Back on the road for yet another 2 day journey along a very very long straight road from Alice Springs to Katherine. After consulting our HEMA map and the BOM radar, we decided to pit-stop an hour north of Tennant Creek at Backa Backa and escape the impending storm. Unfortunately at about 9pm it hit. And it hit hard. Wind, rain, lightning, you name it. Galas were blown out of their tree, camper trailers were flooded and poles twisted. Scary stuff.
Luckily we were safe in our trusty 2-person tent and the next morning continued on our merry way to the tropics.
All I can leave you with are my first impressions of the Stuart Highway as we did not stay in any place long enough to get to know the people or the lay of the land. The landscape changed from being dry, arid and dusty to lush trees and deeper greens. The temperature rose (so far the humidity has not!). We stopped at a lot of road houses (petrol stations), passed a lot of road trains (make sure you have two hands on the steering wheel as they pass!) and saw a few random things including an ice-cream truck and the World Solar Challenge (solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide). I also collected a few maps from pubs walls along the way.
Towards the end of the drive we jumped into the hot (read ‘warm’) springs at Mataranka to wash the road off our skin. Clear crystal water, watch out for the crocodiles. Lucky they are fresh water and not the salty kind who we have heard love to eat humans for breakfast.
Casualties of the road (RIP): Lizard, black bird
Highest gas price: $1.31/L at Curtin Springs near Uluru (nb. In Melbourne its more like $0.50-0.60/L)
Best TED talks listened to so far: World Peace Day founder Jeremy Gilley, Tim Hartford about the god complex and the benefits of not knowing all the answers, Nigerian writer Chimanmanda Adichie about stories.
Wildlife spotted: Ants (Well, at least their homes!)