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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Australia 2011 - Day 9, Part 4 - Nitmiluk National Park

"Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important." - John D. Carmack

***

Australia 2011
Day 9 - 6th August - Nitmiluk National Park
(Part 4)

An English-accented lady had recommended we go see the well-concealed Ranger Uranium mine, but there was no point going 80km just to see it, since there were no tours. There were also time constraints.


We then drove to Nitmiluk National Park. At Goymarr both unleaded and diesel cost $1.73/l.

There was a restroom stop in the middle of a bush fire area. I hope no one stopped there.

There was a caravan area called Pussy Cat Flats. Naturally, it was pet-friendly.

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Impressive selection of homemade ice cream

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Australia Fly Swatter

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A mousse I had from the Lazy Lizard Tavern in Pine Creek

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It wasn't as nice as it looked, so I dumped 1/3 of it.

Pine Creek was billed as a "historic town". Right. At Pine Creek fuel was $1.64/l.

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"Old Folks". About old people having sex.

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Bundaberg: Anzac Rum. Confusingly this is not the same Bundaberg company which makes non-alcoholic drinks like Root Beer and Ginger Ale.

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Ah Toy's store, since 1935 (when the area was much less developed). I didn't see any Asian staff inside.

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In the list of signs warning of wildlife: lorries

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In the list of signs warning of wildlife: cows

Before Nitmiluk, we passed through the town of Katherine, where a sign proclaimed that it was the birthplace of Cadel Evans. I couldn't tell him from Adam, so I've looked it up: he's a famous cyclist. I also noted that fuel was $1.45/l here.

Graffiti on rail bridge: "Jesus loves nachos". ???

We then arrived in Nitmiluk.

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I was surprised to find a bumper sticker in French advertising the French cheese Reblochon Fermier.

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This was a refreshing sign: finally, we could swim! Albeit only in the dry season.

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The coach transfer from Katherine to Nitmiluk was a royal ripoff. We need 黑车 in Australia!

We signed up for a breakfast cruise - there were only 3 spots left.

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Ahh, the Outback! Where we don't clean cobwebs.
Considering this was the tourist season, this was disgraceful.

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Crocodile tips. If you feed a crocodile, you probably deserve to get bitten (this ties into a narrative about unfortunate occurences and personal responsibility)

Since it was late, we took one of the shortest walks, to the Baruwei lookout.

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Lots of trees with bats = oh god, the smell.

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Path and wallabies


2 wallabies


Wallabies

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Bats in trees against sun

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Wallabies

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On the Baruwei Walk

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Passagethrough walk

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Path

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"How Nitmiluk got its Name"

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Staircase

Considering the walk was so short and it was so near the Visitors' Centre, it was quite rough and unsanitised.

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Path down to river


Katherine River Panorama

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Gorge View

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Cruise boat steaming down Katherine river

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Katherine River

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Jawoyn Law

The weather was noticeably better at Nitmiluk - there were no insects.

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Boat on river


Katherine River Panorama from Baruwei Lookout

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Sunset

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Sunset

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Rock


Chasing Wallabies

We then drove back to Katherine for the night.

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Dog in Car

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"B.Y.O Alcohol Only Please. We have a good range of soft drinks for your purchasing pleasure"
I don't know about them, but I don't get happy when I purchase soft drinks.

There's a Katherine Indigenous Boxing Club.

When I travel I like to see how "ethnic" foods have been localised for the local market. So while looking for dinner (the motor park had stopped serving food, MR was saving money, and I didn't feel like knocking down some of the free-ranging wallabies for dinner; while our town map listed some eating places, few were good for one person) I popped into a Chinese restaurant to peek at their menu.

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Regent Court's Menu. Disappointingly, Australian Chinese Food is terribly generic.
Strangely, it was closed on Sundays.

There was a Taiwanese girl on the second year of a working holiday (you can do that if you did more than 88 days of farm work in your first year because it's harder - though the pay is not commensurate with the difficulty - and it depends where you work) at the counter who asked me if I knew Mandarin. I gave my usual answer ("一点点") and surprisingly she continued on to ask about Hokkien. I gave my usual answer for that, and kind of got cut off with "I get the idea". Hah.

The Chinese-Australian girl at the counter said from Mondays to Fridays there was a cafeteria-style lunch and it was good to sample.

I didn't want to go to McDonald's, Chinese Food or Pizza, so I ended up at Red Rooster.

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It was quite good actually. Albeit at $11.95 for a bacon burger combo. Perhaps fast food was expensive due to a sin tax.
I couldn't figure out how to open the fries packet so I tore the damn thing. They had the same seasoning as Kakadu Bakery - a sort of off-salt flavour (alternatively, just so much salt the taste buds were overwhelmed)

At McDonald's a small Big Mac meal was $8.25 and a McFlurry $3.95 so the sin tax was in effect there too. I was served by a really young-looking girl. I asked how old she was, and she said 12 - she told me in Australia you can work in the year you turn 13, and she turned 13 in December. I was really disturbed - since they were employing child labour, why were prices still so high???

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A not-so-pet-friendly motor park.

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Wallabies at night

Strangely, our room (a row of rooms looking like the old TSes in RJC Ghim Moh, or the container offices in construction sites) was a Faraday Cage and I got no mobile reception (and thus no data) inside.


There was quite a bit of roadkill which wasn't removed like around Alice Springs. At one spot, someone had moved roadkill from the road - and hung it on a road sign.

Bunny Boy passed Erlunda (we did the Northern Territory in different directions) and he said the Malaysian girl didn't remember me. Later I found out it was the other one he'd met.
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