Darwin – Mount Isa

Australia Day is enormous festival day here. Thou real party goes in the evening before. Normally after 10PM it is quiet here, but now bars and pubs work all night long. Main street partying places are overcrowded and gaieties go on through the night. The silence is the only thing you feel next morning. Everyone wakes up later than they usually do. Most of the cars are equipped with Australian flag or other things that symbolize Australia. They start selling symbolic products of Australia at least two weeks before Australian Day. On the main streets big jeeps are driving around waving big Australian national flags. Australians can really honor their country and celebrate it too.

The Japanese bombed most of Darwin down in 1942. To commemorate it Australia has many cenotaphs and they organize cannon shots on Australian Day to cherish memory of people long gone now.

For a place to spend the night I chose seaside parking lot beside the city. There was not much choice, because most of the parking lots had a sign “Do not sleep here!” Public beaches are closed for swimming and adequate signs about it are exposed. Besides crocodiles there are some kinds of jellyfishes. They are poisonous and extremely dangerous in the summer time.

I don´t know anything about Hannes´ destiny yet. He sent a SMS telling his baggage is travelling to Tallinn, but he is going to Helsinki. He does not have a ticket to Tallinn, but he will get it I´m sure. It is a tiny problem, if we compare it to some of our mutual problems on Australian ground.

I forgot to write how we used the washhouse. First time we made it in Perth. We put dirty laundry to the washing machine, put in necessary coins and took our laundry out after one hour. At once we noticed that our laundry has been washed without washing powder. My experience so far was: drop dirty laundry into the washing machine and pick it up cleaned and ironed from the wardrobe! Does not work here! We should have put in washing powder also! Well, we are wiser again!

I think I need a haircut. I have no idea how much it might cost and how I will tell the hairdresser the instructions. I started looking for a place to cut my hair, but soon found out that Australian Day is Public Holiday and all the barbers where at home. Somehow I was relieved. I found an alternative and bought myself a comb!

From Darwin I started to drive alone towards Katherine. Darwin is situated on the peninsula and until Katherine I drove back the same road I drove here. When I had driven ca 500km suddenly I saw a red light flashing beside the road. I was very unexpected, because there are usually no other vehicles driving and buildings this area!. I drove pass this unknown object, but as it happened too fast, I backed. To my surprise it was bicycler! Bicycler appeared to be a Swedish girl named Josefina (Jo).   She had ran to the ditch when she saw the lights of my vehicle. Usually the vehicles driving by night are big trucks, so she got scared… I offered her a ride to a nearest village (ca 20km), where she was heading. We packed her belongings on the roof of my bus and started driving. The distance to Alice Springs was ca 900km. She lived really ascetically. She spends the nights in the tent made from mosquito net! I can´t imagine myself on her place! She had of course enormous experience, bicycling through Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam etc. I parked my bus near the village Jo had stopped. Morning shower made me human again and I started to prepare myself for Alice Springs. Jo´s and my roads were different from now on and we departed.

Until now I have no information about Queensland traffic situation. I hoped the floods are ended for now (two weeks as it started) and the roads are in good condition to drive. My direction was set to Pacific Ocean and targeting Townsville.

On that day I made a first long stop for a day, because temperature was way over +40C. That kind of a temperature is too much for my old “Frog”.  I started driving after sunset having the temperature around +37C and by night I was already in the town of Mount Isa. There I found out that the roads are alright for driving on. I hope that this information is correct, because every bypass is very long in Australia…


Mount Isa

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