Darwin Australia -The Top End and Fogg Dam

NOTE:  I got my dates and days mixed up with the previous post on the Yellow Water cruise.  It was scheduled for three days after this one, so things are a bit out of sequence if anyone really cares!

So, back to the story.....
Our original plans into Darwin had us arriving later than the RV depot was open.  I had booked us into a cheap airport hotel that was within walking distance of the depot for the pick up the next morning.  Leaving Dad to sleep in, Tom and I walked at sunrise to get the rig.

Once we got past the hassles of it not being ready for us, we picked up Dad and the luggage and headed out to Fogg Dam - a must see spot for birders.

Darwin has two seasons - the 'wet' and the 'dry'.  The 'wet' just ended about 6 weeks ago. This year the "Top End" experienced a 'Big Wet' receiving the largest volume of water in 130 years. Darwin, the Northern Territory is also called the Top End.  They also have the 'build up' - when the humidity level rises a bit more each day and the sky threatens to dump rain but just doesn't quite get around to it.  This build up happens for about 2+ months.

Just before the 'build up' is about to be done, the 'big blow' or the 'knock em down' happens  , as the blackfella says, and then the rains begin and last for a couple of months.  This year they also received extra rain with 2 direct hits from cyclones, one a category 2.  We are now in the 'dry'. Whew!

The days have been pleasant- 85-90 with a slight amount of humidity - 60% or so.  Now, Gordy would disagree.  He thinks it's just dang hot!  But then he hasn't spent the last 7 years living in La Paz!  He's been really happy that we're plugging in at night so he can have the AC on.

Our plans were to head South and east out of Darwin to Kakadu National Park, Australia's biggest terrestrial national park.  Due to the Big Wet, several of the locations we'd wanted to go to are still closed due to high water and road closures. So before even getting too far, we've put Darwin on our return list with a 4WD rental for next time!
This is Mamukula billabong, another location we tried to get to,  but the road is still un-passable.
An unidentified lizard shot just outside my side of the RV.
Fogg Dam is located about 65km outside of Darwin City, on the way to the northern entrance to Kakadu (pronounced Kack-a-doo).  The dam has been open for about 5 days, so we're lucky we got to see it at all.  It's not much as far as dams go.  It was built in the 50's for an experimental rice growing project that failed and became a wetlands instead. The dam is an earthen dam, about 600 yards with a lane+ for travel. The level of the road is about 3-4 feet above water level on the day we were there.  The far end of the road has a viewing platform, that unfortunately is not accessible as the water is still running over the last 100 feet or so of road. Every thing we took photos of was from the vehicle.

We were told by the very helpful lady at the local i-center - the tourist info stations, that you used to be able to park at the entrance and walk across the top of the dam to the far end and viewing platform.  They don't let you do that anymore.  In fact, they really don't want you to even get out of your car.  That's because they've learned that there are lots of crocodiles that are in the water... really close to the road and the fresh meals walking across it!
This 4ft croc was right below the car!!!  " I see you my pretty!"
Of course, like most folks we tended to poo-poo the croc info as, well, a croc!  Let me tell you,  that while sitting in the RV watching birds and other critters, when the crocodile splashed his tail and surfaced his head about 4 feet from the car RIGHT below Tom, he just about crapped his pants!

There was no getting out of the car there or in several other places!  We were now believers of the signs posted all over the place!

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