We are determined to push on to Katherine today and get as much of the Stuart Highway over as quickly as possible. By mid day the air temperature is up to 35 degrees Celsius. It's now warm enough for us to soak our T-shirts before setting off. That way we get at least 30 minutes of evaporative cooling. At this mornings coffee break at the side of the road, we are joined by three kiwis on bikes who are also heading north for some touring.
Katherine for a late lunch and shopping as we intend to spend a couple of nights at Edith Falls in the Nitmiluk NP 60 km north of the town before pushing on to Kakadu for a few days before getting to Darwin.
I press on ahead to Edith Falls while M & U do some last minute banking. Air temperature is now 36 degrees and bone dry. Wet T-shirt is only lasting for 20 minutes. Still long enough for me to reach the turn off for Nitmiluk NP. Last few km ride is through yet another section of the countryside that has been recently burnt off. I'm concerned we will arrive at the campsite to find it burnt out, and the creek dry.
My fears are ill-founded. Edith Falls are an oasis. The campsite is shady with grassy areas for pitching tents. All very civilised. The kiosk where we book in is manned by two young French girls, who as I arrive are chatting away to a group of French tourists in French. $9 per person for the campsite. Hot showers and drinking water on tap. Plus the falls and swimming hole – magic!
After unpacking the bikes we all head off for a swim. Crystal clear water full of small fish and as we swim across the pool a Darter bobs up, then dives below again chasing the small fish. Fantastic.
We will stay here for two night and do a day walk tomorrow upstream to another pool and set of waterfalls.