Friday, September 7, 2012

Road trip to Darwin

In news that probably surprises no one, I really missed driving during the first six weeks of my trip. So, it was nice to be behind the wheel again even if it was on the wrong side of the car. Three thousand kilometers later shifting with my left hand is pretty natural, but I still tend to turn the wipers on when I'm trying to signal.

I have a car!
We had a late start with paper work and buying food for the trip, but we made it out of Cairns and found open roads several hours before dark.

The first day of the drive was good road with fun curves and hills. 

Oscar and Ching setting up camp the first night.

A nice spot to sleep.

Our spagetti dinner.
The first of several really nice sunsets we saw. 
A blue moon rising. Seemed fitting for the trip.
Another shot of the moon.
The roads got both more desolate and interesting on the second day. 

There was a town in 120 km. After that town there was another sign "Kangaroos next 190 km." 

We made it to the NT early on the third morning. 
Speed limits in the NT are a bit more reasonable...

It's not like there was much to hit during the day!
The white lines getting longer...

Sunsets were great every night of the trip but we were in the town without Kangaroos the for sunset the second night. 

We had to hurry through the first part of the trip to get the more interesting places closer to Darwin. There was a catch though; we weren't supposed to drive at night because of kangaroos. It's more of a challenge to make a thousand kilometers a day without driving at night, but it worked out pretty well. We took the last three days pretty easy and toured around the highlights of the NT a bit.

Mataranka's Bitter Springs is a beautiful oasis in the outback dessert. 
The springs create a perfectly clear and prefect temperature steam for floating along in. 

Sunset near the Katherine Gorge
Lower cascades swimming hole in Litchfield NP

The signs explaining that they "manage" the crocodile risk are very encouraging... 

Wangi Falls
Climbing up for another jump. The local in the lower right showed me the route up and the best jumping spots. 

We got to Florence Falls a little late in the day for swimming. 

I've been in Darwin for a couple days now. In more news that probably surprises no one, I am really not cut out for tropical weather. Darwin is hot, humid and expensive. So I decided to head for the other side of Australia. I'm flying to Melbourne early Monday morning. I've heard Melbourne was voted the world's "nicest city to live in," so I figure I will spend at least a couple of days there.

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