I think I’ve mentioned it before but Darwin has the most amazing weather right now and this weekend was no exception, it also turned out the Queen’s Birthday was on which meant an extra day off and what better to do with a day off but head out bush for a weekend of drunken antics. Bringing the old lady another year with style! And this weekend had no shortage of antics some good some bad but in the end all rolled into one EPIC weekend.
We hit up Kakadu National Park which is one of the most famous parks in Australia and is bigger in size than Germany. Most of the park is still closed because of the rivers being too high but Gunlom falls (or to the locals the original name of UDP) had just opened the week before.
Gunlom features in Crocodile Dundee he spears a barramundi in it and they swim. There are no estuarine crocodiles and it has a nice sandy beach. Of course it being the only place open in Kakadu meant the camp grounds were going to be packed so Heather, My German Surfer Philipp, My USA surfer Kristion & I bundled into the car for a 5am departure. Gunlom is a long 3.5 hour drive from Darwin and we still had to refuel and get ice. I was running on pure adrenalin having been so excited the night before (and slightly stressed out that I would forget something important) and not slept a wink. Luckily Heather was driving.
Reaching Gunlom we were dismayed to find it already full! Damn tourists.. We drove around looking for the perfect spot considering there was 15+ of us we needed to find one to fit us all in, good shade, open firepit, table & preferably some distance from families to avoid being yelled at later. We did find the perfect spot only to find it was reserved for tour groups only. Philipp was adamant that we set up anyway but I was sceptical figuring what if we got kicked out at 4pm and then we would definitely not have anywhere to camp! However as I walked around I found a guy leaving and sprinted to heather to bring the car over and we just pulled in and started pulling shit out to have two people walk up and ask us “are you using this spot” and I nodded and they were on their way.
Victory was ours! And with some heated discussion which involved my snoring (which is bullshit I tell you) best shade, and whether or not a road went through the campsite we set up our tents. After taking over the entire area with three tents we looked a little selfish but I was tired and rolled out a mattress to attempt to pass out.
Not really happening we just ended up having snowboarding lessons on the red dirt and cracking open the beers.
Eventually the rest of the posse rolled in at scattered times and beverages all round. Tents were erected and it started to look like a proper campsite – sans wood.
Missing Simon my crazy wood hunting buddy I dragged Mick out, John was driving and Brian, Tuck, Kristion hung onto the back for dear life.
We collected a large amount of wood that would take normal people an entire weekend to get through and would probably last us all of two hours especially if Simon showed up. I managed to somehow carry a huge log (well huge by my standards) but stumbled under its weight and probably being drunk didn’t help and ended up running straight into a tree smashing my finger and slicing a good chunk of skin off. Oh it was already proving to be an epic trip. I attempted to wash the dirt out but it was so painful I just chucked a little disinfectant on it and Carmen gave me a super band-aid which stayed on for the entire weekend.
After the wood hunting and more alcohol we decided it was time to climb to the top of the waterfall to watch the sunset. Beers were packed in and we began the hike. I was walking with Carmen & Sharon who decided to stop at the look-out but I kept going and headed up to the other side where the rest of our posse was staked out on a rock. John handed me the alcohol which in turn overbalanced me again because I was so drunk climbing up rocks and had a beer in one hand.. then I fell over in slow motion still managing to hold onto the beer but cutting up both my knees and my elbow in the process. A bit numb I ignored the pain and stumbled over to the rock where about 10 of us sat and watched the sun set over Kakadu.
As soon as it set some of the group fled trying to reach the bottom before darkness overcame us as it turned out I was the only one smart enough to bring a torch. Did I mention that I was also the drunkest of everyone at about 10 beers in? I stayed up a little longer but then decided to make the walk down I ended up with John & Brian one on either side as I stumbled my way in the dark. Since John was leading I gave him the torch but rather than help the situation he basically just pointed the torch down so he could see and Brian and I were left stumbling in the dark. Miraculously I didn’t fall and still had a beer in hand.
We arrived back at camp to find Ryan & Renee had shown up. Food hadn’t been started so I got everyone moving but I was so drunk I basically yelled and abused everyone. The hamburgers were frozen solid still but Heather and Alice held them near the fire to defrost them quickly. The hamburgers were awesome as always and quickly Carmen volunteered her dishwashing services. Everyone really came together to help and it was great to see.
About 8pm we suddenly saw Simon & George who had apparently been looking for us for an hour and a half and were about to give up and go sleep in the pre made tour group tents. Bringing over their trailer the entire crew was together again!
There was Heather who is my little sister, Philipp my German surfer, Kristion surfer from San Diego, Alice surfer from France, My closest friends I’ve had for years Mick, John, Carmen, Simon. Other awesome people: Brian who I’ve known since I was barely 19 and befriended because I was jealous of his counterstrike skills, James, Tucker & his wife Sharon both from my highschool days, Beth micks girlfriend, George who I met through my ex Jack years ago, James same deal but he also dated my sister for five years, Ryan and Renee, Ryan I just started to hang out with last year and Renee his new girlfriend and I had just met.
I ended up smoking a pipe which proved to be my undoing and since I was already exhausted from no sleep slunk away into the darkness and collapsed comfortably on my mattress. For anyone who has seen my camping I am a little bit of a luxurious sleeper with about four pillows, doona(comforter) and cosy mattress. I was then informed by Kristion who was my tent partner the next morning that whilst I did snore a little it was really just heavy breather and could have had a lot to do with being overly stoned, drunk & tired.
I woke up in pain, both my knees were sore, my finger throbbed, my head was killing me I remembered that I hadn’t drunk any water the day before. I stumbled out into the cold harsh light of day and got straight into the fluids. As 9:30 am rolls by breakfast of bacon & egg jaffas were in full swing the majority of people had stumbled into the open and beers were already being cracked. Yep we were camping. At about 11am we made the mission up to the top for some swimming which turned out to be horrendously cold but I was determined and suffered through it in my superman hashy.
We hung out for a few hours enjoying the natural beauty of Gunlom falls and eventually on exit decided to plank.
Stumbling back down to the bottom it was now 1pm so lunch got started up and a production line of Tomato & Ham jaffas began with a simple salad of cucumber and lettuce. Brian & Simon manned the fire whilst a very drunk Amanda and a helpful Carmen produced the product. Debating between wood hunting and cards we ended up in a vicious game of O’Hell which saw me losing for the first time ever. I had unfortunately told my game-winning strategy “its easier to lose then win” and it saw a bunch of first timers pull ahead. But it was one of the closest games I have ever seen with no clear winners until right at the end.
After the game it was time to collect wood since we had burned through our entire supply the night before. Two trailers went out this time one just to carry all the people when we filled up one with wood. It was a hugely successful mission despite several viewings of Micks butt.
Then things became blurry for me and I decided that I needed to go fall asleep for a few hours and asked everyone to wake me up. When I finally roused it was dark, there was no food left and I was pissed. Sharon tried to sweeten the deal saying that she groped my breasts in my sleep and I told her to fuck off I was sleeping (of which I had no recollection saying) and then Sharon told Tucker he should also molest me which he basically also thought was a great idea. So now I know who not to pass out around for fear of exploitation!!
Philipp showed up around now the last we had heard he was going to climb the 50m+ high waterfall and become another German statistic. Kristion had ran into him at the top and they had then gone exploring but had separated at some point.
After half an hour the anger of being left out of the food subsided and I cheered up for a happy time around the fire which included the ever popular “I never” drinking game where I learnt quite a few people had fornicated on TOP of a car. (remind me to try that next time) Philipp pulled out the guitar and we danced around the fire singing Hey, What’s going on at the top of our lungs.
Once again it reached about 12:30 and I crawled back into my bed and fell into a deep sleep only to be woken up before sunrise to a stupid bird. We all packed up and were out on the road by 11am. Another amazing weekend.