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Thursday 4 Sep 2003
Katherine, Australia

Back in the Tropics!

Katherine, Katherine.. what a lovely name for a town eh?

Well here I am.. right back above the Tropic of Capricorn and well into the tropics on a direct straight northerly drive that has taken me all the way from Alice Springs....

...Ive arrived and ITS HOT! This is at 4pm too.. I wonder what it will be like tommorrow midday...

Without further delay I shall bestow upon thee my northerly-travelling tales of intrigue!

1st September - Alice Springs

Got car serviced.. no problems there. Popped off and bought me a Barmah collapsable hat made from Kangaroo leather (will come in handy for those bush-walks .. or even walking in the rain in Eire).. sort of an EARLY birthday present from the guys at home

2nd - Stuart Highway

Left Alice Springs... Arrived Devils Marbles. On the way I popped into a bar at Barrow Creek - which I thought had a touch more personality than the more famous Daly Waters pub (which I saw the next day). Irish lady from Bray owned the place and had been living there (middle of nowhere) for past 22 years... saw about 30 gigantic Wedge-Tailed eagles eating away kangaroo carcasses left on the road. They are so big that I thought they were kangaroos themselves from a distance! Big enough to nab a baby Id say! Travelling mothers beware!

3rd - Stuart Highway

Left Devils Marbles... passed Three Ways and Tennant Creek without stopping... popped into the ghost-town of Newcastle Waters.. This was a fascinating place which has abandoned hotels and shops that you can walk around. I pretended I worked behind the check-in desk while chatting to a lady from WA. Great fun!... took a peak at Daly Waters famous pub memorabillia. Its a funny place, but a bit OVER-RATED when compared to the authentic Old Telegraph Station memorabillia of Barrows Creek...Arrived into Larrimah and stayed at campsite for the bargain $2.50

Today...

Left Larrimah... went to Mataranka - beautiful blue-opal colour thermal springs. I took a dip in there for a few hours of complete bliss. Did my tense muscles some good too after all those hours of driving! The Elyse National Park nearby was a wonderful place to stroll around for an hour.. saw several wallabies (complete with babies in pouch) hopping across path in front of me. Also near the springs I saw and heard (although SMELL is the far more overpowering sense in this case) thousands upon thousands of flying-fox-bats in the trees above where I swam.. probably not the most wise of environments to be under. *KERSPLAT*.. yep lots of bat droppings to be dodged right there mate!

Arrived into Katherine and have to now find a parking space for the night...

Phew! Oh one other thing... Im FED UP of having to do the "Aussie Wave" to every flippin car I come across on the highway (a one or two-finger salute that you give to every car that approaches on the outback highways.. just raise them fingers off the steering wheel about an inch.. thatll do). So Ill stop it.. even if they DO give me evil glares as they pass me by!!

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