waking up at 7:45 in the morning and getting out of the tent, I can see there are some Kangaroos around us looking for their breakfast .we can get close to them slowly, but there is a moment they realize our presence and run as fast as they can.
The camping ground is close to Katherine Gorge, therefore we decides to have a look around the gorge. Like many other things we have seen in the outback so far, this river also has routes in the Aboriginal people stories.According to the story, Nabilil ( NAH-bill-il), the dragon-like creation being from the Jawoyn ‘dream time’, had traveled from Wadeye(Port Keates) many kilometers to the west and decided to rest at the entrance to the river. His journey up the river and subsequent death created the flowing water we can see today.after the short walk to see the river, we drive further and reach the address we got in the morning by phone from the car rental agency to change our broken tire. then we can continue our way again with one extra new tire.our way is oh highway No. 1 , or Stuart highway to the south toward Elsey National Park.
we pass some historical memorials , related to the second world war .
Stirling mill , dated 1942 :
Stirling Mill – dated 1942
Old Sheep Dip on Mataranka station , dated 1913:
The next is Mataranka Aboriginal Army Camp. where Aboriginal people had to serve for a war that was not really their war.The Camp was established by late 1943 composed of 350 Aboriginal workers who were supporting the war effort by working for the Army. Army Aboriginal camps were also set up at Adelaide River, Manbulloo and Larrimah and as far south as Alice Springs. [For the source click here] and finally is the 45 Australian camp hospital, mainly operated by women. unfortunately the description in my picture is not readable but if you are interested to know about that you can always look at the article Woman at war by clicking here .passing all these WWII memories ,we have a chance to take a stroll along a Botanic Walk beside the Roper River. actually I have no idea about the vegetation and different trees on the walk.
driving further on the Stuart highway, we arrive on the Never Never Museum. I did not know anything about the novel ” We of the Never Never ” ,and the film which was made based on the novel. I think in case I heard about that before, I could read the book or at least watch the film , but I will do it when I go back to Germany. If you have watched the movie , it can be interesting for you to know that the movie was produced in this location, actually the building was made to produce the film.
Beside the Never Never Museum, there is Mataranka Thermal pool where you can jump in warm water. It may not be refreshing to be in warm water when the temperature outside is around 33 degree but it can be pleasant. Let’s try it .
we move toward the springs, passing high palm and other kinds of trees. I hear many birds are crying or shouting and I am wondering what kinds of birds can they be. Just a look upward and see hundreds of bats hanging from the trees or flying on the sky, what I have never seen before, a Bat Garden, or as Alan told me Flying Foxes.
It is more interesting when you see the bats are even hanging from the branches extended over thermal springs. I try to avoid looking up , to avoid bat poo on my eyes, and i hope i had nothing on my hair as well.
It is around 4:30 PM that we leave the thermal pools to the direction south. we think we will sleep in Dunmarra camping ground tonight. It is around 6:30 PM and we are still on the way, with a very beautiful sunset view on our side.when we arrive in Dunmarra camping ground I can see there is a Petrol station there and there is also an aircraft runway beside the petrol station. So you can imagine that you are in the middle of nowhere again. The temperature dropped down ,and it seems it is going to be a very cold night , those kind of nights in desert.
Note: If you are interested to know more about Elsey national Park, click here.
From Today I try to uplad some pictures of the route on where we passed on the map,and i will try to do the same for the last days later.