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Goodbye New Jersey. Hello World! A record of my journey as I give up my job, my possessions, and life as I know it to go off and see the world!

Halloween in the Outback

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 3 November 2010 | Views [1909] | Comments [1]

Today I celebrated Halloween at the top end of Australia - Kakadu National Park to be exact. It’s the first time on my trip that I have somewhat missed home. It just doesn’t quite feel like Halloween here - with temperatures in the 90’s and no fall festivities in sight. Today I took a walk through the park with my witch’s hat on. I looked like a complete tool to everyone else but I felt the need to show my Halloween pride. I topped off the look with my aviators I bought in Hong Kong, my black 50 cent tank top I bought in Perth and my bikini top hanging out the top. The air was thick with humidity as I walked on a plank over bright green swamplands. The last time I saw a green so vibrant was in Ireland. The clouds reflected into the stagnant water surface. Off in the distance I could see the eyes of “salty’s” (saltwater crocodiles) peaking out. I have learned that these are the ones you have to look out for and that the freshwater ones are safe. Surprisingly I really wasn’t scared even though I knew what these creatures were capable of. In fact, I went quite close to one salty that had washed up on shore - mesmerized by the sharpness of its teeth. It was only when I remembered a scenes from the movie Crocodile Dundee did I step back.

So yeah….the day was going alright until I felt excruciating pain in my right knee. A burning sensation spread through my thigh. Glancing down, I noticed two small puncture marks that were swelling right before my eyes! Was it possible that I got an actual vampire bite on Halloween? My mind started to think of all the poisonous spiders and snakes I had learned about in the last few days and I couldn’t help but get a bit nervous. I limped over to my tour guide Nifty who informs me that I probably got bitten by an ant with huge pincers and that the pain would pass in a few minutes. Lovely. He gave me some ice to reduce the swelling which I applied as flies and mosquitoes buzzed and landed all round me. Today was when I reached my breaking point.

This is the first tour ever in which I’m looking forward to ending.

It’s ridiculously humid up here in the top end. Flies are everywhere. They buzz in your ears and are constantly trying to go up your nose and mouth. Bug spray does not help at all. I know it’s a real test of patience - something I now know I need a lot more practice with. There are hundreds of other types of insects as well, although I have no problems with those as long as they are not trying to eat or annoy me. You can hear the cicadas loudly rubbing their legs together. As you walk you have to watch your feet as cane toads are everywhere. They are the size of your fist and look like rocks on the ground thanks to their camouflage. You have to be careful not to touch them though because their skin on their back secretes a poison. It rains every night and morning. I never feel clean as I’m sure my body starts sweating the instant I leave the shower. My hair is an absolute mess. Not only is it frizzed from the humidity but the color looks horrible from not keeping up with my dying and my bangs are curling in the craziest directions from the weather. My eyes are beat red from what I think is an eye infection. I’m counting down until I get to civilization and can see a doctor about it. I’m craving exercise. We haven’t done too much in the top end because of the poor weather. The food on this tour is amazing, but basically we wake up, eat, ride the bus, see a few sights, eat more, ride the bus, etc, etc. Well, at least I am barely spending any money. I really could just choose to eat less of the food that has been provided to me, but out of boredom from lack of activity I find myself just eating to pass the time.

I was incredibly happy at the beginning of this trip because we were in the desert. My skin happily drank in the warmth of the sun and I was thrilled to watch myself become more brown. The rocks were beautiful, and the hikes were loads of fun. I got to do incredibly fun things like wear a live python around my neck and hold bearded dragons. My tour guide told us amazing things about the plants and animals we passed during our walks and how the native people used them to survive. But it’s amazing how much the climate and land can change over a 2 day drive. It’s much greener now with lush trees in the forest and muddy ground. The land up here could be in various places in the world to be honest. Perhaps this is why I am not particularly impressed.

I’m looking forward to pulling myself together a bit. Fix my hair, do some exercise. Stop being such a glutton. I hope my sightseeing mentality isn’t spoiled too much as I see more of Australia over the next few months. I feel guilty about being cranky - I should be thankful for every new place I see and things I experience. I guess this post is just evidence that even traveling gets old every now and then. Here’s hoping the next leg of my journey is slightly better. I marvel at the people who go on year-long trips, as I am struggling at the end of just month four. Maybe this is my brain telling me that I am ready to be a contributing member of society again.

Tags: australia, darwin, outback



Don't worry- once you get out of NT you will feel back to normal. Mind you it has been raining a lot from what I hear. Everyone feels better when they leave the outback. But it is a good introduction to the animal life!

  Tammie Nov 3, 2010 1:28 PM



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