22nd September 2017
Darwin to Pine Creek 295kms
An early start, to get packed and ready for the run West. Once done, we collected Max for our final breakfast, and went to a little cafe down the road. It was nice, but also a bit sad. Another one of those happy sad moments. It was hard to get up and head back to load the bikes, but we did it. Loading up didn’t take long, just the final good-byes.
See ya Maxie Max, it’s been great. Good luck with your plans for the future.
We still had some grocery shopping to do, so we stopped in at Palmerston and Will did the shopping. I checked out alternative ways to head south, instead of the Stuart highway. It would be nice to ride a new road. So we left on the Channel Island road, which was good, and after we crossed “The Channel”, we realised we’d missed a turn off. We had got onto the actual Channel Island. It’s all conservation area and power station ( that’s not a bit odd, is it?). Oops, better head back to the turn off. The rest of the ride was nice, and quieter than the highway. We popped back out on the old Stuart highway about 60kms north of Adelaide River.
Adelaide River is always a nice spot for a break.
After a short stop so Will could have a beer at the Infamous 303 Bar, and I could stretch my legs and get new earplugs (the pair I chose today were hurting my ears and had to go), we decided on another alternate route. Dotar road, which loops west, and back out to the highway, just before Hayes Creek. It was a very interesting ride, with twists and tight bends, and Robin Falls. What a great spot. We didn’t even get to the actual Falls. The little creek and pools were enough to strip down and cool off, after a slapped together ham and cheese roll and banana. Heaven!
Robin Falls, how did we not know about this place before? Great for camping.
The rest of the ride was very scenic, through the little range. Lots of burnt bush, it has been a very dry season. We had a quick stop in Hayes Creek, as my eyes started to sting and water so much I couldn’t see. I think the beginnings of Hay fever.
Good old Hayes Creek. Nice scenery around here though.
It was a fun, cruisie ride through to Pine Creek, where we pulled into The Lazy Lizard Tavern and Caravan Park, fuelled up and found a nice shady piece of grass for our tent. It was bloody hot by now, so we decided not to put the fly on. We had a chat to Peter and Charlotte, from Austria, who were next to us, and we all headed off to the pool to cool off. There we found out they were perpetual travellers, and had spent about 30 years travelling the Sahara Desert, and had done many trips through Australia. They were in there 70’s, and still doing serious 4WDing, and using a rooftop tent. Wow, it really is one of the best things about travel, meeting other interesting travellers and hearing their stories. As we were getting ready to go cook our dinner, we noticed a family nearby, it was Danyelle, Mark and the kids. Marks dad and brother were visiting, so they were showing them some sights, we all ended up eating and catching up more at the tavern. It was a great day.
The Lazy Lizard was great. We enjoyed dinner, and the company. But it’s Hot!
23rd September 2017 – Saturday Day 26 (136)
Pine Creek to Timber Creek 395kms
Holy sweating piggies! What a stinker of a night. The temperature didn’t drop, and the humidity just increased until about 4am. That was a very unpleasant night, with no breeze, some poor kid crying all night because he was itchy. Bloody marchies! That was worse than any hot flush I might have had, or will get!
We sat in sullen silence eating our cereal and drinking a coffee, it really is too hot for coffee. Just as we’d done that, Mark and the crew came over and offered us a bacon and egg wrap! How can we refuse? So we had second breakfast with them, and enjoyed chatting and finding out we’d missed out on a Gorge we’d not visited before, which sounds (and by Danyelle’s photos, looks) amazing. We passed that info onto Peter and Charlotte, who had a few days to kill, and also hadn’t found it. Butterfly Gorge, next time!
The aim for today was Victoria River, which really is just a roadhouse, on the river, with lots of crocs. As we didn’t eat our food last night, we don’t need to stop in Katherine to top up the supplies, so we went straight through without stopping. Then, we enjoyed an easy ride, hot, but not devastatingly so, through to Victoria river. No lunch stops, as we didn’t need food, after two brekkies. Victoria River was pretty uninviting, and when the lady got grumpy at us for parking in the only shade (which was inside the caravan park area) while we decided what we would do, I was happy to carry on to Timber Creek.
Some really specky rock formations near Katherine. Just had to stop.
Victoria River, very scenic, but no grass and nowhere to get wet and cool off, let’s carry on. The grumpy lady made it easy to decide.
The last hour was pretty bloody hot, and it really was all I could manage after a bad sleep last night. It was good to arrive, and be met with a cheerful smile and a cold beer. There were shady spots to camp, or grassy spots to camp, but you can’t have both, so we picked shade. Then we went for a much needed dip in their delightfully cold pool, which is shaded. So, so nice to feel that cooling water on my steaming body. Again, we met an array of interesting people, in the pool and the camp kitchen.
Cheers Timber Creek, we knew you wouldn’t let us down. Nice cold beer and an even colder pool. Just what we needed. Grass or shade? Definitely shade.
Finally we see a couple of the “Lizards” the Territory is renowned for, but just the smaller ones.
We shared dinner with Jerome and Tatiana (from Switzerland), and Greg (from Broome), who was a fellow motorcyclist, riding a cool side car contraption he’d bought on Gumtree, from Adelaide back to Broome. He even had a car fridge on it, and was happily giving out ice cold beers. A great night again.