I woke up to this:
So we decided to give my foot a break and not do any sort of climbing/heavy walking. I had read on Trip Advisor about Top Didj Aboriginal Cultural Experience — a place that also rescues wallabies. Sold! We were finally going to see wallabies!! I was so excited!
The experience was run by Manuel. Manuel is an aboriginal man who told us stories about growing up in the outback, sang a song for us, played the didgeridoo, taught us how to paint the way his people do (it’s hard!), taught us how to make a fire and how to hunt by throwing a spear. It was all really interesting, and sometimes a little goofy. In other words, it was right up my alley; I could have listened to him all day.
Our last activity was Manuel taking us outside to ‘hunt’ kangaroo. Guess who is the only one that actually hit the kangaroo?
While we were learning how to throw a spear, two of the kids in the group got to hold wallabies. Was I jealous? Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Eventually, the young European woman who was working there and is an ‘influencer’ on Instagram (already forgot her name – oops) got one of the wallabies away from the kid that was neglecting it. And by neglecting I mean not petting it constantly or talking to it, like I was prepared to do. And then the best part of the day happened and I got to hold Randall.
I’m not going to lie and say that for a hot second I wasn’t trying to figure out how I could get him back to Jersey. Look how cute he is here in this video! I was totally in love with him. He’d lick my fingers and even licked and nibbled on my nose. He was rescued when he was only two months old. The sad thing about the wallabies is that they come out at night and a lot are hit by cars. The car will kill the mom and sometimes the babies are left to die. Other times when the babies are found they would be brought to the rescue. Manuel told us about how he liked to eat wallaby and when one was dead by the side of the road he considered it a free meal. I just blinked at that and clarified with him at one point that he didn’t eat any of the rescues. He confirmed he didn’t eat any that had names. “We don’t eat our friends.” Shew.
That night we went to Marksie’s Stockman’s Camp Tucker Night, which was dinner and stories. The dinner was made on the campfire and it was delicious. The stories were long and funny. Australians like to tell stories, whether they are true or not. We had a fun table – there was a man from South Africa there with his niece – and he was hilarious. One of the best parts of travel is the people you meet from all over the globe.
The food was a lot better than I expected and actually one of the best meals we had in the Northern Territory. Marksie definitely knows what he’s doing. He uses all local spices and everything was very tasty and it was neat to try new flavors.
All in all it was a really fun, interesting day that didn’t involve hiking or additional injuries. Huzzah. Sometimes you need the slower days…