Touching the end of the world...

Trip Start Jul 25, 2012
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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday morning and we're off to Karumba, a 144kms round trip, hope it’s going to be worth it?

Normanton to Karumba went well, however the heat has been turned up…and driving is becoming more and more unpleasant especially for the dogs, poor things just lay there
panting, too exhausted to move after 'a round or two for a pound or two’.

Anyway back to the drive, the land is so parched the cattle gather and huddled under what scarce shade there is to protect them from the soaring heat. Most waterholes and
rivers are dry, makes one wonder how they survive. Lying on the side of the
road was one animal that hadn’t survived a mishap with a road train or other...
was a very large wild pig, as kangaroos of course are the most common sight for
travellers this was a first for me.

Karumba is at the mouth of the Norman River and the centre of the Gulf’s prawning and
barramundi industries. Muttonhole Wetlands that extend inland for 30kms. These
meandering saltwater tidal estuaries are the habitat of saltwater crocodiles
and bird species including pelicans, brolgas and black swans…didn’t see any
swans though.

I went for a walk on the ‘beach’ more like a mud hole and Luana immediately aimed for the
water, being croc infested I didn’t let her go any further than her paws, just
in case a quick exit was needed. Then she rolled in the murky sand; lovely
mess. Back in the van and off to Normanton.

About 15minutes out of Normanton I heard this loud ‘Bang’ checked the dials and in
the back of the van and all seemed fine and continued on. At Normanton I filled
up and started the next step. About 30minutes down the road another ‘Bang’ only
this time it was louder, stopped again but still couldn’t understand what the
noise was…until I went to drive off, thump, thump, thump, bugger I have a flat.
In fact the tyre had started to shred outside Normanton and continued for
another 30 odd minutes down the road. Holy shit what a mess, it was down to the
metal. A couple stopped and gave me a hand to change it. Nothing left but the
rim.

Days are extremely hot, but hell the nights get cold, throughout the night I had to close the windows, find a blanket and this morning put a jacket on before stepping outside. The weather
is so extreme.

But it’s all good.

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