Free To Go North

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
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Sunday, April 9, 2006

We believed that the Stuart Highway through Katherine was still closed but needed to check out of our hostel and into a caravan park in order to save some money. Drove to a nearby caravan park, where the Frenchie's were staying, but it was really expensive. We sat around in the car for 15 minutes debating what we should do before deciding to ring the police to see what they said.

The police in Alice were pretty useless and had no idea about the road so we got the LP out and searched for the Katherine police number. Far more useful and the road was open! Back on the road we go.

Stopped in town to buy a few essentials and some petrol before getting back on the road and driving north. It was already 2pm by the time we left so there was no chance of us getting to Katherine today. I also had no idea if the hostels there would be open after the flood, so we decided to stay in Tennant Creek overnight and hit the road early the next day.

What followed was 500km's of incredibly uncomfortable sitting in the back seat with all the bags. Had to stop a few times for a stretch as there was so little room that I kept getting cramp.

Arrived in Tennant Creek around 6pm and I was surprised by the size of the place. I had expected somewhere tiny but there were a good few thousand people living there. Tennant Creek is a major intersection on the Stuart Highway. 10km's north is Three Ways where you can either go north to Darwin, south to Alice or east to Mt Isa in Queensland. We wanted the cheapest place we could find and that was the Juno Horse Club about 10km's outside town.

This was one of the weirdest places I have ever stayed. The owner was rather unnerving and kept driving around in his Ute for hours before coming to chat with us for a while. We really didn't want to chat to him but had to. I'm sure he was harmless but I still kept a wide berth. There was a dog on site that someone had abandoned and we asked if it was his dog. His reply, "He's not long for this world, I'm gonna shoot him tomorrow!" Ok, we are getting out as early as possible tomorrow!

Apart from that the facilities were quite good. A little kitchen area with fridge and loads of access to electrical points, and mozzie netting to keep the blood suckers away. Didn't work as I got bitten 15 times that night, despite the fact I had 2 mozzie coils burning away near me. First time they've really been a problem in Aus since Yarra.
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