Camping cost: $1536.73 Sites: 40 Average: $38.42

peteg's blog - travels - NT 2003 08 - 2003 08 16 Mataranka

/travels/NT-2003-08 | Link

Jimmy and Marty got us up before sunrise so we could get a move on. First stop in the mid-morning (redefined, for the purposes of this trip, from my usual 11am to 9am) was the hot springs at Mataranka, a rather pretty and tourist-friendly rainforest, which saved me from needing to shower for another day.

From there we pushed on to the pub at Daly Waters, a venue with a claim to being the first / oldest-still-extant / something-or-other-alcohol-related joint in the Territory. It reminds me of the Dancin' Dingo in Göteborg, with the risque signage and attempts at oddball humour (such as the "most remote" traffic light, stuck on red). I guess the Ocker cliché is quite formulaic, and the most one can hope for is humorous instances of it, rather than new forms.

I spent the evening trying to avoid becoming entangled in inane games, most of which were initiated by the tour guides or a rather pushy dreadlocked English couple (both nurses, he in a psychiatric ward). Examples:

  • Passing a spoon around the circle of people, saying "I can see the moon in the spoon", which was deemed "acceptable" if you said "cheers" to the person who handed it to you.
  • Again, the focus shifting around a circle, with people having to say "I want to go from <the current location> to <somewhere> on <something>". The key to success was umming immediately before uttering the <somewhere>.
  • Passing an orange from person-to-person, using only chin and chest.
  • Picking up some part of a beer carton from the ground, using only your mouth.

(I record these here in case you find yourself in a similar quandry. :-)

We slept in swags near the fire, which is the first time I've managed to sleep under the stars.