Word is out that I’m travelling around the country. A little bird (thanks Nicole) contacted ABC Radio in Sydney, who in turn contacted me for a brief chat on breakfast radio on July 24th. It was great to be on air to discuss a little bit about where I’ve been and where I’m going, a bit about being in hospital, a bit about me, about the rocket and about the rest of the adventure, and about Travelling Australia Mick’s Way.
Have a listen!
Vote 1 Mick Miller – ABC Breakfast Radio
Still in Darwin…….Sunny Darwin……From Sydney to Darwin to try out the rocket’s new rocket.
I’m excited to be back on the road.
Test Drive No. 1: Darwin to Kakadu. The drive from Darwin to Jabiru is about a 500km plus round trip, a dead flat road which the rocket loves, however still running a bit hot. I’m a bit concerned how hot she is running for an old girl and still not sure why. Menopause? Is the old girl having a mid life crisis?
I found a great camping ground in Jabiru: Kakadu Lodge. $15/night, great swimming pool, great food, great environment, lots of families all checking out the sights of Kakadu and checking me out. One of the dads said to his son “Hey check out the beetle” , the son, who had never seen a VW beetle before replied ” Duh! ….Dad…. that’s a car!”
From Jabiru there are lots of places to expore and experience. Border Store near Cahill’s Crossing on the East Alligator River is about 40 kms from Jabiru on the way to Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock. I visited Border Store a few times, this little rustic store sells food, souvenirs, fishing tackle, you can book tours and find out about free excursion and walks with the rangers.
Yeah I know I look like a tourist!
The rangers are so passionate and knowledgeable about the country, the heritage and the environment. They can answer every single question asked of them. I saw some amazing art and paintings, they are incredible, hard to believe some of them are over 2000 years old, they have to be seen to be believed.
A few locals travelled to the Border Store to demonstrate traditional Aboriginal painting techniques. They made their brushes from the reeds around us and paint from ground rock and ochre, painting some turtles and barramundi on some old pieces of cardboard, the results were inspiring.
Struth! This painting reminded me of my mate Micky Sol Cardiff !!
Driving around in the rocket, passing giant anthills, massive cliffs that seem to appear out of nowhere, low wet lands that are so lush and green, I can only begin to imagine how everything gets flooded out when it rains. Lots of wildlife; from dingoes, water buffalo, wallabies, black snakes and if you hang out at the crossing for long enough you can see a crocodile or two.
Now that’s an ant hill.
Kakadu has an amazing energy and power, its intriguing, its serene, it’s hard to describe in words, it needs to be experienced first hand.
The sunsets in the Territory are amazing
Something I’ve always wanted to do was to fly over Kakadu, so I booked a sunset flight with Scenic Flight.
Who’s that good looking co-pilot?….First Officer Miller
They definitely look after everyone. They even supply complimentary air sick bags! Very handy for the chick behind me who paid $130 to have her head in a paper bag for 40 minutes throwing up her lunch. Despite the inflight entertainment, this was sensational, awe inspiring in fact. I’ve seen Kakadu from the road, on foot and from the air.
Still a little concerned about the rocket, I decided to head back to Darwin a bit earlier than anticipated to have her backend looked at again to ensure she will be right for the rest of the trip. This seemed like a good idea at the time. but 20 kms into the trip passing a roadtrain, a rock shattered the windscreen!!
I pulled off the road, removed the windscreen (the original windscreen I might add), avoided cutting myself and continued on. It was quite exciting driving 221kms down the open road with vehicles passing me at 130 kms per hour, with no windscreen. I think my hair is still recovering.
Hello Darwin once again! I feel I have stayed at every hotel and backpackers known to man in Darwin. I thought at the beginning of the trip that I would spend some time in Darwin, well it’s been about 6 weeks in total in and around Darwin. Funny, what you put out you definitely get back! I’ve even got my own parking spot!
The mechanic was so excited to see us again!! He has been very patient and is doing everything he can to make sure the rocket is A OK and ready to do some serious driving on the next leg of the trip across to Broome.
I’ve made some new friends
And had a few catch ups with some old friends (Hi Fabio)
I’ve been to Goal
Another visit to the Mindil Markets, this time at night, so much fun and some whip cracking action from Mick’s Whips.
Charlie’s Country was playing at the deck chair cinema, I had to go and see that and so glad I did.
The Darwin Show was on when I was in town, so lucky. I jumped on yet another bus to check out the attractions at the 63rd Royal Darwin Show. A great day out. Lots of entertainment, food and fun. Pavilions full of top end life, arts, crafts, cookery and primary industry. A mouse circus, giant pumpkins, dog events, baking challenges, beaut ute competitions, amazing drumming monkeys, line dancing, bushwacker bonanza lumberjack show, the ring of death, fireworks, the grand parade and Mick Miller, to name a few of the attractions at the Darwin Show.
I checked out the livestock!
It came in all shapes and sizes!
It’s very cruzy in Darwin, everyone is on Territory time. People just stop in the middle of the street for a chat.
I loved this message I saw on the side of a van, a reminder about staying present.
I found a few Aboriginal Proverbs on my travels: “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”
Yep you guessed it, back to Sydney for a little while again, so my next blog may be from Sydney.
And I really liked this one “May as well be here we are as where we are.”
Well, here we are!