Natural Beauty Amongst Nothingness
Trip Start Jul 06, 2009
8Trip End Dec 23, 2009
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You like all our pretty pictures don't you?
"By Karumba". Isn’t this a saying from a cartoon show? We found Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria coastline, and imagine the smiles upon our weather beaten and dusty faces when we discovered it is a seafood loaded fishing town. One kilo of banana prawns for $12. Massive pieces of barramundi or king salmon for $17. Not only did I demand seafood for lunch and dinner during our 24hrs there, I also demanded that our car fridge be stocked with seafood enough for a next day roadside gorge on prawns, and fish for dinner for nights to come. This wish was granted for the meagre cost of $60. My roadside prawn gorge was likely horrific to witness. Bent double behind a long dead log on the banks of a trickling water vehicle causeway, I hungrily tore apart the red, plastic netting with my finger nails and gained first class access to my personal one kilo of export quality banana prawns. We ate seafood for dinner for the next 4 nights, by which point we were dying for a steak! The car fridge had a pungent aroma of humming, over ripe fish that proved hard to eradicate.
Just before the NT border is Lawn Hill National Park. Simply put, a palm tree lined, aqua water oasis in the middle of dry, crackly savannah grasslands and not much else. Amongst various walks to be done exploring the surrounds (all be it too hot by 8.30am for anything), one can also hit the gorge in a kayak and paddle as far up it as the clustered, over turned dead trees and branches from The Wet allow . Fresh water crocodiles as always, but they are vegetarians so safe to swim with! Check out our documentary style encounter on video.
Katherine, supposedly the 3rd largest town on the NT. The most interesting things about Katherine the town itself would be a) no McDonalds and b) the alcohol laws. We drink cask wine because we can’t afford more, I am not ashamed. In Katherine you can only buy a 2L cask between 2pm-6pm, only one cask per person per day, and ID has to be scanned with any grog purchase so you can’t nip down the road to the next booze house and buy more. We found this moderately confusing as in Weipa (Cape York, QLD) one could only procure cask wine after 5.30pm nightly without a limit. Our hopes of a campsite, bush lovers party have been dashed for the time being. Anyway, 30kms outside of Katherine is the natural wonder of Katherine gorge. We’re talking high cliff walls, deep water, a gorge in the sense of a gorge. We inflated our blue kayak, loaded a plastic water tight barrel with bare essentials and kayaked up the gorge to a couple of remote camp spots on sandy banks that would be at least 10m underwater during the wet season.
So, are you gorged out yet? We are currently in Darwin, and we really like this city (we are surprised). Apart from some decent retail therapy, it also has excellent cycle paths all over, a great main street with bars exuding a relaxed, tropical atmosphere and aqua waters lined with white sandy beaches (we wonder why nobody is swimming though). Temperature is 33c and mild humidity. Our time to depart is nigh because the $30pn at the caravan park is killing us!
We’ll be heading west to The Kimberly next, so see you in Broome.
Sweaty and loving it
Amanda & Roelof xxx
PS I am proud to announce that I became an aunty on 25th August. Whilst on a ‘babymoon’, Melissa (my sister) and Steve (husband) experienced a new heightened level of stress when her waters broke at only 6.5 months (of the required 9 months) at a remote country B&B somewhere in the bush. Ambulanced to Brisbane’s Mater Mother’s Hospital and into C-section, Huon John Proctor (formerly known simply as ‘Eggie’) was born 13 weeks ahead of schedule and now resides in a humidicrib where he will be for the next few months. A tiny perfectly formed human, from corn kernel to extremely small baby boy in 6.5months. I flew to Brisbane for the occasion. I guess this means I’ll have to look at baby poo!