Monday, 16 August 2010
INTO THE OUTBACK
On FRIDAY THE 13TH Leana and I headed off from Darwin down the infamous Stuart Highway. My mouth was dry and I wondered whether it had something to do with the Aussie beer from the previous night, but I discovered otherwise. Apparently it is winter, but in this Northern Territory of Australia locals refer to this period as “the dry season”. For some time previously we’d been cycling in humid tropical conditions, so instead of being soaked in sweat, we’re now caked in salt by the end of the day. So far the road has been good, the dreaded hills we’ve heard about were no more than just hills, and the feared Road Trains are OK as long as you keep your line at the side of the road. However, the constant breeze up the nostrils slows one down a bit, but at least it keeps the flies away. Having said all that, I’m aware that we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. The area we’ve been through thus far is quite touristy with the occasional water and camp sites at reasonable intervals – apparently the desolation is still spread out ahead of us. So far we’ve seen wallaby’s and flocks of black cockatoo along the way. There is also plenty of wallaby road-kill (no reference to the rugby team). Today we took a break at the town of Katherine, camping at the rather interesting “Coco’s”. Distances cycled since Darwin have been:- Adelaide River 124 km; Pine Creek 120 km; and Katherine 97 km. Total in Australia so far is 341 km, and total distance since Cape Town is 60 848 km.