Darwin to Lichfield National Park

Day 1, Tuesday, 1/7/03
Today was the first day of our Contiki tour. I got up pretty early because I had slept so long yesterday. We showered and packed up all our stuff to take downstairs. When we got down there, we were told that we would be staying in the hotel in Darwin for one more night, so we had to take our bags back upstairs. Finally, we got checked into the tour and met Paul, our tour manager. We also started to meet some of the people on the trip. We all climbed aboard the Contiki coach and started down the road with Scottie, our driver. We stopped for a quick breakfast and talked with Chris, from Phoenix; Michelle, from San Francisco; Alyssa, from Sydney. From there we went to Litchfield National Park and first saw the Termite Mounds – these giant mounds of dirt the termites (they look like ants) make to keep themselves cool in the heat. One set looked like a huge graveyard.

Then we went to the Wanji Falls. It was a little trickle of a waterfall and not that impressive. Then it was back on the coach to head to the Tolmer Falls. This was beautiful. We went on a 45 minute hike up and over the falls. It was an awesome hike, except the extreme heat, humidity and FLIES! It was great, too, because we got to talk to a lot of the different people on the tour. I really think that we are going to have a great trip. Everyone's so nice and friendly and really ready for a fun time. It's odd, though, we're the only married couple and there are a ton of engineers – two completely unrelated facts, but they go together in my head.

We had lunch after the hike. I had a strange chicken – Mayo roll and Cory had a hamburger with the lot. The lot being egg, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and beets. He definitely thought that was odd.

Anyway, next it was Florence Falls. We were all hot and sweaty and very excited about getting to go swimming. We climbed down to the base of the falls and jumped in the cool water. It felt great, especially after our long hikes. We swam around and even swam under the falling water. It was incredible. So beautiful and nothing like anything I've ever done before.

On our trip back (about 1 ½ hours) we all stood and gave introductions. We, of course, got the requisite jokes about Kansas. Paul and Scotty were like a comedy duo.

We came back and showered, then went out for a group dinner. The dinner ended up lasting 3 ½ hours, and we we're starving. Finally, we left and went to an Irish pub called Shenanigans, where they were having quiz night.

Cathedrial Termite Mound in Lichfield National Park

Wanji Falls, Lichfield National Park

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