Another 4,5 days walking are now done and we have reached Larrimah, almost 500 km from Darwin and more or less half way to Three Ways. We left Katherine with some fresh supplies from Woolworths, knowing that we would have to survive on what we carried with us. There are roadhouses along the way but the variety of goods on offer is not exesive!
So lunch was served on the Mule, reminding me of many a lunch in France. Fresh bread and Brie cheese..
As evening was settling in on the first day, a car pulled over and asked if we wanted a lift. We explained that we wanted to walk, something that I have had to do a lot during the-walk, and were offered a couple of beers instead. They tasted exellent after a long day!
The roads are definitely starting to get longer and straighter, stretching on into infinity for what seems to be forever. Approaching cars appear as tiny dots and slowly, slowly increase in size before they finally pass. Thankfully the traffic has lessened and it is quite relaxing to just walk along looking at Kangaroos, Black Cockatoos, Rosellas, Galahs and Dove Tailed Eagles.
It seems that it is a local pastime to dress up termite stacks in clothes and there are lots of them. I even managed to find a Termite Bride… I tried to tell her about the lonely Viking I had seen earlier but she seemed to be pretty “wedded” to staying where she was.
Day 4 started with Mattia having to repair a flat tyre. I love my Greentyres!
As if that was not enough, the new tube exploded together with a brand new tyre. We suspect that there must have been a manufacturing fault in the tyre as it was a new one that Mattia put on in Darwin just so that he would have new, reliable tyres for the journey through the outback.
We did a strange repair with race tape, straps and whatever else we could find, hoping it would be enough to get us to Larrimah where we could find a more permanent solution. A few hours later the temporary repair proved just how temporary it really was.
Not to worry though, the Mule came to the rescue. As always, what a reliable, solid little walking companion!
(I’m laying on a bit thick in the hope that it will inspire the Mule continue as faultlessly as earlier!)
I wrote during the original planning of the Mule II that I thought that it would be possible to keep walking with it even if one of its wheels broke. Just redistribute the load so that there was no weight on one of the front wheels and continue. It turned out that Mattias cart had the same size axles on its rear wheels, so I took a wheel from the Mule and put it on his cart.
The last 40 km into Larrimah we were pushing 2 strange looking carts. One missing a wheel, and one tilting noticeably to the side. But it worked perfectly and we arrived early morning of our 5th day out of Katherine. Just in time, as it proved, for Mattia to hop on the buss to go back to Katherine and buy a new tyre. Which left me watching our gear with nothing much to do apart from enjoy a beer!
A lot of traveller stop for a rest and/or drink in Larrimah and this morning we were a mixed bunch.
An Irish girl on a motorcycle, a Japanese guy on a bicycle, me pushing the Mule and an Australian man and his dog riding around the country on an electric trike. You have to love Australia, all the eccentrics seem to!
I just got word that Mattia has found a new tyre in Katherine and will return on the evening bus, so we will be able to repair his cart tonight, get the Mule back on 4 wheels and be ready for some more serious walking tomorrow!
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