TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Day 25 – 12th September

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 12, 2008

As expected I woke at first light (or sparrow fart 🙂 ) And for a change I was in unison and with no apprehension if you get my drift! I mean I can fart with no worries for a change.

Packed up pretty quickly and skipped making tea etc for a change, I felt pretty close to 100%. I had divested myself of some excess gear, namely fishing rod, reel, tackle box and some extra clothes. I had sort of asked Greg to look after them till December when I get back to Rocky and he agreed, they took up no space in the back of the truck, but a fair bit on the bike! I had figured out that on a bike, there was no safe way to go fishing off a bank by myself so I was carrying around dead weight. If I wanted to fish, I needed a boat which I would have to hire, so I might as well hire the gear as well then eh!
I was doing the right thing and drinking a 600ml of water before I left and did so just after 7am my time.
There was a lot of smoke haze around, this southern area of Kakadu had been hit by fire bugs. The normal burning of the park is done just after the dry has started around late June/July, when the fuel is half damp and the early morning brings dew, to dampen out the fires. That means it will only burn half the time and not as hot, which allows the new growth to appear which brings in birds and insects and animals. That is the natural order of things as done by the aborigines. At this time of year, it just burns everything and the wind is so strong it will turn into wildfire.
Anyway, this is the result, a very hazy smoky day

It was a pleasant run down to the Mary River where these 2 shots were taken

Here is a bit of info for those interested, check out this gum tree in the next photo

If you look carefully you can see it has a couple of dead or missing branches, top left, top right and middle front and also at the bottom of the tree is a strange growth. This is a close up of the growth

That is a termite mound, they have done what is natural and bored through to the middle heart wood of the tree and worked their way up and through the branches. Apparently the tree does not mind this although it has no choice in the matter, but it does come out with a benefit in the end. What happens is that eventually the branches get weakened and the wind will break them off, this allows birds to eat the termites and also leaves holes for nests for many type of creature. The droppings of the animals now living within the tree then falls down and gets absorbed by the tree. In a land of not much nutrient, any type of symbiosis is better than none. Anyway, it seems to work as most of the gum trees out here have termites in them! 🙂 It usually ends in the tree being so weakened that it falls down, but this takes many years.

Anyway, I got into Katherine around 11am and promptly booked a motel room, near town, near the bike shop and bank and an internet cafe. There was not much choice really as I did not feel like walking 6km from the caravan park after dropping the bike off.
New tire fitted, a rear Battlewing for $290, quite exy but once again, no choice. The front should last until I get to Perth. Did some internet updates, then went to the RSL club for beer and dinner and watched the Broncos have a hard fought win over the Roosters. It may have been a different game if the Roosters played the ball, but they were targeting the man. Our injury list next week will be long I am sure!
A quiet night in the end, except for the noise next door at the bar, but tomorrow I have an initial goal of Timber Creek, if I do it correctly with rest stops I may even get to Kunawarra, we shall see what happens, but I doubt it now, it is 11pm and the motel bar is still running loud music around the pool outside my window??? I may ask for a refund if it keeps up.
Ahh, just remembered, I have ear plugs that I use all day on the bike, they should do wonders for me now eh!

Day – 309km
Trip – 6498km
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