Sunday, 3 August 2014

Perth via Darwin Part 4

28th July day 10

Woken up to the sound of trucks bypassing , laying in bed and waiting for the sun to rise then suddenly an out burst of music from many species of the parrot family as well as wedge tail eagles and dive bombing down for food in the fields. My what a site to see all waiting their turn for food chirping away and making all sounds of music to awaken the human raise to another day of blessings.

We got up in the darkish morning with the new dawn rising in the east over the fields. Going for a shower and the wonderful timer for the lights so I pushed the button and on came the lights and durly went for my shower and half way through the lights went out, how frustrating but I survived the ordeal and by the time I was out the shower the beauty of the mornhing appeared,. We had breakfast and packed up and on our way out of the caravan park a strange noise came from the caravan wheel only to find that the cover was coming off so Dennis removed it and off we went.

Out next stop was to the Daly Waters pub. What an interesting place full of history of our pioneers who first opened up a shop for the weary travelers in the 1930’s which made me think of how young the country truly is. We took heaps of photos which today is a real tourist attraction It also served in world war 11 using their

 On the road again so we continued with our bible studies starting today with the book of John which we listened to the first 7 chapters. Out next stop was at Larrmah where the Pink panther Hotel/caravan park amd free zoo visits.

The bird life in this area is astounding with the chirping all trying to get their beaks in edge ways. Beautiful creatures with feathers of all sorts of colours varing from brights reds, greens and blues. We left there with thinking of God’s creation and how majestic it is. And so our journey carried on to our next stop which was Mataranka Captial of the never never. Dennis had to fill the car up with some juice so we could journey further up north but first having a cuppa and enjoying the business of other caravaners all stopping to see what the wee town has to offer and it’s history. I believe there is a wonderful hot spring here from photos we found on one of the tourist information pamphlets. Anyway there was a huge termite mount which we took a photo of . Back on the road and ournext stop was Katherine. Coming into this town was interesting we were so use to the quite wee towns but Katherine has become very modernized and even found a Mac Donalds. We also did some shopping for food as well as browsing through Target.
We arrived at Shady Lane caravan Park with Palm trees giving a real tropical feel and heaps of shade. What a treat to stay at a place like this that is so immaculately kept. Very friendly staff too.

We had Boerewors and salads with some veggies too for dinner. Did the washing and that is up to-date and also changed our bedding to summer as the temperatures are climbing and definitely not the winter feel as we so use to. It’s nighty nite for me I’m tired.

29th July Day 11

Another day in the lives of the Aussie Junipers who just cannot go away without venturing  out onto the waters in a boat and I am so pleased it’s not towing me behind on water ski’s  there are far too many crocks  in the water. But first let me tell you what time we had to get up in the morning to get to the boat ramp for the tour. Yes, it was 4.45 AM. Showered and a good breakfast of oats and coffee.  It was a good ½ hour trip there in the dark which I might add is not my thing when it comes to the outback travelling in the dark. The night life here springs from all directions and don’t bother with the road rules and jump onto cars being attracted to the light. We got there safely to be greeted with flying foxes by the hundreds chirping away to each other as they looked for places to bare down for the day. My goodness me what a noise! Everything came to life with cars arriving with crew and passengers for the tour. All aboard and the tour began with the pilot of the boat commentating on the fauna and flora and the Aboriginal culture and their diet as well as their spiritual reasons for many things they do around this area. What beauty this area has with rocks in so many shapes and placements and in some places water seeping through. This area is mainly fresh water crocodiles which apparently do not eat humans but live mostly on insect’s fish and small things due to their jaw being very narrow, that’s their story but I will stick to mine, a croc is a croc. We ventured through the first gorge then hopped off the boat and walked about 600 m to the next gorge when we boarded the next boat. This journey was just as spectacular as the first one and on our way back we were very fortunate to see a fresh water crocodile lying near the shore. There are many beaches like places along this Katherine River where these Crocs lay their eggs and apparently they lay 8 and only 2 of the chicks will survive and manage to get back into the river. However , there are signs on these sand  beaches where you are not allowed to venture onto them and if caught a $5000 fine and then for each egg you crush is another $5000 on top of that. Rather a heavy fine. We arrived back to base leaving this place of beauty feeling quite speechless. It’s a beauty all on its own.

This Katherine River in the rainy seasons rises about 6 to 8 Metres and a couple of years ago flooded this region causing terrific damage and many homes lost as well as Katherine’s town completely under water. From here we visited Emily falls where one can swim as they say only form 7 AM to 7 PM just in case there are salt water crocks here. Ummm rather worrying. We arrived back at camp and rested for the rest of the afternoon then later on went for a swim in the camp pool. My goodness quite refreshing. It was an early night for both of us.

30th July Day 12

 Back on the road again and this time driving about 330k’s to our next destination which is the Kakadu’s national park.
 We left at 8 AM with the temp 18C the sun shining with gleams of rays bouncing off the plants along the road our destination is Jabiru in the Kakadu National Park. Having to pass many road trains up was quite hair raising but with Dennis being confident behind the wheel helps a lot. The terrain is dry but one gets bouts of lush greengage. We stopped at the entrance to the National park and took photos and then had to stop off at Coolinda to purchase park permits costing $25 each but well worth it. Coolinda is a beautiful resort in the middle of nowhere with palms, pools and challahs and very busy with tourist. The lady made sure we understood that certain places a 4x4 is needed to get to.
About a k down the road is a tourist attraction called Yellow Waters a marsh with lots of wild life around and the famous Crocodile warning signs. Here we stopped for lunch which I had prepared before leaving. Back on the road and our next stop is our home for 2 nights at Jabiru. Another homely oasis in the middle of the outback of NT. Our site was most comfortable with swimming pool nearby and all is well in the camp force. We set up camp and decided to venture out to the upper part of the park called Border store was not impressed but something to see and just off this place is Uirr the Aboriginal art on rocks. It was very hot but decided to venture out to see the rock art. And so the first journey of rock climbing began and up we went I got half way up the hill and decided to sit and wait for Dennis as he went to the top (This is where Crocodile Dundee was filmed).

 The scenery was breath taking from where I was and where Dennis was must have been spectacular. I don’t mind the climbing up it’s the getting down the rock which I find hazardous but managed to do it. We left for home base which is about 50k’s, had dinner and early to bed.

31st July Day 13

 Our 44th Wedding Anniversary
At Jabiru caravan Park. The sun here in the outback is shining on our day today. When we got married it was raining. So we decided to make the most of today so I prepared lunch and morning and afternoon tea. We left the caravan park in high spirits and the beauty of our surroundings travelling to Jim Jim falls was bright and fresh, the roads with the odd caravaner we passed and eventually the turn off to the falls after driving about 40k’s. We then had to travel on a dirt road for 50k’s which was corrugated so we were all shook up by the time we got to the gates. There stood the sign “Do not enter unless you have a 4x4 vehicle. Yip, Dennis’ delight we 4x4ing at last. My goodness me was it rough. We finally arrived at the car park, got our sneakers on back pack of ice water bottles and off we trundled. Before entering this sign appeared.
So off we trundled and hit the first hurdle of boulders and rocks.
This 900m turned out to be boulders and rocks amongst shady trees hanging over us and thank goodness it kept the sun off of us. The journey to get there was horrendous and used every muscle in our bodies and climb we did. It was a never ending journey and eventually I decided about 100m from finish line I had, had enough and Dennis went on the last bit which by the way the boulders were huge and needed all ones strength to get over and it was in the sun. So I sat and waited patiently for the return of my groom.

 When Dennis finally arrived we journeyed back to the car and oh my goodness me what a tiring exercise. We were both finished by the time we got to the car park. I don’t want to see another boulder/rock in a long time. We had lunch with the car’s engine running so we could have the air con on. Tummies full and refreshments had it was off back on the track and to the gravel road and by the time we hit the tar road we were truly shook up and rattled. We arrived back at camp and thank goodness for the swimming pool. Being very brave we got into the pool and it felt like I got enveloped into a block of ice but managed to endure it and cool down.
That evening we went to the pool restaurant and celebrated our anniversary enjoying our meal next to the pool and watched the sun go down.  A most enjoyable day making happy memories.

Oh Yes, Almost forgot the groom dropped his sun glasses in between the rocks and had to go duck diving to gets them.

1st August day 14

All packed up and ready to go to Darwin. What a lovely stay it was here in the Kakadu lodge, a very homely place. We were on the road by 8.30 with the temperature at 22 so early in the morning.
Thank goodness for the air conditioner in the car. It was a straight run through to Darwin Boomerang Caravan Park. We passed the Wet lands and Adelaide River and many signs of the dangers of crocodiles in this area. Nearing Darwin one could see the style of the terrain changing and traffic conditions getting more busy with traffic lights and the business of built up areas in the surroundings. We set up camp and ventured out site seeing Darwin stopping off at a beach and horrified to find the sign that salt water crocs could be on this beach. I think Darwin in named incorrectly it should be something like “The home of Crocodiles” We
then travelled around looking for a shopping centre to purchase some groceries and fresh produce. We decided to spoil ourselves with a pork roast which I cooked for dinner in my convection oven and it was so yummy too., By this time it was so humid and hot and making us feel like we need to shower and shut eye for the night. Dennis got the TV up and running as he has with drawl symptoms from not hearing the news. Being the first we remember Dennis mom as to would have been her 95th birthday

2nd August Day 15
 Up early and ready to site see   going down or is it up to Mandora where we found the resting place of the Liberator B24J Consolidated 42-7134 called Milady. It was an American pilot Lt R.T. Neal and crew who died here on a return flight from a practice bombing exercise during WWII

We drove down to Madora only to find it was a fishing port and busy with the road and according to information there was a ferry leaving from here to the other side which we were hoping to get on but sadly this was not so. So we returned to Darwin. We went to Palmerston shopping centre to Target to get a summer gown and some new sandals for Dennis as he had a blow out with his old ones so we put those to rest in the bin and now his sweet smelling tootsies are covered with pure leather with straps and air holes for the tootsies to breath. And yes I found a gown and now I look respectable when I get up in the morning to dash for…… Back at camp and sorted a few things out and then to get ready for our night cruise on the Spirit of Darwin, a 2 ½ hour  harbour cruise with drinks and a nibble to eat from a cheese platter.
They also serve dinner on this cruise and were offered to eat at a cost of $20 a meal which we decided to have. It was a meal of prawns, chicken, lamb and a variety of salads. Desert was fruit salad and a yogurt. We boarded the boat at 5.45 settled down and left the docks with a slow cruise around the harbour with the skipper of the boat commentating the landmarks along the shore and what actually happened here during WW11, also government house and the navy barracks and camp. Home to the many that are stationed here in Darwin with their families. There homes look over the sea and what a view they have too. Were also told of a Japanese submarine was sunk here during the war and showed us the one stretch where the guns were stationed to protect the shore and our beloved country. The seas became rough and the boat started to roll and the skipper decided to turn around. Now with the sun starting to set in the horizon with  the sky turning into a glow of various colours ranging from blue to yellow and orange then turning into a reddish sky , what a site to see. It was a moment of pure beauty. It’s a must for those who travel here in Darwin.

We also stopped to feed the fish, my an experience there was even s small shark there.  And so our journey came to an end a most enjoyable evening well spent enjoying the beauty of Darwin and what it has to offer. We docked back at 8.30 and back to the camp feeling a time well spent and happy memories made of Darwin.

3rd August Day 16

Sunday a day of rest and we have taken the opportunity to do as such. We did go to church here in Palmerston. It was a continuation of the message of the Sermon on the Mount. We came back to camp and Dennis fixed the caravan roof pop up something went wrong with the spring and needed a bolt replacement which he did and not wits a catch up on our life here in the outback and journey around Australia.

Until next time .................laugh at confusion

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