Pine Creek – Umbrawarra – Katherine (ca. 170km)
So, Pine Creek – an unexpected delight. Yesterday evening, we observed flying things in the west against the sunset, hundreds of them, and at approximately the same time we exclaimed “Holy shit, they are bats” (and they were).
Early next morning, woken by the screech of parrots, clouds tinged by the sun, and the smell of eucalyptus trees. After breakfast, decided that an early morning constitutional was in order (nothing to do with beers consumed).
Pine Creek was fascinating: remnants of old railway line converted to park; bakery established by Chinese family at the time of the famous Pine Creek gold rush; said gold rush; Bogger’s Park established in memory of pastoralist, Young (go figure how “Bogger” should be pronounced); a wonderful example of a corrugated iron homestead relocated to town; AND a tree full of hanging bats! You cannot make this shit up! [For a laugh, enjoy the mixed capitalization of professions/Professions in the plaque erected to Bogger Young.]
South to Katherine, and the first via-via of the trip. Via-via: a diversion from the normal route to take in yet-one-more site/sight. My brother, Robert, is arch-exponent of the art, who will suggest a third after a 500km day, and 2 via-via’s! Anyway, Bruce and I took a 39km via-via to Umbrawarra. This was our first rough track, with creek crossings, and somewhat rough roads. Umbrawarra is a beautiful gorge, starting with a walk beside a delightful creek, and opening into red gorge, with a beautiful swimming pool. Bruce wrestled with the local wildlife – to wit a nest of wasps – and was stung for his transgression. Dave, to the rescue, who dutifully photographed said nest. Bruce returned the favour by photographing said Dave entered pool – a somewhat “stern” view, if true be told – see below.
And, so to Katherine.