(written by Dave)
Our time at Tumbling Waters is coming to an end. It’s been a nice stay here. The folks running the place are fantastic. We talked a few days ago about how accommodating they were. We moved the tent one more time, then moved into a cabin tonight. That makes 4 different sleeping locations in 5 nights. The last tent sight was perfect. We got the cabin because we wanted to give the tent a good clean up before we head to Darwin and SE Asia – we don’t expect to be using it much for a while and wanted to put it away clean. However many times we moved, or how many demands other campers made, Darren and Jenny answered everything with a smile. They’ve been running Tumbling Waters for 15+ years – we’d recommend the park to anyone needing a near-Darwin base (but suggest a visit outside school holidays!).
Yesterday we went to the Territory Wildlife Park in nearby Berry Spring. It turned out to be a great park. They focus on native/local plants and animals and have a massive reserve so there is plenty of open space. The 3.5 meter salt water crocodile was a highlight but it was also quite interesting reading about many of the plants and animals we’ve spotted on the trip up here.
We rode to the park and back. On the way back we stopped at a roadside veggie stall just outside a mango farm. The mango blossoms were in bloom and had an interesting sweet scent. We got some nice supplements for our dinner plus had another one of those handmade mango ice creams. The latter being a great treat on a hot, sunny afternoon.
As for the tent, it’s clean and in pretty good shape. I managed to get Nancy to pose for a photo in the tent before we took it down. We’ve slept in the tent close to 75 nights over the last three months. It has held up well and been a great home. For those taking notes, the tent is a Nalo 3 GT from Hilleberg. The 3 means it should sleep 3 people (I’m not sure how, even with perfect tentiquette) and the GT means it has a massive vestibule. This means we can get all of our panniers and gear in the tent at night. Had it rained much, this would have been great. As it was, it let us sleep better at night knowing our stuff was at least out of sight.
You may have noticed that Nancy had her hair cut. We both had our hair cut yesterday here at the back (in cabin 6 in case anyone is interested). The stylist is a gal from New Caledonia (French). I think that they have different clipper numbers in French as I usually get a number 2 clipper cut everywhere and she convinced me to get a 3 but it is so short that now Nancy says that I look like a chemo patient – three months of riding with a helmet have given me a tan face and white head.
Today, aside from cleaning the tent we’ve been culling our bags. We cleaned out all the extra food bits we won’t need in Asia. Plus Nancy discarded most of the unused spices we’ve been carrying. We aren’t using them and we don’t need delays in customs while they are analysed.
We are looking forward to getting back on the bikes. We’ve ridden a little while here but tomorrow we load up the bikes up for the first time in 5 days. No matter what, they always feel a little wobbly on first day back. I’m particularly looking forward to the ferry ride from Mandorah to Darwin. It should be a great way to enter the city.
We’ll do another update after we settle into Darwin.