After the Red Center, things really started to warm up for us, literally. Up until now we had been camping in weather that was close to freezing. In fact, one night we woke up to frost on the tent. Every night before bed I would pile on all the jackets in my suitcase and then crawl underneath my huge blanket and try my hardest not to move so the heat would trap itself inside my cocoon.
Our last cool weather spot was the Devil's Marbles. We camped at this natural attraction and woke up early the next day so we could explore it. The Devil's Marbles is a wildlife park in the Northern Territory that houses another one of the aboriginal's sacred sites. Like Uluru, this site is also know for evil spirits and large rocks. Instead of one huge rock however, the marbles are dozens and dozens of smaller boulders piled on top of one another. The aboriginal people believe that “dream people” live underneath the rocks. These are people that look like regular human beings but have powers to make you lose your mind. When the aboriginals camped there in the olden days they often experienced their people getting captured by the dream people and taken away mentally. When this would happen they would sing ritual songs to bring the people back out of captivity. Throughout the years the people have lost this song. Now when someone disappears with the dream people, there is no way to bring them back. That is why the aboriginals no longer camp at this spot.
Despite its evil reputation, I thought the Devil's Marbles was a wonderful place. The area is unique and not too crowded, plus you can climb it!
By 9:15 we pulled out of the Devil's Marbles and moved north into the warmer climate. Along with all of the weird gas stations, we also began to see rocks with t-shirts on them. Lining the road from here to Darwin were tons of rocks with shirts on them. At first we thought it was a fluke, but the commonality of it told us otherwise. When we made it to a rest stop with wifi, I did a quick Pinterest search to learn that this was actually another inventive attraction. A few avant garde fashion designers came up with the idea of making creatures out of the rocks. It was a pretty popular thing to dress up the rocks and take a picture with them. Of course, after reading this, I had to get in on the fun. So a few miles down the road I begged Matthew and Maggie to let me do a quick photo. The result is below.
The further north we went the more tropical the landscape became. With each stop we could feel the air getting warmer and warmer. By the end of the day we made it to Elsey National Park and the hot and sticky weather made us feel as though we had finally made progress towards our destination.
At this point we had been on the road for about a week, and because we were in no hurry to get to Darwin, we decided to slow things down and enjoy the weather we'd driven so far to get to. This meant we took our time to see the area. We stayed two nights at this campsite and enjoyed using the water and shower facilities.
That night I not only went to bed without any extra layers on, but I also slept without my blanket. Suddenly the climate had changed our whole camping routine. Flip flops and shorts were brought out of the bottom of our bags, swim suits had to be dug out and all fresh food now had a 24-hour expiration date. Not only was it hot up here, but it was extremely humid. This brought on new problems like sweat and mosquitos.