Hitting The Blacktop Again

Published: August 10th 2007
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Our home whilst staying in Darwin
Hi again to all. As you all probably know we have spent the last three and a half months in Darwin keeping ourselves relatively busy with myself working and Janie going hard at the gym five days a week (even getting to meet and train with Hugh Jackman!!). All up Janie lost 6kgs and gained a lot of muscle tone, she looks and feels fantastic, whilst I lost around the same by cycling whenever I got a chance though this was much less after I started working. The trick now is to maintain the loss as too much hard work went into losing it… The car saga is finally over and boy are we glad, the less said about that the better! The time I spent working was very enjoyable as the guy’s I worked with are fantastic. So if you are travelling through Darwin and need any Auto Electrical work drop into Chris’s Automotive and Marine Electrics, ask for Chris, he will certainly look after you. I did manage to get out in Chris’s boat with Justin and Mark one Sunday. Although it was a very pleasant day on the water the fish were not that interested in joining us and as Chris will gladly tell you he hit the water the following Friday and “cleaned up”!!!
The last week in Darwin was very busy with cleaning and sorting the van and car. We are still amazed at how much stuff we carry, some stuff we thought might not get much use but now could not live without i.e. The “Weber Baby Q” is a prime example being fired up for nearly every meal! After buying some storage boxes to make everything fit better, we finally managed to squeeze it all in. We said our final goodbyes over a few beers at a farewell BBQ at Chris and Faye’s place and hit the road the following morning. First stop The Bark Hut. This place is not far outside Kakadu and was an easy drive to get us in the rhythm again, also conveniently located near Shady Camp that is supposed to be a very good fishing spot that has been recommended by numerous people. Arriving around 0930 at Shady Camp I suppose I was a little disappointed that this area was nothing like people had explained. Lots of dirt, very little infrastructure, no boat hire, and a general feel of
Adelaide RiverAdelaide RiverAdelaide River

Jumping Croc=No Fishing for Scotty
not being well cared for. Stopped at the croc viewing platform and saw quite a few just lolling about in the early morning sun. We headed back down the road to stop in at Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge. We enquired what the place is normally like as it seemed almost deserted, apparently this is “the” place to be in the wet and the run off to get some monster Barra. Oh well something to do next time we come back this way. We drove around the area and dropped in at a few of the areas indicated one being Mistake Billabong. There was an older couple coming out when we arrived and told us the information board at the entry was more interesting than the Billabong. We risked it for the walk and were suitably impressed with the amount of water lilies and just the tranquillity itself. A rather large Saratoga even managed to scare a couple of the fairly small ducks that inhabit this beautiful lagoon. Upon returning from a dead end track I found a track called Hardies 4WD track that winds its way near Couzens Lookout to the Arnham Highway a trip of around 39kms. After half
Mary River National ParkMary River National ParkMary River National Park

Old Chev ute on Hardies 4WD Track
an hour and only 5kms Janie was ready to divorce me (ok maybe not divorce, but she definitely did not love me as much as when she woke up!!!). We finally made it to the other end via a couple of spectacular billabongs/water holes ending up at Bird Billabong, making for a fantastic walk in the early dusk light. By now Janie was very glad to be back on the blacktop and any future 4WD excursions will be on my own. The next week will be spent around Kakadu at various campsites along the way and generally getting back into the travelling groove. We hope this finds you all well and stay tuned for some more interesting updates very shortly.

Additional photos below
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Me and the boys from Chris's

10th August 2007

Why only the blacktop?
Great to see you're back on the road again. Had been meaning to enquire and now I don't have to. We will be back on the dirt again come early November. Gold fields, Esperence, Albany, Wine fields before heading to Perth and then up North again to catch the Gibb River Road as soon as it is open and before the rest of the tourists get on it again. Then Kununurra and who knows where after that. If you go slow enough we may catch you somewhere to the east of here. Keep well, love from both of us.

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