Day 60: 277km New tyre! Fogg Dam, Jumping Crocs and Jabiru (Kakadu National Park)

I am in Kakadu, where everything is dangerous. But let me start at the beginning of the day.

My new tyre is lovely: IMG_3395.PNG
I also include for your viewing pleasure the fix on my handlebar and a slightly blurred rendition of what it should look like. Peter fastened the fix-it bolt off with loctite. Hopefully it will hold: IMG_3396.PNG
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Once the tyre was done I headed out. First stop Humpty Doo (because, well, how could I not stop there?). But there was nothing going down at Humpty, so I decided to take my simple supplies to Fogg Dam, which I had heard was a great place to have a picnic, while watching the water birds.

Well… It seems that Fogg Dam was a place to be wary of Mr Saltie:
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In the Hema book, the guy says it’s a beautiful ride, well worth doing. He also stresses that the croc signs are serious, and you have to look out. He says it in a kind of light tone though… as you can see (from the photo above, and my weirdly tilted helmet cam pics, below, it was very, very beautiful: IMG_3386.PNG
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But the most terrifying ride of my life. The whole way along I was acutely aware that my legs were exposed and crocs are smart and they watch people and follow them. I know I’m on a motorbike so can take off fast, but crocs are incredibly fast, and he or she would have seen me long before I knew s/he was even there… and my legs were so vulnerable… I was so vulnerable. My body was so tense as I rode across. There were lookouts, but they had signs saying do not stop, and do not get out of your vehicle (omg) when I got to the end the first thing I said was fuck, I have to go back! I went to the turnaround where normally you can park and it said no parking under any circumstances. I wasn’t brave enough to stop. I head back across the dam at a rather fine speed, and when I got to the other end my heart was racing. I got there though, and as I rode out I must have lost my mind for a moment – I decided after all I wanted to see the jumping crocs…

so jumping crocs are kind of like a nature circus act. There is a fine line between this and the dolphins at Monkey Mia. They do four tours a day and provide one chunk of meat to each croc they encounter along the way. They say it is different to Monkey Mia (I asked), because this particular tour only operates six months of the year, and the crocs go back to being completely wild the rest of the time… (at least for this tour. some of them are year-round). it wasn’t very pleasant though and I wish I hadn’t done it.

so this is the road out to the croc place. it is the abandoned rice paddies of Humpty Doo (a failed agricultural experiment): IMG_3390.PNG
our disturbingly racist tour guide: IMG_3400.JPG
(in case there’s any ambiguity) the meat: IMG_3401.JPG
and some of the crocs: IMG_3455.PNG
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they jumped on cue and they jumped on command, but they were intensely wild and felt unpredictable. We had strict instructions not to lean any part of our bodies or our cameras from the boat… it was horrible and they were magnificent. It was awful to see them playing the game. Their eyes were terrible, like they knew exactly what was going on…

I also saw plenty of these, collective spider webs made by all female spiders to catch a particularly virulent fly: IMG_3458.PNG

nature at her finest I suppose. the marsh lands were beautiful.

to hammer home the racist ideology, I was confronted by this on the way out:IMG_3459.PNG,

Our guide’s racism really disturbed me. I’m not being racist, he would say but… (then go on to say something really offensive) I was disturbed, offended, and while I did say something, I don’t think I spoke out clearly enough.

From that little enclave I head straight for Jabiru. I bypassed Nature’s Window (another one) and I’m sure it was breathtaking and a much better choice than the jumping (I almost wrote dancing) crocs. Nonetheless, it is what it is. We don’t always make the best choices I guess, and now I was going to Jabiru.

Much of the road there was dusty, full of road works that held us up and road trains that sometimes wobbled all over the road:
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Once I entered Kakadu things changed a little:IMG_3460.PNG

of course, it was nothing like I have imagined – this, at least, it shares with everywhere else. this shot was taken along the road (my helmet cam may be on an angle but at least it’s working now, woohoo! and the angle is easy fixed :)) IMG_3394.PNG

the Top End of Australia is full of dangers. The paper today has a free cyclone guide:IMG_3461.PNG

and the pool at the lodge a warning for children and adults alike:
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I had my own little disaster when I arrived… after the local travel agent found me a cheap room, I headed off to the servo to fuel up. I'd taken my jacket off and balanced it on my luggage behind me with the arms tucked into some elastic straps, but moved it so no fuel would splash on it, then forgot to put it back. When I took off, it fell off the back without me noticing, the arms keeping it attached.. My brand new tyre must have liked my jacket as much as me, 'cause it seems to have pulled it through the tyre-guard, and burnt part of it on the exhaust :/ :/ :/
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all part of the adventure said Bertie, and. I know he’s right, but still…

Now I know my jacket makes me look a bit like a turtle from certain angles, but it was a beautiful jacket. Its waterproof-ness isn’t really compromised – the pants cover my butt where the hole is, and the front flap over the zipper will only make a difference in torrential downpours.. But my jacket no longer looks lovely. It looks war-damaged, as if my adventure is a dangerous pursuit. The zip that holds the armour in place is completely destroyed – I’m going to have to sew it together, which means I won’t be able to take it out, so no more washing of my jacket unless it has ample time to dry.

My friend Tania could do a lovely gleaned repair job on this if I let her at it. I wonder if I can convince her to take on the job when I’m home?

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Day 59: Darwin, Darwin, Darwin. The Museum and the last Mindil Beach Sunset Market for the year

Darwin time is interesting. It’s slow time, relaxed time, don’t stress and don’t pay too much attention time.

I went to JB Hi-Fi to get a new micro-SD card and adapter. They didn’t have it but the guy looked it up in the system and said the shop at Berrimah has one. Do you need to call them and check? I asked no, no he said, they have three in the system so you’ll be totally fine.. Is it far? I asked. Just the next street along he said a block away… he neglected to mention that it was 16km down that street… When I got there they didn’t have any of the cards I wanted in stock. The girl was pissed they send people to us all the time without checking if we actually have the stock. She was infuriated. but very nicely helped me find a place that could help. I should have gone to Camera House to begin with, because cameras is basically all they do. The girl at Camera House said the problem I’m having could be two-fold: 1. the San Disk card adapter is giving me grief, as suspected; but also: 2. the card itself is probably not fast enough for what I’m doing despite it being class 10. She said the San Disk are just a little slower than the Sony or the ProMaster, and considering no-one in Darwin stocks the Sony (despite what the JB Hi-Fi system is telling it’s employees), I went with the ProMaster…

when I got home I checked if I could read the San Disk and I could. Curiously, unlike the Sony, many of the still shots taken while riding were blurred. I guess that backs up her assertion about the speed of the card. Let’s hope the ProMaster gives me some joy.

After all that running around, I decided to head for the Wharf for a fish lunch. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Barra… (barramundi). Yum. It was a beautiful place, but almost everything was closed. I think this was where Darren was trying to send me the other night. It was lovely in the day, and I have no doubt also lovely at night: IMG_3346.PNG
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From there I went to the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery. I’ve been to a lot of museums and galleries in my time, but I have to say this was amongst the best. It was beautifully curated, and the indigenous artwork seemed to emerge organically, rather than be an exotic import, as it often seems in the more white-centric East. There was a solo exhibit by Danie Mellor: Exotic Lies Sacred Ties: IMG_3350-0.PNG
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A fantastically executed exhibit about Cyclone Tracy, the cyclone that flattened Darwin on Xmas eve 1974. It included a darkened room with a sound recording made on the night. It was pretty wild. Apparently it can be quite upsetting for people who were there, which doesn’t surprise me. I thought it could have been louder to really give a sense of it – it needed more base or something to shake you inside your body and really be as it must have been, but it was still totally great – very moving:IMG_3352.PNG
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The more typical natural history museum exhibits were stunning (as usual, my images don’t do them justice):IMG_3355.PNG
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and there were beautiful paintings, in particular I loved the works by Kathleen Petyarre, Queenie McKenzie, Naata Nungarrayi, Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa, Elizabeth Nyumi and the amazing Tjanpi Grass Toyota by the Black Stone Tjanpi Weavers:IMG_3357.PNG
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I wish the museum had a book, or made a series of books related to each exhibit (their collection is enormous apparently, and they change the exhibit regularly). I would buy it/them in a heartbeat.

After the museum I headed back to Cyclone Motorcycles hoping for some joy. Peter was there this time, the Head of Parts (sounds like a character out of Alice in Wonderland when you put it like that). He was wonderful – did everything in his power to get me sorted. He also clarified the misunderstanding with the lever – it wasn’t a part swap out – the part hasn’t been changed since 2008… in the end it was me who got it wrong – my Wunderlich brake lever has the little grooves, not the Beemer lever (I had Bertie double-check with my stash at home). The bolt and cup still hadn’t arrived so he fashioned a replacement, and looked at my tyres for me and said I wasn’t going to make it 1000km on the back one – it needed to be changed by Katherine at the latest. Damn. Even though the sides were like new, I had <1mm of tread left in the middle of the tyre – all those straight roads in WA! :/ fortunately he had an Anakee 3 in my rear tyre size. He said my front will last me 'til Cairns. It was too late to change either so I would be back again tomorrow for the back one. At least they could do it first thing then I could head off.

It was nearing sunset, and tonight was the last night of the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, so I had to get moving. It was pretty great. Loads of people, amazing food:

Barra wings (yes, the wings of the barramundi fish): IMG_3359.PNG
crocodile terrine: IMG_3361.PNG
and just about anything else you could think of (except NT Mango Ice! – now there’s an opportunity).

Little by little people gathered on the beach for the sunset and then the fireworks:
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In the end there were so many people there, but it was quite lovely. I’ve always been fond of fireworks, and this one was quaint, but also totally great: IMG_3383.PNG

Back in the market area there was a guy in his finery playing with fire. He did everything – a burning whip, a burning hula hoop, a burning diabolo, juggling burning torches and a machete, a knife and a hammer…

The whip and hula hoop were my favourites :) :IMG_3364.PNG
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Day 58: Darwin: delays, delights and the deckchair cinema

To sleep is to dream.

I eventually ventured out, to look at the beach at Causurina, have some lunch (grilled snapper and salad – delicious!) and deal with what seemed to be a schmozzle at Cyclone Motorcycles. See how beautiful the beach is: IMG_3264.PNG

well, my experience with Cyclone wasn’t quite as tranquil and relaxed. Turns out the right parts hadn’t been ordered, despite me calling Monday to check. Half the parts weren’t in, and at first it seemed one of the parts was for a completely different bike – until it turned out that the part they were trying to give me wasn’t even meant for me. At a certain point I almost lost it, then someone Nathan stepped in. N was young, sharp, and on the ball. He made the calls needed to find out where everything was, and worked out how the order – the parts in question – the cup and longer bolt that hold the weight and handguard on – come with the handguard kit. They had ordered the standard bolt. I really wish they had given me a call when what I was asking for didn’t make sense. It was all extremely frustrating. I had offered to send photos when I first called so there was no confusion no need he said. but it’s really no trouble I said in reply. no, no need

Hopefully the parts will all be in by today. The missing blinker lens turned up later in the day and N put a rush order on the cup and the longer bolt, which may or may not arrive in time to be fitted before I leave. if they don’t, we should be able to put something together with a different bolt and washer.

The clutch lever is a slightly different issue. it seems that BMW changed the part and it is unclear if the current lever will snap off at a place that leaves enough lever for me to ride if something happens. Considering that the handguards are only hardened plastic, not metal like the Barkbusters, and I’m little so can drop the bike more easily than someone who has better purchase on the ground, I’m not prepared to put a clutch lever on that might break and leave me unable to ride, so we have to see what happens with this (Bertie says clutchless operation is possible – easier going up through the gears than going down, but I figure my little stubby clutch is quite ok for now if the replacement one is not a better option)

Hopefully it will all be sorted in time, ’cause I can’t delay departure another day.

To cheer myself up I headed home for some aircon and picked up supplies including mangoes to make NT Mango Ice. I made up the name myself. It’s not technically ice-cream – you just cut the cheeks off the mangoes skin then stick them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen you eat them straight from the freezer bag, as if it’s an ice-cream or ice-block without a stick. we encountered them at Standley Chasm (Angkerle) on a Daytrip from Alice Springs. Additive-free, super creamy and delicious.

I then took myself off to Darwin’s famous Deckchair Cinema to see Like Father, Like Son. It won the Jury prize at Cannes last year if I’m not mistaken. It was a very nice film – I highly recommend it. I sensibly took my own pillow, but this deckchair cinema is a bit more upmarket than the one in Broome – pillows available if needed, delicious asian curries and Pad Thai (I had the Thai Green Curry. it was excellent), free drinking water and tea, and a bar.IMG_3266.PNG
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When I got home, I set myself up in the little alcove just outside my door, by the front garden, had a beer that Darren had offered me, and an NT Mango Ice. It was a perfect way to end the day. Top end tropical bliss

Day 57: 501km Nitmiluk to Darwin via all of Chambers’ daughters and the termites and twisties at Litchfield

Yesterday I started wondering if my head was swelling up, or my helmet was… my helmet looked normal (I kept checking), and when I saw my face in the mirror it looked normal too. nonetheless, each time I put my helmet on or took it off it felt tighter and tighter and tighter.. this morning when I went to put it on one of the emergency removable cheek pads was hanging out… :) funny I hadn’t noticed it moving. at least I was no longer perplexed. I’m such a weirdo with the things I think and believe sometimes

On the dawn cruise of Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) I learned that the explorer who discovered much of the Territory for the whitefolk was sponsored by a Mr Chambers, and Mr Chambers had three daughters – Katherine, Edith and Florence. I visited all of their namesakes today: Katherine Gorge, Edith Falls and Florence Falls, where it all kind of went horribly wrong for a moment. Luckily it felt far more dramatic than it was.

There hasn’t been rain around here for six months, so only the first gorge at Katherine was accessible. No need for disappointment – it was stunning. rugged walls and cliff faces, rock paintings, a turtle who gently tested the water with his foot before plunging in, my first freshwater crocodile, and one of the most blissful swims I have enjoyed so far (aside from the Fern Pool at Dale’s Gorge in Karajini, which I think will never be surpassed)
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on the way out I passed all the buses full of people who are on The Ghan – the luxury train that goes from Adelaide to Darwin. We were only 5 on the dawn cruise, but they can keep them going because of things like The Ghan. Our guide did say it was a little problematic because they are mostly older people and they’ve been sitting in the air conditioned comfort of the train for however long, so the heat can sometimes be a bit much for them, but it kept the tours running and in business.

Edith Falls was next. Poor Edith – lovely, but she paled in comparison with her two sisters… I did have a quick dip, though there was very little shade, so I didn’t tarry: IMG_3249.PNG

From there I went to Litchfield National Park, via Bachelor – what a lovely name for a town. Litchfield has the twisties I’ve been waiting for. stunning. I understand why people form Darwin on bikes come for day trips here all the time. I know I would. I saw the famous magnetic termite mounds – like slivers, or gravestones, they minimise the surface that is touched by the sun, by orienting their thinnest point North/South. Rather clever (collectively so). Diane Ackerman writes a lovely passage about them in her book: The Human Age. Each termite is like one neuron in a collective brain. It doesn’t need to be smart, and none can see the whole picture, but together they create coherent action and a kind of intelligence. She goes on to write about the sound of the termite mounds, and how the sound is very important to them and is controlled through their control of the wind… they look a bit like gravestones, don’t you think? Very different to all the others I’ve seen.
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From there I zipped along more gorgeous curves to Florence Falls. As I rode into the parking lot, an older man nodded to me. I asked if he’d been down to the falls, and what was it like. He said that frankly he thought the other place was better (B’s hole..?) and I should go there – it’s much closer and easier, he said, will keep me closer to my bike. I liked the man’s logic, so off I went. The first sign I saw seemed to contradict him. B’s hole was much further than the walk this way to the falls… (fatal last thoughts). Now keep in mind I had my bike gear on still and no water. I didn’t bother changing because he’d said it was so close – 350m was what the sign said as well.

well… it was much more than 350m, and while it started off rather nice…
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The burnt Savanna Woodland should have been a sign… but I kept going thinking all the time that it must just be around the next bend, but that path just kept going and going and going…

by the time I got to the falls I was hysterical – crying and hyperventilating. I’d taken my coat off at least but I was dripping sweat – literally dripping big drops of it, I was having heart palpitations and I was making weird wheezing noises… I don’t think there was anything major actually wrong with me. I was dehydrated and upset and my heart rate was quite high and my swoony blouse syndrome kept trying to kick in so my heart kept dropping to 70, jumping back up to 129, which wasn’t really very pleasant… but it wasn’t really too serious yet either, I had simply worked myself up into quite a state.

The poor boy who saw me stumbling down the path…

and to top it off the first thing I said is I have a heart condition (omg!) at least I followed it by saying that I’d be fine as soon as I got in the water and cooled down. he did look a wee bit concerned though. I threw my jacket onto the ground, gently placing Bert’s camera on top of it, and started the not inconsiderable task of taking my tourshell pants off. They are brilliantly waterproof. not so brilliantly without any kind of venting whatsoever, and I’d been dripping sweat into them too (brilliant weightloss strategy for the masochistic). At a certain point I couldn’t get them any further. The armour was soft enough to be bending inside out but my feet were kind of stuck. The young guy was still looking on with concern so I figured I should put him to work – it might make him feel a bit better and it would certainly help me. I apologised profusely for the smell (enclosed sweat is a strangely unfamiliar and rather unpleasant odour for those who don’t know). he gallantly said he couldn’t smell them at all (thank the dogs for small mercies) and gently pulled them off over my feet – I was free!!!! I was so grateful, and still a weirdly blubbering, wheezing mess. I kind of stumbled and crawled over the rocks to the water and immersed my whole body, just leaving my face emerged – wheezing and hiccuping like a hysterical child… I think it took me a good 10-15 minutes to cool down and calm down. thank the dogs I did calm down eventually, and with shaky steps clambered back out of the water to get Bertie’s camera and take some pics.

Florence falls is quite spectacular: IMG_3258.PNG
There was one sole cloud in the sky that made me happy with its cloud-like perfection:IMG_3259.PNG
and the sky closer down near the water was full of dragon flies:
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Once I’d had enough (or rather became conscious of the time again and my need to get moving) I climbed out. this time I took the stairs – all 135 of them. I passed by a lovely creek (just like the ones at the start of my hell-walk) and climbed them with ease, and had a lovely view of the falls from above:IMG_3262.PNG

The walk up the stairs was totally fine… all the drama was for nothing, you know. I should have just taken the stairs to begin with.

In Darwin I’m doing airbnb. I found an awesome place. The guy who lives there greeted me on arrival. A psych-ward nurse, heading off to nightshift. A lovely guy, with a rather lovely big triangular self-contained bungalow beside his house. It’s impossible to explain, but it’s totally great. Swimming pool, nicely designed spaces. super comfortable. privacy. lovely ambience. and a friendly local (from Sydney) close at hand. great! First things to do: get my bike gear off and go for a swim.. :)

I was quite exhausted and tempted just to crash, but considering I was in Darwin… Darren recommended I head to the waterfront to grab some dinner. The GPS took me to a slightly odd place, but I asked a man who was crossing the road where to go and it turns out he had arrived in Darwin that day on The Ghan. He’d done the tour of Katherine Gorge after the one I did. He’d been on one of the buses I’d seen when I was on my way out. An older guy, very interesting. I would have liked to chat with him for a while. His kids had given him the trip on The Ghan as a birthday present, he had planned to be in Darwin for a few nights, but it didn’t work out – he could only stay the one. He used to ride when he was younger. As he said: with youth comes speed. He said he almost had a heart attack when The Ghan left Adelaide because for the first 50km it didn’t get above 10km an hour… He misses the speed. He’d already had dinner and was heading back to his hotel, so I thanked him and followed his recommendation and went to Chow! for salt and pepper squid that was totally delicious.

Why don’t places sell no alcohol beer here? In Germany they have a fantastic selection of no alcohol beers, all delicious and perfect for people on their P-plate licences, who aren’t allowed to drink.

It was a beautiful balmy night and the moon was stunning. I am in Darwin and I am happy :)
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Day 56: 543km Kununurra to Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge)

I snapped some pics at Kimberlyland before leaving. It was really quite lovely:IMG_3056.PNG

and this is me crossing into NT, the Northern Territory:
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I’m handling these long hot rides quite well now. I changed out my 3/4 sleeve shirt for a tank top, which was a smart move, but still wore my GS Dry. It worked well. I also had plenty of water and knew how to handle it. I stopped regularly for dousing, and where I could, for fuel. I did make one mistake though…

At Timber Creek I filled up, and I fear it was crap fuel. At Victoria River I could have topped up but their phone lines and eftpos was out so they were taking cash only. My GPS said there was a Caltex 20 k out of Katherine, so I thought I would be totally fine.

At my last rest stop, 100k from Katherine, I doused myself, had a healthy snack, a sqwincher and some water. I also had a nice chat with a Swiss German couple. I was feeling good – I’m really handling everything so well now. When I said goodbye to them it never occurred to me that I might be in for a tricky ride.

As soon as I pulled out of the rest stop, my reserve light went on. I’d only done 187km… because I top up the tank as far as I possibly can, that means I’d probably used 11 litres of fuel (as opposed to 10). That would leave me with 4x 17km… only 68km to go if I kept riding the way I had been. My GPS said I needed to do 80 to get to the Caltex. ok. not the end of the world, just drive very conservative.

and I am so lucky that that’s what I did, because when I got to where the Caltex servo was supposed to be there was absolutely nothing..! nothing…. nothing

oh.

ok…

I had to make it another 20k, and lucky for me I did (traveling now / since some time, at 70km/hr) when I saw the Caltex on the outskirts of town I was very relieved. I put just under 15litres of fuel in the tank and sat in the air conditioned comfort to cool down. Disaster averted, I was off to Natimluk, otherwise known as Katherine Gorge.

First, glamping. best camping I think I’ve ever done, and it only cost $20! Luckily they manage salties here: IMG_3059.PNG

I put the tent up, then went for a swim in the pool:IMG_3061-0.PNG

as I dried off, I had a visitor:IMG_3062.PNG
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they do a buffet dinner here, and it’s amazing ~ fresh grilled barramundi, roo-ster, scotch fillet, or haloumi and mushroom, with a great selection of salads and hot veges for the very reasonable price of $25, and they sell beer and spirits and a great selection of alcohol free drinks too, all served by the pool!

I had the Barra – it was delicious! (talk about glam
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after dinner I went for another dip, then my Dutch neighbours said you have to see this! apparently her name is Esmerelda. She is 3m long, eats the tree frogs and lives in a hole under this little section of garden. ew.
Here she is, heading for the hole:IMG_3075.PNG
and down she goes:IMG_3076.PNG
it was all very exciting.

Day 55: ~260km Daytrip to Ivanhoe Crossing, the Five Rivers Lookout, Wyndham and The Grotto

I slept and slept and slept. bliss. at a certain point I thought I should get moving – I had to pay for my cabin for another night and my tummy was grumbling.

First stop fuel, where I discovered they sell hard boiled eggs – yay! something yummy but simple that gets me protein and salt. perfect. I was going to have lunch at the Wild Mango but it was shut and this was better – stave off the hunger and keep me lean and alert. It was hot, so I thought a little trip was in order to see if I could handle something bigger. I’d heard that Ivanhoe Crossing was worth a visit, and it was!

first I was met with the warning:IMG_3038.PNG
the crossing was definitely closed:
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it seemed the croc warning is only for whitefellas… it was hot as hell, but there was no way I was going in with them
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this was to their left (looks like an ideal place for crocs if you ask me)
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and this was to their right – stunning!: IMG_3042.PNG

From there I headed back to my cabana to get my earplugs and cool down again before I considered my next move: to the Five Rivers Lookout, above Wyndham, the oldest town in the Kimberley region:IMG_3043.PNG
the view below and to the left: IMG_3044.PNG
a disk explaining the five rivers:IMG_3045.PNG
continuing around to the right:IMG_3046.PNG
and further, towards the ocean:IMG_3047.PNG
and a close up: IMG_3048.PNG

There was a guy there with his truck and two dogs. One of those kind of ageless guys (probably the same age as me, maybe even a lot younger). I can’t help wondering what happens to people like him – do they drop out and become happy? go away and find themselves? or go away and lose themselves..? I asked if he was a local and he said no, I’ve only been here 3 and a half years… we laughed and smiled. I had run out of water and was terribly thirsty and felt stupidly irresponsible. He nicely gave me some when I asked, and told me if I go down the bottom and turn right, the pub will be open (nothing was open the way I came in). He said I should go that way anyway, to see the pier. So I did.

First I went to the pub, where I found a woman who sold me water, said she’d been here 20 years, and suggested I go down the pier if I want to see a big saltie (a salt water crocodile – the ones that eat people). She also told me the sun sets at 4:30 around there, which gave me cause to get cracking – the roo-sters would be out before I knew it!!

So. I went to the pier and found this guy fishing. We had a nice chat. He was very sweet:
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he said the croc basically hangs out near the wooden pier where this other crazy was fishing:
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apparently the woman in the pub lives in a boat on the river, and there’s a bit saltie that’s been following her out on her small rowboat every night. ew. He also said if I wanted to see salties, best thing to do was come down at night with a torch. They all come out and lay their bellies on the shore. If you shine your torch at them, their eyes glow orange. You can see rows and rows of eyes all along there at night… another place was at the old meat works. apparently it’s been croc-infested for years…

So I left without seeing a saltie. No doubt I’ll have plenty of opportunities once I hit the Northern Territory. My priority now was getting home before the roos came out. OK, they may be wallabies here, but wallabies, roo-sters, either was disastrous if hit. The cattle was also a problem around here, so I needed to be super vigilant.

The sun was still way up in the sky when I got to the turnoff for The Grotto, so I thought I’d sneak a quick look:
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see the man-made steps going down. There are apparently 146. I’m not sure this swoony blouse would have made it back up in the heat to be honest, so it was good I didn’t head in there earlier, on my way to the Lookout and Wyndham:
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apparently it’s sublime once you get down there…
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when I got back to Kimberleyland (don’t you love that name), I thought I’d better get cracking to see the catfish at the pumphouse.. Live music and pizzas, how wrong could it be?

The sunset was stunning: IMG_3055.PNG
the catfish hard to see, but great: <a href="https://grrrrty.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/img_3054.png"&gt;IMG_3054.PNG
and the music and ambience so atrocious that I left as soon as the pics were snapped. How wrong could they get it? Very wrong it seems…

Day 54: 648km Fitzroy Crossing to Kununurra

sometimes I write stuff and it simply disappears… I started drafting this post when I was cooling down at Warmun (yep, it really is called Warmun). Today was a travel day. A much better one than the last one :) Nothing broke, nothing flew off my bike, I handled the heat well and ended up in the Kimberlyland Caravan Park at Kununurra at a reasonable time. A cabin with aircon please… I don’t think I can handle camp after long day’s riding in the heat, unless my destination is a national park. It was a good choice. Even though I slept for a bit at Warmun (taking a break between 12 and 2), I was still mighty hot and tired, so I showered and slept and went for dinner at the Pumphouse, then came back and slept some more. Bliss.

Lots of things happened throughout the day, but I kind of can’t remember them because right now I need to sleep some more :) I will hopefully come back to this, though I have a lot of writing to be doing right now, so it’s taking my focus whenever I have free time to write… (and I don’t officially start work until December!)