(6-9 August 2010)
So onto Katherine as we edge ever closer to Darwin, where we stay at another homestead, this time the Springvale Homestead, some 7km west of the town centre. And another campsite with some wildlife in some wallabies, many birds including ducks, geese and some ugly birds we first saw back near Tolga in the Atherton Tablelands, which we are still yet to identify, plus a crocodile on the opposite bank of the billabong (pond).
And, yes there was no fence to the billabong, but the crocodile was most likely a freshwater variety, and therefore less threatening than the saltwater kind.
On the Saturday, we check out the markets – where there was a high percentage of Thai/Malay food stalls (laksa anyone at 10am?). We bought some locally grown watermelon (the ones with seeds!), small bulbous aubergine and scrummy, sweet cherry tomatoes.
In the afternoon, we drive into Mitmiluk NP for some Gorge action, only to watch M take a quick dip in the river at the first gorge – yes the one they recently closed due to a saltie. We didn’t do a gorge cruise – the tribe not too keen on going on boats – nor did we do a walk as it was estimated to be an equivalent of 40C on the bushtracks. We were however entertained by the blue-eyed honey eater and the short-eared rock wallaby.
On the way back to the campsite, we stop at the Katherine Hot Springs for a dip – not as warm as the Mataranka Thermal Pool, yet it is a great place to unwind and relax, which the tribe enjoy – and enjoy it so much, we return again the following afternoon.
Sunday – well this Sunday was not like any other Sunday as it was the trio’s 4th birthday! And to kick things off, we had pancakes - okay, we have pancakes most Sundays – but the trio each had a stack with a candle. After brekkie, Saffiya handed out the presents to Kaydin, Zak and Soraya, plus she received a few herself.
M carved and decorated three separate cakes, so that each of the trio had their own cake and we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’: Kaydin at morning tea, Zak at afternoon tea and Soraya at dessert. Giving each of them their special attention made the birthday just that little bit more exceptional, as they are all exceptional little people.
So three cakes in one day – we were stuffed!