Nourlangie Rock and Yellow River

Day 3, Thursday, 1/9/03
I hate abhor, loathe, want to kill maime and destroy all flies. Every single last bloody one of them! Today would have been a pretty good day, and it really wasnt too bad, but the massive amounts of aggressive flies overshadowed all the scenery and aboriginal art work.

We started the day with an included breakfast by the pool, only today the flies were out in full force. We dont know what happened overnight, but they were everywhere. You tried to eat as quickly as you could stuff the food in your moth, because if you didn't, the flies were all over it. Plus, we all wanted to get inside and away from the blasted flies.

We had a later start this morning, with the coach leaving at 9:00. We set out to Anabangbang (unbung, pronunciations) Billabong walk. It was a fairly short walk, but very pretty at the top. It made it a little harder to climb though, with everyone waving their arms wildly to keep the flies from their faces. At the top you could see a giant red rock, which was to be our next hike, and green, lush vegetation as far as the eye could see.

We then drove a short distance to Nourlangie Rock (the red rock). This had several aboriginal rock paintings and their descriptions. They looked like caveman drawings or little kids crayon pictures. I guess theyre impressive because theyre thousands of years old. Maybe if I had been alive back then, I could have been a great artist, because I can draw stick figures with the best of them.

Anyway, we went to the top of the rock via hiking and saw more gorgeous scenery, although it would have been better if you didnt have to keep swatting the flies. You couldnt even take a picture without them all over you.

On our coach ride to the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Center, Paul and Scotty played DJ with the CD player. Paul even sang karaoke to Aussie version of Meredith Brooks Im a Bitch called Im a bloke. It was hysterical, especially because he knew every word.

Next, we went to the cultural center and got to walk around (inside, thankfully) and look at art and learn a little about aboriginal life. I was actually surprised, though, because it didnt really talk about how the aboringinals lived or what their daily life was like. These people have lived on the land for thousands of years and the majority of the center was about whats happened to them since the Europeans came in the past 200 years.

We had lunch nearby. Earlier, we had bought food from the Jibaru bakery and took it with us. We also bought a boomerang and an art piece at the center because all the money goes back to the Aboriginal people.

It was then off to take a boat ride down the Yellow River. That was neat to see because it is the wet season and the water was so high it was covering walkways that are used in the dry season. We saw two crocodiles and the boat nearly tipped over from everyone rushing to one side to get a picture of it. We saw a lot of buffalo grass, which floats in the water and little birds that can walk on the water (theyre nicknamed the Jesus bird.)

The coach ride back to the hotel was short because I fell asleep, but then we headed into town. There was one cafe, a couple small shops and a rundown foodmart. We did see the crocodile hotel on our way home, though. Its actually built to look like a giant crocodile. (side note: on our boat ride, the guide told us that the Yellow River meets up with the Alligator river. It was named such by a European, who had never seen a croc and just assumed they were the same them. There are no alligators in Australia.)

It rained on our way back, but that didnt deter the flies. One of the guys bought a mosquito net for his head and I was pretty envious by the end of our walk. We tried to get food from the bakery, but it was closed and we met up with Hendrick. He told us he was on a 3 month holiday with trips planned for New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia after this. This is after his 2 month trek through Europe this past summer.

We had dinner at the pool again the flies were better this time. We sat with Jill and Derrick and Paul. Paul just regaled us with stories about Australia and his adventures. We all just laughed hysterically all night. Its amazing how entertaining simple conversation can be.

On top of Anabangbang Billabong with Nourlangie Rock in backgound

Aboriginal Art, this drawing is to represent a god that would come down and beat women with yams if they were bad

Crocidile in the Yellow River

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