Travels with the Winnie: Day 44

Tennant Creek to Barkly Homestead, on Barkly Highway, on the Barkly Tablelands

Stephen has a slight cold, and we need to contact Matt tonight, so have opted for full hookups at the Barkly Homestead where there is 3g access on our way to Queensland. At 10.17 a.m. this morning we left the Stuart Highway, confirming our decision to head east, rather than continuing north to Katherine. I’m not sure how we made this decision in the end, but think that the warmer weather has contributed.

We enjoyed the Territory Day celebration last night – it was much more low key than we were expecting, for example, there were only three food stalls, we missed the speeches, and there was almost total segregation of Aboriginal and white folk. Not quite total, as I noticed a woman sitting with several children around her for whom she seemed to be taking motherly responsibility. However, at the end she left on her own, so perhaps she is their teacher.

The fireworks were quite good, but it was unnerving that anyone could have fireworks. Near the showgrounds we had to avoid some boys setting off firecrackers. When one set fire to some grass the children took responsibility for putting out the fire, which was something.

We chose American food from what was on offer (hamburgers), and Stephen went back for some pear upside down cake for us. Another Grey Nomad couple joined us at our table and we discuss territorian things, like trucks or train for freight. We agreed to meet next year, same time same place, and they will get the table next time.

Walking home we mingled with local Aboriginal people, who were mostly peaceful, apart from a couple of men who got rather shouty. The police acted very quickly to pick them up, perhaps too quickly? It felt punishing somehow. Later, when there were less people around we joined up with some other ‘nomad types’ heading back to our caravan park.

Tennant Creek fireworks better (1 of 1)
this photo wants a bit more editing to straighten the light pole.

We enjoyed the drive here, with about three stops for morning tea, lunch, and another. Travelling at our slow speed of 80kms per hour we get to enjoy the changing scenery. There were signs warning of crosswinds, but today has been fairly calm, with some clouds to give a bit of shade.

We went over for the happy hour at the bar. I had a glass of wine, and I’m very tipsy – but it’s worth it. We are going back to have dinner there. The showers are ensuite type, you get a little bathroom and toilet all to yourself, rather a nice feature of the place.

The internet is slow, so am only uploading one photo for today.

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