The long and the shorts of it.

Trip Start Mar 29, 2004
Trip End Jul 26, 2005

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Monday, August 2, 2004

Hi Ho,

Am back online with the next exciting installment of the 'Hottubtour', coming to you all from a very very hot and sunny Kunanaurra (In Wyndham now folks), Western Australia. Only just WA though, we sneaked inside the border on Saturday Morning ahving left Darwin as promised the previous Monday, I did think about trying to work out the date for a second, but that's what you desk calenders are for.

Having picked up food, camping supplies, a pillow from the cahrity shop and a copy of the Althlete album. Jen, Margret and I headed back in the direction from whence we came. The Stuart Highway would once again be our road fellow as we headed south to Kahterine.

Outside Adelaide River we decicded, in tradition of all Skelton road trips to take 'the scenic route', the only stop along the way was a big if hardly gushing waterfall where both Aunti jen and myself were askjed by and eight year old if we 'were tourists'!! 'Yes I replied, are you?', 'Were from Brisbane' his friend replied, 'Then you're tourists too' I retorted and merrily went on my way. Brats.

As we flew south, jen decided to teach me all the words to 'Walzing Matilda' but realised beyond verse two, she was alittle shaky, I vowed to ind it out the next time I got to an internet cafe.

There was no rush and being novices at the camping lark decided to stop whilst there was plenty of daylight left at Hayes Creek, literally a petrol station and a camp site. We had the kettle boiling withing ten minutes. Unfortunately the down side to camping in the middel of knowhere is that there is precious little to do after it gets dark so we settled down to bed at around 8pm, and for the next three hours, I started at stars through the roof of the tent which is more like a mosquito net, and listened to dogs bark at each other, I now knew why such a large proportion of camp sites seemed to exclude pets!!

The next morning we woke with 'What's the opposite of start?' can we wake with a stop? Well you get the idea, it wan't fast but after egg and beans and bread, no toast option now, we had struck camp and were back on the road, not before we had picked up fags and coke, sound like a night out with George Michael and Elton John!

First port of call was Edith Falls. We aimed to be in Katherine Gourge again that afternoon but we had time to stop at the springs which we had not ah time to do on the way up, the beauty of owning your own transport.

Edith falls were amazing, the falls themselves fell into a massive crystal clear pool which, despite the warning from a woman ho seemingly had positioned herself by the side of it to protect us all from crocodiles, was great for swimmin in. It was 300 metres across. The only down side was that not for the firsty time we, knowing there would be great oppourtunity to swim, had walked for 15 minutes to a pool and not brought swimmers. Ordinarily for me not a problem, (eh fellow Hottubbers?!) underwaer would do. However my trip long policy of no more than three pairs of pants had left the pair I was wearing in the kind of condition even I was slightly ashamed to bear to the general pubic. Sorry, 'public'.

No worries says aunti jen, just go in in your shorts, they'll soon dry. True, so I did and swam out to the waterfall and back, no hurry, it was as I say a sight to behold and enjoyed every minute of it. I can't imagine the first european felt to wander through thsi way with his horse and come across 'Edith', talk about take your breath away and I was there with two dozen other tourists.

The walk back to the Pajero didn't do much to dry me off and so I decided to change shorts and just for a second put my favourite pair of shorts on the roof to dry.

An hour later I was downloading all the words to Walzing Matila and a two day old mystery was solved.

Once a Jolly Swagman cmped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited while his billy bouiled
You'll come a waltzing Matila with me


Down came Jump Buck to drink at the Billabong
Up jumped the Swagman and grabbed him with Glee
And he sang as he tucked that Jumpbuck in his Tucker bag
You'll come a walzing Matilda with me


Down came the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred
Up came th trooper, one, two, three
Where's that Jolly Jumpbuck you've got in your tucker bag?
You'll come a walzing matilda with me


Up Jumped the Swagman and ran into the Billabong
You'll never take me alive said he
And his Ghost can be heard if you ride down by the Billabong
You'll come a walzing Matilda with me


So there you have it, if you cared.

After we picke up supplies and fuel we headed abck out to Katherine Gorge where if you remeber we had visited breifly on the way up to Darwin. The plan was to stay there for a few days and 'relax', yes, haven't been doing enough of tha lately!!

But shit, I had left my favourite ever shorts on the roof of the bloody car (Sorry Margaret), I was devesated, well as devestated as anyone could be at losing a pair of shorts with (suprise Suprise) a hole in the crotch. We gloomily pitched the tent, draped our tarp over Margaret to create some shade and bar popping down to the river for a swim mid afternoon each day survived on a diet of beans, eggs and John Irving. Water Method Man, reccomend it. I did venture out for a walk one day for about 3 k's but was soon back to the river, keeping one eye out for Croc's of course.

By Friday we were ready to head west.

Having struck camp, we headed into katherine for more supplies and fuel and by 11 we were on the Victoria Highway headed for Timber Creeek via Victoria River. Along the way JEn decide we should add abit of yorkshire to our repetior of songs (1) and so a couple of rounds of 'On Ilkley Moor' proved two things, firstly that I don't know much of the song and secondly my Yorkshire accent is lost forever and I am doomed to oam the earth sounding like I do. Bollocks.

Did persist with ilkley moor though, at least now I know the words, things can only get better. jen and I will have to get ome more songs together before we can start performing in public though. The Kilometres and dead Kangaroos and Tyres flew by.

We pulled into Victoria River around 1 and were just about to pay for the night when we noticed that there was Rodeo in Kunanurra that wekend and if we pushed on to Timber Creek we would make the final day.

We pushed on and at the 'Circle F' caravan park we were rewarded with a massive Boab tree, Big fat trees sometimes used to house prisoners, and four freshwater crocodiles in the stream behind the site. Couldn't get them to eat bread though!

Another eaerly night and the push for Kunannura. population 6000.

The campsite in 'Hidden Valley', found it easily enough, was fantastic, really spacios and clean, few birds about too and on the second and third night we were treated to a 'Frog Faced Owl' prompting me to tell marges joke about the most common owl in britain being the 'Teet'. Aunti Jen took a few seconds but after guessing 'Barn', I hit her with the punchline. Nothing.

we woke bright and early for the Rodeo and got there just in time to realise we had forgotten to pack our seats, still a little green in the cmp game, I went back to fetch them whilst Aunti Jen looked for some shade.

Safely seted a couple of feet back from the fene we watched an awsome display of horsemanship from men and women and some kids too, in the 'Poddy Rodeo', the boy in me had to crack a smile however when the announcer cried 'Pull off the beast now Anne, pull off the beast' and 'Thanks for pulling off the beast so early Paul' I know, childish. The whole day was amazing, the Beef burgers were out of this world and at only five dollars, I would have pid 15, we did in fact, I had three!!

I even had a bit of a homo erotic fantasy thing going with this cowboy who looked like Sean Penn, he could do stuff witha whip crack you wouldn't belive!!

All in all, well worth the rush.

Monday was spent in the Miramar national park, no sign of Maverick or Goose though and it was bloody hot even though we had got there early, basicly lots of striped sandstone pillars. We had our entrance fee refunded by the machine too!!

On the way out we visited a cemetary for a wander around, some interstinf head stones, one of which had had some of the lettering replaced by those sticky letters you get to make up 'beware of the dog' on your garden gate....

But early Tuesday after buying some new shorts and a bushmans hat(!!) we headed northe to our current loction, Wyndham, the northen most point of Western Australia

The Journey was spent polishing our two showtunes and marvelling at the landscape of the East Kimbery. We passes the end of th Gibb River Road as a promise of what's to come and on Tuesday evening we watched another majestic sunset at the five rivers lookout offering great view of the Cambridge Gulf, all around us orange sandstone glowing in appreciation.

Yestedray was a visit to the museum, Wyndham used to have a big meat processing plant which pretty much drove the local economy until that is 'they' decide to close it in the mid 80's (Sound Familiar?!), leaving th population to rely on tourim. Who are these 'They' people, they have alot to answer for!!!

And then to the crocodile farm where we had been led to beleive they had some Komodo Dragons. Wrong, they used to have some until they lent them to Steve irwin who has spent the last two years trying to breed with them, not him and the Dragons, two dragons, a male and a female, again what's with your minds?!

So we declined the tour of the crocodile farm and their 'Crocodile Satay pies' and went back to the park for a swim in the pool.

Got a little concerned when Auntie Jen decided to leave the pool announcing she would get dressed when she had done her 'Jansen Care' I suddenly panicked thinking there was a whole area of femanine hygene that I wasn't aware of! I was releived to discover 'Jansen' is the brand of swinmsuit she was wearing and there are some instructions as to how to stop it rotting. Phew.

After a dinner of Barramundi and chips we settled down to a night of avoiding evil Grasshoppers and books, then bed, where aftyer string at the Milky Way for a while I dropped into a deep speep only to be woken by the Dawn Chorus of Birds.

To our amazement and probbly not yours we finally saw a Brolga this morning, infact, not one but as is the way with these things three. And for good measure there was a massive Kangaroo grazing near the tent earlier too, the first wild, not dead one we have seen for weeks.

Right I'm off to find out it's cost me 339 dollars to write all that.

Love to all,


The 'Teet-owl' you duffeses!
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