18 August 2009

Top End - Part 1

This post will not be illustrated. I cannot get this computer to read my photos disk.

Eve and I have so far spent 2 weeks in the "Top End", the northernmost part of Northern Territory. It is currently the Dry. After several months without rain it will become the Wet, when there will be little else. It is also winter, although with the temperatures in the 30s Celcius every day, it is hard to believe that the Wet is actually hotter - and much more humid.

Although most of the extravagant rainfall of last summer has run into the sea, there is enough moisture left to support a modest but annoying population of mosquitoes and other nuisances of the order Insecta. It is probably due to a mossie bite that got infected that poor Eve is currently under doctor's orders.

After a day of sleepiness a rash appeared and her leg swelled. A local doctor diagnosed cellulitis and she has been filled with anitibiotics. These appear to be doing the trick, but part of the treatment is rest, so we have not been enjoying all the bush walks that are a feature of the national parks.

It took a couple of days to sort out a routine for the camper van. It is a venerable vehicle, with 280,000 kms on the odometer when we took delivery. So that's why it was the cheapest! However, we have added nearly 1,700 kms to that and so far the engine has run witout a hitch and fule consumption has actually been better than was advertised.

Our first week of real touring was to Kakadu, which hopefully will get a couple of posts with lots of illustrations when we next find a machine with a suitable, working disk drive.

We went back to Darwin and did some of the touristy things that the city has to offer, such as the beach market and an excellent museum. There are two rooms devoted to Cyclone Tracey. The audio recording of the winds, estimated to have reached 200 mph (300 kph) is most remarkable.

Eve was diagnosed before we left Darwin, so our visits to Litchfield Park and Edith Falls have been mostly 'drive and look'. But both destinations feature wonderful natural swimming holes with cool, refreshing water. Just the job for an infected leg.

We are currently in Katherine, which boasts hot springs. The water flows at a constant 32 degrees C, which was exactly the air temperature in the shade when we booked in to the campground at 4pm.

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