Sunday, February 20, 2011

Escaping from "Carlos" Feb 2011

 On the 15th February there was a Cyclone Watch alert issued .  This meant that we might have to leave the park and we received a text from management to that effect. So in the pouring rain we packed up the annex and put the awning up. Lynn was thoroughly soaked by the time he had everything squared away even though he had a rain jacket on. It was really quite windy too which didn;t help at all.

 After a wild night when a lot of trees were uprooted or blown over and there was lots of rain , we checked with management about their plans and said that they would play it by ear. Lynn had already decided that based on the threat maps from the BOM it would be prudent to leave town while we could and head" down the track".

 When we got to the Elizabeth River it was like a lake there was so much water you couldn't see the river and traffic was diverted onto the higher bridge that has been built for this purpose. We also saw lots of smaller trees down and plenty of water lying around and nearly over the road in a lot of places at creeks etc.

 We continued on to Pine Creek and decided that we should be safe enough here. We checked in to the Lazy Lizard C/park and are the only ones here. It's a nice park but again because of the rain there is lots of water lying around, all the grass is totally waterlogged so a trip to the loo is like going for a swim.
 the amenities are clean but very rustic. There doesn't seem to be anyone else staying the other parks either.

 Yesterday we went for a drive in the afternoon when the rain eased off. although we have driven through Pine Creek many times we haven't spent time and explored the area. So our first stop was the lookout where you can see the old mine pit which is now full of water. It was filled many years ago.

 From the  Lookout we drove back into town and looked around at the other caravan parks and then drove out to Pussy Cat Flats about 5 klms out of town on the Jabiru road. There is caravan camping there too at the racecourse.
 On our way back to the van we stopped at the Railway museum. This is mainly some old buildings and a shed that houses an old steam engine and a more modern diesel motor.

 an old mine shaft at the Lookout
 1877 locomotive at the Railway Museum
Old railway station

 newer diesel Locomotive

 From the museum we headed home as it was about to rain again and we spent a quiet night with no flies , no humidity and peace and quiet but with lots of rain and no wind.

 The next day we decided to stay put and let things in Darwin settle down as well as there were concerns that the bridge at Adelaide river would go under due to the large volume of water coming down the cathcment area. however this didn't eventuate.
 As Lynn had decided to clean the awning on both sides I thought that I would go for a walk in the drizzly rain and take a look at the old mining relics that are on display not far from the museum.

 Although Pine Creek is associated with gold mining there is a lot of old uranium mines in this area mainly towards Kakadu on the road to the UDP or Gumlorm falls. This   set of  story boards had the history of uranium mining.
Mining Machinary

 boab trees :note rain spots on camera lens

 More machinary
 Head frame

old stamping mill and boiler

 While we were at the museum yesterday I noted a plaque to a "Walk through Time  but thought nothing more of it as I couldn't see what it referred to . As I was walking to the mining musem  along a footpath that extends almost the lenght of the town I came across some tiled plaques which depicted the history of the town through time. Unfortunaely some of the aboriginal stories had been vandalised.

 We really enjoyed our time at Pine Creek and when we got back to Darwin we found that it was optional to leave  and only a few of us did, the rest decided to stay put.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Out and about in Darwin Jan 2011

 While we have been in Darwin we have caught up with a few friends and dined out in the great outdoors in Darwin. Despite being the "wet season" there are often patches of no rain and indeed we may not see any rain for several days. That is when it gets very hot and humid and most unpleasant. If it's raining its often much cooler.

 A couple of weeks ago we went to the Wharf on a Sunday night . This is a popular venue as there are a number of takeaway places selling Asian food  and seafood with lots of tables set up either outside on the wharf or inside  in the building. This gives people the
 option of being out of the rain if needed.  These places are also open during the day at the weekend. Many locals go down to fish off the wharf.

 Our group of 8 people had a variety of food both Asian ( Thai) and seafood and as it was Pete's birthday the next day we finished off with birthday cake.

 The wharf has 2 sections that enclose a small body of water that provides safe anchorage for a few boats , including the tugs that bring the big boats in.

 Old fishing boat ? pearling lugger now a tourist boat

 Our group with Lynn on the right hand end  and Pearl shop behind them

 Some of the new waterfront developement  which includes a wave pool

 As Alex has a birthday a week after Pete's , we again gathered together to celebrate but this time we went to the Nightcliff foreshore where there are a number of areas set aside wiht lawns and picnic tables, Bbqs etc. When we went to the wharf it poured so we were inside but at Nightcliff we were ablle to relax outside and enjoy a really lovely sunset which unfortunately I didn't get a photo of as others in the group were clicking away happily.

 Having a sundowner!!!!

 another part of the foreshore  suitable for picnicking  as the path leads to nice flat rock
 A bit dark as it was almost sunset
 Both nights were quite different but both were very enjoyable  due to the company.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Arrivals Feb 2011

 The main reason we have been in Darwin is so I could support my daughter through her labour of having twins.  They were due in middle of Feb but as most people know they usually come early. So when she got to 38 weeks and nothing was happening she was booked for an induction and after  about 10 hours the first twin girl was delivered and another 29 minutes later the second twin arrived. Both are healthy and mother is doing well. She did very well to deliver both twins normally.

 The arrival of these twins has caused much excitement in the family as there is no history of twins. they are not identical and in fact couldn't be more different except they are about the same lenght. The first twin ( Kallie ) is the heavier by about 200gm.

 Lisa with both the girls ( Mahlia nearest the camera)
  These 2 girls have been doing well enough that they will probably come home from hospital tomorrow at just 5 days old.