Day 40 Darwin to Berry Springs
Because we’ve appreciated having the shade of the annexe and it’s been hot until late we decided not to pack it up yesterday afternoon unfortunately this morning we packed up a wet camper. Not wet from rain but from condensation. Luckily the bedding wasn’t affected. Alex did get more than a shower though when we started putting the canvas up again!
When we booked this site the Receptionist told Alex to arrive before 12:00, often they say don’t arrive before 2:00. We’re very glad that we arrived early because we had the pick of four shady sites, they don’t seem to allocate sites to people, you find your site when you get here. We stayed here about 20 years ago and can identify the spot despite all the additions that have been constructed over the years.
After we were set up we drove out to Darwin River which didn’t appeal at all as a destination but along the way I saw parts of the river the way I remembered them. We swam down some of them then but haven’t done more than put our toes in the water this time. At one spot there were the remains of a big concrete viaduct which must have been from the old Darwin to Birdum line that close in 1976.
After a fire has gone through this countryside the Tree Ferns quickly send out brilliant green fronds, in amazing contrast to the black trunks of trees.
We went back to the Berry Springs Tavern for a cool drink. The seats and tables in the Tavern were cleverly made.
On the way back we passed a farm cultivating Bamboo, I think you could sit and watch it grow.
There are several tracks down to the river here and the first one we investigated is to a spot where the seawater meets the freshwater of the Darwin River.
The river is affected by tides and during WW11 a small wall was built to try and stop the saltwater contaminating the fresh but yesterday was a high tide and seawater came over the wall. When we were at the billabong Alex spotted a Mertens’ Water Monitor it was only little and soon splashed back into the water. We stepped back though when a bigger one came up out of the water towards us, maybe it fancied Fergus. The claws on them are scary.
In the campground at Tumbling Waters there is a crocodile enclosure and we were able to wander through it because there’s a raised boardwalk. We saw a lot of tiny tortoises, one bigger one covered in algae that seemed to think we’d feed it and a couple of Herons. While we were watching one caught a frog and swallowed it. We were wondering if the one Freshwater Crocodile we saw was actually alive until it opened one eye a little.
We’re all set to relax here for a few days now, I’m sure we’ll go to see the movie on Wednesday night both smelling delightfully of Bushman’s insect repellent.