Setting myself to drive home. This my last sunrise as I leave Batchelor.
Little did I know how the day would end as I left. Driving South down the Stuart Highway, the landscape rapidly changed. I left the cycads and palm trees in the bush at Katherine. The tall trees of the North also disappeared as I break out into wide plains heading toward Tenant Creek, planning to camp at Elliot. At 4pm at Eliot, looking for the caravan park, I was pulled over by police at the side of the road. Breath test. I am tired, but confident its the usual routine. Not so. A very officious young woman declared my alcohol reading was 0.66. Surrender your keys, out of the car, into the paddy wagon and locked in and taken post haste to the police station at Elliot. I said all the things all the drunks say. This is impossible, I haven't had a drink all day, all week even. All to no avail. She just got angrier. Luckily, at the police station, the Sergeant recognised, I wouldn't be behaving, talking and walking so lucidly at 0,66 as I was and did his best to allay my fears. I felt sick, life had suddenly careered out of control and what made matters worse, the you beaut super testing machine at the station wouldn't come on after a half an hour. Finally, the sergeant went and got the roadside testing unit, tested himself and then tested me again. 0.00. I was shaking with relief. Profuse apologies by the Sergeant but not the stroppy young constable. Years off my life. All in a moment the NT became the wild west! I put another 120 klms between me and Elliot and stayed at Rinner Springs, a mosquito infested camping ground with peacocks and geese of all things.
Fog at Batchelor in the Exotic tree farm.
Magnetic termite mounds outside of Katherine.
The trusty Rav taking the shade at Taylor;s Creek roadside rest. I stopped to use the eco toilets as you are not allowed to use the toilets at Barrow Creek unless you buy petrol. Never mind its the only toilet stop over 100klms.
My first tent hills on my way south , outside of Barrow Creek.