Katherine NT to Darwin NT

Thursday/Friday July 15/16 in Katherine NT.

Katherine is the last town of any size before Darwin as you head north up the A1 Stuart Highway. Its great attraction is the Katherine River Gorge, some 30 kms outback from the town itself. We took the trip and it is spectacular, saw one freshwater crocodile who was taking a snooze and some amazing scenery. Lots of people were swimming in the river, not a dangerous activity with freshwater crocs. However in the wet season when the river floods some saltwater crocs (they will eat you!) can enter the gorge and we saw a couple of traps set up but with nobody home.

Katherine also has large aboriginal population and unlike the ones we encountered in Tennant Creek, these were more amenable. However many of them look to be destitute and behave somewhat strangely. For instance, there is a dual lane highway that runs through the middle of town and any time of day you would see them sitting on the median grass strip in amongst the traffic fumes having picnics or meetings etc quite oblivious to all that was going on around them. They also like to swear out loud quite a bit as we found out one morning. We were walking to the coffee shop one day when we passed a family, mother aged about 35 with 4 children, one of which was about 4 years old pushing a 2 year old in a push chair. As we walked past the mother she bellowed out to her kids (or perhaps to us?) “Are you f**king deaf?” to which her 4 year old replied “are you f**king deaf?” This appeared to amuse the two year old in the push chair who summoned up all the volume she could muster and rent the air with “are you f**king deaf?” This carried on until we were out of earshot, it was kind of sad I suppose, but it did give us a good giggle. We also saw an old abbo woman being put unceremoniously in the back of the paddy wagon one morning, quite what her crime was it was hard to tell. All in all our experiences with the aboriginals and the conditions they must survive in have been a real eye opener for us on this trip.

Saturday July 18th. Katherine to Darwin via the A1 Stuart Highway.

A relatively short drive today of just 332 kms to our holiday apartment in Darwin. We are here until next Saturday when we board the Ghan Train for our journey down to Adelaide and then home. So unless some monumental events occur there will be no more updates while we are in Darwin.

ODO reading from Clarenza = 5714.7 kms

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