40 days away
536 km / 333 miles since last post
9,264 km / 5,756 miles total
Today started with a nasty fright! After taking a shower, I came back into the van to get changed and was greeted by a Huntsman spider sitting on the door handle. Stu was still lying in bed at the time, but that soon changed when I gave him strict instructions to get up and get rid of the spider immediately! He managed to coax it out of the van without having to kill it, which I was quite glad about. It still took me 20 minutes or so to venture to that end of the van - 'just in case'. I hate spiders at the best of times, but these spiders are big and hairy.
Once I'd checked the van was arachnid-free, we hit the road. We knew from the outset that today would be another fairly uneventful day on the road. The aim was to make it up to Daly Waters and decide from there if we could make it any further. The drive up was fine, and we narrowly missed two massive dark and stormy clouds. However, once we arrived at Daly Waters we realised that the rain had arrived before us. The intention was to visit the historic Daly Waters pub. This had a recommendation in our travel book as an authentic outback watering hole. The problem was that the connecting road was through a flowing causeway which was flooded by 20cm. Although this isn't too deep, and we could have made it past without any trouble, our concern was that if it rained any more we may not be able to get back. Therefore, we decided to stay at the campsite we'd passed before this turning, just to be on the safe side. This campsite had also received a good soaking, and most of the powered sites were on flooded grass. Luckily, there was a powered area on a more gravely section of road.
Almost as soon as we'd parked up and plugged in the van to the mains power, it started to rain really hard. We wondered at one point if there would be any let-up, as the sky turned very dark. But it only really lasted about an hour, and the sky soon brightened up. I guess we've had the first proper wake up call that we are in the Northern Territory during the wet season.
The good thing about today is that we have made some good distance, and we arrived at Daly Waters early enough to have a good rest and enjoy a relaxing evening. This place looks a little more like a car park than a campsite, but it has power so we at least have air con. It may have been raining but it's still warm outside. Hopefully the rest of the night will stay dry, as it would be nice to visit the Daly Waters pub tomorrow before we head up to Katherine and beyond.
We are both in two minds about visiting Darwin. The problem with the wet season is that all too often roads are flooded and we could end up getting cut off somewhere for several days. We have plenty of food and water, but this would impact our schedule significantly. We'll see how it goes.