by Ian Hampton
Instead - when driving the last leg… concentrated on the task, which is not super easy in this car, which is NOT a zippy through the traffic car and because we have just not been in city traffic for a long time - requires a different mind set… SO concentrating on the task, made one or two navigation mistakes in the final few streets before the finish at Mindil Beach… Suddenly we were the and thee was the sea of Fannie Bay… and it was a real feeling of relief (wow we actually have done this), and joy (there is the sea on the other side of the continent from where we started). So I thought of the joy that (I think it was John McDouall Stuart felt) after he had crossed the continent and arrived at the sea… And while this is in no way comparable - the joy and relief were real… a small great moment…. I expect for all of us, especially the newcomers to this type of event.
Back to the basics - Mataranka to Katherine (102 km), Katherine to Darwin (317 km)…
HIGHLIGHT…. We miss the turnoff to Cutta Cutta Caves and decide not to turn back, coffee-brunch
in Katherine and we decide to make the 29 km run out to the Katherine Gorge, and passed the Heli Muster NT helicopter site… Look in Peter’s eyes says it all- so we are up for a 20 minute flight…..Dan is an excellent and steady pilot and this flight up along the Gorge and back is totally outstanding, breathtaking country and the Gorge is almost a “wonders of the world” site…. An opportunity that had to be taken on…. Got a few good shots from I-phone.
After that - it is on and on, and it seems to be a long distance from the turn-off (to Katherine Gorge) to first Palmerston, and then Darwin and Mindil Beach…
Other highlights - meeting a group of older French tourists in a Maui Van, excited to see our old Pugs and their enthusiast “pilots” soldiering on.
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