10 July, 2007

Final Statistics

Back home, some final statistics may be of some interest.

In the 28 day holiday, we travelled a total of 4690km in our 4WD Campervan, the biggest day being 528km on 27 June, the drive from Lake Argyle back to Katherine. We spent $A894 of diesel for the guzzler.

The costs of renting the data satellite service were $572, and transmission costs were $497, making this a quite expensive blog, no?

We travelled on frequent flyer points to Darwin (so only had to pay the extortionate taxes), and the total cost per day of the holiday to us was $375, including the RBGAN and the campervan.

We will resume updating this blog when we do our round the world trip starting in December 2007. Au revoir!

02 July, 2007

Fireworks and Return to Darwin

Sunday night we had a great time at the Batchelor Oval, watching the Territory Day fireworks. Seems like the whole town turned out, and there was the usual "sausage sizzle" run by the Batchelor School. The crackers were very good, funded by the state government, and the mayor gave a short address. The kids in our campground also let a few crackers off, but we settled down to our usual silence and had a peaceful night.

Monday, here we are all checked in to our hotel, in downtown Darwin. The truck has been returned to the Apollo depot, and our camping gear disposed of. The day is very hot, as usual here, and we look forward to some good meals, and a bit of relaxation before we start the long trip home, via The Alice.

01 July, 2007

Beautiful Litchfield

Sunday, Territory Day! After a peaceful night, quite cool, we drove a few k's down the road into Litchfield National Park, to Wangi Falls. Well, what a delightful place! Being early, we managed to be the only ones in the beautiful pool, at the bottom of two waterfalls. It's hard work, swimming upstream to get under a waterfall. We really enjoyed the cool, crystal water this morning. (Photo of us in the pool here.) As we were leaving, crowds started to arrive, so we think we were lucky to have the pool to ourselves for a while. The sun gets onto the waterfall and the pool more in the afternoon, so that is probably the most popular time for Wangi Falls (it's "wan-guy", not "wan-jee" as Wangi in NSW is pronounced.)

We then headed down the 4WD track to Tjaynera Falls hoping to find some seclusion at these difficult to get at falls, but the river crossing we encountered was too deep and too murky and too wide to be braved on the day before we are to hand our truck back in, so we decided against it. We visited Tolmer Falls lookout, which overlooks the falls into a beautiful rockpool and gorge, but no swimming allowed here because of the rare bat species which live in the gorge.

Then we drove to Buley Waterholes, near Florence Falls where we swam yesterday. Again, we were delighted to see several small cascading falls with connecting pools. Some were very deep, and they were stunning, so in we went again. The waterholes were crowded - indeed the signs in the little car park say "if the car park is full, the waterholes are crowded, so come back another time". We got the last parking spot.

Litchfield is a great park, and so close to Darwin. No wonder it is so popular, but we were here on a Sunday. We have found the park very well managed, with excellent walking tracks to the sights. The park does not charge you to enter.

Now we have pulled up in the town of Batchelor, which is quite near to the old Rum Jungle mining site. A quiet, very green and tidy town, very small, does not seem to have the problems of some towns we have stopped at. Batchelor has a TAFE type college for aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students. Tonight, there is a fireworks display, on the Batchelor oval, to celebrate Territory Day. We will walk there from here. A fantastic last day for us, tomorrow it is back to Darwin, for a couple of days before we fly home.