Still Westward Hoing (Through NT)
Sunday 9th June
We went and bought some more tablets and then went off to Bunnnings to get another bolt for the table. Then we were off.
Monday 10th June
Ronnie got up to see who he could chat to this morning and they were all gone!!!! It was only 8.00 am!
So we drove through to Barkley Homestead and bought fuel and then continued on to (7) 41 Mile Bore.
We invited him over for sundowners. That got extended to dinner. Well we talked and talked. He had had so many great adventures and been to so many fascinating places. One of his favourites was Iran which came as quite a surprise and he loved India. He had hitched a ride with a family on a yacht from Indonesia and was headed back there via Darwin. He was still riding the same old 8 gear push bike he had left home on and had only replaced the tyres once, when they had worn down almost to the inner tubes. While we were having dinner a feral cat walked in, bold as brass and sat down next to us then ran off again. We have seen about 5 or 6 feral cats running across the road when we were driving. Sam had been frightened by some dingos the night before and had slept on top of a road grader because he figured that they probably wouldn’t climb up there to get him. I think he is very brave although he says he is a bit psycho now from all the time he spends alone. He said most everyone he has met has been friendly but when he was at Barkly Homestead they refused to let him fill up his 2 litre water bottle. We had talked so much, it had gone 10.00pm and we figured what the hell? Why don’t you sleep here? So he pitched his tent next to Indie and we settled in for the night.
We set off. Sam left about quarter of an hour before us but had managed to get a good head start before we caught up and passed him.
We headed off towards Daly Waters and Ron pulled over a few times to let caravans pass. After the last one we were joking that he would probably take the last powered site. We pulled in to (99) Daly Waters Pub and the caravan had just made it in front of us. He headed for the front door of the Pub and I raced round through the beer garden and just got served before him but there were still a few powered sites left. It was much fuller than last October.
We pulled in, plugged in and headed straight for the beer garden.
They were so nice and super friendly.
The entertainment was fabulous and there were three this time. Col who was a bit Country and Western, Steve who was definitely Rock and Roll and Chilli who was the comedian. Mind you, when Steve played ‘Running Bear’ there was only me and one old bloke up the front who shouted out ‘in the raw’ at the end of each line!!!!
Although not technically part of the entertainment, I think Joey’s innovative way of carrying wine glasses does belong under that heading somewhere
The night’s entertainment, which started at 4.30 pm finally finished at about 9.30 pm and after showers etc. we didn’t get to bed till after 10.30 pm.
Wednesday 12th June
When we were packing up to leave, Ron struck up a conversation with a couple from WA. As I came to join in it turned out, he was the man I beat to the bar to book in. They were saying the same about us getting the last powered site and he figured if I got it, I would have to look after their two kids for the night!!!!
We left Daly Waters and headed up to Katherine. We went to The Mall (Woolies and about five other shops) and would you believe……It cost $2.00 to go to the toilet…… each and they operate on a 15 minute rotation basis (i.e. they close for 15 minutes every 15 minutes!!!!!)
We booked in to The Boab Caravan Park ($38.00) for the night. It is across the road from Johnnie’s Electrical. He is apparently the Guru of satellite television throughout the length and breadth of the Australian continent. So guess where Ronnie is headed tomorrow?
landscape has finally started to change as we are approaching the Victoria River
Area. I am making up for not taking photos yesterday! The scenery is amazing
and so different.
we crossed over the Victoria River and filled up with fuel at (196) Victoria
River Road House. Then we walked back.
took the high road (the new bridge – no hills) and I took the low road (the old
bridge – one hill).
there, we drove through Timber Creek and on to (204) Big Horse Creek Campground
in Gregory National Park, set up and had lunch. It was quite crowded, but only
cost $3.30 per person per night so we decided to stay two nights.
spoke to a few folk and found out that you could walk a few hundred metres down
the road to a bridge across the river to an Army field area. So off we went.
Thursday 13th June
We went to Johnnie’s and measured up the size of the dish which would have to live across the beds, and the tripod which would not fit in the boot so would need a spot inside, and the hookie thing out the front which also would have to travel inside plus the box that does whatever it does and needs to connect to the TV and needs a space to live as well and bear in mind all this stuff has to be moved outside every time we park up to camp and never mind where it will go in the rain and so Ron had pretty much decided that it was too much of a hassle especially since I didn’t want it anyway. Suddenly a dissatisfied customer came in saying that his dish that he bought there a few months ago had never worked because it was bent and he had had to buy a new one in Broome. Johnnie’s reaction was to bend it back into shape and tell the customer that it was fine now and would work. The customer then said that he didn’t need it because he had a new one and wanted a refund but Johnie insisted that he didn’t need a refund because the dish was fine now and he would plug it in and prove it was OK. We decided that we could live without that kind of after sales service and moved on from Katherine and finally turned left towards WA and new country we have not seen yet.
We only drove just over 100 klms and arrived at (194) Mathison Rest Area. It was pretty ordinary. I did a bit of knitting. Ron had a lie down. We went around and spoke to all the neighbours. There was a young Austrian couple in a panel van who were just delightful. When they said they were from Austria, I said ‘Oh, the country that Americans always think is Australia and they comment how small it is.’ The young bloke said ‘That’s OK. They think we have kangaroos and all we have is lakes and mountains’. But he went on to inform me that you can actually purchase T-shirts there that say ‘No Kangaroos in Austria’. Later we spoke to another nice couple in a huge Jayco motorhome and by the time we went home to Indie for our dinner it was after 8.30 pm.
It was only then that I realised that not only did I have no photos of the folk we met but I had not taken any photos all day!!! A first I think since we left home.
Friday 14th June
It is all hills and escarpments. We called in to (195) Sullivan Campground and went for a 100metre walk down to the creek with the warning ‘Do Not Drink’ and ‘Beware of Crocodiles’ signs.
From there it was through more impressive scenery, huge escarpments and fabulous colours
You could actually just see the bridge from the campsite.
We walked across the bridge.
And when we got to the other side, Ron thought of scaling the fence until the sign on the other side caught his eye.
‘Do not touch anything it may explode and kill you’ was the clincher!
We came back to camp, and there were these extraordinary
Bottle Trees or Boabs or whatever everywhere.
They are just gorgeous and come in all kinds of shapes!
Saturday 15th June
We have decided to stay another day, not because folk are friendly because they are not, but just to relax a bit. I spent most of the day knitting and finally we got some nice neighbours!
Their names are John and Teri and they are from England. They are not on bikes but travelling in a caravan. They have been coming to Australia for about 8 years and spend a few months travelling around each time. We invited them over for sundowners and had a good old natter. They are heading the same way as us so we shall probably cross paths again soon.
Tomorrow we head off to the border!!!!!!!