I allowed us a small sleep-in today as I didn’t think we had that much ground to cover. It was a leisurely breakfast, shower (making the most of the $20 camp fee we had to pay) and a departure around 9AM.

20130717_RCH_9198 20130717_RCH_9202 20130717_RCH_9200 20130717_RCH_9199First stop was a lookout over the rocky escarpments in the area at Nowurlandja. Not the most clearly marked trail – we didn’t realise the official lookout was only part way up the rocky climb. Still, nice views over the flood plains and the rocky hills beyond. We also found what looked like a wild passionfruit. Still cautious from our first random experimentation of plants, I gave it a smell and decided it was better left untasted.

20130717_RCH_9212 20130717_RCH_9217 20130717_RCH_9219Just around the corner (and right near where we had dinner last night by the billabong) is a rather large collection of Aboriginal rock art amazingly well preserved. The area has signs of inhabitation going back 20,000 years! TWENTY-THOUSAND! Sorry, just a phenomenal number for me to get my head around. The paintings were varied (thought to be due to the different eras in which they were painted) from simple stick figurine-like paintings, through to incredibly intricate and abstract x-ray like schematics of various animals and deities.

20130717_RCH_9222My favourite is Namarrgon – The Lightnight Man surrounded by lightning and banging axes on this head/knees to create the thunder. It was really interesting when the stories of significance were explained, so we could really understand the picture, rather than just looking at the abstract beauty of it.

20130717_RCH_9216The caves were enormous, verging on amphitheatre sizes.

20130717_RCH_9225Lunch at Jabiru, the bakery looked like a tourist trap, so we went and treated ourselves to a big lunch (well, I did, Risa only had a small quiche). Verdict – nice, but the patty was lacking something (maybe more grease). I think the biggest attraction at Jabiru was the crocodile shaped hotel (that was vaguely distinguishable from ground)

20130717_RCH_9229 20130717_RCH_9246 20130717_RCH_9247Just a little further north from Jabiru was another cluster of rock art sites at Ubirr. Again, very detailed and clear paintings. Some of the areas were incredibly dense with paintings. Some were also quite modern, too – there were figures of white man with his hands in his pockets, boots and a pipe (and the images of guns).

20130717_RCH_9238 20130717_RCH_9241One of the paintings was way up high on the ceiling of the cave, said to have been possible only by one of those mischievous Mimi spirits.

20130717_RCH_9252 20130717_RCH_9254 20130717_RCH_9255The lookout was equal parts awesome with the rock art. I actually rate the view of the rocky escarpments from here as one of the best. They were so weathered and numerous – it really reminded me of ancient buildings, including small pyramids.

And that was it for us in Kakadu. I personally enjoyed it much more than I realised I would. I didn’t know a great deal about the area, and for once that payed off with a nice surprise.

20130717_RCH_9264 20130717_RCH_9266Also, one last bird photo of one of Risa’s favourite birds of this trip – the corella (not to be mistaken with his punk cousin the Cockatoo).

64日目 7月17日 (水)カカドゥー国立公園 4日目 アボリジニアートの日




アボリジニの人々は、この地におよそ2万年ほど前から住み始めたそうです。そのころは、まだ地球は、氷河期のすぐ後で今よりずっと気温が低かったそうです。  水位も低く、海はかなり遠かったので人口も少なかったそうですが、2000年前くらいには川が広がり、動物の数が増え、海も近くなったことで食料が入手しやすくなり、人口も増えたそうです。






このような美しい場所と豊かな文化がのこる場所をアボリジニの人々は、2万年もの間守り続け、白人の人々が彼らをこの土地から追い出した歴史もありますが、今は両者が協力し、この特別な場所を守り続けるよう努力しているようです。  いつか私たちのずっと子孫にも見て欲しい場所の一つだと思いました。

そんな美しく、神聖なカカドゥとも今日でお別れ〜 途中コレラというコッカトゥーの小ぶりでちょっと静かバージョンの鳥が沢山いる場所を発見。枯れ木が白いデコレーションのクリスマスツリーみたいになってる〜♥