A new year for the aquavan

Where we left off I was stuck in Elliott due to rising floodwaters…

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The truck queue in Elliott

Yet this morning, we were let past Elliott towards Katherine.

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Hard to see, but there is a bit of a line of road trains and cars along the highway
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Passing over some shallow water along the way….
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And some more…
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A bit of road works as well… Not sure why we had to go 5-10km/hr, road train…
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Until I got to this ½ meter of water flowing across the road!

I waited about 15km up the road chatting to the traffic control bloke who was very friendly. When his colleague came back from the where the floodwaters crossed and reported that some cars were getting through, the first bloke helped me find my air intake and recommended that I cover it with a sheet to keep the water out and follow a road train!

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Nice and dry!

So I did as he suggested and approached the waters with some confidence… Confidence up until I was knee deep in flood waters…

Thankfully the road train and car in front made way for me, bringing the water level down a bit!

But Ron the photomobile… or maybe Ron the aqua-van now… Never missed a beat and I got through no troubles!

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Only a little moist from the corssing
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But I am across and the van still runs, much more than can be said about the harley and red station wagon!

The floodwaters did put on quite a display though! In particular I was amazed by this temporary lake, which provided some amazing views. Views made better in my opinion by the short-lived nature of this body (on google earth this area appears to be all dry).

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Temporary lake
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Twisted trees reflecting in the shallows
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There’s something about termite mounds up to their ankles in water!

The floodwaters also stopped me from visiting some hot springs (Called Bitter Springs) that were recommended to me by my dad, but then you can’t win them all!

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The name “Bitter Springs” takes on a whole new meaning here!

Tomorrow though I will stay in Darwin… In a backpackers of all things for new years eve! Get back into my natural habitat of the hostel… I probably already have about the right personal hygiene (backpackers are actually cleanly creatures by and large in my experience).

On my drive to Darwin I was only able to find four bees, which really suited me just fine, as I had a few things to do that day and not much time to spend taking photos! On my way to meet with my aunt and cousin at the Darwin airport, where they work, I found a shady spot in the suburbs to take the photos. Of course, as soon as I am all set up and taking photos an old lady walks out of her house in her bikini and starts washing her car. All good and well except that I am parked directly out front of her house sitting in the back of my van with the flash going off every few seconds! Thankfully no police arrived at the scene…

Anyway, after my photos were taken and family met, I set off to the backpackers where I met some great people to spend new years with in Darwin. Featuring live music and a fair bit of beer, it was quite a good way to greet 2016! The first day of 2016 was then spent recovering, playing a bit of chess and a lot of cards with some more great people!

The only problem is that my itchy feet are started kicking in and I really need to find some bees! As such, the next day was spent with my aunt, Lorna sussing out some likely places in Darwin, before driving 1.5 hours to her awesome house in Waigat Beach! Tomorrow though, I really have to find some bees!

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1.5 hour drive or a 15 minute Ferry from Darwin!

It seems that the tropics isn’t so great for finding bees, I have only found 1 new species since getting to Darwin! However, I am now parked in Jabiru, a small town within Kakadu National Park and am hoping that come morning, the tiny wild flowers in the area may attract something for me to swoop a net at!

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The town lake – great crocodile realty perhaps?
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My campsite for tonight, just off the Kakadu highway

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One of the [bigger] tiny flowers in the area that I am hoping will attract some bees (not more flies)!
Welcome to 2016 everyone! The next post may well be coming from WA, or at the least on the way to WA!

 

James

2 thoughts on “A new year for the aquavan

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