The bikes are reassembled and once again ready to take on what Oz has to offer us. We need to stick around the Darwin area until Friday arvo as I am waiting for my rear box to be delivered to the dealership. The parts guy says "Ya know what NT stands for don't you?" I reply, "Northern Territory". "No love, it stands for Not Today, Not Tomorrow, Not Tuesday, and Not Thursday!" Crap! "Well it is supposed to be delivered on Friday, so I guess that works!" I wittily respond! "Love, that is tomorrow!", the parts guy smirks…Double Crap!
Kev and I decide to head down to Litchfiled National Park while we wait. Darwin is already in the 30's by the time we are packed and prepped for our ride, and it is only 9am! Litchfield National Park is not that far away and is known for its cascading waterfalls, woodland and rainforests. Some say that it is more spectacular than Kakadu! I have to just mention quickly that travelers we have chatted with along our ride have said to us that Kakadu is known as Kakadon't! Humm! I would have to say "Kakadon't go there with out powerful bug spray…but most definitely Do Kakadu!" Ahh, I feel better that I have that of my chest! I find it very interesting in all the varied opinions, suggestions, must do's, and misses, people express! OK, back to Litchfield!
I was totally loving the long sweeping curves and amazing views of Litchfield and was thinking to myself that it reminds me a compacted Kakadu with a little Cape York thrown in. We rode past the magnetic termite mounds, past the tabletop swamp, down and around Tolmer Falls, past Greenant Creek to make camp at Wangi Falls…it was only 11:30am! Today is a very hot day and I am looking forward to spending the rest of it in the water. Kev and I automatically transition into our set up camp routine, and are heading down to the falls 20 minutes later. If this heat does not discourage any of the insects that are annoying me to fly off and take a nap, maybe the water will? The falls and billabong are amazing! The entire place is colorful internationally buzzing with people of all shapes and sizes splashing, floating, swimming, sitting, standing, snorkeling, chatting, jumping, and laughing…there is a lot of laughter! Now there was this one guy who caught my attention by the falls! He was trying to climb up the rock face to sit himself in a small plunge pool that was hidden from immediate view, and he was caring a book! Who brings a book to read in water let alone a waterfall? I had to get out of the water and grab my camera. I watched him awkwardly clinging to the rocks and then… and then…he fell! The entire international bathing community let out a gasp…no kidding…Beauty, I captured the entire thing on film, ha ha ha! He quickly fished his book from the water and held it over his head, but it looks as though he is no longer wearing glasses? I watch him peer into the water around him. You'll have to put that book somewhere before you take a retrieval dive, I'm thinking. He gives up on the search and attempts the climb again, this time successful! He senses me watching him and we make eye contact. I put down the camera and enter the water. He waves me over, but I am not going to go…I will just breast stroke around in circles for a bit until he comes to me! He realizes what he has to do and begins his approach. I watch from the cool waters around me and smile at the sight of him still holding his book in his hand out of the water. He is within arms distance of me and says "I lost your glasses Babe!"…ha ha ha…(Did ya know it was Kev?) "Nice show, Stud!" I laugh!
OK back to flies, mozzies, sweat and dirt! Dinner is the usual tuna and couscous, we clean up and head over to the community campfire. We watch bush tv for a couple of hours and decide to call it a night, pleasantly tired from our day in the water. Still in the high 20's, our dew guard is off the tent so we can keep as cool as possible avoiding as many bites as possible. It is a a wonderfully clear, bright, balmy night and I lay and watch the stars, wish on the odd falling star then finally fall asleep!
On the way our we backtrack to Florence Falls for a morning dip. We lock up the gear on the bikes, pull our gear off, already sweaty and togs on and proceed to head down the pathway towards the falls. Sometimes these stops can be a lot of work…securing the bikes, sorting ourselves, but the reward is always worth it! We ride back to Darwin wet and refreshed. As soon as mobile phone service registers Kev calls the dealership to see if my box has arrived…it has, so we book on over! I park the bike under the shade of a large sign and we proceed to install the box. It installs without any drama…we clean up, water up and head on out of the Darwin area eager to escape this heat that just seams to continue to rise the later it gets into the day.
Ride, ride , ride…It has to start cooling down, I'm thinking, but the heat does not let up. I am tired, dehydrated, and grumpy…Ok, maybe even a little bitchy by the time we decide to call it quits. Realistically we should have stopped over an hour ago. Kev and I have been unplugged from each other for the last 100k's…we have both had it. Im literally dripping with sweat…it is 35 degrees Celsius and it is 5pm! Tired, hot and exhausted we pull off the road at a free camp site around Emerald Springs. We automatically go into our camp set up mode, loose the hot sticky riding gear and slump down at the picnic table next to us. What a day!