It’s not a bad start to the day. This is what I’ve been waking up to every morning, along with the sound of barking owls, blue-winged kookaburras, and brown honeyeaters. It’s very noisy. The dawn chorus seems so much louder out here. I’ve also watched a wallaby scampering around whilst I’ve brushed my teeth. This is life in the Northern Territory. The nearest town is Batchelor, some 15km away. The nearest city is Darwin, which is about 130km away. It’s the dry season and most days have been about 34c.
It means that forest fires are common. I took this photo from the house. It was about 2km away and lasted well into the night. Even from that distance, the smell lingered for hours. The farmer here has a fire truck. He told me I only had to worry if I could hear the ‘crackling’ sound. Alright then.
It looks like a graveyard, but these are magnetic termite mounds at Litchfield National Park. Some of them are about 3m high. They’re built with the broad areas facing east and west – the termites’ clever method of climate control.
This has been my favourite spot for cooling off – Wangi Falls. I took a daft photo for a friend who warned me about the crocodiles here. I pretended one was in the water. Ten minutes later, there was a very wide wake near the rocks – wide enough to make the swimmers stop and come closer to the steps. I’m trying not to think about it.
Here in the Territory, they have tropical fruits that I’d never even heard of. This is a star apple. It’s soft, quite creamy and sweet. The seed parts are a bit like lychees. I also love soursops. They’re prickly on the outside and their stringy white flesh on the inside looks a bit like chicken. They taste like a tropical fruit drink mixed with bubble gum. Delicious.
The only thing that can put me off a slice of watermelon is one of these. Huntsman spiders will give you a nasty bite.
So will a bat apparently. Here’s another one of my favourite headlines from the local newspaper:
A special moment after a browse around Mindil Beach Market in Darwin:
Hundreds of people sit on the sand to watch the sun go down and there’s often a round of applause! The Territory’s a world away from the cities down south. It’s been a memorable month. Next stop – Bali.