We have been unable to add another post until today as we could not get any telephone coverage at Batchelor.
We left Darwin on Sunday after loading our trailer with luggage and all finding seats on the bus. It took about an hour and a half to reach the town of Batchelor via the Stuart Highway. It was a comfortable drive although I found that the bus tends to under-steer a little so we have to take corners a little more slowly than one would expect if driving a car. We have been unable to get the radio to work in the bus, but if we can find an audio lead at Katherine (our next stop) we might be able to play some music from an Ipod.).
After dropping off the trailer at our motel, we drove on to Wangi Falls for lunch. This was one of the waterfalls in the Litchfield National Park. and about 65 kms from Batchelor on a well made (surfaced) road. There was a very nice picnic area with nice green grass and a kiosk where we could buy lunch. We were not sure about the certainty of getting our orders as the kiosk was very busy and especially since the bloke in the kitchen called out on three occasions for ticket holder number 6 to come and pick up their lunch order, only to have the other man behind the counter realise that the order was really for ticket holder number 9.
After lunch, we started traveling back towards Batchelor and called in at a number of the tourist attractions along the way. Our first stop was at Tolmer Falls where a walk of 400 metres, or so, took us to a very scenic lookout high above the valley. From there, we drove on to Florence Falls where we stopped for a swim in the rock pool below the falls. The water was cool and very inviting in the warmth of the day. The temperature here is probably similar to that in Darwin, but is far less humid. On the way back to the main road, we stopped off for a look at the very pretty Buley Rock Hole. It was a real joy to see a group of Aboriginal kids having a fantastic time frolicking in the water. Our final stop was a short photo opportunity at a cluster of magnetic Termite Mounds. These ase built facing north / south so that the morning and afternoon sun keep the inside temperature of these termite nests at a controlled temperature.
This day was a little longer than we had anticipated, but everyone in our group of 23 enjoyed the activities of the day.
Our motel at Batchelor was very comfortable and we experienced a tasty ‘pub dinner’ for our evening meal in the outdoor beer garden of the motel complex. This town was built as a service centre for the nearby Rum Jungle uranium mine (now closed, but the first to operate in Australia). Murray led an evening service after dinner.