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From Litchfield to Darwin

June 4, 2012

Wednesday 30th May Litchfield to Darwin

Here we were, waking up on the basic campsite of Litchfield National Park. We started the day by having some breakfast at Wangi Falls, and then a swim there. The water was about 22-23 degrees.

Florence Fall

After this swim, we drove to Florence Falls. First, we went to see it from the top.

Florence Falls

Then we walked down and saw it from closer. Some people were swimming there too, and Francesca joined them while we just hanged around, taking photos or sitting on stones, with Chrissy and Michael.

Florence Falls

Then we did a small walk called the Shady Creek Walk that took us around the falls through some beautiful scenery with nice little rivers.

river

Another little river we passed.

river

Next, we drove to Bulley Rockhole, another pool.

waterfall

Very nice pool too!

pool

After that, we went to see Cathedral Termite Mounds.

Termite Mound

We also saw some other termite mounds that look like grave stones, like sculpted by men. Really impressive ones.

Termite Mounds

It was around 3pm, time already to drive Francesca to Darwin airport. We parked there, and in the trees of the airport, we saw some colourful rainbow lorikeets.

lorie

In the evening, the guys got some pizza, while I finished some pasta we had. Then we went to a camping for a night there.

Thursday 31st May

We woke up quite late and chilled out. We went for some shopping at the huge Woolworth, and then the boys went to the beach while I went for an hour free wifi at the public library.

In the late afternoon, we went to the Sunset Market. People were watching together the sunset on the beach. It was almost a shock for us, after 3 weeks seeing almost no one on the road and having sunsets just for ourselves.

sunset with other people

The colours were really beautiful.

sunset

The market was quite nice, with lots of people around and diverse stalls.

sunset market

I discovered the books of Monte Dwyer, an Australian who was presenting the meteo before in a sensational way apparently, and then travelled in Australia back and forth, and wrote 3 books so far about his experiences of meeting Australians from all over the place.

Monte Dwyer

There was a concert of didgeridoo and the guy playing was really good.

music

Many people were enjoying his music and dancing like crazy, including a lot of aboriginals. They really have the sense of music under their skin, they were dancing really well.

dancing

After the sunset market, we went to the casino.

casino

The guys went to play poker while I played the roulette, betting 30 dollars, with 5 dollars on black or red each time. I could have stopped with 40 dollars at some point, but I continued playing and lost 5 dollars finally. Not too much, and I had quite some fun. There was an Asian guy betting huge sums of money, and he told me he had already lost 1,500 dollars that evening. Sounds like he lost 500 more dollars there on top! Not that fun.

Friday 1st June

We went to the Wicked Campers headquarter and gave back the van.

wicked

We discovered at that moment that hitting wild animals was not covered by the insurance.

insurance details

So the bump made because of the kangaroo accident was not covered by the extra 550 dollars insurance we had taken. The guy looked at the bump and estimated the repair cost at 1,500 dollars. Divided by 4 people, we had to pay each 375 dollars.

We stayed at Wicked campers all afternoon. It was a bit strange to have given back the camper. We had been on the road for 3 weeks, in a kind of bubble, driving on deserted roads, seeing almost no one, cooking ourselves, sleeping in the van. And suddenly the trip was over, we were there in Darwin, and not really sure what we wanted to do next, quite a bit lost to be honest.

Chrissy left around 3pm to go to the airport to catch his flight at 6pm back to Germany. With Michael we stayed until Wicked Campers closed at 4.30pm. Then we walked about 10 minutes to the nearby youth hostel where we took a double bedroom for 80 dollars. Definitely not the same prices and quality as in Asia! We walked to the beach we had been the day before and walked there to enjoy the sunset. As there was no market, not many people were around that evening.  We saw a nice pigeon we had seen many times during this trip that I finally photographed!

pigeon

On the beach, we found each an hermit crab and put them in a little hole and surrounded them by a bigger round.

hermit crabs

Michael explained me that this was a huge betting game in Fiji Islands. If you had bet on the hermit crab which got first out of the round, then you would win the pot. Unfortunately, our hermit crabs were a bit lazy, and didn’t move that much out of the hole. We left them there…

The sunset was gorgeous that evening too.

sunset

And the moon was almost full. Another month had passed.

moon

We went back to Woolworth and bought some food to prepare a quick cold dinner in the shared kitchen of the youth hostel. It was really crowded, and we were not really in the mood of chatting with people, so we cooked quickly, got ourselves a table and went to bed quite tired quite early.

Saturday 2nd June

We spent the day using the wifi of the youth hostel and trying to decide what we wanted to do next. This road-trip had delighted me with so beautiful landscapes. I wanted to see more of Australia, so I decided that I should go to see the East Coast too. But as it was expensive, it would be worth working there too, and not only travel. On top of that, a great way to discover the Australian work culture. And for that I needed a working holiday visa. But in order to apply for the working holiday visa…I had to be outside of Australia, ahah.

We looked for flights to Bali and the cheapest one was with Jetstar on the 8th June, so we booked that and decided that meanwhile we would try to find a tour to go to Kakadu National Park for 3 days. Ahhh…Relief…We were now a bit less lost!

Remember Véronique I had met in Laos, in Phongsaly, and with who I had had a motorbike accident? She was originally living in Darwin. She was still in France, in re-education, her knee still giving her a really hard time. She put me in touch with some of her friends living in Darwin. Her French-Australian friend Kevin came to pick us up and dropped us at her Dutch-Australian friend Marcel’s place who was kind to welcome us in his flat for a few nights. The first evening, they both had some wedding party, so we chilled out while they were out.

Sunday 3rd June

We went with Marcel to a Café place nearby were people from Europe gathered to speak French. It was a funny morning. Then we went to another market where we had some smoothies and some food. There was a man making animals with balloons for the delight of the children around.

market

In the afternoon, Michael and I spent some time at a travel agent in the town centre and booked a 3-day tour to Kakadu for the 5th to 7th June. Then we stopped at Woolworth to get some food to cook a nice meal for our host and came back by bus and a bit of walking. We saw another beautiful sunset on the sea.

sunset

Monday 4th June

We didn’t do much that day. We had been running so much for the last 3 weeks that we enjoyed doing nothing. Chilled out, chatted with Marcel, surfed on internet. I went to the nearby 50 meters pool which was really beautiful. The day passed quickly.

Next 3 days, Kakadu!!!!

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