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The Long Haul to Katherine

blog-0395990001398698083.jpgNorth of Tennant Creek is Three Ways, a small community near the junction of the Barkly Highway which we drove from Mount Isa to Tennant Creek several weeks before and the Stuart Highway which we are now taking on north toward Darwin. When we passed Three Ways we were in new territory again. As we drove along you could tell that there had been quite a lot of rain lately. We were seeing water standing in creek beds that would normally be dry. Further north the vegetation became thicker with little soil visible as we transitioned from the desert climate of Alice Springs and Tennant Creek to the tropical climate of the Top End. Water was more abundant in streams and lakes and the area took on a lush look.

The land was mostly flat along this route. We could see occasional mountain ranges to one side of the road or the other but never had to drive through anything resembling a mountain or even serious hills. Flat, straight road was the rule. Roads were in excellent condition with only the occasional rough patch. We encountered no road work! There were frequent grids, the Australian term for a cattle guard. The road was posted as being open range and we were cautioned to watch for wandering livestock. Late in the day we did pass three cows grazing at the edge of the road. We also began seeing kangaroos, dead alongside the road. These were small kangaroos, a different breed than those we had seen earlier.

We made one stop for fuel and lunch and then drove all afternoon without stopping until we reached our destination in Katherine. We arrived as the sun was setting, fueled up so we would park with a full tank and picked up a few groceries before reaching the park. Louise had called ahead and checked availability and rates at several parks before deciding on Knotts Crossing Resort. This was not one of the regular chain caravan parks. Knotts Crossing Resort has a hotel, cabins and the caravan park. The grounds are groomed as you would expect of a nice hotel and the facilities are quite nice. In this park, we have our own private bathroom right next to our campervan. They refer to this as en suite accomodations.

We’ll make this our base for exploring the some of the sights around Katherine. Friday, April 25, is Anzac Day here in Australia. This is one of their premier holidays as they honor their veterans of foreign wars. The date is the day they suffered a terrible defeat in the battle of Gallipoli in WW I. The people we met last night said that Gallipoli was the last battle they fought alongside the British. After that they fought in association with American troops.


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