Darwin.

Tuesday 31st May 2011, Darwin.

Another reminder that the weather here is something we have to come to grips with: The fact that the temperatures are so consistent, i.e. 30 during the day and 18-20 during the night, is not so hard to get used to, but walking during the day is just about a must before midday as it just gets too hot in the afternoon, and definitely do not go off walking without water. I guess the weather conditions here would be easy to get used to though, with the exception of the wet season.

Another maintenance day today with the cleaning of the front door security screen for what must have been the first time ever. I have noticed lately that it needed cleaning with obvious dirt on the rails, and Linda said today was the day while she was making up new curtains for the same door. When I applied some soapy water to loosen the grime the effect was to really show up the dirt, and when I had cleaned half of the door it was so obvious how dirty the whole thing was, nice and clean now though, and all the much better with the new curtains.

I have finally taken the plunge and bought that six foot step ladder that I have been thinking about for so long. I did a little TV job for a fellow camper the other day and to get up on the roof he had a table beside the van and a small 3 step ladder placed on top of it, a bit precarious, so when I saw another chap close by with one of those fully fold up ladders I asked if I could borrow it to find a storage place if I were to buy one, and found the remaining area on the roof rack would accommodate it perfectly, so seeing Bunnings had these ladders on special I made the purchase. I had a bit of a practice today unfolding it, and was very easy, and used it to climb up on the roof of our van to have a look at the job I have been putting off because I didn’t have a decent ladder, and made the statement “ Why haven’t I had one of these before

Darwin’s big freeze.

Thursday 26th May 2011, Darwin.

What is it with us and running into records with weather conditions wherever we travel? At the moment in Darwin they are experiencing an uncommon cold snap for this time of year and last night recorded the coldest night for May on record. This morning the weather bureau reported that last night the minimum temperature was a colossal FOUR DEGREES below normal at 16 degree just before sunrise, and the maximum for today was a low 29 degrees. I must admit we were expecting a cooler evening and put a blanket on the bed in readiness, but that’s not as bad as the stories about local people having to put the heater on in the car on their way to work. Things must be tough to be a local in such low temperatures, some were even heard to say “We may as well be in Melbourne

Darwin, Touring the wetlands.

Wednesday 25th May 2011, Darwin.

I remember someone on the Sunshine Coast last year trying to tell me that there was a time period, even within the dry season, not to visit Darwin and the area, but I can’t remember what the reason was, if it was ever given to me. I think I may have figured out what it might be: This time of the dry season sees most of the national park walks closed because of either water or crocodiles. This may not be a normal reason though, as this years wet was the wettest for a very long time and they may be taking a while longer than usual to get over it. This does not bother us as we are going to be here for a few months and all the walks will eventually be open for us to partake in, but this is no consolation for those who only come here for a very short visit. A short drive today took us to a couple of the parks that were closed, but now I have accessed a web site that gives information on access to all parks in the area. We did visit an attraction called the Window to the Wetlands, and it was just that. It was a lookout on the only hill in the area looking out over miles and miles of nothing but flat wetlands, something we were just not expecting so our visit here has been very enlightening already.

Darwin, Radio Broadcast.

Monday 23rd May 2011, Darwin.

Today I decided to chase up that ABC radio story that I gave the interview for back in Alice Springs before Easter. We very seldom listen to ABC, as I prefer some music rather than talk shows, so between being out of radio area at times since, and forgetting to tune in when in area, we missed the show when it went to air. I have found out that it did in fact go to air on the 11th May and have downloaded a ‘Pod cast’ of the show and had a listen to it, the URL is Country Hour ABC 11/05/11 if anybody wants to listen, our story is the last of the show.

Darwin.

Saturday 21st May 2011, Darwin.

We have now had several look-around trips around Darwin and have the opinion that we do rather like the place, apart from the constant heat at night, but we will have to get used to that. We will now have a few days of relaxation though as Linda has a minor problem with her back and has to take it easy for a while. There is car racing on this weekend so that decision wasn’t very hard to make. I have also had a look at the local public transport, busses, and have found that us old seniors card holders are eligible for free transport, but the only problem is that there aren’t many busses actually go past the caravan park so that will make it a little more difficult.

Darwin.

Wednesday 18th May 2011, Darwin.

I suppose I was a little naïve to think that Darwin would be like any other Capital city in Australia, when, from what we saw in our initial drive round today, it is far from it. From the highway into the city it looks like the whole area has been planned, but the suburbs just haven’t been built yet, all you can see is trees. We had a couple of priorities today with a little business to be done, so after that was done we didn’t have a great deal of time to do much looking around but we did get a little bit of an idea. We shall be returning to the city on several occasions, our first impressions were good as it is a bit of a spread out city, and actually gives the feel of being just another large city, which I suppose that is exactly what it is.

Darwin, at last.

Tuesday 17th May 2011, Darwin,

It has been ten and a half years but we have finally made it to Darwin. The temps are going to be interesting of an evening, as to whether we can tolerate the 20’s over night or not, I guess we will just have to acclimatise or else.

Katherine, Edith Falls.

Sunday 15th May 2011, Katherine.

It now seems that my, or our, faith in the Katherine area has been somewhat restored with a visit to Edith Falls today. These falls are also in the Nitmiluk National Park but on the south western corner, about 60K from Katherine toward Darwin. These waterfalls would have to rate among the better we have seen, they are not grand or large, but the scenery around the series of 3 or 4 falls and the water holes between them is quite spectacular. The walk up to the falls was again what we were also looking for, a little strenuous in parts, and after doing walks two days in a row our legs are feeling a little like jelly at the moment. A rest day come pack up day tomorrow should relieve the situation though. See a picture on Recent Photos.

Katherine and the Gorge.

Saturday 14th May 2011, Katherine.

How one day of our lives can change the situation and travel plans. We went to Katherine gorge to do some of the walks today, we did go there the other day just for a look, and left there rather disappointed with the area. There are several walks at the gorge, one being a loop walk to a lookout over the first section of the gorge, which is rather lengthy comprising of several gorge sections, 9 I think, and then one basically going to each section of the gorge. We had intended doing the first loop walk and the one to the next gorge section that would total about 8 kilometres, a good walk for the day, and this would then give us an idea of whether a river cruise would be worth it. It does seem that if one doesn’t want to do the many K’s of other walking tracks to see the gorges, much too much for us, the only other ways to see it all is by either a helicopter ride or a river cruise, and we do have to consider these cruises as our budget will just not allow this sort of thing at every place we visit. We did the first loop walk to the first lookout and were reasonably impressed, but not to the extent as we expected, but when we got to the second walk it was a completely different story. The track itself turned into a path made up of rocks of a rounded shape between 2 and fifteen centimetres in diameter loose underfoot, and after traversing several hundred metres of this there were two things we decided that we had to give serious consideration.

1. Linda’s back was not in the best of condition, giving her a little trouble over the past few weeks, and this sort of terrain would certainly not help it, but only aggravate the situation.

2. What a lot of people are unaware of is that people getting on and around our age, and more, have got to give a lot of thought to not breaking any bones, they will probably break easier at our age, they are harder to mend when broken at our age, and we are in a remote situation and that sort of thing would be an extreme inconvenience. The pathway footings were certainly of a nature that we could have easily lost footings and caused some damage as described.

Giving these points all the consideration needed we decided not to do the second walk, another 4 odd kilometres of that was just too much, so we returned to the car park. During the return leg, and when we got there, we discussed our disappointment with the entire situation and decided that we would do no more sightseeing at the gorge on this visit and give up and go on to Darwin on Tuesday. We do have to stop here again on our return down this way, it is the only way to drive out of Darwin, so we will then decide on doing more then when we consider things like how Linda’s back is coping.

Katherine.

Friday 13th May 2011, Katherine.

I have been conversing via email with somebody from Caravan News, which I think is an online magazine of caravan news stories. I must admit I haven’t heard of this web site until now and after having a look at it I could well do the same more often in future. Anyway I received an email from them requesting a few details about myself and our travels, and about my helping others with TV reception so they can publish it in their next issue. I did respond so it will now be interesting to see what eventuates. This is the web site of the magazine by the way www.caravanningnews.com .

We had a bit of a maintenance day today, cleaning a few areas of the van that haven’t been done for a while, and repairs to our plate stand, crockery that is, it is only built from small pine timber so it has done a fairly good job lasting all this time. It is surprising how these maintenance jobs just pop up from nowhere, it started with the plate stand and a couple of loose bars, and before we knew it the day was over and heaps of little chores were done.