12 December 2011

From Darwin to Daly Waters

Sunday, 11 December 2011

We're on the road, finally!
The Toms family plus one left Darwin this morning.
All the boxes and bags and pillows and favourite fluffy animals made it into the truck in the end.
Goodbyes were said and off we drove (neither into the sunrise or sunset, nor into seas due north. Teaching the kids the compass will be one of the big challenges awaiting us on this trip, it seems).

We were just a few kilometres north of Adelaide River when mate Mal rang to let us know about severe storm warnings for Western Queensland and North-western New South Wales.
Well...there go plans 'B' and 'C'...

Anyway, we stopped in Adelaide River, took the compulsory family photo of the munchkins in front of Charlie, the (stuffed) Asian Water buffalo that starred in "Crocodile Dundee" some 25 years ago.

Steve and I have fond memories of this animal... when he was still alive and spent his days in an enclosure next to the service station out the front and tourists could have their photos taken with him.
After he'd been very ill for quite some time eventually they agreed on putting him down. He was sent off to the taxidermist's in Queensland, some 11 years ago -- and when he finally returned months later, he looked a whole lot younger!

Charlie wasn't the main reason for stopping in Adelaide River though. A good mate of ours, Doug T, lives and works at Mt Bundy Station just around the corner and we took the opportunity to wish him a Merry Christmas on the way through.
Should you ever need to research anything related to WWII -- he's your man!

Another couple of hours and we got to Katherine.

Steve dropped the kids and me off at the local shopping centre -- I had packed the condiments already days ago but we needed to stock up on fresh produce here.
While the three of us roamed the aisles of the local supermarket, Steve went round to the service station to fuel up all jerry cans, fill up the water tank, get ice...you're getting the picture.

By the time we met again in the car park outside, the bottle shop had opened and we could complete those stocks as well.

All the shopping out of the way, we were on the road again, on the Stuart Highway, to be precise.

Mataranka was our next stop.
We pulled into the car park at Bitter Springs, grabbed bathers and goggles for the children and walked the 230 down to the springs.

Flip spotted some fish bones on the bottom of the creek and wasn't overly fond of the gunk around the banks and the bottom (as the region probably hasn't seen as much rain yet as Kakadu). But I think we all enjoyed our little break before reaching our final destination for the day: Daly Waters Pub.

We indulged in absolute luxury, checked into one of the new cabins for the night, 2 bedrooms, air-conditioned, nicely furnished -- and most of all dry!

Not once have we stayed here in the past without copping a massive storm, turning the campground into a wetland area, complete with ducks and all!
A few years ago the Toms family, mate Mal and his dog Gondie pulled up at Daly Waters Pub on the return trip from Victria and South Australia.
Our last night on the road before arriving back in Darwin, the boys could heard the spirits calling loud and clear, trapped in Bundaberg bottles and desperate to be freed.
The tents were never put up that night, one of the motel rooms would be just fine -- since it looked like it migt rain over night.
Well, by 05:00 the next morning we had about 10cm of water in the room , the doona that had slipped of our bed sometime during the night was absolutely soaked
and there was quite a bit of commotion in the building as other guests had a experienced a similarly rude awakening.

Tonight we're playing it safe as the ominous dark clouds were rolling in from the east once again, distant lightning and rumbling giving away that we were in for another wet night.
Dinner at the pub was as good as we remembered from previous visits! "Chook is choice" but "beef is better" and "meat is magnificent", quoting the menu we could not disagree with the chef -- but half the food on the table would have sufficed for the lot of us!
The leftovers went into takeaway containers, lunch for day 2 is sorted!
I shouldn't have left the camera in the room, the spread on our little table out the front of the pub would have been worth documenting.

Boh boh!

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