We realised that amongst all the philosophical ramblings we have forgotten that there are actually lots of little lives out there watching this blog for news of our daughters. So to the older folks….take a back seat for this post.
We have just crossed Australia from the bottom to the top. It has taken us 49 days. That is 5,220 km. Each wheel of the car has spun around 3 1/2 MILLION TIMES! That’s almost as many times as the three girls have asked to watch a movie on the iPad.
In answer to some of the questions that have been asked by some of Zoe’s school friends:
- Yes – we have seen a cactus in the desert. But they are not the cactus like the ones in Road Runner or American movies. They don’t actually really belong here. Some silly man planted some years ago and they got out and went wild – so you only see one or two. Pretty boring really.
- Yes – Zoe misses you.
- The desert is BIG. So big that it makes your eyes pop. You can’t see the end of it. Imagine looking down the road and you can’t actually see it stop – it just vanishes into thin air. And there is always a thing called a “mirage” – which means that it looks like there is water all over the road but when you get there it is dry.
We have been sleeping in a tent most nights but some nights we just sleep on the ground. Out under the stars, right next to a fire. So we wake up as soon as it gets light, before the sun has risen at all.
Some days we just drive and drive and drive. The girls don’t like that very much but they still have fun. They wind down the windows and hold out their stuffed toys pretending to make them fly. Then we play loud music until someone says they are hungry and want to go to the toilet. Zoe likes playing One Direction really loud just to annoy Ellie.
Other times we camp for a few days which is more fun. No packing up, no driving and we can sit around a camp fire. We even baked a cake in the fire for Ellie’s birthday and had fairy bread, Burger Rings and red lemonade. In Kakadu though you need to be careful of where you camp because of the CROCODILES!!!! It’s funny but in one camp site you could camp on one side of the road, but not on the other side of the road near the billabong. I don’t know how the crocodiles know not to cross the road but they must get scared or something. There is no fence – so they could just wander up in the night and bite you but they must be nice crocodiles.
We did hear that one wasn’t so nice to one man. He was a fisherman and wandered into the river at NIGHT! Crazy. And he was a local man too who should know better. There was a BIG old croc they called Michael Jackson and he just waited and waited – then jumped out and grabbed him.
A few days later we went on the SAME river and saw the croc jumping RIGHT out of the water to get a big chunk of meat on a stick. The man on the boat told us not to dangle our arms over the edge as the crocs just jump right out and grab you. Scary stuff. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact all the tourist boats drive around dangling lumps of fresh meat over the side just to make the crocs jump up high…..
We stayed in Kakadu for several days. It is an incredible place. You can see a photo of a lovely local guide called Marcus telling the girls Dreamtime stories in a cave that is covered in paintings. There is even one on the roof of the cave about 15 metres above your head. They say some sneaky trouble making spirits got up there and drew them on the roof. You can feel something about the place that makes it special. The aboriginal guide told us he used to live in Darwin and was being naughty and silly….then one night his uncle appeared in a dream and told him to go back and take care of the land that he came from. So he packed up and returned to Kakadu so he could teach people about how special it is.
We are in Darwin now. The girls are doing an amazing job travelling. They don’t like it much when we make them do school work – but we remind them that you are all back there at school every day. So every now and again they sit down and do some work but don’t tell the teachers that we aren’t doing it every day. We may get in trouble.
So…the wrap up. I just asked the girls about the BEST and WORST thing so far…..here goes:
- TULLY: BEST was seeing crocodiles up so close you could hear their teeth snapping shut with an incredible “CRACK!”. The WORST was having to sit in the car for aaaaaggggggeeeesss….listening to One Direction songs played loud WHILE the “Hunger Games” book was buried in the back somewhere and she couldn’t get to it.
- ELLIE: The BEST was seeing the crocodiles up so close you could see their sneaky little creepy eyes. The WORST was leaving home….
- ZOE: The BEST was when Sarah (her teacher) said that they would “leave the best till last” and played a video of her (?). The WORST was driving for aaaagggeeess and not having a window.