Sunday, May 15, 2011

Roadtrip to the sunshine!!

The evening was spent in Kings Creek station -A large camping site, where we, once again, sat around the campfire with a few tinnies. There was the added entertainment of mice running around too, in the long grass near the swags as well as in the kitchen area. I had a great nights sleep and after breakfast we drove about half an hour towards Kings Canyon. This is where we took the ohotos of everyone standing on the cliff edges, when we came here on Ozbus. We did the same 3 hour walk, taking some of the same pictures, including a re-production of my cliff egde pic, that went into the magazine article. We also had another swin in the pool in 'The Garden of Eden', even though it was a lot colder than last time I was there. The end of the walk marked the end of our adventuring on Groovy Grape. All we had left was a spot of lunch and then a 3-4 hour drive up to Alice Springs.
Steve decided to try and take a shoert cut – Now, shortcuts in Australia arent like short cuts in UK. This shortcut consisted of driving 100km along a dirt track. It did save us a long while and 50-60km, but it was almost like being back on the roads in India again. But it was a bit of an adventure and a good idea.

We finally arrived in Alice Springs late afternoon and after a quick shower, we headed into town for our last night with the 'Grapies'. The night consisted for a cheap meal followed by a few beers next door in Bo's bar, where inside it resembled The Wild West. It was a good night and a great way to say goodbye to everyone – Including Steve, the guide who turned out to be a great bloke and a lot of fun.

In the morning we picked up our 2nd relocation vehicle. This time a 4wd Toyota, with a small kitchen and tents to sleep in. This was our transport for the 1600km drive north to Darwin.

The journey was epic – spending between 5 and 8 hours a day driving through the outback, where for mile after mile you see nothing, you would expect to get bored. But then you see a camel or a kangaroo. We spotted snakes slithering across the road, a dingo nearly get run over by a motorbike and a massive eagle just sat in the middle of the road eating road-kill. When we slowly crept up on him, he took off carrying whatever dead thing he was eating, which was about the size of a dog itself. It was awesome!!! We camped over night in two great little sites for less than a fiver each. Enjoying hot showers and the banter with other campers heading south. We also got stopped in the middle of nowhere, literally, for a random breath test by the police. When we stopped for fuel we usually had a story to tell after a few seconds – Spiders everywhere, aborigines chatting away or just weird and strange shops and roadhouses, where there doesn’t appear to be anyone alive until you finish filling your tank and then someone appears from under a bush to take your money. Driving across nowhere really is a lot of fun and an experience to remember.

We finally reached Darwin at lunchtime on Sunday and immediately after booking into the Hostel, we left again to drive an hour south, where we did the Crocodile Jumping boat trip. I did it when I came through on Ozbus, but loved it so I wanted to do it again. Buffy has never seen a crocodile, so was happy to come too. It was a great tour and we saw the biggest croc in the river at 6metres long, climb up onto the mudbank to get some food. It was awesome! We also fed the kites, that swooped down to get food before ending the tour just in time to get back to Darwin and drop off the camper at 3pm. It was then a shared taxi into town and an evening down at Mindil beach, where we sat on the beach drinking cider and watching the sunset, before having a look around the Sunday night market. Its been a really busy few weeks since we left Sydney and we now have 4 days rest and relaxation here in Darwin. Sunbathing by the lagoon is planned for a few days, avoiding the crocs that swim in and around the beaches and bays. Then on Thursday we pick up our next re-location...... A 4wd camper which we will drive to Perth – Just 4000km in 9 days. Its going to be great.

Im just sorting out photos so will add them in a couple of days!!!!

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