Make a hot coffee it’s still cold
Leaving Alice & the temp is still in the minus, heading north back to the marbles for the night hoping for warmer weather. We met a family there who were on a 3 month trek up through the centre then down the west coast. The next morning we stopped at Tennant Creek then we went through to Newcastle Waters, a free camp on the side of the road “oh no” looks pretty full & it’s late in the day. After talking to a few people we squeezed in between a van & a fence where Kylie parked perfectly in front of about a dozen people they all watched closely especially the fellow that didn’t park his car straight. He was concerned about the front of his car so I reassured him he wouldn’t notice any damage because it was the same colour as the vanJ after a bit of gloating & a cuppa everyone dispersed. We met Ned & Gae, and Allan & Donna that night around there fire. The next morning we all headed off to camp at Daly Waters pub where they put on a live show each night it was one of those places if it could hang from the roof it was up there. The next morning we went to Mataranka & stayed at Elsey NP, there we visited the thermal springs & walked up the river to some waterfalls & swam in the river when we got back only freshies in here I think.
We moved onto Katherine for more fuel & food & then went to Edith falls for the night ( so we thought ) the camp ground was full, once you get up north booking & early arrival is essential but that doesn’t concern us too much, back tracking 15k’s we pulled in a side track & set up near a creek for the night, as dark set in as usual back packers arrived so we weren’t alone. Next morning we were off early heading for Kakadu NP, when we got to the information centre where they advised us to leave the van there for the day & do some exploring before going to camp that night. We then drove to Gumlom falls 40km of corrugations there were lots of spares beside the road, the lower water hole was very cold so we walked up to the top of the falls to several rock pools where we spent time swimming before walking back down for lunch. After picking up the van we drove to a camp for the night, this was the first of two very hot nights which was a lot better than the freezing cold. The following night was a nicer camp & we also had showers there, we explored around the area then ready to move on the next day. Stopping a Jabiru for lunch but it was Sunday so there wasn’t anything open (where did that week go?).
|waiting for lunch|
So we are off to Merls campground which is at Cahill’s crossing on the boarder of Kakadu & Arnhem Land, the boarder is the East Alligator River. After setting up camp we headed down to the crossing before sunset as the tide was coming in this is when the crocs are most active we sat up on a deck that overlooks the crossing & watched people fishing off the crossing,( this could get interesting there’s live bait )water was flowing over the road & to the right there was a 3mtr croc sunning itself (probably watching those guys fishing) not much action that night so back to the van for dinner. The next day was a washing day so Josh & I repacked the wheel bearings in the van & serviced the generator then after lunch we went on a few walks, on the rain forest walk there was a croc sleeping on the river bank (you won't get any deposits back from that bank) where we could stand just above him for a closer look I realised that the camera was back in the car so I ran back to get it ( yes I ran)but he was in the water eating a fish when I got back, so after a while we left him alone we then headed down to the boat ramp for high tide. When we got there, there were 5 locals on the other side of the river fishing after a while they caught a small shark, we learnt 2 new things here sharks & crocs swim together & this was the 1st time we saw sharks jump out of the water chasing fish, when the locals left they dug up out of the sand 2 more sharks & a sting ray, they had gutted the sharks on the sand & left it there. At dusk we saw a large croc coming up the river with the tide, he swam past us & stopped about 50 meters from the crossing, swam around for a while then slowly swam back towards the other side coming out of the water onto the sand right where the locals had left the guts from the sharks & then he ate what was left, he was quite a big croc, by this stage it was dark so back to camp. Leaving the next morning for Darwin we had one more night on the side of the road at a free camp then the job of getting into a van park in Darwin.
|Josh testing the water & Mum|
|eating the scraps|