreshing. Not to cold, but not warm either. I entered the cave in the crack, which was only a meter wide at best. I could hardly see a thing, but I swam in deeper anyway. Christina and Max joined me and soon it was pretty crowded in the narrow pass way. About 10 meters in, it went up and real dark, it looked like the cave ran much deeper than our eyes could see. The view back to the front was amazing; the green water was filled with little fish, that loved to nibble your feet. The light that bounds off the walls gave the cave an exciting feeling. It was a very unusual, yet interesting place to share an intimate moment.
The hike back wasn’t to bad, the hot car with no aircon was. We drove with blowing semi hot ventilation to the campground at Gunlom. It was with $15pp expensive yet again, but there were flushing toilets and showers, so it could be worse.

For dinner Christina made bread on a stick (after she made me look for the sticks), that she baked over a fire from the neighbors. They were a couple of biker mice with dirt bikes, that where quite a lot of fun and we talked for a while. It was nice sitting around the campfire, drinking beer and eating fresh warm bread. The guys came from Darwin for a few days, traveling the off-road sections of the park.
Christina wanted to tidy up the car and so we did. We were pretty tired after that and when we cuddled in bed, we fell asleep. When I woke up near 11pm, I couldn’t wake Christina up anymore, she was to far gone. I lifted her up and put her gently under the blankets, hoping that I wouldn’t wake her deep sleep. It was weird that after that lovely week we had, it was going to be our last night together. It took me a while to fall asleep again.

After breakfast the next day, we went to the waterfalls of Gumlom, one of the reasons we stayed here. The lower pool was not to bad, but we had a feeling it would be better at the top. The climb was steep, but doable, we were there in about 20 minutes. The view was pretty and the pools beautiful. The multiple pools were all connected. Flowing from one pool to another, high to low, until it finally dropped of the waterfall. We took a swim in the pleasant water (we were quite hot after the walk) and took a few pictures. After visiting the upper pools real quick we had to leave too. The journey to Katherine, to drop of Christina, was inevitable. Max drove back the second half, so I could help Christina sort out some pictures and hold her close one more time.

We made it to the bus in time and it was time to say goodbye. Christina already packed her bags and was ready quick. She came up to me and gave me a small kiss. “Quick kiss”, she smiled and gave me a fast hug. After she hugged Max for a second, she smiled and walked to the bus, disappearing behind the tinted glass. Soon the bus drove off, disappearing in the distance. It felt a bit weird to be with just Max for a second, but I shook it off quick.
I hoped to find a little romance during this trip and creeping towards the end, I got it. It was never mend to be forever and I am grateful for every second we had. Hopefully we will stay in touch and meet again.
It was a great boost for my personal moral!


6 Reacties

  1. Linda:
    23 juni 2018
    Super, Robin. Heerlijk dat het zo goed gaat. Je hebt de tijd van je leven. Gaaf, hoor! Ga zo door. Heel veel plezier nog.
  2. Angela:
    23 juni 2018
    Wat een pakkend verhaal weer. Mooi om te lezen lieverd. Bijzondere momenten met een gouden randje, bewaar ze in je hart en koester ze😘😘😘
  3. Trees maton:
    23 juni 2018
    Mooi verhaal,geniet nog van de resterende tijd daar,fijn dat het goed gaat
  4. Ivo:
    23 juni 2018
  5. De Kock Hanneke:
    23 juni 2018
    Robin een reis met vele verhalen foto,s en mooie herinneringen
  6. Ed Schalk:
    24 juni 2018
    Het gaat je goed Robin , dit is waar t om gaat , genieten met de dag om daar later nog vaak over na te denken , pakkende herinneringen , lekker bezig man

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