Darcy was awake all night. I am sure it was nothing to do with food intolerances, just him wanting to feed all night. Little bugger. And it was a lovely cool night so it was not the heat keeping him awake.??? I think it was around 4:30 when i fed him (again) and he fell asleep but with the beginnings of movement and chatter outside i could not get back to sleep. Tim was up at 5 to get ready for dawn service. I debated about waking Jordy and was really torn about trying to go but there was no way he would be quiet for the service so we let him sleep. Still, i got dressed properly just in case he did wake and i had that extra bit of a reason to go, but no, he slept! Both kids even slept through the noisy departure of a dozen bikies!
Tim, Mum, and Dad said it was a nice service with a really big turnout but there were too many politicians speaking. I had thought there might be a flyover with the airforce base being just 5min jetflight away but there wasn't. But there were a heap of airforce personnel there.
At the end of the service there was a free breakfast back at the showground! We had a stroke of luck there! $10 for a site AND breakfast! And it was a really big deal too. More people than we have seen in a long time and it was a huge full cooked breakfast. And for those that did not have a big drive ahead of them the alcohol was also flowing for free. One bloke was wandering around with this huge bottle of bundy rum and filling up glasses around the place. I was talking to another family at breaky and it;s not just local station families and the outlying communities but apparently a lot of people come from Darwin (all the scouts were from Darwin) but i would have to guess that there were over 1,000 people there which is pretty good for a town with a population of well under half that!
Two-up was on later in at the pub but we wanted to call out to Litchfield and that would make our drive over 300km today so back to the van to pack up. We were still out of there around 9am even after such a busy morning.
The nearest town to Litchfield is Batchelor and we wanted to drive through and see what it was like and what was there. It's only small (pop of about 350) but we all thought it was a really nice, tidy looking little community. There is a pool and school, and lots of tree'd park areas and a little grocery store and petrol station and a new looking pub etc. We parked the vans near the pool and left them there while we drove the 70km into the national park to the cafe.
The park is the same odd mix of tropical and dry plants that we had around Mataranka. It's interesting to see and not what i expected. I'm used to national parks being full of tall trees and dense undergrowth but all the bush out here is low trees and dry grasslands. Lots of little creeks though. We saw all the massive magnetic termite mounds but we drove straight past this time.
Got out to Litchfield Cafe and i had my fingers crossed that it would be ok but was prepared for it if it was really rough. But yay!!!! one of the first things i noticed when we parked was the grassy areas and big shade trees around the cafe so that was a plus. We went in and met our future boss and his family and they were great to chat with. But hot! bleaugh. Apparently it was a good 5' cooler today than it has been so i am glad we were not here yesterday. And i really hope it cools down even more over the next week.
The area where our van will go is a bit sandier and the shower/toilets are really rough! LOL! But we knew that. We are not sure what kind of internet reception we'll get out there and the guys are talking about getting a little satellite dish so we can pick up some tv. Looks like they get super busy for lunches, especially with the bus tours. But we are all looking forward to getting in and working for a bit. It's mostly all family working out there and there are three other kids, 5weeks, nearly 2 and nearly 4. So add in our 1yr old and our nearly 3yr old and we'll have a great little mob.
We spent a good hour or more out there talking and having a look around the place. I did not get any photos (sorry!) but as soon as we head out there next week i'll get lots. Drove back and and picked up the vans again and then continued in to Darwin.
Most of the van parks are all 10-15min out of the centre of Darwin so we did not get a chance to see the city. It was after 4pm when we got to the park so just set up and then a sit around. Jordy rode his trike around the park. Just had risotto for dinner in the rice cooker. Bloody hot and muggy! We thought it might have been cooling down cos we've had some nicer nights recently but i guess those extra hundred km north to the coast has not helped. Went to bed with the air con on all night.