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.
What to do on our last day here? Go to the best Dog Park we’ve ever found.
Go to the Laneway Coffee, in Parap where Alex amused himself on Thursday when I went around the market. We needed a nice cool drink after the effort at the Dog Park….well, I did, Alex enjoyed a coffee but I had an exotic Passionfruit Soda.
After our Laneway break we filled the car with fuel because the price had dipped a little, 215.7, then drove around the seaside suburbs of Darwin. It was cool in the car. 🙂
I put a sprinkler on our site this afternoon and lots of birds came to fly through it then perch up in one of the trees. I think the bird in the photo below is a Collared Sparrow Hawk, maybe it was hoping to catch one of the little birds for dinner.
We had a date for 5:00 at the Mindil Beach Markets. We found a park that would allow us to get out easily then found a shady tree to sit under while we waited until 5:00. Alex looked around the Market first then I went in, Fergus was denied the pleasure.
There were no seats so I perched on part of the tree base that was flat and watched the drop-offs happening. Ubers, Taxis, mini buses and maxi buses all went around the loop. A man asked me if I knew where the ATM was, I had no idea. It’s difficult to imagine an ATM in that location, the only solid structure I could see was the toilet block. He ranted that the Uber is supposed to come right to you with your phone but instead the driver was telling the man he was near the ATM. I pointed out where all the Ubers etc were dropping people off and yes, his driver was waiting for him there. Hoardes of people got out of two AAT big red buses and made their way into the Market.
Now comes the reason for us being there.
There was too much in my serve for me but Alex was able to go back to another stall for Churro with Chocolate Sauce.
Tomorrow we start going south though only as far as Berry Springs where the temperatures are forecast to be 34 and 14 so maybe we’ll need more than a sheet and thin blanket overnight.
I wanted to see what was at the Parap Markets so that was our first place of call this morning. There was a wonderful array of fruits and vegetables. The Laksa and Kebabs must have been great because the lines were long. I couldn’t believe the Smoothies etc on offer at one stall but managed to decide on one.
Another place we visited today was East Point, there seemed to be something special on because there was a military band playing and marching going on. We didn’t want to go and see any displays but Alex did investigate a Naval Defence gun emplacement, that was enormous, and we saw a VTOL plane on display. ( Vertical Take Off and Landing)
Lake Alexander is part of the Reserve and that was beautiful. I was taking a photo of a bird when there was a loud splash which made me whip around because I thought it was a crocodile! It wasn’t. Somebody had dived in and was swimming leisurely so I presume there are no crocs in the lake. There are good views of the city from East Point and there was an interesting sculpture of Box Jelly Fish.
We decided that the Botanic Gardens would be a cool place so we went there, dogs are allowed! The first thing we saw after we parked the car was a Community Garden where people pay for a plot. A man was working on his plot and I think appreciated taking a break to talk. He said the first garden bed had taken him only a day to complete, the next about a week because the weather had warmed up. He was working on his third bed and said it was taking forever because of the rocks he kept encountering and the hotter days. The beds were filled with compost he’d bought by the trailer load. Around the edge of his bed he planted HOT Chillis because he said people stole things they could reach and he was giving them a surprise with Carolina Reapers, one of the hottest Chillis you get.
City buildings all seem nice and bright, even new looking whatever their age.
Almost anywhere you are in the city you can see a mural.
I didn’t do very well with wildlife today. The Orange Footed Scrub Fowls like to scratch about in leaf litter also in newly dug garden beds just after seeds have been planted according to the Community Gardener, so they’re difficult to get well lit.