Monday, 11 August 2008

Katherine to Camooweal

We are travelling through areas with no phone, radio or TV coverage and staying in Camps 4 sites which are great. We haven’t got a clue what is happening in the world, missed the opening of the Olympics, the Northern Territory election and anything else, ah well, guess it will all go on without us.
All we have for company is my I Pod which has been terrific and I’ve played with all the settings and now understand it properly, and yes we do sing on occasion to the music! Along this part of the route I have also cleaned and rearranged both the glove box (sounds familiar Pete!) and the arm rest and read the user guide for the car, learning more about the Prado than either of us really need to know as I read out interesting bits when I think Ian would like to know that too!
When we left Kakadu we travelled into Katherine for some shopping and then out to a camp we passed on the way in which looked suitable called King River Rest Area. This was a really comfortable place to stop and a good time to have a camp fire with no wind and plenty of shelter. Ian even cooked dinner, the new jaffle iron came out! We enjoyed our campfire until late in the evening and the pyromaniac was well pleased with his efforts! We were joined by some others who thought it looked pretty good too.
We also tried out the new toy - the generator - for the first time and it worked well so that’s a handy bit of luxury for these stops.
In the morning we set off heading towards Daly Waters where we decided to take a different route from the way we had come up and travelled along the Carpentaria Highway, having been advised that it is now sealed all the way through. It was interesting, the road having shape and diversity of surface which certainly didn’t allow either of us to become complacent! It was fine, and probably not much different to the road to Undara which we will travel again this year.
After lunch we stopped at Cape Crawford where we needed fuel. Unfortunately we have been travelling into a headwind and our fuel has been pretty thirsty. Fuel is expensive out here as we had been told and Ian is practicing his very eloquent Aussie vernacular when he looks at the bowser. At Cape Crawford the fuel was $2.10 per litre. It got better, or worse, depending on your point of view. At Barkly Homestead, where unfortunately we also needed a little more it was $2.17 per litre. The gentleman at the next bowser remarked to Ian how amazing it was that they could produce it for that price. I think he was being a little facetious.
Saturday night we camped at Kiana Turnoff Rest Area which is 271km north of Barkly Homestead where we stopped under a very impressive windmill which is no longer in operation but a handy signpost for a rest area and there have been a number along this route.
On we went with enough fuel to get us to Mount Isa. Our Sunday night stop was at Avon Downs Rest Area which is 69km west of Camooweal. The wind was blowing a gale all night but we were grateful to be in a van and not a tent. See you can always find a positive!

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