Sometimes you don’t want to go back to a place because you want to remember it as it was - Id never gone back to the Northern Territory where I had the most amazing year ever living in ‘the outback’ with a short stint in Darwin. But here I was 33 years later and it was just fine. Things didn’t seem to have changed dramatically - there were skyscrapers now, and a suburb at Mandorah, which used to be bushland, but visiting old haunts like Fannie Bay and Casuarina beach wasn’t too stressful and a night at the yacht club was a great way to re-live some of the sunset memories.
Between engine servicing and a few boat fixes, like replacing the Raymarine chartplotters in the cockpit - kudos to Raymarine with their ‘no issues in getting that covered under warranty’ attitude, we managed to do some major provisioning. What seemed like hundreds of packets of favourite Aussie foods arrived at the boat - making the most of online shopping and delivery while we could - and got stacked and stored away. I have to say we are really lucky in having a Dufour in terms of storage. There is so much storage space it’s almost ridiculous - although some might object to my removing the wine racks from the wine cellar and turning it into a food cellar instead! Of course we also had to go get a new tender and outboard - one that didn’t make us croc bait - not that we were going to be in crocodile country again but hey…!
Finally we got to do a bit of exploring. I was pretty keen to get to Litchfield National Park because that didn’t even exist when I lived here. Kakadu did, and I was lucky enough to live out that way for a while, but Litchfield came into being in 1986 through an inspiring initiation by the Townsend family who used to have the lease of this ‘cattle country.’ You wouldn’t know it now - it is a magnificent showcase of what can be achieved in a relatively short time.
The park has it all! Swimming (yes you got me right there) under glorious spring-fed waterfalls and in crystal clear swimming holes, walking trails through the bush, and other cool things like the amazing magnetic termite mounds, a great 4wd track to the Tjaynera Falls, as well as a dash of historic ruins! What an amazing time - we walked and swam our legs off visiting many water holes via many trails as you can see from the pics!
A few days later, we found ourselves at Berry Springs - closer to Darwin it was only 50k to go for a swim this time! Well so we thought. Wouldn’t that be our luck. On arrival at these unbelievably beautiful (and gorgeous swimming) springs we were greeted with this……..
Yep sure enough - just our luck, a crafty salty croc, probably knowing easy bait could be here, had arrived the day before and they hadn’t managed to remove it yet. And if you want to know what we were missing out on, just take a look….oh well, that’s life in the Territory!!