We are now in Kununurra Western Australia, after ten days in the Territory. Time for some reflections on the experience so far. Somehow it feels different already.
Firstly our time in Darwin was centred around getting the van organised, buying provisions, setting up Bob’s bike, and planning the next week. The Rotary clubs of Darwin, Darwin Sunrise and Darwin North were all very welcoming and generous with their support. The boys (yes this is a mens only club) in the floral shirts made us laugh (how could we forget Fingers, Scruffy and others). Darwin Sunrise more like our own Club, smaller and a shorter agenda for the morning meeting, were entertaining and friendly. Whilst we didn’t attend a formal dinner, Jim Trobbiani and President Tony Allan shouted us out to dinner in a fine restaurant in the Casino. You couldn’t meet nicer people, one of whom had been touched by MND. The three Darwin clubs we met all made generous donations.
Now Bob does like his barramundi. So we ventured out on Saturday night to the swanky Char Restaurant. We wanted an early and quick meal before hitting the bitumen the next morning. Now it was Darwin so we thought casual was fine and rocked up in stubbies and tshirt. The maitre’ d was not impressed and after suggesting we find a more suitable eaterie, relented and ushered us outside to a high bar bench remote from his more treasured clientele. Anyhow the food was excellent and we skulked away both embarrassed and satiated.
On the road in the morning for Bob’s first ride of the fundraiser and we headed to Adelaide River Roadhouse. No problems with the 117kms. Dined at the tavern there made famous in the Crocodile Dundee movie. Next day we left early for Emerald Springs. It was here we met Grant Rawlinson, an adventure rowing and cycling 12,000kms from Singapore to Darwin, then to Coffs Harbour and then to New Zealand. You can see his story here.
Then it was 122kms onto Katherine. Interesting place dealing with some difficult indigenous issues. More of that later.
Stayed at the sprawling caravan park, met a few kind folk who made donations. Getting more into a routine with the riding, the food, rest and support. And looking after Ivan. Sal’s cooking has been a hit with Bob.
Victoria Roadhouse was our next stop 192 kms away. His biggest leg so far. Beautiful and scenic landscapes, the campsite on the Victoria River. Next morning away early for the relatively short trip to Timber Creek. Different style of place, plenty of shade and their own resident crocodile.
Day 6 Bob was away before 5:00am heading to Kununurra. We were unsure whether we could push through but Bob carried on over 230kms to arrive in the dark at Kununurra just over the border in WA. That completed our first week of riding and ten days in the Territory.
We have all got on pretty well without too many dramas. Often not having an internet or even phone connection has been frustrating. Whilst Bob finished the week pretty strong we are looking forward to a rest day.
Photos: Courtesy Bill Pixton