I last posted maps of our travels on the blog on 28 February. We were in southwest Western Australia at the time. Since then we have done some amazing traveling and seen some wondrous birds and sights. We stayed longer than we originally intended in some places and skipped some places we had intended to visit. This map approximates our route, but does not include Exmouth, the Mitchell Plateau and Kakadu NP to mention a few. Google maps have their limits and I thought I would give an idea of our general route rather than getting all the specifics right.
|March, April, May and starting into June...|
Troopi has done us more than proud. We’re back in Alice and tomorrow she gets her pop top canvas replaced with a waterproof pvc cloth. We have needed this badly for a while. We “worked around” the old stuff with a tarp, but eventually that just would not do. She needs this and so do we.
|Troopi crossing King Edward River|
It’s been an amazing journey. We have made new friends, some of which I reckon will remain life-long, close friends. We have also met very many friendly, helpful, wonderful people and only two complete assholes. That, my friends, is a pretty good average for over nine months of traveling and lots of people. I am grateful.
We have not kept track of the mileage, but it is a lot. We’ve now traveled all the way “around” Australia and down through most of the middle. I am completely comfortable driving on the left. And we have quite a lot more travel ahead of us until we stop in mid-August.
We have been through some changes. Our increased activity levels has tanned our skin and slimmed our bodies a bit. Lynn has discovered her ability to rock climb hillsides when there’s a grasswren on the other side. She was amazing. I am grateful.
We’ve ridden down rivers containing crocodiles in a little “tinny” to get cracking views of Chestnut Rails. We’ve seen Eclectus Parrots getting jiggy with it by their nest hole. We’ve climbed through mangroves, mud, sand, spinifex, briars, speargrass and boulders to get to birds. And don’t even start with the flies. We’ve driven up closed roads and through rivers, and we beheld the Black Grasswren. Last spring, we pushed Matilda (Troopi’s forerunner) up Eungella, survived it, and we got that honeyeater. We now have seen all 75 Honeyeaters in Oz (I.O.C. list). We have been SO fortunate in the birds we have found. I have stood and stared at a pair of Grey Falcons with my heart in my throat and my eyes wetting with joy. I am grateful.
|One of the genuine, OMG moments of my life.|
Lynn has truly become a birder. She is our ears (I cannot hear the high frequencies). She has found so many birds for us! She was never into listing, but began a list to keep track of what she had seen. She’s now at 636 Australian birds and she's not done yet. I am very grateful.
I have talked about “keeping it real” and I have written a bit about my anxiety and OCD, etc. It’s not all easy. It is not all smiles and fun. There is a lot of stress in being in such close proximity 24/7, but we’ve been making it work (most of the time). And I am grateful that we are not crazier than we are, very grateful.
|I love these two photos, especially together. They capture what I think is the best of us. This was at the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse by Broome, WA. |
So, have a look back through the blog entries and catch up with what-all we’ve seen and done. I read back over them myself and I am amazed. And I was there! And I am so very grateful.
Peace. Love. Birds.