As I mentioned, I took a few days break in Katherine. After central Australia devoid of cities and people, the place felt like a metropolis! I had in mind to go and check out Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park. Do a bit of hiking in nature, do some actual “sightseeing”.
I have to say I had the date of the Eclipse in my mind from the beginning, that kept me going, as a “deadline to meet”. After that, the rendez-vous with Clem, although missed, also kept me going.
Once in Katherine, I was 320km from Darwin, and only in mid-May, two months into my trip when I had given myself three. Pressure dropped. I felt like I had heaps of time ahead to complete the trip. I could go as slowly as I wanted, and explore around. Before I started I had already taken notice of Kakadu National Park, which lay East of Darwin and would require something like 250 extra km, plus exploration of the Park itself. So I knew I was gonna be able to go there as well.
The sudden lack of a close deadline gave me this floating feeling of having almost too much time ahead and not being even sure of what to do with it. I remember when I told my boss, back in France, that I didn’t want to stay and wanted to travel instead. He said “you need a deadline, like a return date, otherwise you’re not gonna enjoy your time”, I guess there was some truth in his words. It’s not about rushing your life or having very tight time frames. Maybe it’s more that if you allow a defined amount of time for something, then it’s easier to picture it in your mind, you know where you stand, and you can focus on the use you make of that time. If it’s too open, or should we say, loose, then you end up not doing much at all!
But well I did have a next upcoming deadline which was my visa running out in mid-June. And so I kept going.
I might mention at this point that I write these lines about 1 month after I was there. It’s a bit tricky to remember exactly what happened and what went through my mind. In a way It’s good too to have a bit of a shorter post this time, less reading and more pictures!
I think the flowing waters of Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls are a good illustration of the flow of time: it appears still but it is steadily flowing, sometimes slowly and smoothly, sometimes roaring down in waterfalls… Enjoy!