Jul 17, 2006

Holiday Journal

Here is the journal I kept while off trekking around the NT.
I'll add some photos later on. I have a flapping boy at my feet... oh now he is ramming his fist down this throat - making him gag. Oh that's just lovely!

Friday night
Well after the stress of getting the caravan linked up to the car in the first place, we were finally off!! I after a week of intense activity all weel as exhausted! I was dropping off all the way to Port Augusta. A red car kept messing with my very tired head, I swear it overtok us 5 times!
By about 10ish the kids had had enough. They were tired, grumpy and Caitlin did her beside herself cries and wails and tanties. We arrived at Port Augusta around 11, and we all fell into bed, tired but eager for the next day.

Saturday 1st
I woke up at around 3 - and couldn't go back to sleep. I was not used to sleeping with Darren in a very narrow double bed. I got up and went to visit the ladies. I was tempted to have a long hot shower, hoping that might relaz me enough to send me off into a slumber. But silly me decided to stick it out in bed.
We got up around 7 and tried to take off for Coober Pedy. No such luck. Someting had happened to our wiring and we went hunting for a mechanic to fix it. In the end Daz did some magic wiggling and we were finally off!
We arrived in Coober Pedy - literally one big hole that evening.
I was looking forward to a long hot shower and doing some real nice cooking. Turns out Coober Pedy is also the drought capital of the world, we had to pay 20c for every 2 minutes we were in the shower.... which dribbled out some water. When i was trying to cook, I couldn't wash my hands because there were no mains to connect up to. And something was wrong with our pump in the CV...
Not a smooth start.
That night Daz and I decided to top and tail in bed, resulting in an easier sleep.

Sunday 2nd
After ANOTHER round of issues with the electrics - which we have put down to dodgy workmanship, and we aren't able to deal with that till Monday - we headed off to Ayres Rock. Aiming for sunset arrival... no can do. Looks like we will be arriving after sunset.
Which we did! It was dark and we couldn't see anything, no matter how much we strained our eyes.
We did meet a lovely lady - well I met her and E charmed the socks off of her! I was chatting to her while she was in the laundry and I was hunting for the loos. She gave us her and her hubbies passes into Uluru which would have costed us $25 each! She was leaving a day early and her pass was for three days, leaving us with a $50 saving!

Monday 3rd
What a very very very long day! We got up at just before dawn, quickly rugged the kids up, got outselves dressed and hooned on down to Ayres Rock before dawn. We met a lovely couple from NY who we chatted to while watching the sunrays hit the rock, radiating off the most wonderful colors! The lady from NY was watching E wistfully and coochy cooing him, then temptation got the better of her "I'm a grandma" she said, "Do you mind if I have a little hold?" Usually I don't pass my precious children to perfect strangers, but her face showed so much longing and I bet she missed her grandkids so much... so I passed him over. And my son the outspoken and stong willed little man let her hold him for just a moment... then let out a huge wail! She passed him back very quickly! LOL
The sunrise was just beautiful... well.. the rock was beautiful and I marvelled at the brilliant reds and oranges. Then when the sun finally came out into full view, the rock paled and looked just like it really is... a HUGE rock.
I couldn't get over the size of it! It was massive. And here I was thinking that Daz and I could take the kids for a nice stoll around the rock... I never in my wildest dreams could ever imagine a rock THAT BIG!!
We left Yulara immediately after the sunrise special, and attempted to hitch up the CV. Daz was stuggling a bit, but he finally worked it all out and we were off.... for about an hour. Then the car started shaking and shuddering and we pulled into a rest stop, lucky for us there was one right where we were. To my horror I saw a shredded tire about 50 metres away and a very very dead tire and dented rim - we had a blow out.
Oh no the saga does not end there. The jack Daz had bought which said it would lift a vehicle 40cms? DIDN'T!!!! So daz was experimenting with rocks and planks of wood, trying to lift the caravan that 40 cms so he could put the tire on. I was kept busy walking around with a grumpy boy, and keeping Mop amused so she wouldn't bug her Daddy... which was mission impossible, because she was intent on helping him. So I taught her how to throw rocks... aim them at things and THROW... that kept her out of his hair so I could help him. I was having visions of the CV toppling over and crushing my husband.... I was praying very hard that those dark thoughts would not come true.
Heart in my throat I watched Daz as the CV precariously lifted by a rock, the jack and 4 planks of wood - and he successfully changed the tire!!
Well that was supposed to be a truck tire!!! Well it didn't work very well... so we had to make an emergency stop over in Alice Springs, cancelling our night and mining adventure in Gemtree. I was dissapointed, but I lived.
When we arrived at the CV park, we were lucky to have one spot left - and we filled it. The owner was so kind, he let us go to a bigger nicer block which was empty but a permament person was moving in the next day.
Poor Daz, I went to have my shower and I met two lovely women who I stayed to chat with for AGES!! We chatted about kids, and one of the ladies were from Adelaide and so chatted about other things - and poor Daz was getting worried.. I was missing! When I came out, he met me with a flash light, hunting for his wife! LOL

Tuesday 4th
The next morning, Mop made a friend. The couple next to us had a little girl named Bridget and she was almost 2. Mop and Bridget ran around the CV park together having a wonderful time. We took our time that morning, since we had such a tiring day yesterday. We left the CV park around 10am, went food shopping, got a new tire for the CV and then headed to Tennant Creek.
Nothing exciting happened thank goodness... I don't think I could have coped with anymore excitement!
We arrived at the CV park just after dark, and to my utter worry, loads of the local people were roaming in and out of the park, rowdy and yelling at each other. I was too scared to shower - but when I inspected the shower it was too dirty to use anyway. So we went to bed. And slept.

Wednesday 5th
We left Tennant Creek ASAP. We wanted to get to Katherine before Dark. And we were succesful! We arrived around 5 and checked into the CV park. And the place we had to manouvre the van in was tiiiiny. Some very helpful gentlemen neighbours helped Daz get our whopping great van into that tiny spot. Turns out one of the navigators was from Adelaide... actually he lives 2 blocks away from us! He is in the CV next door. What a small world.
Looking forward to those hotsprings in the morning.

Thursday 6th
This morning a young couple with two young girls arrived - instant playmates for Mop! They were taking 7 months off to travel around Australia. Nice!
We made it to the Hot Springs in the morning and it was lovely. Elijah sat about in his floaty and Mop swam about like a fish in hers. It looks very different to what I remember it back when I lived here 13 years ago. It's more tourist friendly, the muddy banks now are bricked and have steps for easier hopping in. The old tree that a rope was tied there for the years we were there, was still there. That rope swung many a child into the bubbling warm water... and my Dad. But then he is a big kid at heart.
After that we had lunch and the kids had a small nap. Then we took off to check out the Gorge. Much to our dissapointment, the only way to see the gorge even a tiny bit of it, is via boat.... where two kids would be cooped up, having to sit still and not scream and be happy with. We didn't think that was possible since Mop insists on getting about 9 hours sleep instead of her usual 13 hours per night.
We had a nice tea, and a country singer came to the CV park to entertain the guests. We were planning to sit outside in the balmy evening air and listen - even though we aren't country music buffs... aghhh when in Rome... But the air suddenly filled with smoke - so thick! They were burning off the land around us, making it impossible to breathe without choking. The poor singer was coughing a bit. My asthma went haywire, so we closed everything up quickly.
Daz and I have been having very relaxing evenings, playing Monpoly and Buzz on our PS2. I am catching up on my reading. I am onto my second Paullina Simons novel and am in heaven! The only houswork I have to do is washing dishes, cooking meals and tidying... oh and washing occasionally - but not much since Daz did all that!!! Jo would be pleased.. she made me promise not to housework much - but to relax.

Friday 7th
1 week in. How time has flown.
Started the day out great. I was in a snot and Daz was forgetful Jones. He forgot to take the jockey wheel off... woops. Luckily another CVanner warned us and he took it off. He also forgot to tie the electrical cable thing up and it dragged on the bitchumen all the way to Batchelor. LOL. Ah well, we could have forgotten something else vital, like not clipping the fridge shut and food could have gone EVERYWHERE... oh wait! That DID happen too! I forgot to clip it shut like I usually do. Ah well.... that was a bit of a laugh... after it had all been cleaned up and fixed!
Today we left Katherine and headed towards Edith Falls. Again it had changed alot since my last visit 13 years ago. I looked across the water over to the rock face on the other side and could see my Dad, skinny little man, waving to us proudly and standing under the waterfall that was no longer there... or wasn't flowing. The area is again very tourist friendly. Cement paths a kiosk where we had lunch and it all looked so different! It was too windy and cool to swim there so we moved on.
We arrived in Batchelor around 3ish, and we settled into the CV park. After E had a much needed nap we went to the pool which we thought would be lovely since it was such a warm day. Not a chance!!! It was FREEEZING... and the only one insane enough to swim in it was Mop! Like Mother like daughter. Once upon a time, I would have swam in it too, no matter how cold. She loved it. She hooned around the pool, her lips slowly turning blue and her teeth chattering... she was insistant on swimming! We finally got her out and her toes were blue too! Funny kid!
We watched a stack of native wild birds being fed, seeing loads of galahs and cockatoos and to our delight a load of rosellas. They were so bright and colorful... and shy.. too shy to come too close, so taking a photos was a tad difficult.
And tonight we have had a nice quiet evening, enjoying more good food and just about to have another round of monopoly... better get my battle gear on.

Saturday 8th
What a wonderful day! We got up - and headed straight for Litchfield National Park. We saw the magnetic temite mounds - which we were a tad disappointed with. As a side note, we have discovered Caitlin HATES those long drops. She cries if she has to sit on one... and every toilet we have been in since - she checks to see if they have water in them. If they have black seats she gets all worried until she sees there is water in the loo. Poor kid. So she was using a long drop at the Magnetic Termite mounds - Daz took her... and she cried her eyes out. Poor blossom.
Anyway back to the termite mounds - and how disappointing it was. Caitlin had to be disciplined in the middle of the talk the guide was giving about the ants that live in the mounds. So she was screaming.. you know the drill. So we had to walk away and then see the mounds without knowing about the little critters that live there. We walked along a ramp, fully expecting to wander through the termite mounds like the Amazing Race people did - well they bolted through... anyway, you couldn't. We saw one termite mound up close, and the rest were such a distance away, we couldn't see anything!
Then we headed to Tolmer Falls. After a fair hike down the hill we came to a platform overlooking the most divine falls and water pool. It smelled so fresh and clean and the sound of water rushing over the rocks was just wonderful. It was windy and Elijah's hat blew off his head and over the barrier. Brave Daz assessed the situation then jumped over to retrive it! On the way up Mop fell over, grazing her knees and after seeing the blood, I had to piggy-back her half way back UP the hill. After struggling for a bit, I made her walk - and she howled the whole way back to the car. After I cleaned her knees, all the blood came from 2 of the tiniest scratches - and didn't deserve all the howling we got. So I put some "magic cream" (antiseptic stuff) and she was happy.
Then we drove off to a swamp of some kind - Daz went to see it because I had to feed E. Luckily it wasn't worth getting all of us out of the car to see. Daz took some pics and we continued on.
Wangi falls - if Eden was still around - I reckon this is the place it would have been. Unfortunately the pool was closed because of a mere 14 crocs were caught in the area, and so swimming was unsafe. They had roped and barriered off the entrance to the steps of the swimming pool, but of course some STUPID tourists decided they were above the rule, climbed under and went to the edge to photograph the falls. The viewing platform was a mere 10 meters away from the silly twits. Serve em right if a huge 520kg saltwater croc came hurling out of the water to munch on them for lunch. It would've made good viewing!
From the viewing platform we saw the lovely clear waters and the falls were just beautiful. As I was approaching, I could smell something... something so familiar.. something like incredible Bad Odour.... BATS... and there they were all in the trees. Stinkin.. but looking so cute and fanning themselves.
We had a picnic lunch at Wangi falls and it was lovely to sit in the shade and munch on a yummy steak sambo. I was watching a group of "Callow Youth" as Elaine would say, listening to their chatter from a distance. They all spoke with the American twang, so I figured they must be over for their summer holidays, some sort of camp or something. I was disgusted to see one boy luring some beautiful native birds in with food (which you are NOT allowed to do - feed them that is) and when they got close enough, he would kick them. Arrogant little twerp! The worst combination in the world - Americans, and TEENAGERS!!
Then our last stop was to Florence falls. Elijah had fallen into a deep sleep so we couldn't see the falls from the bottom and swim there, but Daz and Mop swam at the top while I looked after E. Mop had a wonderful time with her daddy, making little boats from leaves and bark and sticks and watching them sail off over the rocks of the flowing creek.
Then we headed home.
We had dinner in the resorts restraunt. We got a voucher when we arrived for a Rum Jungle Tropicana Cocktail. If they ever offer YOU that - RUN FOR THE HILLS!! It's the most vile thing I have ever tasted. Hmmm.. think Fishermen's Friends mixed with Irish Moss....(cough syrup) BLURGH!!! LUckily for me I stood up too quickly to see to a squealing E and the whole thing fell over!! YAY!! Didn't have to drink it!!!
I had Barramundi with a mango sauce for dinner and it was divine.

Sunday 9th
What a night! Mop woke up at 1:45am and decided not to go back to sleep till 5am. I was exhasuted. I was furious. We were supposed to be spending the day in Darwin and I didn't really want to do that with a grumpy little girl who hadn't slept most of the night. Amazingly enough she was ANGELIC - apart from one little incident.
So we headed to Darwin leisurely - at 130 odd kilometers an hour... Daz loves the open speed limits here in the territory.
We got there and watched the "city" unfold with amazement. It was very bush like most of the way through till you hit the CBD. It was green, lush and soo beautiful!
We went to Crocodylus Park - and saw some crocs. We watched an amazing tour with the most massive crocs I have ever seen. The one next to us that we saw lunge out of the water to greet the tour guide was 520kg. Not the kind of dude you would want to meet in a dark alley. It was UUUUGLEEEY!! I could see his jaw muscles. Apparently on a bad day if this beast was offered a huge thick metal pole - used in large buildings, he could chomp right through the thing, and make a right mangly mess out of it. Remind me not to mess with these things.
MOp was playing up, and the guide was asking her if she was being naughty - Daz made gestures to suggest chucking her to the monster of a croc over the side of the platform. I laughed and thought was a brilliant idea. She shut up and behaved herself from then on.
We went to Casuarina and we bought Mop a watch and she loves it. If she can tell time, she can have a watch. I bought some new earrings and then we toddled off to the coast. I had to see the ocean at least once on that side of Australia. I saw. I also saw some people swimming... nutters!! Three words - SALT WATER CROCS. No chance ME swimming there. I just saw those things in action with a skinny little dude in the same pen as them - I am not that keen to be some crocs entree.Besides its a well known fact, Crocs LOVE tourists.
We headed home, totally surprised with our little girls behaviour considering she had little sleep. Mummy also didn't have much sleep, and I was cranky as!
I chucked Mop back into the freezing cold pool - didn't have to ask her twice, off she toddled and lunged in. I got to about mid thigh and was nearly dying of hypothermia. Daz calls me a chicken.. least I got more in than two fingers. NYAH! Then little miss Princess Ariel refused to get out. I was threatening her, counting, and she just laughed at me. So I HAD to get into the pool since she had managed to get into the middle where I couldn't reach her. I nearly died... and she laughed and laughed. She wasn't laughing when I hauled her out and smacked her wet bottom. It was kind of funny though.
She fell asleep immediately after her mac and cheese and shower.

Monday 10th
Today we left Batchelor and headed to Mataranka. We stopped in Katherine for some lunch and then we arrived at the Mataranka hot springs by mid afternoon and we had a wonderful time.
The most beautiful thing in the world is watching a little girl shriek with laughter and it echoed all around as she splashed her Daddy. That was my curly haired girl doing all the giggling. I sat and watched them contentedly, feeding Elijah his bottle. He took his own sweet time as usual so I got to watch them for a bit.
We all got in in the end, and I loved the warmth of the water and playing with Caitlin. E got grumpy since he was long overdue for a nap, so we headed to our CV park - which is about 500m away from another hot springs. Might go check them out in the morning if we get time.
TOmorrow we head back to Tennant Creek - goodbye warm weather. Hello FREEZING cold mornings, ICE, FROST, shivering in bed..... ahh lucky for me I have a hot water bottle next to me all night. He snores a bit, but he's good value.

Daz wants me to blog this little piece of worthless information that he thinks is bloomin hillarious. I hate frogs. There.. I HATE FROGS. Always have, always will. I hated them when I lived in Charleville and they hopped around the house at Tyrone. I even trod on one and felt so sick afterwards. Blurgh! I hate em..
Anyhoooo I went to the loo tonight, opened the door and there staring at me was a green frog. I squealed and my heart began racing. I tried to stare at it to try and intimidate it to jump away.... it won. I closed the door and opened the next loo. No frogs... so I climbed the steps, shut the door, turned around and there was one right on top of the loo, staring at me. I backed up... then thought I could wet my pants before finding a frog free loo. So I got brave and waved some loo paper in it's face, and it hopped away, long enough for me to sit down and do my business - then dart out of there, heart pounding and then had a little sook with Daz. He laughed... such a comforting husband he is. He laughs when I am practically hyperventilating.
I hate frogs.

Tuesday 11th
Today we got up early and went swimming at the Bitter Springs here in Mataranka. What a beautiful warm and secluded thermal pool. It was divine. We didn't even need a shower this morning, we bathed in the pool. E and Mop had a ball and I was happy bobbing around in the water. Then we took off to Tennant Creek. And here we are - eager to get going again. Tennant Creek is a hole.

Wednesday 12th
Tennant Creek is a hole. Glad we left there this morning. We rocked up to Alice Springs mid afternoon. Nothing fabulous to tell. Except I was able to do some digi-scrapping in the car on the way. E was fractious and is very tired. Mop just wants to go home and get her dog.

Thursday 13th
Well today turned out to be a bit of a shamozzle. It bucketed down with rain ALL DAY. We wanted to go to the women's Hall of Fame museum, and couldn't because the only available parking was way too far away to walk in the pouring rain. We didn't have an unbrella or rain coats, we got drenched walking from car to building! We ended up trying to wait for the rain to stop by window shopping in Kmart. Came out and it was STILL raining. We went souvineer shopping then went back to the caravan. Daz pulled out the awning and I told Mop to go run around and burn off some of her energy. We sat under the awning watching her splash and jump in the puddles, and drink the water running off the awning. We then played chasey, running around the muddy caravan park. Mop was exhausted afterwards, she had a nice warm bath then popped off to bed.
Nothing fabulous for our last day on holiday. Tomorrow we head home.

Friday 14th
Tody we drove from Alice Springs to Coober Pedy. We are dying.. it's freezing here!!! The further we go down south the colder it gets. Not nice!!! Hope home isn't too cold...

Saturday 15th.
Today we drove pretty home. It was FREEZING and wet and windy. Welcome home Skip and co. We stopped via my Aunties to pick up the newest addition to the family Charli. A beautiful puppy. What a sook she was driving home.
We arrived home safe and sound and exhaustipated. How big our house looks!!! Well compared to the caravan it's a palace!

4 comments:

Daz said...

It's nice to be home!

brazen's crafts said...

sounds like you had a trip full of memories - i'm jealous!

Renae said...

It sounds like you really enjoyed yourselves, despite a few mishaps along the way.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Renae

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