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Date: 31 Aug 2010 00:40:34
Title: Sailing around the World ( Presently in Darwin , Australia )

SATURDAY    28th    August  2010
 
06.30hrs Aileen and Stephen set off in a pre arranged taxi to town on their way to a 3 day tour
of  - Kakatu National Park, Katherines Gorge, and Litchfield National park,  -  
 
The tour was in a 4X4 Toyota land cruiser and our guide for the 3 days was " Max" , an australian white man.
There were 4 others in the jeep besides ourselves,  2 OBE's ( as they referred to themselves, and means " over bloody eighty " ) two
ladies from Melbourne, and a mother and daughter from Rome,
One of the OBE's was " Fay Daniels" who's forefathers came from Ireland and her brother in laws wife was a " Kathleen O Flaherty "
from Tralee and was one of the original " Rose of Tralee " girls.  small world ,
 
The day was beautifull yet again , but less humidity than in the past few days,
Our first call was in the wetlands, out along the dam, where we were a few days ago, but it was still amazing, the pelicans, the ducks, the geese,
the snakes, the wild pigs, the finches were there in their thousands, the noise was just wonderfull.
 
9 years ago, on a trip to Cairns , we were told about a frog that was introduced into the Cairns area to combat a weavel that was attacking the roots
of the sugar cane plants, however the frog did nothing to the weavel, but adapted to the climate of Australia very well and spread like wildfire.
The blinking frog was poisinous and anything that eat it died rapidly.
Now this frog has spread up as far as Kakatu national park and is having a devestating effect on the wild life here,
Frogs are a major food supply for snakes, crocks, and lots of birds, but its the snakes are hit worst , and their numbers in the area
have reduced significantly in the last few years.
 
We then travelled to the - South Alligator River -   a big, big river, and we were now 100km inland and it was still tidal,
here we met Donna Cullen  from Armagh in Northern Ireland, and a couple of Yanks from " 17 mile drive " in California,
Our Margarets brother in law lives in -17 mile drive- and is the home of " Pebble Beach " golf club.
 
We did a cruise up the  River, and our guide for the trip was " Natasha " who's father is Aboriginal and her mother was white,
She was excellent and was able to explain all about their hunting techniques, and living habits. with
practical demonstrations of throwing spears.
 
 
Eventually after an interesting day, we retired to the designated hotel, this was an interesting building, built with corrigated metal,
( as most buildings are built of this material out here, ) and coloured green, but it was designed in the shape of a  CROCKADILE.  
The hotel is owned by the Aboriginals and operated by " holiday inns "
In fact, the whole region of Kakatu and the Northern territories were handed back to the Aberoginal Clans about 40 years ago and
are jointly developed and promoted by the governments and the Natives alike.
This was a great idea, as the natives have a great respect for their land and look after it properly,
they still retain all their normal hunting methods and their aboriginal laws are extreemly tough.
 
We had dinner in the Hotel,, a great buffet, with as much food as you could eat.. and at about 35euros each represented good value.
We had an early night, 
 
Neil, remained in Darwin and did some local exploring and enjoyed the day,
 
That it.
 
Signed  :-   Stephen Hyde,    ( skipper )
 

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