We left ‘crazy’ behind and headed up to Tennant Creek. We stopped off to view Devils Marbles, a truly unusual collection of boulders and rocks, some perched in impossible precarious positions. There’s a mystical calm in places like this and I can understand why parts of it are considered sacred by the local Aboriginals. Again, I found it hard not to take photographs at every turn, where each turn revealed a new angle and a new interesting shot. Just fantastic.
It was a relief to leave Tennant Creek. I thought the sound of dingoes howling at night was scary but that wasn’t as bad as hearing some of the locals screaming at each other in the main street. The less said the better.
We had intended to stay at Elliott but the drive was easy, we arrived in Elliott before lunch, and we decided instead to push on the Daly Waters. However, the first thing we saw was a completely packed caravan park, and us with no reservation. No powered sites left but we had first pick of the sites in the overflow paddock, so at least we got to park close to the only tap they had there. The camper coped beautifully, lights ran off battery, stove and fridge ran off gas so we were cruising! Love my camper trailer….
There’s a great atmosphere here. Daly Waters is one of those quirky outback pubs full of all manner of momentos left by backpackers and other travellers. Anything from money, caps, Tshirts, bras and underpants, number plates, or thongs just to name a few.
Of course we had to have a drink at the Daly Waters Pub and Ryan raised a few laughs when he came up behind me at the front bar and exclaimed very loudly “Mum, why can’t
I have a beer?!”
As it turned out he and his brothers did have a (ginger) beer. Matthew thought this was funny, I think he’s going to go back to school and tell his mates “I had a beer in the Daly Waters Pub!”
Found another outback gem today, her name is Fran and she lives in Larrimah. Fran runs a TeaHouse, at least that’s what the large billboard proclaims. ‘Home made pastries, pies sausage rolls, Devonshire Teas’. Seemed perfect for morning tea.
As it turned out, Fran’s Tea House was in fact her front garden. A ramshackle collection of outdoor tables and chairs adorned with plastic flowers and very cheery, enthusiastic Fran inviting us to please sit down and she’ll bring out scones for everyone.
The boys were fascinated by her collection of small china statues of (mostly) dogs but Fran warned them they could look but don’t touch as they bite back! A small handpainted sign declared these statues to be her family.
Similar hand painted signs were everywhere. One requested that “As I am on my own, could you please place dishes in the pink tub. Only if you want to. Fran”
Sadly, a more touching sign was in the outside toilet asking “Please don’t take my soap and toilet paper” Would anyone be so heartless?!
I think she miscalculated the cost and I was overcharged but I wasn’t going to quibble. If this dear old lady had the initiative to set up a Tea House in her front garden, and supply It with her own cooking then I say she deserves the tip and good luck to her! It was a pleasure to enjoy such hospitality (and yummy home made scones) in a dusty front yard on the Stuart Highway.
We’ve been in Katherine the last few days. This caravan park is set some distance from the town but it is like a little oasis. Lush lawns, pandanus palms, pool, bistro and the cleanest (and warmest) toilet/showers I’ve seen yet. It is also on the banks of the Katherine River and only a short distance from the Hot Springs.
We visited the Hot Springs on our first afternoon and have been back everyday since. Beautifully warm and crystal clear, in the shade of more pandanus plams, it was heaven.
Today we did a boat cruise down the Katherine Gorge, the best (and really the only) way to view the gorge. Along the way the guide pointed out several crocodiles and water snakes, then stopped to let us all have a swim!...And we did! Crazy , huh? This was another of those truly awesome moments, not just the swim but the whole cruise. The kids loved it too. After the tour, we returned to town and naturally went straight to the Hot Springs for another dip before dinner.
Tonight we are repacking/restocking the camper for our next leg. Tomorrow we head off to Litchfield National Park. The campsite is a first come, first served arrangement so we’ll have to leave early (it is school holidays up here) and where we are staying there is no power and no water. Wish me luck… Oh, there is also no mobile/internet coverage so will be out of contact for the next 4-5 days. Bye for now :)
PS. Sorry, no photos this time. Haven't had time to do it. Am madly typing this as Marten is driving, hoping i can at least get this posted before we drop out of range. Will hopefully post more photos early next week...
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