There was a beautiful sunrise to welcome a new day, I could see it through the camper window.
Now that we’re on main roads I don’t expect to have anymore of these little conversations as we turn right at a junction:
Passenger, “Are you going to go to your side of the road?”
Prado Pilot, “I am on my side. Oh Crikey, I’m not!”
We’ve been to Larrimah a couple of times before, the first time there was a truck at the Service Station with a lion on the back, part of a Circus Contingent. The last time we were there posters were up on the defunct Service Station and Australia wide speculation was raging about what happened to Paddy Moriarty who had made the place his home. Despite an inquiry there is no clear answer to that question but his arch enemy, Fran and her gardener have both left town. My impression of the town this time is of optimism. The pub has been taken over by G’Day Caravan Parks and we could see renovations being done. The crocodile has gone and there were few birds in the aviaries but Shirley, a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo was still there. I don’t know if Paddy’s seat will be maintained but his name was still up on the wall near a Coopers sign. Pies and Sausage Rolls are available from the pub and Alex enjoyed a big, tasty pie.
Across the road the Museum has had a lot of work put in.
It was still relatively early when we arrived at Mataranka and we decided we’d keep going to Katherine but Alex wasn’t able to get a campsite at either of the Caravan Parks he tried. Instead we went to see if we could get a site at Bitter Springs, we stayed there a couple of Census Nights ago! Nothing looked familiar but we were able to get a site at a Park not far from the Springs. Unlike last time when we were able to walk down to the Spring and have it all to ourselves there are so many people coming and going in that direction it seems pointless trying especially when Fergus can’t go there.
We checked out the site of the old Elsey Homestead, the place was demolished some years ago when roadworks were carried out. A replica was created a bit further away for the filming of the movie, “We of the Never Never”, a story of life at the Homestead written by Jeannie Gunn.
We also visited the Elsey cemetery where there are interesting stories of people buried there. In Mataranka there are statues of some of the people and a tribute to the Aboriginal stockmen who were vital to station work.
Tomorrow we’re moving on to Manbulloo Station 12 kms out of Katherine and on the river so it should be great.