To Batchelor

Before leaving Katherine, we had a quick chat with Toni. On her recommendation, we went to have breakfast at the pop-up café by the Hot Springs.

Early dip in Katherine Hot Springs

I think my fried eggs on toast were much nicer than Liesel’s banana bread. But we felt like extras in a Hitchcock movie when hundreds of cockatoos came swarming and squawking over us. Nobody else paid any attention so this must be a regular phenomenon.

Count the cockatoos

As we drove along the straight (mostly) highway, we remarked on how many shredded tyres there are by the side of the road. So what an unexpected bonus when one such item photobombed my picture of a tree with hundreds of shoes in it. Yes, a shoe tree.

Shoes do grow on trees

We wondered, what do shredded tyres look like in the dark? A piece of rope fooled us yesterday, after all.

The first planned stop was at Edith Falls, Leliyn. There are several walking tracks here and we chose by far the shortest. People were swimming in the water and it was tempting to join them but we had a long drive ahead of us.

The lowest of Edith Falls’s falls

The water was very clear, we saw some fish too.

The scenic hill by the falls

When the path petered out, so did we. It will go on much further when it’s finished, up into the hills.

As we walked back to the car park, for some reason, both of us made the mistake of touching this razor plant. Why? I think we were momentarily possessed by a spirit of recklessness. We both saw the sharp thorns, and yet…

Another pandanus, Pandanus ouchii

I think because it’s such a gentle, harmless shade of green, we felt it couldn’t be that aggressive, right? Wrong!

On seeing a mile marker signed AR, I suggested to Liesel we were headed for Ayers Rock by mistake. A couple of beats later, she corrected me. Adelaide River. We were on the right road.

This is the view we had much of the time. Long, straight, open road with the occasional other vehicle; grey clouds in the sky with the occasional flash of blue. But lo, in the distance here, a waft of smoke.

Lots of road, lots of smoke

We never did find the source so probably everything’s ok.

The only place we stopped at in Pine Creek was the lookout, looking out over the old Enterprise Pit, Pine Creek Goldfields. Unbelievably, the bottom of the mine was 135 metres below the water level. I can’t imagine the heat and the claustrophobia, never mind the continual threat of water inundation.

Pine Creek Lookout
Selfie of the day

Back on the road, we ga(s)ped in awe again when a couple of road trains came by. I thought three was the maximum, but a some today were hauling four tankers.

Very long road-train
Fort anchors

Adelaide River was a bit disappointing: we looked at the museum but, like the market, it wasn’t open. So we proceeded all the way to our home for the next few days.

We passed some time at Batchelor Museum where the young and good looking volunteers made us coffee and showed us where to start.

Batchelor Museum Volunteers

We watched half of a one-hour programme about the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese in WW2. Some details of this event remained secret for over fifty years, and although they say about 250 people died, it may well have been many more. We’ll cover the museum properly later on, but for some hot and humid reason, we both needed to sit down for a bit and do nothing in our new Batchelor pad.

I did go for a quick walk to the local shop to buy some drinks, otherwise it would be water again. The lovely girl behind the counter sought my fatherly advice about whether or not she should go to a party at a total stranger’s house. I think she knew the answer already.

This is a nice, spacious Airbnb but disappointingly, the oven doesn’t work. That didn’t stop Liesel from concocting a fab meal of Linda McCartney Sausages, a broccoli like vegetable called broccolini plus toast. For dessert, we had eggs. Boiled? No, Cadbury’s.

There was a pub quiz at the local Rum Jungle Bowls Club. It was tempting but in retrospect, we’re glad we didn’t go. On reading the notice properly later on, I realised we should have taken a plate of food to share.

A couple of safety notices made us chuckle as we passed them at a high speed. We’ve seen plenty of evidence of controlled fires and they really don’t want people starting their own fires out in the bush, which could then get out of control. “We like our lizards frilled, not grilled” and “Everything is burn-a-bull”!

Author: mickandlieselsantics

We are a married couple, one American, one Brit, one male, one female, neither of us as fit as we would like to be, well over 100 years old altogether.

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