Friday, May 30, 2008

DAY 216: Day off in Katherine

Tues 27th May 2008
Sunny, scattered cloud, 31 deg C
Elevation of destination 112m
Distance to date 13282 km (8301 miles)

Another very noisy evening / night with my neighbours in a house over the fence shouting and screaming when talking would do quite well enough. With indigenous folk everything is a drama and has to be acted out vociferously! Then before 6 my tent neighbours were getting an early dash and making plenty of noise too, why be quiet when you can crash about and bang car doors 99 times? So I managed less than 5 hours I think - oh, for the peace of the bush - humans are just too noisy for me.
However I had a productive morning doing all my washing, uploading 8 days blog on a rather slow computer that cost me about $12, more food shopping for the next few days, buying a toaster attachment for my stove etc. etc.
In the late afternoon I went exploring the Katherine River cycle track, of which there is about 10km in all, and was blown away by the beauty of the river by the Low Level Bridge - deep white sand-lined banks covering mangrove roots, overlooked by deep green tropical trees full of strange colourful birds. The late light shone through the thick foliage to produce deep colouration to the peaceful scene. After the austerity and dryness of the Outback this burst of growth seemed such a contrast. I found a spot on the sand where I could lean back against one of the many flood-uprooted trees that lay around and just enjoyed doing nothing for over an hour - bliss. I was transfixed...
The cycleway runs from the town out to the Low Level Bridge on one bank and back on the other, and the south bank on which I returned was deserted until 1km from town, whereupon groups of Aboriginals, most of whom appeared drunk and whom were shouting and cursing each other, occured at intervals. Some of them shouted after me, but I don’t know what they were saying. I have never felt threatened by these people who seem pretty benign with white people usually. I’m amazed how many of them are drunk at all times of the day. I understand most don’t work, and it seems getting intoxicated is the answer for many of them. It’s sad, and seriously problematic. As I passed by the last such group the police arrived to sort it out. There are also community warden patrols cruising around looking for problems.
Back to camp and I fancied sandwiches again with the fresh muffins I bought today, plus the remains of the cam sav and later another mound of yoghurt and fruit. The house next door is also winding up the music and shouting again too, so it looks like another noisy night - now where’s the knock-out drops.....

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