Northern Territory

For something different, I went for a campervan for touring the NT. I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would, although I’m glad it was just me, it’s meant to take 2 adults and 2 (short) kids, but that would be a mare. Would go for a bigger one if there were 2 of you for sure. It’s great fun, there are no speed limits in the NT so you can really put your foot down, and there are so few cars that many drivers coming the other way will wave to say hello, if you can see them in time as they are coming at me even faster than I can go. I first went out to Kakadu national park, which is more for wildlife viewing than natural features really, but still very pleasant. Then I headed south east to Katherine national park, stopping off at the Edith Falls which has a plunge pool at the base you can swim in. Signs warn you that freshwater crocodiles live in there, but will not harm you unless you piss them off, but also salt water estuarine crocs can also enter undetected, and these will eat you. They advise you not to enter the water if you see an estuarine croc and report it to a ranger (like any tourist can tell the difference between that and a fresh water croc!)

I went swimming anyway, of course… Then I went to Katherine Gorge, then headed back up north to Litchfield national park for my last night, spending a night illegally camped in the middle of the bush on the way. I reckoned I was about 30 miles from the next nearest person, and the darkness was uncanny – there was no moon that night and stars aplenty. I was crapping my bed a bit though at every sound outside, thinking it would either be a pack of dingos or an Aboriginal tribe coming through in the night to sacrifice stray campers or something. Litchfield was my favourite place, with lots of waterfalls and stunning scenery and oppotunities to risk swimming with the crocs.

Last time I was in Oz I managed to kill a kangaroo with the car, this time I had to settle for just one bird, but I still get 15 points. I’ve just returned my little home and sniffed a little tear, it was nice to just pull over whenever you want a coffee, cook some food or grab a beer, as everything was on board, fridge, gas cooker, microwave, water etc. Now it’s back to real accommodation I suppose, I’ve taken the unusual step of calling ahead to Bali to book a hotel, as my guide book predates the bombing so I had to check that the places I wanted were not blown up, hmmm……. Killing a few hours in Darwin this evening before my very late flight to Bali tonight.

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