Monday 15th June 2015, 32 and warm
Victoria River to Katherine
Ah the smell of hay is wafting into the van. The sun turns the escarpments bright red. Kangaroos graze quietly, there are four blue winged kookaburras in the gum tree above. You know the ones that don’t laugh properly and all that comes out is a strange strangled sound. High up on the rock ledges are tall Livingstonia palms. Lorikeets and corellas go bonkers in the gum trees.
This is beautiful country, coloured grasses (I’ve gained an appreciation for grasses on this trip) and perky, ooh bugger we’ve just hit a galah, hills.
The trees are getting taller now and we’re chatting about the mirrors that we’ve lost along the way when we notice that the left mirror has gone, again. Looks like that galah must have taken it on the way past. Grass fires burn on the roadsides as this is the time for burning off. The hawks are having a great time catching the fleeing critters.
Katherine, birthplace of cyclist Cadel Evans. This is a very tropical town and Shady Lane Caravan Park is all palms and mango trees. I ask the chap at the Info Centre what the main attractions are in town apart from the Katherine Gorge of course, and he replies “me”. I’ll have to stop asking that question. As crossing rivers was a difficult business in the old days there are three river crossings here, in order of age and height: Knots Crossing, Low Level Crossing and High Level Crossing. Low level crossing is all gushing and water between pandanus and melaleuca and a very cool picnic area. There are fresh water crocs here but the locals don’t seem at all perturbed as a pregnant mum is wading about giggling with the kids. But then again 25,000 crocs in Lake Argyle didn’t stop us from splashing about. Things are a little more sedate at the hot springs where the perfectly clear water spills from one pool to the next. Nomads and backpackers sit about ‘taking the waters’.
Back at camp the Happy Wanderers return as the Ollies and M & C arrive, but it’s time to say goodbye to our new Hobart mates as they’ll head east tomorrow.
Travelling Kms: 201Kms