Crocs! (not just an ugly pair of shoes)
I took yet another trip to the Northern Territory last week, and the weather reminded me a lot of San Diego. The Northern Territory has two seasons, wet season (November-March) and dry season (April-October). The change from the dry season to the wet season is called the Buildup. The temperatures and humidity both start rising until the thunder, lightening, and cyclones arrive. Last week Darwin was 33 C during the days and in the low 20s at night. It was so pleasant eating dinner outside on the bay with just a tank top (singlette), shorts, and flip flops (thongs) on.
What I learned on this trip though wasn't about weather patterns (or the art of negotiating with difficult customers), but crocodile management. When the wet season arrives, so does the croc food and therefore the crocs. There are several national parks with tempting swimming holes around Darwin and we were told that it was ok to swim in them. Yeah right, I've seen the signs posted that say warning, crocodile habitat. Apparently the parks take a "risk-based strategic management approach" and relocate crocs from certain swimming holes at the beginning of the dry season. There is always still a risk of a stray croc slithering in though and I'm a bit risk adverse. I think I'll leave that small chance of being eaten to someone else.
We took a small detour to a park on the drive back to Darwin and got to view some of these beautiful swimming holes first hand. There were certainly plenty of people taking a cool dip that day, and no sign of crocs. I did have some tempura croc for dinner that night though! It tastes a lot like chicken.