Report 10 June
By Benno Graas
Darwin; If there is a city that is in my imagination of natural development, then this is Darwin. Located in the Northern Territory of Australia. A country with such a clear diversity of exceptional animals compared to the surrounding countries and the rest of the world. It was therefore a relief to arrive here at night and without a lot of sight, to sniff the air, to breathe in the atmosphere of the country.
Outside the airport we were spontaneously offered a lift to the former Quantas Hangar from 1934, where the Motor Vehicle Enthusiasts club is housed. Since everything was still closed, we moved into the adjacent park from where we watched the awakening of the city of Darwin; exotic birds chanted the sun above the horizon of the tropical vegetation. Local passers nodded goodbye.
Not long after, Leo opened the gate of the eldorado of antique engines, cars, trucks and stationary engines; a lust for the eye.
As soon as Paul van Bruggen came to pick us up to stay in his spacious house on the outside of Darwin, in Palmerston. His wife Maja and their sons Wil and Tom received us with a surprising naturalness. Tom led us through the exotic garden explaining what was and what was not to eat. Which animals are interesting and which you can better avoid.
In the shed, Paul showed us his collection of Chevrolets and he also turned out to have an Enfield: “The Fly” a light model motorcycle that was regularly dropped on a parachute during the war.
In the afternoon, friends from thirty years ago arrive, so that in the evening we have a delicious dinner and a drink with his tens in “the Mancave”. What a welcome !!
Report June 10
On to Darwin.
For breakfast, Dirk was already grinding the rim of the T-Ford.
We are invited to come and have breakfast on the terrace with Diana and John. Delicious!
There is great room to work with John here.
There must be 2 tires around the rims so that we have 2 spare wheels on the T-Ford. Rick also comes to help.
I work on the reports and when Dirk is done with the T-Ford we say goodbye and leave for Darwin. We can also camp with John and Diana next week with our new team. These are the last driving days to the north.
It is busy on this road and also the road trains are passing us again at high speed. Every time we are happy again when the roadtrrain disappears from view. We count the kilometer signs towards Adelaide River. It is namely 200 kilometers and we only left at 1 o’clock.
Even today we see beautiful termite mounds.
We are going close to a forest fire. The sun disappears behind the smoke.
Still further towards Adelaide River there is a larger forest fire. We see large flames close to the road. We go through a huge cloud of smoke, see almost nothing and then we are happily passed by.
At the campsite we get a beautiful place but for safety we have to put the cars in such a way that we can drive away quickly.
Rick bought a bottle of champagne to toast on the driven Gibb River Road.