Day 97. Kakadu


We started Sam’s birthday bright and early with a dawn cruise on Yellow Water wetland. It is called Yellow Water because of the colour the water is where the fresh water mixes with the brackish water of the estuaries. Because of the mix of fresh and salt water, there is a diverse range of waterways and a wide range of wildlife especially birds. It was just so peaceful and gorgeous.

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97 Yellow Waters pano 2 small

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If you look closely at the photos below you will see the Jabiru eating an eel or water snake, and in the second photo is a baby Jacana with its dad. This chick is about 2 weeks old. We were told that it is the dads that look after the young chicks, and if he thinks they are in danger he will pick them up under his wings and run. It is supposed to be quite a sight to see the long legs of the chicks dangling out from under his wings.

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After the cruise we had a big breakfast and settled in for a lazy day, nothing planned except the pool and a surprise much later in the day. Sam wanted to play with his presents, a few little things he had picked up in the last few days. A wooden puzzle from Mindil Market and a paint your own turtle, such simple pleasures. He did feel a bit melancholy for the first time on the trip, stating he missed his friends. He soon cheered up when he was told we would be home within the month and the alternate to being here was school. In  addition, we gave him his real present, see below. Unfortunately, we could not load any apps onto the iPad as we had not had Internet since the purchase, but he was happy so that is all that mattered.

97 Sam's birthday small

We also revealed the secret surprise which was a night cruise on Yellow Waters. These cultural and star gazing tours have just started running this year. After dinner, we all got rugged up for the cruise. It was very weird going out on the walkway onto the boat in darkness, and going out onto the water at night was a completely different experience. We motored out to a wider part of the billabong and then the motor and all lights were turned off. The only light was from the moon and the stars. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy this evening so we had a bit less of the star talk and more of the cultural side which although wasn’t as visually spectacular it was so interesting. Our guide explained that creation and other stories told have many different levels. What he can tell us is only the basic level, similar to what might be told to their children. As they learn more, and are initiated, the stories become deeper. He told us he had sat with one of the elders of the area a couple of nights ago and talked for hours and had been told stuff that he had never heard before and said it really blew his mind how deep it was…and we were impressed with what he told us!

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