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The ignored article (parenthesis)

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 18 September 2008 | Views [1342]

When we were going to pick up the van in Darwin, we flew from Brisbane with Jetstar. Reading the inflight magazine we saw that they were doing a competition for a travel story, and the winner was going to get two free return tickets to the Jetstar destination we chose. This thing of travelling by winning competitions is really nice, so we wrote something that we thought would have a chance and sent it to the proper place, full of hope.

The bad news is that they never answered, and the URL the competition was supposed to be doesn't exist. But it would be a pity that those minutes of hopeful writing are lost in the sea of documents of my laptop, without opportunity for anybody to read it. So here it goes:

Last april, we had to fly from our residence in the Gold Coast to Darwin. We were going to drive back from there, and the trip was going to take a couple of months. We found our cheapest and most convenient flight with Jetstar, departing from nearby Brisbane, being this one, due to our relative recentness in Australia, our first satisfactory experience with this wonderful company.

While in the plane, and reading the entertaining inflight magazine, we found that Jetstar is running this contest where you can win two flight tickets to any destination, if you write a good enough story. So our aim was for something interesting to happen to us, in order to write about it.

One of the highlights of the Australian Top End is the amazing wildlife that we can find in this remote corner of the country. And specially, the king of the tropical jungle: the mighty estuarine or saltwater crocodile.

This prehistoric creature is the biggest and probably most dangerous reptile that inhabits our earth these days, and everywhere in the Top End is full of signs hysterically insisting of the danger of the thing, and how they don’t encourage you, at all, to approach waters where it might be.

When we were game driving in South Africa a year ago, one of our first priorities was to spot the biggest guy in town: the powerful elephant, and so we did now, looking forward to a face to face encounter with this crocodile.

In the Adelaide River, some hundred kilometers from Darwin, there are these famous jumping crocodile cruises. We considered the possibility of joining one of them to see how the huge reptiles jumped violently from the water in pursue of the piece of meat that the cruise master shows as a bite for the delight of the amazed crowd that fills the boat looking for a truly australian experience.

However, and being at the door, we discussed our point of view about the ethicity of this practice, and our will to contribute economically at what we find an unnatural act: to make the crocs think that humans are associated with food in that way, and use this otherwise threat as a circus trick.

So we left the door of the place with divided heart but satisfied morals.

We still had to find the place and the time where our eagered meeting with the fierce reptile was going to take place.

Some time later, we were peacefully walking in the nearby Mary River National Park (proposed), trying to glimpse some birds around a water-lily packed billabong. We were not looking for it, but inbetween the quiet environments, we spotted the expected couple of deep eyes next to the surface, just to see them sinking down again as fast as they came up.

Oh! How excited we suddenly were! How would we make the mighty croc come up again, in order to let us meet him as we were expecting to?

We know that this is not allowed in a National Park, but since it was still in proposition, and it was not confirmed yet, so we thought that it wouldn’t matter that much, so we threw a little piece of our sandwich to the water, expecting to tempt the cocodrile.

But he didn’t show himself, so we threw also a couple of sesame bars and one apple. Again, the crocodile didn’t seem to notice our efforts.

Frustrated, we thought that, since those big predators are mainly carnivores, he would feel more willing to come to the surface if we threw some piece of meat. Unfortunately, we are vegetarian, so we didn’t have any piece of any meat with us.

We hysterically thought about a fast plan, since we were all feeling that the crocodile was moving to other parts of the water, and we were missing an opportunity that maybe it wouldn’t come back.

So then, thank god, I had a brilliant idea! I got our little 8 year old child Jett by the legs and I threw him as far as I could inside the water! Surely his screams of disapprovement and the huge fuss he was making splashing water all around were enough for the crocodile finally listening to our claims, as he quickly jumped from nowhere biting our little one and making a disgusting and messy bloodshed everywhere.

So we lost our little puppy, light of our lives and hope for our older years, but instead, we had a fantastic and real encounter with a real hungry and fierce crocodile, exactly as we were looking for!

Ps. This story has some little inaccuracies, but we saw that Jetstar has a flight from our closest airport, Gold Coast, to Christchurch in New Zealand, and we really really want to go to New Zealand!

We didn’t see any elephant in South Africa either, anyway!"

So that! :-)

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