Today was always going to be an R&R day at Gemtree so we didn’t have to hurry getting ready for anything this morning. It was cold but nowhere near last night at Ross River – we are a bit higher up and a bit further north which should make some difference.
Once up and having fiddled around a bit in Bertha, we headed off to the Gemtree Café for their legendary Devonshire Tea, served in the sun under the verandah. It really hit the spot, that’s for sure. After that we went into the Gem Room to have a good look at what was on display. They have a great range of local and imported gems on display and for sale; some made up as jewellery pieces. They also have settings available for visitors lucky enough to have found something precious on their fossicking tours and would like it made into jewellery on the spot.
By now it was getting close to lunch time so we bought a couple of Aaron’s beef pies from the shop and took them back to Bertha for lunch. Aaron really is a talented cook!
After lunch we knew that we really needed some exercise so we took off on the Gemtree Nature Walk with a handy guide we picked up at the office. The nature walk is about 3.5 kms overall, and has well marked trees and other interesting landmarks, all of which are well explained in the guide.
There is also a rough map which at least gives you some idea as to where you are in relation to the camp ground. The Australian bush won’t look quite the same again, now that we have seen different variations of the many species of trees and shrubs, etc. The guide also gave some interesting details about different mountain ranges visible from different places on the path. We even found what had at one time been a bush golf course, complete with ball washer!
Our only regret about going on the nature walk was that we hadn’t applied enough insect repellent – the flies were terrible.
Back at Bertha, having well and truly had our exercise for the day, we settled down to some fresh fruit and coffee, and to catch up with a bit of reading.
There is no mobile or TV access here, but there is limited free wi-fi internet courtesy of the NT Government. Unfortunately it is slow and very limited and we have been unable to connect at all. We spoke to many others who were also unable to connect, despite huddling outside the laundry area where the ‘hot spot’ is.
With so much to see and do it really hasn’t been a problem for us.
Tomorrow the plan is to get back to the Stuart Highway and start heading north, towards the warmth. Hopefully we’ll have both mobile and internet access where-ever we end up for the night.
Gee this Coddiwompling is fun!