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I wanna go Florida Stories and adventures from Around the World

More bits and pieces

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 9 May 2008 | Views [1686] | Comments [4]

(stuff I wanted to say but its not enough for a full post)

The Ghost Town of Mary Kathleen (abandoned Uranium mine)

Situated between Mt Isa and Cloncurry, Queensland, on the Barkly Hwy.

What a strange place. It makes you want to dig and find out what in the world happened. I keep getting flashes of the Pelican Brief in my mind. But, I ask Gail (of the Information Center of  Cloncurry, the closest town) and its all rather above board. End of my little drama session of being an investigative journalist.

Gail  said it’s the typical story of mine towns. They find something worth mining, they dig, fulfil a contract, and close. The towns open and close overnight.  There was a glut in the market at the time, and the uranium found in Mary Kathleen wasn’t at a high grade, so there wasn’t any market for  it.

Mary Kathleen was 1000 people strong just twenty years ago. Now its an eerie set of roads with concrete slabs at the end of drive ways and encroaching grass. The town is on private property, managed by ‘Rosebud’.  There were five vehicles driving around the place while we were there.

Feral cats!

Can you believe it? There are cats out here. We saw them at night, on the road, and there’s not a house in sight. Feral and killing native wild life. Iiiiik.

Katherine School of the Air

Katherine, NT

Cost - $5 each, $2 for children

After a brief introductory talk, we watched an old video of the school. It was interesting to see the classes in action. I liked viewing some of the school work displayed. There were souvenirs to commemorate your visit. I’m not sure what I expected, but I was a bit disappointed in it. The people were informative. Just, I didn’t get any special feel for the place.

Travelling for two months

We’ve met people travelling for years. Two months is nothing, they tell us. You can’t see anything. And it seems to be true.

Everyone you meet is an adventurer. There are hundreds of stories. I’d like to sit and talk to them and write about them. (Imagine another ten posts a week to read????)

They have alternative lifestyles, different concerns, stories you can only marvel at. Cheers to nomadic life!

Mary River National Park (proposed)

West of Kakadu, NT

I warned the next people to arrive not to go on the walk. There were a retired couple from Canberra out here for the bird watching.

Yes, its pretty and has lots of good stuff to see, but the problem again, for me, is in the label. Nitmiluk National Park was more like a tourist resort area, and its exactly the opposite with Mary River National Park with the tiny letters ‘proposed’ added.

Well, we went on a walk… and happily we survived it. Honestly, we were under prepared. We’ve been in dozens of national parks. We are not, by any means, unseasoned. But the walk, ‘bird billabong’, was totally overgrown, and practically impassable in places.  The bridges were broken. Trees fallen over the track. There were pot holes. We had to cross the billabong, after witnessing a crocodile jump out of the water to announce his presence. Ok, so it was just a little ‘un, but we still had to cross WATER, in croc area, to get around, OR, face the prickly overgrown bush.

Poor Jett was wilting. It said it was one and half hours walk, but that was probably when the path was first cut. We had to push through it like the doomed Bourke and Wills. I’m exaggerating, but it wasn’t what we expected.

(Let me repeat that it was pretty and unspoilt!! Just be prepared!)


Say hello to everyone – this comes in variations.





(We just met a group of people from around the world on a bus tour around Aus. They looked sullen and didn’t greet us, even after we said ‘hello’. This hasn’t happened to in the four weeks we’ve been away.  The tour operator explained it was their first day, and they’d get used to us Aussies by the time their trip was finished.)

Use the local libraries! For children, they can have a look at the books while you do a little reading in air conditioned comfort, or check your e mail.  Librarians are notorious for having uncanny knowledge about many things, so you never know, til you ask.  Three cheers for local libraries. They are another GREAT positive for our society.
 The pilates inspired roll down has been SO helpful for sleeping on unusual surfaces!  I do it every day.

Tags: allwelcome, ambassador van, t a j



There's no where to put comments on the lava tube thingy so I'll write it here.
Bravo Albert!! You impress me with your writing. I did not know that these lava tubes even existed - it's so cool. Brilliant that the people who owned it made little train track and guided tours stuff - clever.
You are amusing and very good at writing. I approve.

I saw Mitra today near Mjøsa - I'm sure she'd want to pass on regards to both you and Tiffany. It's bloomin hot here right now. This is welcome weather. However, the Mjøsa is still cold enough to wake a dead man and to make a fruitful man barren - bliiiiimey it's SO cold!!!!

Enjoy your trip. We'fve found a place to stay in Barcelona. Sorry to use you as a travel agent. Maybe I will make my own website where people can write in and praise me and stuff. I will call it: "Europe short term nomad." People would gratify me because of my immense writing skills and quick witted regard to observation. My - what a brilliant site that would be. Much MUCH better than this one - sigh - waevva.

Much lurve.
Skin flint.

  Katrine May 11, 2008 6:28 AM



This is a Little Britain sketch with that - computer says no woman as a holiday rep in Spain. Reckon yous will like it.

  Katrine May 13, 2008 9:50 PM


hi, just missed u on our quick trip to airlie. airlie is just a jumping off place to the islands, there r 74 of them. place is full of backpackers who don,t speak english. 1770 is much nicer, and u can swim in the sea.
even bundy is better, they r both off the highway.
ow, katrine is full on, is she coming over here?
we need someone to liven up the place.
remember, don,t swim in th proserpine river, or anywhere else intill u reach bunderbug.
hi to jett, we miss u, love mum

  v.lewis May 14, 2008 4:07 PM


Hi to you!
Thanks for following us on our journey!! Now you know as much as I do about this place...
back packers - not speaking English???? Mother, they do speak English, its just that they use their native tongue as an 'attracting device' for other people of their nationality. One would THINK that they come to practice English and be apart of the ''culture'' here, but they want, as we all do, to go somewhere else, but retain our personal integrity (ie - we wish to speak to people ONLY from our country unless absolutely in need of a toilet) Before someone starts mouthing off at me, I'm being sarcastic with a heavy hand and I know I'm being horrid. yes yes. Never said I was nice. Just practicing.
btw, we're also remembering to feed Jett and put petrol in the car some times... (mum)

  allwelcome May 16, 2008 3:39 PM

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