Thursday, 12 August 2010

Go West

We made our way west from Katherine stopping to spend the night at Timber Creek, a tiny town (population 556) on the doorstep of Gregory National Park.  As we drove along the scenery began to change and boab trees seemed to spring up everywhere.  They're an odd looking tree, especially at this time of year, with their bare branches making it look as though the tree is growing upside down with it's roots in the air.  Having written that, I realize that we haven't taken a decent photo of one to share with you, and will try to remember to do so.

Other than using it as a base to visit the National Park, there's not a lot going on at Timber Creek. So, when we were told that there was a freshwater crocodile feeding at 5pm at the bridge near where we were camped we headed over. To be honest, we've pretty much had our fill of crocodiles by now, and are both looking forward to being able to put our folding boat in the water and doing some fishing without the fear of becoming lunch ourselves.

Still, it was a nice diversion, and interesting to see the difference in behaviour and stealthiness between the salties and freshwater crocs.

The following morning we headed toward the Western Australia border.  We got an early start, aided by the fact that once we reached the border the clocks are turned back another hour and a half for a total of two hours earlier than Melbourne.

Mike looking very happy about reaching WA.
 They are very serious about keeping a range of pests out of Western Australia and thus you have to go through a quarantine station on the way from the Northern Territory into Western Australia.

The prohibited items are fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, soil, nuts with shells, bee products, etc.  We were expecting the quarantine so had used up any prohibited items before reaching the border.  Others could be seen pulled over eating the last of their fruit before the inspection point.

We had been through the WA border via the Nullarbor during our last trip to Western Australia a few years ago, but they were far more thorough here.  I've been through international customs areas that were less strict!

 Our inspector was all business, but friendly.  In addition to being asked if we had any prohibited items, our car and camper were searched.  Luckily our camper fridge can be accessed without completely unfolding it and the inspector climbed in and looked through the fridge and kitchen drawers.  The pantry can only be accessed once the canvas is opened, but as we weren't asked, it remained closed and wasn't inspected.  As I said, we didn't have any prohibited items anyway.

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