outback

it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

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Roughseas via her Everypic blog recently posted re Islay which she notes is one of the most beautiful places she’s ever visited (yes, it is worthy of the rap) and a couple of the photos intriguingly reminded me of the beaches north of Broome WA, Australia. Thinking maybe I was hallucinating and in need of a holiday, preferably back there, I consulted with the G.O. who concurred there was an interesting similarity in some of the photos and landscape.

As well as being one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited, this stretch of coast is also similar to the Islay post yet again, although we don’t have the photos, in that the northern beaches of Broome are a popular location for casual campers, and we envied a couple who were set in front of their caravan with books and cool drinks.

I commented on the Islay post “No matter how lost I am I can always find myself on a beach.” Beaches have been salve for my soul and joy for my spirit ever since I was a little kid tagging along with my Dad while he fished. At various life crossroads I’ve spent many hours walking off my troubles barefoot along the sand. I’ve wandered beaches in good times too; the day trip to Columb Point was one of those for the G.O. and me.

We’d been in Broome for a few days and done as many of the town sights as we could, so decided to go on an adventure that wasn’t strictly allowable for our hire car but we exercised our own judgment on the matter and set off with a mud map from our B&B host:

Head north out of Broome on to Broome Road, turn left onto Beagle Bay-Broome Road, turn right onto Manari Road. Follow Manari Road for about 40 or so kms.

In total the drive is about 70 kms north from Broome. We drove it in a little red Daihatsu Terios AWD. I would recommend a 4WD but all was well. All three of us returned intact, safe and in time, at least for the G.O. and I, to watch another sunset over Cable Beach while sipping glasses of wine.

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“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
“maggie and millie and molly and may”
E.E. Cummings (American poet 1894-1962)

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a date with Kate

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Hi, let me introduce you to Kate… Katherine really, until you get to know her. Yes, this is the famous Katherine Gorge. I know you’ve been dying to see her. Kate (we’re friends now) lives in Nitmiluk National Park, in the Northern Territory of Australia, 244 km southeast of Darwin.

A little bit about Katherine Gorge: “a deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River, is the central attraction of the park. Katherine Gorge is made up of thirteen gorges, with rapids and falls, and follow the Katherine River, which begins in Kakadu. During the Dry, roughly from April to October, the Katherine Gorge waters are placid in most spots and ideal for swimming and canoeing. There may be freshwater crocodiles in most parts of the river, as they nest along the banks, but they are harmless to humans. Saltwater crocodiles regularly enter the river during the wet season, when the water levels are very high, and are subsequently removed and returned to the lower levels at the onset of the dry season. Thus, swimming in the wet season is prohibited. Cruises of various lengths go as far as the fifth gorge.” (Wiki)

We spent a day visiting Kate. She’s very interesting, and has a lovely indigenous rock art collection. We didn’t get an autograph but these are our photos.

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Ever feel like having a quiet beer on your own?

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In the midst of a busy day, my thoughts turned to getting away from it all, and Grove Hill.

On the way from Katherine to Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory, Australia) if you take a turn off the main road onto the gravel you’ll find your way, maybe, to Grove Hill Hotel & Museum. This is the place to have that quiet beer.

We were greeted out the front by a huge dead snake, but I’m sure it’s not a permanent resident.

Even though Stan & Mary (who I believe comprise the entire permanent population) are the new management, Grove Hill was on the market. The G.O. started looking a bit interested and I decided it was time to move on.

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Half way between Katherine & Darwin & 16 km off the Stuart Highway. Pieces of Territory memorabilia fill the Hotel and its grounds. With much of the mining history of the region depicted in old photos and equipment of the era past. Looking for somewhere different to have a quiet beer in the Outback, then Grove Hill Hotel is what you are after.

http://www.ourterritory.com/katherine_region/grove_hill.htm