|Journal for 28-Aug-2003 : Katherine+113|
Latish start leaving Katherine to collect key deposit (customers can't be trusted here) and send off some postage.
We rode well for the first hour despite SE cross wind.
On the road we met Neil, an English cyclist with 65kg of gear, a full set of panniers *and* a fully loaded trailer. Neil was having a hard time with the trip and the wind, all his luggage, his very un-aerodynamic bike and the chest cold he'd picked up. We rode with him for a while, then left him as he stopped to cough his guts up (and try to scrounge a life - which he definitely wasn't going to do with us tagging along).
The rest area at 100km from Katherine was small, dusty, fly blown and every potential camp site had been used several times as a toilet. I don't know if I was happier discovering this after eating lunch or not. In any case, poor Neil lumbered in an hour later, cursing Australia and everything that lives here. Neil was not enjoying his trip!
We sat and recovered for a while, exchanging stories and puzzling over what flight path we were under. Looking up revealed two FA18 Hornet fighter jets sucking fuel out of a larger aircraft just ahead.
We convinced Neil to ride with us a few more Ks to find a better camp site, and this turned into 10ks (sorry Neil!). We camped up a station track with a wire gate that took three intelligent adults only 20 minutes top work out how to open and close again.
Very hot again today and tonight, so we set up the tent without the fly. We could see a magnificent star display with no light pollution and no moon. We could also see flashes of lightning periodically illuminating the southern sky. Leaving off the tent fly was a very courageous decision!
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