TITLE: On the beaten track…
IN SHORT: Early! From 7am, more Stuart Highway, small towns and their communities… deserving of more consideration than one’s immediate impression while filling their car with fuel. The landscape has changed… gone is the real red dirt and ground covering acacia and in its place, taller trees and termite mounds; some resembling people – travelling at over 100kms an hour and being half asleep can turn them into almost anything.
Since this is meant to be short I’ll go with the highlights; Daly Waters for one… this is as far North as Dad had been in the NT. The town is known for its pub and for Australia’s first international airport… on whose tarmac the bus prepared for take off… reached a maximum speed of 105kms and remained grounded, albeit with some local plant species jammed in the door.
At the Daly Waters Pub The Bold Line has its place on the bar along with every other passerby who has had something ‘worthy’ of stapling to its walls… underwear, photos, cash, cards… anything and everything. Played street bowls after lunch… with a bowling ball that had seen better days, a battered and bruised version of its once rounded self. After a couple of turns the pins won, having stood their ground.
What a camp, permanent! A stunning sunset out over plains where buffalo roam and wild pigs wreak havoc, a warm night around a flickering camp fire, topped off with a beer and a sky full of stars.
TIP: I have a few today; firstly, plan your route, I lost count of the number of tyre tracks leaving the road and disappearing into the gravel… secondly wedge-tailed eagles take a while to ‘lift off’ after tucking into the highway’s latest bush buffet… slow down to avoid finding yourself with one embedded in your windscreen… I struggle to move quickly too after a big meal. And lastly… take the ‘Katherine Woolworth’s Shopping Tour’ even if it’s just for the delight of being asked for ID when 18 has long gone.
TRACK: I’m Ready to Go – Panic at the Disco