We are in Darwin visiting Miriam, Marcel, Floyd the dog, their toilet frog and of course, new baby Pearl!!! Here she is:

Stylish just like her mum (and dad!).

We finished the Jatbula walk on Thursday. It was amazing! The daily rhythm of the hike was simple and intoxicating: walk each morning, eat a lazy lunch by a water hole, then a short post-lunch hike to a campsite by a waterfall.  Swim and laze all afternoon. Repeat, five times.

I enjoyed being very aware of where the sun was in the sky each day. Just peeking over the horizon meant: get up now!! It's walking time. Low in the eastern sky made for cool morning hiking. High overhead meant: hot-dang! Let's get there soon.  Low in the western sky meant: maybe one more swim before dinner??

We hiked through heaps of different landscapes. On the second last day it was mainly jungle: palms, high grasses and vines, punctuated by waterholes strewn with water lilies. This reminded me of the beautiful opening scene of 'Apocalypse Now', and I had the Doors' 'This is the End' stuck in my head all day. 'This is the end, my only friend, the end.'

Other days were burnt-out grasslands and savannah. Of course, we were on high alert for snakes, but we only saw a couple. I wore my long (snake-proof) pants and scared away any snakes we spotted by stomping loudly, and chanting,  "Go away snake!! Go away snake!!' This was the technique the Yosemite rangers used to scare away the bears and I was sure it would work across the species.

Jason was more concerned by the leeches he and Chris found in one of the waterholes.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of him checking his shorts for leeches. Instead, here he is enjoying lunch on Nitmiluk's answer to the Fitzroy pool steps:


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