Day 16 - Rum Jungle to Darwin - 257 kms
- May 26 04:18 AM GTM
- Category: Adventure
- Class: Adventure
I woke up to a loud buzzing sound and saw a cloud of Mosquitos gathered on the mesh of my swag and eying me like the delicious meal I would surely be. I was just in my undies and had to make a mad dash for my bike to get my clothes out of the bag slapping all the exposed skin I could while getting bitten on all the places I couldn't reach. I was dressed in record time and roared out of there on my bike with the Mosquitos in hot pursuit.
I spent the morning riding through Litchfield National Park where there is an assortment of water falls, cascading pools you can swim in, and magnetic termite mounds. I was mystified as to what this one was so I rode to it and read the signs. These termites build tall, long and thin mounds that run north-south using the earths magnetic field to orient them. Jokes on them though because they all point to magnetic north and not true north. It's like the termites don't even realise that the earths rotation axis is different than the magnetic axis. Stupid termites.
From there I checked out Rum Jungle lake which looked like prime croc territory, definitely didn't have "safe swimming area" signs and then on to Darwin to get my storage shed and bike maintenance sorted. I got a new tire put on and found a number of items that were barely staying together and decided I was lucky to make it this far and I'd better stop till I fixed a few things. The local KTM dealer didn't have the parts I need so I parked the bike and just enjoyed Darwin.
When I arrived at my hotel I was upgraded (Thanks Holiday Inn) and ended up with a two bedroom, two bath suite on the top floor. It came with a newspaper and the main article was that the Hells Angels were having a big meeting in Darwin that weekend. Now it made sense all the rough looking guys that were staring at me when I walked through with my helmet in hand. It turns out that the Hells Angels New Zealand chapter also has high standards like myself and were staying at the Holiday Inn. I went down of a beer and a swim and they were all down at the pool. When I walked by they all stopped talking and were staring at me again. It was pretty uncomfortable but I think they were just trying to make sense of my tattoos. They're quite a bit different than the scary ones they had from head to toe.
After a meal, a few beers and a few hours loafing pool side I called it an early night. The next morning I walked around Darwin to check out the city and got some breakfast. There is a lot of memorabilia from WWII around town and I went into the underground fuel oil storage tunnels. These were dug under Darwin to store fuel oil for the Australian Navy when they converted from coal. A huge amount a manual labor went into building these and they were never actually used. There is a nice lagoon on the ocean for swimming that has nets and barriers up to keep those pesky salt water crocs from eating people. Near it is a wave pool that reminded me of my childhood at water world in Denver. On the edge of the pool was a lady playing music and just dancing by herself. She was really into it and didn't stop for a few songs. When I got closer I realised there were 25 people in the pool below her and she was leading an exercise class. There went my crazy lady theory.
This being the last day of this leg I put the bike away and made a list of everything I needed to replace and headed to the airport to fly back home. This one beat me up and wore me out but it was a good escape from the daily grind and I can spend the next few weeks in the office recovering. When I arrived at the airport I was upgraded for a second time in 24 hrs. Thanks Qantas, I will have a champagne before takeoff.
Milleage: 257 km