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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory
May 7th 2022
Published: May 8th 2022
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During the Darwin rest day I bought a new Leatherman - NZ customs had confiscated mine on the way through. I considered running amok on the plane with the the cutlery they gave us but decided I shouldn't punish Air NZ s passengers for NZ customs stupidity. On our rest day in Darwin I bought a new one & the 1st time I used it I sliced my finger. This is not the 1st time I have lost an argument with a Leatherman. Fortunately this one was minor, unlike the previous time when I ended up in Hospital with a suspected bone infection. I have just had my DNA sample taken & anticipate that I may have some Gurkha genes. Apparently when a Gurkha soldier draws his knife tradition says they have to draw blood.

Anyway onto things motorcycling.....

Saturday, after a leisurely breakfast we attempted to leave Darwin. Stopping at the 1st gas station 20m from our digs, we found the air pump not working only evident after completely deflating Keith's front tyre. Hand pump to the rescue.

Restarted to have my bike stop dead after 5kms. It had blown a fuse & then proceeded to do the same to a couple of replacements. Obviously an electrical fault so after determining I must have pinched a wire when I had the tank off to route the GPS wires, we removed the tank. Not an easy job on a 28L full tank & parked under a gum tree on a traffic island. Finding no wires damaged, I then remembered shortly before It stopped I had turned the headlight to dip as it had been left on full beam. Disassembled the headlight & checking all the wiring we found a suspect joint which we remedied - with success. A good early test of our tools & diagnostic skills. However whilst the bike was now going without blowing fuses, I had lost low beam. A job for later.

Travelling East from Darwin towards Kakadu National Park we arrived at our destination after only 88kms of main roads. Corroboree Park Camp ground, where we are staying in some air conditioned dongas, has a swimming pool, a 4m salty crocodile (luckily in it's own cage not the pool), free range wallabies & a couple of Water Buffalos. We are off to a good "wildlife" start with more to come tomorrow. After a swim, I located a broken wire in the headlight, fixed the problem and restored low beam.

Keith was not feeling on top of the world on arrival so had an easy afternoon & an early night. A bit perkier in the morning but did a covid test to be sure...negative!

Tomorrow we do a 3 hour lunch time cruise on the Coroboree Billabong.



Sunday:
Collected by the tour bus at 12, we set off to the Billabong. Our tour guide was a mine of information about trees & fruit on the bus trip to the Corroboree Billabong. Wild Kakadu plums grow all through this flood plain and contain around 100 times the vitamin c of an orange. In various forms they are sold commercially.
There is evidence that the Indigenous people were trading with the Indonesians 20,000 years ago in this area. Some water lily seed (which we tasted) also grows wild and is a South East Asian delicacy. Boarding the boat & setting off on the Billabong for our lunch cruise we saw Salties & Freshies (crocodiles) & even saw 2 male salties having a minor altercation, probably over territory. White chested sea eagles with a 2m wing span, Jabirus (a South American bird), snake necked birds which we saw catching a fish, amazing water lilies, Kites, and other wildlife too numerous to mention (or too difficult to remember their names).
Tomorrow we head to Katherine, 350kms part on gravel


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