It seems fitting to summarise the Australian leg of our trip, being that it is Australia Day and that there are lots of gaps in the blogging so far!
I have already mentioned how great it was to catch up with friends, some we hadn't seen for years. Thanks to those who fed us, dined with us, drank with us and accommodated us - it has all added to our enjoyment so far.
To a lot of people, driving through Australia can seem daunting - great distances, varied opinions on the "interest level" of the geography and extremes of heat make it appear as a less than inviting way to spend your Christmas / New Year (summer) holidays. For those unsure of whether they can do it, you need only answer one simple question: for how many hours can you make a game of "eye spy" interesting. If it is less than one hour consider travelling by air or investing in an in-car home entertainment sytem inclusive of video games. If you can manage two hours then probably you can travel as far as a car can take you in one day - but then you might need two days of rest to gain the courage to attempt it again! If two to three hours is your limit than you sound ready for a long, long journey with your loved ones! "Eye spy" and variations of it entertained us for hours for the last 4 long travel days. We also invented games where we would speculate what strange roadside objects and developments were used for - it just doesn't make sense (and is no fun) for power lines to be used for carrying power between places - much better that they are used as a perch for birds in a land void of trees, thus limiting the chance of "birdstrike" whilst hurtling along the Territories highways at speeds approaching Mach 2.
Of course in regard to "eye spy", if you can manage to enjoy a game for more than three hours, then you are probably reading this from prison and dream of being somewhere that the letter "B" can represent more than the objects "brick" or "bar"!!?? Maybe it is a "ball"??
Summer in Australia is a good time for flies as well as heat, dust and tropical storms, depending on where you are standing. At Edith Falls near Katherine (great recommendation - thanks Liv, you should do some time as a travel agent!), the dust was kicked up by the wind that was itself generated bythe beating of the flies' wings..........no, seriously, the decision by Australian flies to meet at Edith Falls on the same day we would be there was one that we consider to have been malicious and unnecessary. Despite assurances that it is lovely in Winter, Molly will never-ever go again! Plus the swimming holes were closed so no escape.
The places we really didn't like were very few - our reasons were varied but in simple terms, towns need more going for them than tourists and opals (hint, hint). Whilst we liked Darwin we would think long and hard about living there and I am confident I would live in the centre before the top end. Of course before people go getting all "Lynyrd Skynyrd " on me, just as Neill Young was not from Alabama, I am not from the Territory and haven't lived there so my opinion may count for very little! I do have a NT drivers licence though??!!:-)