Thursday, 11 July 2013

Darwin to Western Australia

Wangi Falls.
As we rode south, away from Darwin, I felt myself bunker down in the saddle, happy to be riding again. I could have ridden all day long and I didn’t really feel like visiting Litchfield National Park which was only an hour and a half down the road. Still we have come so far, and who knows if we will ever pass this way again, so I forced Devil (F650GS) to turn right and enjoy the run through the park to Wangi Falls. The road into the park twists and turns and tightens up, and is challenging for those who don’t wish to obey the 80km/hr speed limit. On one bend, a menacing tin top was half way into my lane before his forgiving front wheel drive vehicle brought him back onto his side of the road.

We found a good camp site at Wangi Falls and the $13.20 per night National Park camping fees made a welcome change to the $40 we paid in Darwin. The swimming hole at Wangi is dramatic beyond anything I could have imagined. The beauty of the twin falls tumbling 50 meters into a natural pool surrounded by palms and pandanas trees must be seen to be believed. Even though signposts said “fresh water crocodiles inhabit this area,” I joined hundreds of Darwin day-trippers and spent hours exploring the length and breadth of the 50 meter pool.

Steve, Jose, Jane & Pilar.
At Wangi Falls we met Jose Garcia and Pilar Moreno (Aventures En Moto). Jose has completed two Dakar rallies and now he is one year into an overland tour from Spain, on an R1200GS, two-up. From my king sized camp chair, I enjoyed watching their simple setup, knowing all along that I wouldn’t enjoy long term travel without the creature comforts of our big tent and a cold beer at the end of the day.

After three days fending off mosquitoes every time I went to the toilet, I wasn’t sorry to leave Litchfield. The part of Litchfield that we explored just seemed like a bunch of beautiful swimming holes and didn’t have the spiritual aspect that I found in Kakadu. Unfortunately I’d picked up an insect bite in Darwin which had formed into a ripening blister in the sweltering heat and was showing signs of infection under the skin. When the ranger did his rounds I showed him the bite and he said “Oh, are you sure that’s a mozzie or a sandfly?” The pharmacist in Katherine made a similar comment.

We spent a comfortable night in our little tent in Katherine and then we set off for Western Australia. I absolutely love these days on the road. It is a time when I am all alone, just me and my bike. My thoughts drift from admiring the stunning scenery and landscape, to things I have learnt along the way. I may recite a poem or sing a song. Sometimes I think of the folks back home and the ones who have passed on long ago. All the while I am smiling and every mile is like magic; therapy for the soul.

Only 3,500km from the border to home.
We felt like we had arrived in Western Australia about 200km before the border, when the landscape changed to what we have come to know as The Kimberley. We were quickly through the border quarantine inspection point and by 3pm we were relaxing in the infinity pool at Lake Argyle. Both the cold water and the sweeping views took our breath away; some folks spend two weeks convalescing in this spectacular man made attraction.

So here we are, back in our home state. By the clock it’s dark at 5:30pm; something we will have to get used to.

Lake Argyle.

No comments:

Post a Comment