Beatit on the road - Day 14

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:12

Member - Beatit (QLD)

We left Mataranka this morning having already decided that we’ll come back on the way to the Gulf it is worth stopping there again. The sun really doesn’t get up till about 7 and that means it is difficult to get going until about 8 which is when most campers are leaving to hit the road. Our journey was to head north and stop at Mt Bundy which is about 80k short of Darwin. Our strategy is to get to Darwin relatively early and get a reasonable spot as we are planning to stay a week. The van parks don’t take bookings (I know I mentioned this before but I want to remind myself in the future).
Lis drove the first leg to Katherine where we stopped for morning tea and a toilet break. Some fresh fruit and vegies and we were done. The Information centre was a good place to park we have noticed this before so size them up when we drive into town. I drove to Hayes Creek for lunch but we agreed that it may have been wiser to take the Pine Creek diversion Road (only 15K) for a possibly better place to pull up. Then on to Mt Bundy where I was expecting to find Doug an ExploreOz member and regular contributor, sadly he no longer resides here.


As it was Sunday night and the Master chef final was on 10 and Lis did not want to miss this – so satellite visibility was priority no.1. This meant we had to go unpowered near the river. What a lovely spot there were heaps of Wallabies/kangaroos and it was very quiet as our nearest neighbours were a long way away. It is getting to be quite warm during the day so cooking outside has become more important as the van is warm enough now. We are expecting an overnight low of 12 degrees which will give us a nice cool morning.
The office here had a snake brochure and I found out the snake we saw at Mataranka was a black whip snake growing to 1.7 meters so I assumed the one we saw was fully grown, it matched the picture perfectly. After setting the van up for the night I decided to have a fish down at the pump near the river. I had a couple of good strikes but could not snag whatever was interested in the lure so once again empty handed on the fishing front.
Ikky was tired from another exhausting day on the road and he hit the perch early. We noticed that even at lunch time if we let him near his cage he just wants to get in and put out the “do not disturb” sign. I think a week in Darwin will give him some stability and a break from travelling. Lis was sitting outside when I was fishing and got caught by a whirly whirly which covered her in leaves, grass and dirt – she was not amused but I laughed my head off. The only shame is that there was no camera at ready when it struck.


This is a long trip that we would normally do with some close friends but due to circumstances we are doing this on our own. It is clear to me that when we travel as a group it is a whole different experience in many ways. Traveling solo (yes I know there are two of us – but you know what I mean) requires a lot more effort in ensuring that there are things to do and people to talk too. One of the outstanding differences is the travelling pace; I think that as a group we have travelled faster than we are travelling solo. I assume that as we are in a van and not moving as fast is one factor, I also think that because we have not set distance gaols is another which is something that nearly always happened when travelling in a group. In a group this is almost a necessity because others want to know their next stop and also we have always been time bound.
A new way of life is emerging.
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