25 October 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Recently it has been suggested to me that my blog has lost its edge. That for some reason, I’m not conveying that certain je-ne-se-quois (Well actually I know exactly quois. The term is “cranky”) in my posts, and it’s leaving some readers disappointed. I’m sure I can’t for the life of me think what might be going wrong with my brain that I’m suddenly so full of positivity. It’s a bit gross really.

I’m well known for my willingness to let public opinion tell me what to do, so this week I was going to post the most virulent, cynical rant I could come up with, but the truth is I’ve just come back from holidays and I’m feeling pretty damned good. So here’s another happy piece. If you don’t like it – or rather if you do like it but would prefer not to, or if you think it’s too… or not enough…

Look, just shut up and read it okay?

Kakadu is one of those places that all of us Darwin locals claim to know heaps about, but which most have us have only been to once or twice. The last time I can remember going out there we took my now departed grandmother out there to look around. I have some memories of her climbing up Ubirr rock to look over the wetlands and the escarpment. The last time she was fit enough to do that must have been nearly two decades ago.

Anyway, I recently got reacquainted with the most famous part of the Northern Territory. It’s funny how your perspective on things shifts when you look at them at different stages of your life. When I was a kid I used to run past the cave paintings without a second glance; the point of Kakadu was to climb up on top of the rocks as fast as you could. This time I actually stopped to appreciate the presence of artwork which is purportedly older than most parts of the Bible, and to admire the different colours and shapes in the rocks for moment before I went climbing all over them. And I don’t seem to be quite so sure footed as I used to be.

There is no getting past it; it’s still a magnificent part of the world. From the towering rock formations to the sprawling wetlands, it’s no wonder indigenous and migrant people alike consider it one of the most special places on the planet. Unfortunately this time around I was confined a bit to my awesome yet undeniably two-wheel-drive Ford Focus, so the big waterfalls were inaccessible. Next time I’ll have to look into borrowing/hiring a four-wheel-drive and really getting off the main road.

I also spent a bit of time in Litchfield Park, which is probably my favourite place in the world. All the better for the fact that, unlike the last three times I’d been out there, Wangi Falls was open for swimming. I spent a good two hours just hanging out in the swimming hole, remembering all the hours we spent down there on church camps when I was a kid. I challenge anyone to come home from that and write a cranky blog post.

So shut up.




Garry with 2 Rs
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