A new city, a new day, a new part of my trip: nearly completed. I’ve seen nearly all of northern Australia that I’m going to see (except for Kakadu National Park, which I will see tomorrow) and have spent a few days traveling up the highway and resting in towns and campsites along the way.

So I left Alice Alice springs after checking out a pretty impressive animal/nature park on Australia’s animals and plants and stuff. It has an aboriginal theme and Rob (an Irish guy I met) and I sat in on a talk by an aboriginal guy on how the natives survived in the wild. It was really interesting and I actually learned quite a bit. From there we went to the museum and checked out some art and stuff and eventually headed back to the hostel. The next day, I took a trip to the East MacDonnell Ranges and did a few short spectacular mountain walks and then headed North to the Devil’s Marbles, well on the highway to my next destination: Darwin. It was here that I noticed that my car had virtually no oil in it. Fuck. I put a lot in. Maybe it was because of the oil cap. My quick fix of flipping the rubber piece was going bust since the rubber was breaking. I went to the auto place and got a new cap. I also got some transmission oil and topped that off. It was low and I am assuming it hadn’t been topped off in a while.

And with that I was on the road! After a few hours of driving, I made it to the Devil’s Marbles and was blown away. They are these really cool rocks which after years of erosion look like perfect balls or eggs stacked on top of each other and laying on the ground.

It’s really cool and I spent several hours wandering around and looking at all the cool formations. I ended up just putting up my tent there and camping and in the morning packed up and headed off to a town called Katherine (after topping off my oil again). I could see where the oil was dripping out to the bottom of the engine. But I couldn’t do anything then, so I drove the 7 hours up the Katherine, stopping for lunch along the way and then checked into my hostel when I got there. I took a dip in the pool, got some food at the supermarket and chatted with some Irish people and a Japanese guy for the evening. In the morning, I headed up to Litchfield National Park, stopping at mechanic’s shops along the way to get their opinion on my oil problem. It was likely a seal that was going bad in the transmission/engine. It would cost about 400 bucks to fix, but it could be indicative of a bigger problem: I need a new engine. Hah! Oh well, a litre of oil every few days is no big deal. And a lot cheaper than replacing the engine, don’t you think? It seems to only spit oil out if I go over 120KPH, so I’ll just stay under that. No worries mate.

So I cruised through Litchfield, stopping at waterfalls and sights along the way, I ran into the Japanese guy from the night before and met this guy who got bitten by a “fish” (which I think was probably a freshwater crock) on the leg while swimming in a water hole. It was a big cut. They were on a tour bus trip all across Australia and looked pretty jealous when I hopped in my car to go my own way. I saw these crazy 3 foot long lizards walking around and it was pretty cool. I also saw these huge termite mounts (some over 9 feet tall) and snapped a few pics. They say the mass of termites in Australia matches all livestock, sheep, etc… above. Incredible. They build these mounds at a certain axis so they get heated by the sun. It’s really amazing. So then I headed up to Darwin and I’ve been here ever since (well…only a day). I checked into my hostel, had dinner and sweated a lot. It’s really really hot and humid here and is reminding me a lot of my days in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Today I checked out this crocodile farm, the art gallery, the museum, library, parliament house, hung out at the beach, saw this cool aquarium place with all these coral duplication environments and a museum on the pearling industry. It was quite an action packed day. After a quick dip in the pool to cool off, I had dinner and am now planning tomorrow. I met a girl in the hostel who had a post on the board for a ride to Cairns and we are gonna split gas costs there via Kakadu tomorrow.

I’m loving having my own car. It’s the only way to go in Australia. I drove all around town today seeing all the sights and it would have been nearly impossible had I not had the car. It’s perfect. It just needs oil. Yup…lots of oil.

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