(written by Nancy)
Dave got a lovely picture of the sunset after we headed back to camp last night and the stars were out nice and clear after it got dark. There were very few lights on in the park so it was a good night for stargazing. This morning we splurged and had breakfast at the roadhouse – after having too much oatmeal for so long we are now getting short on breakfast supplies. Eggs on toast weren’t too bad but nowhere near as nice as Dave makes them. The coffee left a bit to be desired but you can’t expect too much from these roadhouses, I guess.
We had only 6k to ride this morning on the Stuart Highway before we turned off on Dorat Road, a scenic route that we rode all the way to the town of Adelaide River. It was great being off the highway – the road was very quiet and had numerous ups and downs and twists and turns. Quite a difference from the straight roads we have had for the last several hundred kilometres. This is the route folks take to get to Daly River, another popular tourist place but we didn’t have too much caravan traffic. Perhaps they were all sleeping in on a Sunday morning.
We ran into another touring cyclist today just before the turnoff to Douglas Crossing and Douglas Hot Springs. Vince left Darwin a few days ago and was headed south at least to Katherine. He had intended to ride to Broome but thought he was going to have to head back up to Darwin after Katherine because he had some property there that was for sale. We chatted for a bit – he had run into Jan a few days ago as well. We finally pushed off and continued our way north as he headed south.
We pulled off the road at about 40k to eat some muffins I’d picked up at the roadhouse. There were no towns, stores or anything along Dorat Road so were on our own for supplies. We saw a few cattle along the way but really nothing else, just lots of grass and trees (though we also saw quite a few smashed cane toads on the road today). . There are spots where the grass and groundcover is quite green – so different that what we have seen lately. It probably doesn’t look like much in the picture but the green seems very vibrant to us – we have obviously been in the dry area for a bit. You can also see some evidence of burning – there is a lot of this along the roadside as a fire prevention practice. It’s obviously pretty wet along here – and the moisture level in the air is pretty high. It doesn’t take long to start to sweat!
We made it to Adelaide River, which is a very small town with a service station, pub, caravan park and grocery store (not open today). When we rolled up into town there was a little market on in the park across the street from the service station. Lucky for us there was a nice little old lady who was selling home baked goods – cookies, cakes and breads. We couldn’t decide which to choose so we just got one of everything – banana cake, lemon bars and a date and walnut bread. They’re small though….
We have checked into the caravan park next to the pub. It seems okay – it has a little camp kitchen and we have a grassy site. They even had a bocce game going on in the park this afternoon. We have mobile signal here so will stay here two nights while we try to work on some plans for Asia. The pub is serving roast for its special tonight so I suspect that is where we will end up. We have to figure out food supplies for the remaining part of the trip through Litchfield National Park – word has it there is not much in the way of supplies along the way so hopefully the grocery store here will have some things we can make into a few meals.
We are both feeling a bit knackered today even though it was a relatively short day. It is pretty hot here even sitting in the shade. Sounds like it is time for a cool beverage of some kind. We’ll update you on the roast dinner tomorrow…