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Sweating it out to Katherine - Night 135

Katherine, Australia

Today was primarily a driving day. For every 100 kms we made to the north the shades of green increased a slight bit. Finally around Daly Waters there was standing water on the ground and cumulus clouds in the air. Just 24 hours ago we were in the bleak desert, now we rolled through the lush tropics. Daly Waters Pub, the famous roadhouse, was our stop for lunch. Again we had full use of the pool. Unfortunately we were too early for the Easter Weekend rodeo, one of the biggest events in this part of the world.

After lunch we attempted to head to the Mataranka thermal pools, however the flooded river thwarted our passage. Not be deterred, Trav phoned the operators of the Matarnka Roadhouse and they brought over a few Land Rovers to ferry us across the swelled river. The hot pools were officially closed, but we jumped the fence anyways. This area is home to freshwater crocodiles which Trav assured us do not attack humans. The saltwater version are much bigger and do, in fact, dine on man, however, they are found much farther north so we needn’t worry about them until late tomorrow up near Darwin. The pools were flooded by the river and were about a meter deeper than usual, which was advantageous in that we could dive in. There is something exotic about swimming in crystal clear Spring water amongst creeping palm trees and flocks of parrots.

We camped for the night at Adventure Tours private grounds just outside the Katherine Gorge National Park. After dinner, Jun played guitar by the fire and we drank beer in the sweltering tropical night. I slept intermittently throughout the night…too hot to get comfortable.

What I Learned Today: In 95 degree heat with 90% humidity, a cold six pack of Cooper’s Pale Ale is like a little slice of heaven.

permalink written by  exumenius on February 22, 2008 from Katherine, Australia
from the travel blog: Kiwis and Kangaroos
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