Tête en bas

Down under wandering. Archipelagoes to islands; beaches to deserts; mountains to cities.

Darwin Airport


  • English: Darwin Airport
  • Français: Darwin Airport

An interesting experience is waiting for me on the following day. I’ve been saying for a little while that I was going to use my swag as a backpack when I’ll leave Australia. It was a nice thing to say, but I still had to try it. So I tried.

It worked well. Little bit big, but it’s still working. I’m not sure how heavy the swag is. I’ve 25 kg allowed with Jetstar, and 30 after Singapore with Saoudic Airline. I think that it’s going to be okay.

We have a last breakfast with Jaap and Louise, before jumping in the car, heading back to Darwin. We don’t have to say bye. They have to go to Darwin too, and will stop at the airport.

We don’t have any problem on the way back, and the car is back a little while after that. We’ve driven 530 kilometers. That’s okay. We are at the airport. We are ready. We are waiting.

Japp and Louise arrive a little bit later. Hripsime’s flight is at 4:10. Mine at 6:20. I can drop my swag early. To discover that it weight 28 kilos. “So, it’s 75$ for the 3 extra kilos. 25$ per kilos with Jetstar”. I look at the girl who’s telling me that. “Hum… do you mind if I come back in 10 minutes?” “Of course not”. I go outside of the airport, unroll the swag. There’s my photo tripod inside. That’s heavy. I also remove two pieces of cloths, just in case. Come back to the counter. “24,5 kilos. Perfect”. I just have a little question. Between Bali and Sydney, Jetstar told me that it was out of question that I carry my flute with me. It was a 1m long piece of bamboo. So a really dangerous weapon. But what about my tripod? “A tripod is a piece of photographic equipment, you can take it with you, no problem”. Perfect… a 3 kilos metallic telescopic tripod is way less dangerous than a flute. Maybe, one day, I will understand flight companies…

We finally say goodbye to Jaap and Louise. This time for good. We’re not going to see them before a long long time. I go through the security check with Hripsime, before we start waiting again. It’s strange. It’s not the first time I’m with a friend in an airport. But it’s the first time I’m waiting with someone I know… while we are taking two different flights!

It’s time for Hripsime to go. It’s always strange to say goodbye to someone with whom you’ve been almost continuously for a little bit more than one month. Well, we know we’ll see each other in France and Italia in october. Still strange…

I’m alone in the airport. I look. I wait. I don’t realize that I’m leaving. It’s a strange feeling. And finally, it’s time for me to board the plane. I’m trying to understand what I’m doing in a place… I guess that Singapore is waiting for me now…

The white wine problem


  • English: The white wine problem
  • Français: The white wine problem

The next day is a strange one, as we don’t have anything left to do. Hripsimé is waiting for her flight with impatience, looking forward to be in Indonesia. I understand her.

We drive to Batchelor, a little village at the entrance to Litchfield. There’s a power plug where we can charge our computer, and we also have internet access. We take our time, and that give us an idea “what about doing some washing!”. Great idea. We drive around, trying to find a laundromat, without any result. Until I see this giant campground. We get in without asking any question, find a machine, and start our cleaning, waiting quietly. There’s one of the guy of the campground who’s doing lot of thing around, without specially looking at us. Until he stops. “hey, are you staying in the campground?” ” Well… no” “What are you doing here then?” “Just washing some clothes” “but you can’t do that! You’ll have to leave as soon as it’s finish” “ok”. When the machine finished the cleaning, we start packing our wet clothes. We’ll find a sunny spot to dry them. But the guy from the campground come back. “Take your time, don’t worry. You can use the line if you want”. Ah… ok… great. Thanks!

The deal, when we sold Minma, included two bottles of white wine. I did my best to take care of the first one, but Hripsimé didn’t really help me, and I would not be able to drink both of them just by myself. Knowing how helpful are Jaap and Louise, we’ve decided to ask them for some help. In there great kindness, they accept without hesitating. We’ll meet them the next day. We though they were still sought, but they tell us that they will be close to Berry Springs tomorrow, to stop in a campground in the area. That’s perfect for us too. We go back to the spring, and enjoy an other swim.

In the evening, we find a nice little campground, quiet, and not to expensive.

We meet Jaap and Louise the next morning, just after they arrive at the campground. They are switching the bus to a “long time stay”, as they have friend coming in a few days. They are planning to stay here for one week. We spend the beginning of the afternoon talking with them, before going back to Berry Springs. It’s saturday afternoon. There’s more people, but it’s still nice. I’m having fun with my fine, practicing some free diving. We stay in the water for a while, before we decide to come back, trying to solve this white wine problem.

And as usual, we just enjoy a great evening with Jaap and Louise.

Florence Falls


  • English: Florence Falls
  • Français: Florence Falls

The next morning, the termites are waiting for us. An other ranger talk in order to know more about those strange little creatures about whom I don’t know any thing. There will be actually two rangers. Explanations are interesting. I forget most of them… a termite queen can live up to 50 years old, doing 3000 eggs per day. As I’m a nice guy, I’ve done the maths. It means 55 billions eggs per queen. At the same time, as I’m writing, I’m doubtful. Fifty years old, for an insect, sounds a lot. Maybe I misunderstood. 5 years ? 15 years ? Information to be confirmed…

Any way… despite most believed idea, termites are really important in Litchfield. Because of the weather, temperature, aridness of the country, there’s no big animals living here. No big animals means no addition to the soil in order to help the circle of life to keep on turning. That’s not a problem. Termites are called “Litchfield Cow”. They do the job. They are everywhere. They are more than enough.

We thank our friendly ranger, before driving back to discover the amazing Tolmer Fall. It’s more the place than the fall by itself who’s amazing. I love this place a lot.

One more time, our program is really light. We’re heading to the next falls, Florence Falls, where we can have a swim. After a quick stop in a rock hole, we park the car at Florence Falls campground, and walk down slowly to the falls.

We arrive in an other piece of paradise, with those two falls in the middle of this great cliff. One is strong, the other one is more peaceful, like a shower. One more time, the temperature is just perfect. Water cools me done, and swimming is just perfect. I take a little shower under the lighter falls. Water is cold, it’s hard to breath, but the feeling is just amazing. The two rangers come back a little bit later to check that everything is okay. We share a smile, and they leave again.

Enjoying the freshness, one more time, and equipped with our books to fight again this hard afternoon program. It doesn’t last for long. My book is over. We start thinking about what we should do with all this free time. What to do this afternoon… Walking back to the car. Take a nap. Cooking. Take a nap. Watch a moving. Take a nap. Sounds like a great plan.

I see for the side of my eye this guy, little bit old, who doesn’t seems to be feeling well. An other guy gives him advice. “Wait until you feel better to start climbing again”. He, indeed, doesn’t seems to feel really good. We’re about to start the walk back, when we look at us. “Do you need help?”. “May be”. It’s her wife who answer. Her husband slipped on a rock, and hurt is knee. He can’t walk anymore. What should we do… we start thinking about helping him to walk, but it’s just impossible. The woman is really stressed. I remember those blue box that are spread all over the parks. There’s probably one at the campground. They’re used to contact the emergency service. I offer to go back to the parking to call, but the guy insist that his wife goes. Anyway, I won’t let her go alone. Hripsime follows. Adrenaline is working well: she climbs the 165 steps at a really impressive speed. We find a blue box. Try to call. Few times. No success. There’s no cell phone reception neither. A few young guy are hanging around. We explain them the problem. They have a HFS radio. Once again, no signal. Last attempt: there’s a bus tour a little bit further. I show it to the woman: “You should ask the guide, they might have what it takes to communicate”. She goes there and come back. “She’s going to call at the next blue box. She gave me this first aid box while we wait”.

We walked back to the falls. Malita is still really stressed. We don’t have any thing to do, and she seems to really appreciate our company, as we manage to help her to think to something else. Back to the falls, Joe is still there. We start talking. He seems embarrassed. “You’re in holiday, I don’t want to mess with your plan, you don’t have to stay”. We explain him that we absolutely have no plan, and that we are happy to stay with them. They are really friendly. We’re wondering how we will help Joe to climb the stairs. I bet on a stretcher. He would prefer an helicopter, much more romantic according to him. But the place doesn’t really fit for that.

A ranger finally arrive. One of the termites one. She joins the talk, as we still have to wait for the second ranger to arrive with the stretcher, and the young we’ve met on the parking. They volunteer to help us. Joe is even more embarrassed, but there’s not really any other option. He weights 100 kilos, and even if we are six to carry the stretcher, it’s quite hard. We forget about the stairs. Too hard. There’s an other path, heading to a campground reachable only on a 4WD. It will be easier.

We’re not walking fast, and we stop really often. A nurse arrive a little bit later, carrying crutches. She stays for a little while, to check if Joe walks ok. “We are only two nurses for the emergency, so as it doesn’t seem too bad, I have to go”. Joe is doing is best. As the stretcher doesn’t need to be carried anymore, almost everybody disappear, except two rangers, Hripsime and I. I help Joe as much as I can, stoping him to fall a few time. I don’t understand why everybody has left…

After a really long walk -Joe’s not going very fast- we finally reach the campground. No one’s here for us. We’ll understand later that there was a misunderstanding. The nurse though we were coming back with the rangers, the rangers though we were coming back with the nurse. We stay for quite a while, waiting, before a car finally bring us back to the campground.

Joe and Malita warmly thank us. They are embarrassed that they have taken so much of our time. They would like to thank us, but they can’t. What I don’t tell them, is that it’s okay for me. I have an other anecdote to put in my next book. I love those kind of meeting, see how people interact and act. It’s always a really interesting sociologic exercise, and I love that.

We’re finally back to the campground, cooking with the light of the car. Since we’ve sold Minma, we don’t have any thing left to cook. Only two plastic spoons. But we manage well. Our neighbors feel guilty and offer us a light, but we’re really happy with our really simple tools.

Lazy day in Litchfield


  • English: Lazy day in Litchfield
  • Français: Lazy day in Litchfield

We sleep well, with no one to wake us. We’re kind of in the middle of nowhere, no real reason for a ranger to come. The day start slowly with a walk on the river side.

Back on the road, to stop a few kilometers later, to discover an other little fall.

The day is still young, but it’s already really hot, so we choose an audacious program, heading to Wangi Falls, for the second time. But this time, early enough. We book our place by leaving the car, and walk to the falls. There’s lot of people talking, drinking, swimming. We’re more courageous. We’re laying on the water, reading.

At the end of the day, we just walk back to the campground, to go to bed, after this hard day.

Berry Springs, on the way to Litchfield


  • English: Berry Springs, on the way to Litchfield
  • Français: Berry Springs, on the way to Litchfield

We’ve got 5 days and 500 kilometers free to discover Litchfield. That’s more than enough, and we now that we’ll be able to do it as slow as we want. But even going slowly, it’s going to be hard to take so much time!

We have a first quick stop in an aboriginal shop. For what we red, we were expecting a cultural center, but at the end, it’s just an other place to buy painting, object, and didgeridoo. Still… there’s two giant didgeridoos that just look amazing. I ask if I can try them.

Usually, the bigger the didgeridoo, the biggest lungs you need, and circular breathing is usually really hard too. But those two are just perfect. The biggest is the best didge I’ve ever played. I’ve the feeling to play in a didge not bigger than mine, but with a sound a hundred time deeper. The kind of didgeridoo that puts you in a trance in only a few minutes, waking up the neighbor 10 kilometers from here. The effect is just amazing, and I start dreaming having such a great thing. It’s not for sell. Someone offers 10,000$ for it, they refuse. The other one is not as good, but you can buy it. For only 8,000$. Yes, a didge too can be really expensive. But when you play, it’s as comparing an electric keyboard to a grand piano. Anyway… I will leave my dream on the side for the moment, as we go back on the road.

In order to stop again, 15 minutes later. Berry Springs. Once again, on the picture, it looked nice. And it is. Quiet, not to many people, a little river between trees and palm trees. Water temperature: perfect. Cold enough to cool you down, warm enough so that you don’t have to worry about being cold.

We stay in the water for a little while. We love the place. You have to understand us: average temperature, in the afternoon, is between 30 et 34 degrees. We’re far from Alice Springs’ 25, that I’m almost missing!

We’re back on the road, heading to Litchfield again, when we arrive an hour after. We stop quickly to an old tin mine of no interest. We were planning to stop at the next campground, a bit further, but when we arrive, we discover that you have to carry your camping gear on at last 800 meters. My swag is heavy, and I prefer to take the lazy option, driving to the next campground. We arrive at Wangi Falls just on time to see the amazing color of the sunset on the amazing cliff and waterfall. And also to discover a full campground. We though of sleeping on the parking for a little while, but we would probably be awaken by an angry ranger, so we drive back to the first campground. Where we do sleep on the parking.

Farewell Minma!


  • English: Farewell Minma!
  • Français: Farewell Minma!

Darwin area is usually known as “Top End”. When you arrive there, you don’t have any other choice to turn back, or to jump in a plane or in a boat. It took me a while to think about what was going to be my trip after Darwin. I didn’t have lot of choice:
– stay in Darwin, and find a job
– turn back and start driving the west coast
– turn back and start driving the east coast
– trying to beat the world record of the most return trip along the Stuart Highay.

I realize that I’ve been almost always traveling with someone since I left Melbourne. DIdn’t have much time just by myself. Once Hripsimé in the plane, I discover that I would prefer to go on by myself for a little while. And, unfortunately for Minma, it could be quite hard for me to pay for her gas need if I was the only passenger. I’ve decided to put an ad, in order to sell her. I would keep on traveling. A different way. I do have a couple of idea for after that…

We’ve just left the bus when my phone rang. “Hi, yes, I’m calling because I’m interested to buy your car. Is it possible to have a look on it today, because we’re leaving Darwin tomorrow”. Small chat with Hripsimé. We’re not so far from Darwin, so why not… then, we can just rent a car for a few days, to see Litchfield, as we first planed.

We arrive in Darwin two hours later. The car is parked in the street, with small sheet of payer saying “for sale”. Five minutes after, a guy stop. He wants to buy me a cigaret for 2 dollars. Then, he sees Minma, and ofter me a thousand dollars to buy it. Doesn’t worst more than that for him. I politely decline. An other five minutes pass. Three germans come. “Is your car for sale it might be our lucky day”. It’s 3 PM in the afternoon. We talk for a while, they ask questions, they seems really interested, until come the price question. I’m not a good bargainer. I don’t want to make thing complicate. Now that I’m in Darwin to sell Minma, I don’t want to take three days for that. I lower the price a little bit more that I should have, but anyway, they are ready to buy it. But the next step is just hips of complication, as they finally come back with lot of question, hesitation, worrying, that took, at the end, more than two hours. Enough for me to almost change my mind and try to find someone else. But finally, paper are signed, and Minma is not mine any more. I invite Hripsimé in a restaurant to celebrate the transaction. We are in a Thai restaurant, which is actually a really good one. Unfortunately, we arrive there late -yes, took a really long time to sell the car- and the kitchen are closing soon. Not everything is available on the menu. But it’s not a real problem, as the food we had was just awesome.

As we don’t have Minma anymore to drive us in a quiet outside place full of stars, we end up in a room in a noisy hostel, staring at a white roof. I’m already missing the night in the swag. Fortunately, I didn’t sell it with the car. I’m just a little bit bigger than usual when staving!

Heading north via the Douglas Hot Springs


  • English: Heading north via the Douglas Hot Springs
  • Français: Heading north via the Douglas Hot Springs

This trip is an mix of new discoveries and coming back to place I already knew, and I really enjoy that.

Jaab and Louise came back from their little trip. They liked the swag experience. Liked less the mosquito visiting them during the night. Till now, we didn’t have any mosquito problem. Hope this is going to last!

We tell us good bye one more time. Could be for good this time, but that’s still hard to believe. We’re still having the same program, almost at the same speed. So we’ll probably meet them again.

We were planing to stop in Pine Creek to buy the last lettuce, but today is a public holiday. Australian love public holidays, and they always have good reason to have them. Few weeks ago, it was Alice Springs show. Two weeks ago, it was Katherine show. You’ve guess well, today it’s a public holiday because of Darwin Show.

THe bad news is not really that we will be limited with the food, but more that we’re going to arrive in Douglas Hot Springs during a long week end. As it was already the case when I came here for the first time. I would love to see this place quiet…

It won’t happen this time. It took us a little while to finally find a spot as the campground seems completely full. But we manage to sneak between a few cars, in order to find a place just for us.

We are waking up the next day by the guy who’s checking if we’ve paid the campground. We have -oops- forget one more time. Hripsimé starts her day with her daily yoga practice, while I’m doing a little bit of staff, without much enthusiasm. The last few days had not been really positive, yet I don’t know why.

After a good breakfast, we go for a little visit of the hot spring. Other reason to be disappointed: the water is to hot. Hotter, I think, that the last time I was there. We didn’t even want to swim, as it’s not comfortable. Instead, we just follow the river downstream for a little while, and stop in the sun. Nap time.

The day keeps on going on the same slow and quiet pace, not doing anything. It’s a total luck that I see Jaap and Louise car as they arrive to the springs. They found a place to park the bus, and they’re just coming to enjoy the water. We talk a little bit, before adding an other good bye to all the previous one. Hripsimé and I just finish diner, before going to bed. We still decide to give the hot spring a last try, but they are still to hot. Shame.

We decide to leave on the next morning. The group beside us -a dozen of person- starts unbuilding there camp (table, tent, shower, fabric….) before we even wake up. When we finally leave, they are finishing there job. We had the time to relax, Hripsimé practiced her yoga, we had a long breakfast, we talked, I rolled the swag… I’m trying to understand. On a three days weeks end, they need half a day to dismount everything. They probably need the same amount of time to set up everything. Maybe even more. Of course, there’s the traffic to go back to Darwin, so they have to leave early in the afternoon on sunday. They also had to put all the thing in the car, and they still have to empty the car. Altogether, there 3 days week end was probably 2 days of preparation, and 1 day and a half relaxing, resting, and enjoying. Doesn’t sounds like a good deal for me…

We’re back on the road, heading north, planning to stop at Adelaide River to buy some more food. But on the way, we stop first at a small waterfall that was on the way.

Back on the road, we drive for 15 ams, before we spot the Spirit of Curiosity parked on the side of the road. Easy to spot. We decide, of course, to stop to say “hi”. “Hi” that last all evening. Shops are close in Adelaide River too anyway, so we’ll just wait until the next day to go to Litchfield National Park.

Gunlom


  • English: Gunlom
  • Français: Gunlom

There was this guided walk, this morning, at Gunlom. We were 30 km from the entrance of Kakadu. There was then an other 45 km to drive, including 37 on gravel road to get there. It was appealing. But it was at 8:30. That would have mean a morning stress that we finally decide to avoid, even if we kept the idea to go at Gunlom. We arrived there a little bit before noon. The english name for this place is “Waterfall Creek”. Because of that, we were expecting to see a waterfall. It was there, in deed. Mostly quiet, during the dry season. I image it way more impressive during the wet season.

For the anecdote, we talked crocodile quite a while during this day, and we’ve decided to watch Crocodile Dundee during the evening. Gunlom is actually the place where Mike Dundee has been attacked by the crocodile, and where he came back later with the american blond journalist. The park is doing a lot of survey, after the wet season. They have never found any Saltwater Crocodile around here. That’s the one who’s dangerous. There’s seldom Freshwater Crocodile. Smaller, shier, and not dangerous as long as you don’t annoy him. Still, I was quite surprise to discover that this movie -according to my own limited knowledge- was actually quite accurate. At the question “what do you think of aboriginal claim to have there land back?”, Mike answer sounds true: “aboriginal don’t own the land. Land owns aboriginal”. Of course, it might be a trick of the movie maker to avoid a very sensitive question, but still… the answer is really interesting.

Once you’ve seen the waterfall from under, you can see it from above, climbing to an amazing viewpoint over everywhere. Occasion also to find this little sign explaining that for aboriginal, this land is known as “the sickness country”. Some place are sacred/forbidden, because they make people sick. For white man, on the other hand, they are known as really important uranium mine…

View form the top is amazing, and the place is actually pretty quite, even if there’s a few tourist. Hripsimé enjoys the water while I’m taking a nap contest with a lizard, but he win without any effort…

Curiosity encourages me to have a look over the next small fall. Climbing is not a big issue, and allows me to discover a little piece of paradise. With absolutely no one this time. Hripsime follows me. The small gorge, over there, is so tempting, that I don’t even hesitate before jumping into the water. I don’t have a waterproof camera anymore, and I’m annoyed by that, but can’t do anything anyway. Water seems to be deep. It’s dark. Can’t really see anything. It’s good to know that we’re not going to meet any big crocs here, and that the small one, if there’s some, will avoid us anyway. We climb a small rock. Hripsimé frightened me when she slips, and fall straight into the water. Without hurting herself, fortunately. At the en of the gorge, there’s a small waterfall, completing this little paradise. We’re surrounded by rocks. The sound is amazing. We stay a little while, enjoying the place, before swimming back. Just at the perfect timing: there’s now half a dozen people wandering around.

Time to dry in the sun and to climb down to the car, there’s an other guided walk in half an hour, and we decide to do it. We didn’t really learn anything interesting, except that we are in a “wetland”. During wet season, we would be under 2 or 3 meters of water. I invite you to slide up to the picture where Hripsimé is meditating on the rock, and to imagine that all those tree, over there, are in the water. Hard to think, isn’t it?

The walk over, we go back to the car. By night, the road took ages, but we finally manage to go back to the bus, where the dogs are waiting for us, trying to make us feel guilty. Yes, we know, we’re coming back a little bit late.

Umbrawarra Gorges


  • English: Umbrawarra Gorges
  • Français: Umbrawarra Gorges

As usual, we take our time in the morning, to enjoy the small lake in the campground. Quiet swimming, nap in the sun, relaxation, before going back on the road. Long drives are behind us now. I’m always happy to drive slowly, but it’s better when you have only a 100 kilometers to drive than 500. Specially when you’re driving 90 km/h. If the previous owner of Minma told me to expect around12 liters per 100 km, I’m just over 9, and really happy with that!

We meet again with Jaab and Louise. Spirit is already there, waiting for us, ready to give us all is comfort. We spent an other nice time chatting, and learning a couple of useful information about the bus. We have a 500 litters tank of fresh water. Should be alright. Jaab also told me that they have a 500 litters grey water tank, and a tank almost the same size for the fuel. Weight variation of the Spirit can be quiet impressive!

And Hripsimé told me that neither Jaab or Louise have ever slept in a swag. She’s australian, he’s been living in Australia for 10 years, it’s time that a french quebecer help them to discover a new way of life! I offer them to experience the swag for the next few days, and they accept with pleasure. Not only the experience, they also think about the time they will save not building and packing the tent.

I won’t have a swag for the next few days, but my intention is not to sleep inside the bus. You don’t really need a swag to sleep on a terrace. I don’t feel like I want to tell bye to my stars yet.

But we did say good bye to Jaap and Louise the next morning, ending up with a giant bus just for us. My old “Pourquoi Pas ?” would have fit just in the trailer…

We took the first day relax, but the next day, we’re heading to Umbrawarra Gorges. It was just a little dot on the map. Dot I only see because I was checking what was close to the place where the bus was park, so that we can have one day trip. Seems that it’s beautiful. We will see.

Access to the gorges is via a non sealed road, but still accessible for 2WD vehicle. At least, that what they say… 10 minutes after leaving the main road, a river crosses the road. I stop the engine. Walk a little bit in the water. It’s not that wide, but I do have water to the knee. Seems a little bit to deep for a normal car. I hesitate, looking Minma. For what I know, the only risk is to drown the engine. In this case, you just have to wait until the car dry. Yes, but if the engine stop while in the water… well, it’s going to be more complicate to dry the car! We’ll have to wait until the next 4WD to save us. Why not… let’s take the risk and give it a try. With a little bit of speed, it should be okay… I ask Hripsimé, on the other side of the river, to immortalize the moment.

Minma cross the river without any problem, and start climbing the other side. The back whipper starts with no reason. Engine start coughing. Cough again. More. I stop the car, put in on neutral, press the gas trying to wake it. Pof pof pof. Silence. The car is down. I open the engine, have a look. It’s hot and wet inside.

It’s not a problem. I trust Minma. We wait for a little while. Ten minutes later, I start the engine again. Little bit of coughing again, but the engine start again. Quietly. Press the gas. Minma is running again. She’s happy of what she just did. I don’t tell her that we’ll have to do the same thing on the way back. Not yet. It will be a surprise for later. The back whipper still works. He finally decides to stop 15 minutes later.

We’re finally at the gorges. There’s a van on the campground. That’s all. We start walking. The place is gorgeous. Like everywhere in this part of Australia, it’s an amazing mix of colors. Orange and red of the rocks, green of the trees, blue of the sky. Here, you can also add the pink and purple of some stones, and the water, with it’s muddy green to amazing turquoise.

We meet a old couple at some point. The van owner. That’s all. We have the gorges all for ourselves. We just have to share them with the locals.

We’re really happy. The place worth the detour and the adventure. The river is still waiting for us on the way back. Taking some speed, crossing with no problem, Minma doesn’t stop. Still running. Well… maybe… pof pof pof… no, she asks for an other break.

Ten minutes later, she’s on again. The back window will be perfectly clean. We arrive in Pine Creek, thinking we could find a grocery to buy some more food, but the only place where we can find something has two broccolis, two lettuce, and one sweat potatoes. We’ll have to find an other solution.

Back to the bus a little bit later, Boris and Zilla are waiting for us!

Katherine and Edith


  • English: Katherine and Edith
  • Français: Katherine and Edith

Finding Jaab and Louise was not really complicate, as soon as they told us in which campground we should have a look. The Spirit of Curiosity is quite hard to miss! We still take some tome to discover a few place in Katherine I haven’t discovered yet, confirming that I really enjoy this place. Little piece of paradise, not really known. Exactly as I like them.

One more time, we had a really nice evening with Jaab and Louise. I hadn’t realize that the bus, in addition of a pop-up top with a small electronic keyboard in it, also have a nice little terrace. I guess that having a barbie on a terrace on the top of a bus is an experience to live at least once!

We share our project again the following morning as we also share the breakie. We’re still heading the same way. They are planning to leave the bus for a few days, in a place where people can take care of there dogs. ’cause they are traveling with Boris and Zilla, who are not allowed in national park, which is not alway practical. Unfortunately, the guys who were supposed to take care of the dogs cancel without explaining why, and they have only one solution left: leaving the bus and the dog at the entrance of the park, and do one day trip inside the park. I had a short and quick talk with Hripsimé, arriving to the same conclusion. “If you want, we can take care of that. Hripsimé will be dog-sitting and I will be bus-sitting”. They look at each other. They like the solution, but they don’t want to ask us to stay a few days at the same place. “If it’s three days, we take one easy, and we have two small day trips in the area”. We’re enthusiastic enough to convince them, and we decide to meet the next day, in a rest area, half way between Pice Creek and Kakadu. The place seems perfect. We’re back on the road, heading north.

I really enjoyed my stop at Edith Falls, while I was driving back to Katherine after my short stay at the Douglas Hot Springs. I didn’t have much time, but still enough to have a small walk and a swim. For the last few days, Hripsimé has been looking to swim as much as possible. Considering the quick rise of the temperature as we are heading north, I totally understand her need, that I share. And I really want to see the falls again, taking all my time. And there is the campground, who seems really quiet.

The place is as amazing as the first time. Even better, as I’m not in a hurry. I jump into the water without any problem. It’s not That cold, but still, it’s a small personal victory one more time.

We walk back to the campground, to discover a “campground full, do not enter” gate. We have a small hesitation. Not too long. We push the gate. Minma is not that big, and we find her a spot easily beside a big campervan. Swag enroll quickly after that with the stars, as usual, waiting for us.

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