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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Australia 2011 - Day 10, Part 2 - Nitmiluk National Park: Butterfly Gorge

Australia 2011
Day 10 - 7th August - Nitmiluk National Park: Butterfly Gorge
(Part 2)

Getting off the cruise, we paused a while before the next part of the day.

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I can't tell the difference between the male and female bags.

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There's no word for 'disabled' in the local aboriginal tongue. Surely this reflects equity and an ideal pre-European past (rather than the disabled being left to the spiders)

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Chocolate Chip bars vs Forest Fruits flavour bars. Hurr.

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The Olympic torch was here

We then set off on a hike.

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"Heavy vehicles will be using the Baruwei Loop Track from the 11th July"

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Metalled road. Which naturally was painful to walk on

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Windolf Walk sign. "River water is not treated". Well done.

Given the time we had, we were on the Butterfly Gorge walk.

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Sign for Butterfly Gorge. I was suspicious that the gorge was 'butterfly inhabited' rather than butterfly inhabited.

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Another painful path

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Descent into Butterfly Gorge

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I suspected that what looked like a metaled path was actually a river in the wet season

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Gorge wall

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The main difficulty with the "hard" walk was not its length but the heat and steepness. The small and medium-sized rocks were also hard to walk on especially while trying to avoid a sprained ankle.

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Stagnant water in forest

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MR commented that he saw more dragonflies than butterflies in Butterfly Gorge. One of my pictures with rocks has a butterfly in it, but it's telling that I can't spot which one it is now. Me, I was looking at the rocks at the level of my foot to avoid spraining my ankle.

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Painful-looking plant

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Gorge walls

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At last, we came within sight of the river:

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Of course, there was still the return journey - we were only half-done.

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River view

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The river was very inviting

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A German-speaking family was swimming inside. An older woman from the group said there was a turtle and that one had to blamber over rocks. I tried, but didn't see it.


Panorama from side of Katherine River Gorge

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Adventure climb to look for the turtle

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Katherine River

It was tempting to swim in the river, but I didn't have a towel. While swimming was tempting, what would've been even better would've been a boat ride back.

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More evidence of my death-defying feats

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After resting and partaking of some refreshments, we made the return journey.

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Finally, good butterfly shots

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Spider

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Non-light sensitive spider

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Rotting log

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Rotting log

We reached the car at 3, which had more or less been our target, and set off.

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Summary of the trails, again with the disclaimer that "river water is not treated". Apparently we hadn't been through "rough terrain"; I didn't want to attempt the "difficult" trails. It wasn't actually worth doing the Butterfly Gorge, since we'd seen it during the cruise.

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"Welcome to Katherine. enjoy your stay, please respect our ways"
Court-enforced sobriety

We stopped in Red Rooster for a late lunch.

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Celebrating Australia Day 1998

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"Big Deal". A quarter chicken (with stuffing!), chips, crispy strips (reshaped meat and flour, with a fishball texture), regular mashed potatoes and gravy. They had roasted vegetables on the menu: potato, carrot, pumpkin (choose 6). They also sold the gravy on its own - at the same price. Uhh.

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Sign for a chiropractor. Err.


What sounded like 80s music by the road. Was it to stop kids loitering?

We then strolled in a supermarket.

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"Juicing carrots". Is carrot juice that popular?!
Do they have carrot cake carrots?

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Victim of a shark attack

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"Milk additives". Uhh.

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Somehow drinking this Frantelle Natural Spring water saves lives.

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"Mexican foods" vs "Asian food"
Evidently Asian food is conceptualised as a homogenised whole, in a blatant display of Racist Orientalism, while Mexican foods are put in separate cognitive categories. Or maybe Australians just have bad English.

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"mens deodorant"

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"hair colour"

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No candy at the checkout.

I then walked into a store selling stationery and reading materials.

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Directly under the "Adult" sign, 60% of the magazines had to do with tattoos and 40% with motorcyles (the label to the left reads "motorcycles"). Of the bona fide adult magazines, a lot were from the UK (I couldn't tell for Extreme Razzle but research reveals that it is). This was an intriguing example of Neo-Colonialism.

One of the adult magazines said "men only", which marginalised women into porn. Most of the magazines were sealed - but not People and Picture, which presumably were kosher for everyone ("Unrestricted M"); as second class pornography anyone 15 and above could read them (the 'good' stuff was reserved for those 18 and above).

Of the magazines for those 18 and above, half were British (from the price, website and flag on the cover) and the other half were Australian (excepting 1-2 I couldn't identify). Playboy's Lingerie was for those aged 18 (presumably they take off their lingerie at some point).

Just as we had almost finished backed out of the parking lot, another fella's car backed out also. I horned at him, but still his car tapped ours lightly. Luckily there were no marks. He and his friends were unapologetic, saying "are we just gonna stand around" in a confrontational tone as if we had been in the wrong. Later while we were pulled over at a sidewalk checking directions they drove past us and horned. Stupid white trash.

While driving to our next destination, I noted that there was a lot more Kangaroo roadkill here than in our Alice Springs leg. This was while there were more cars but fewer potholes. I tried to reconcile this better maintenance with roadkill not being removed as quickly. Maybe the kangaroos here were just more frisky. FWIW I seemed to notice more wallabies/small kangaroos running in front of our car here than in the Alice Springs leg, but we were also driving more at night.

We passed a sign for a Gold Rush attraction: there was a Chinese man with a pole with 2 buckets on his shoulders (like a Samsui Woman). Later there was a silhouette of the same man (sans words) to refer to this attraction.

At one point there were 2 road trains travelling together, and each was 4 vehicle lengths (making for 8 vehicle lengths in all). It was impossible to overtake, so I tried to squeeze in-between them and got honked. Maybe that was almost as dangerous.

There was a guy on a bicycle on the Stuart Highway in the middle of nowhere (between Katherine and the Adelaide River), who didn't buckle his chin strap. Well done.

We sa a sign for "Daly River Scenic Route" and decided to try it. We got conned. It was 67km vs 51km on the normal route, and slower going too, due to rougher terrain; it felt a lot longer than 67km as we went up and down hills (with sudden depressions at the bottom), so it felt like a roller coaster. Maybe if we'd seen the mango farm they'd boasted of this would've been okay, but it was bitumen road all the way. At least we got to see a dodgy-looking sign for the "*something* gold cosmo/Chinese project area" along the scenic route.

At 6:45pm there was one guy who was driving a very dark limo - with his lights off. Gah.

At the end of the Scenic Route, I saw another one of those "free cup of coffee for driver" signs at the Adelaide River BP gas station, and made an enquiry. The guy offered me sachets so I could get my caffeine fix. Coincidentally the station also sold porn mags

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Another brand of Orange Juice which failed to perform. Australian OJ is not just sour but also bitter - the epitome of Vile Juice.

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I thought these were condoms. It's actually Wrigley's Gum.

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Not proudly made in Oz. At least they don't call it Crabstick here.

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"RoadKill" beef jerky

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Rosella Cordial: "I will not make your kids high even though I'm red"

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Sign advertising the "Scenic Route"

We finally hit Mt Bundy station, our rest stop for the night near Litchfield National Park.

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Dog on tractor

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Advertisement for shop in Darwin: apparently Hot Swimwear is not for men.


The Top End of the Northern Territory was very White, even in its tourist crowd.

Cruise Control is good. You get a constant speed and smooth driving (rather than the inconsistent acceleration and deceleration of normal driving).
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