So, to sum up the past... 6 days?
After Georgetown it was another boring run over to Normanton, the trees change every so often but there wasn't a lot to see. A large majority is a sealed single lane with unsealed edges and I don't want to dive into the dirt when I see a road train, but because there are hills you have to brake very quick and dive off and hope you don't slip over in the dirt. I'd been to Normanton before in a school trip from a lonnngggg time ago, the only place I remembered was the hall where we played in. I drank at the purple pub (After being warned about it), but the Albion was better!
Next day it was the long run down to Cloncurry. I had planned to go the Savannah Way all the way into Darwin but it's dirt and I mostly wussed out, but I was also carrying a bottle of Royal Liquor still and you can't take alcohol into Doomdagee. So it was the long run down to Cloncurry where I would try and find Harpal. Turns out that's rather easy, if you search for his name on google you get his direct work number, but I could have used the phone book too... I had dinner with Harpal and his wife and energetic son, then it was back to the hotel. I stayed in a hotel so I wasn't intruding at very short notice, and also it gets cold there, very cold. Next morning it was up again and over to to visit on my way out, then I was off to Camooweal.
Cloncurry to Camooweal has hills to look at which was a change from the day before. There is Mount Isa in the middle but it's pretty much just a mine with houses and a McDonalds. On this day I also discovered my freshly extracted wisdom teeth may have caused a hole to form in the tooth in front and it's quite painful, but it will probably have to wait until Darwin. I arrived in Camooweal and, well, there's not much in Camooweal. Two caravan parks, a few houses, a pub and two service stations. I stayed at the Post Office Hotel in a pub room, possibly a mistake on a Saturday night there. I think the music stopped about 2am. But it was cold.
The next day I made it from Camooweal to Three Ways where the Barkly Highway joins the Stuart Highway. I'm not sure if I saw any corners that day. The speed limit was upped to 130 which seemed a tad ridiculous, so I sat on 120... There are only a couple of rest stops along the way, and the Barkley Homestead where I needed petrol. Otherwise a fairly uneventful boring straight line ride. I camped out the back of the Three Ways roadhouse that night and had planned an easy ride the next day (planned, not performed).
In the morning I headed south half way to Tennant Creek to look at the telegraph station and the devils pebbles (the marbles were too far in the wrong direction). Photos of that below. Then back to heading north. Again, mostly straight 130km/h roads. I stopped at Renner Springs for lunch, which was also the last time I saw my GoPro camera. It must have fallen off somewhere between there and Daly Waters. I also stopped at Elliot but I don't remember if it was there or not. Probably buy another one in Singapore where it's about $100 cheaper.
I had planned on staying in Elliot that night but after seeing the place I decided to keep going to Daly Waters. Far too many people there, all wanting to stay at the famous pub (like me), and I wanted to at least get some sleep and not make the same mistake as Camooweal so I headed back to the highway where there was another Road House that charged me $7 to camp, and gave me a free Schooner of beer! I chose VB wisely as it was the most expensive and highest alcohol content. This was the place where I re-noticed how many Irish people are out here. Everyone working in the roadhouses seemed to be Irish. Strange. Why would you leave your cold, damp climate to come out to some of these places?
To today. Which, oddly enough, was another one of those straight road 130km/h deals. I understand why people say Australia is so big now, but they have it wrong, there's just nothing out here to stop and look at. I stopped in Larrimah for a(n expensive) home made pie. And then to Mataranka to look at the thermal springs. Stopped at both springs near the road briefly, pics below. And then on to Katherine to join the challenge in finding somewhere to stay cheaply. Some of the motels here are charging $150 a night for a room... So tonight I'm staying at a backpackers in a Motel style room for roughly half that.
If you plan on visiting the Northern Territory bring buckets of money.
And now for the massive amount of pics!:
|I'm visiting all those places! Well, some.|
|Western Queensland landscape. Next time I'm this way I'm exploring those hills.|
|On the way to Camooweal.|
|Old shopfront in Camooweal|
|My second border crossing! Also notice the background? That's what it looks like for hundreds of kilometers.|
|Further in to the Northern Territory the vegetation turns into this.|
|Tennant Creek telegraph station.|
|Inside the blacksmiths at the Tennant Creek telegraph station|
|Renner Springs roadhouse has hats. Daly Waters has bras [photo missing]|
|Whoops. Almost destroyed my bike. That strap was about a meter longer and it got caught in the wheel. It bent that PVC tube and gave me quite a fright...|
|The other end of that strap, safely wrapped between the sprocket and hub. Anywhere else would have been a lot worse.|
|The river next to Mataranka Springs|
|Cabbage Tree Palms (I think)|
|Rainbow Spring at Mataranka|
|The water is very clear at Bitter Springs|
|More Bitter Springs|
|Heh. Not going there then...|