We continued north on the 'track' as the Stuart Highway is known, stopping to pay tribute to Charles Todd who organised the telegraph line successfully being installed in two years linking Australia to the rest of the world (well, London).
We stopped for the night at the 'iconic historic' Daly Waters Pub.
Stuart came through there 28th May 1861 and graffitied an S on a tree. We looked, it's quite a small S and looks like a b, of note it is surprisingly close to the ground for 200 years - but he may have been lying in his swag at the time.
The actual pub was initially a drover's store from 1920 and later became the purveyor of cleansing ales that it is today. It's walls and ceilings display more exhibits than the National Museum - lingerie, number plates, driving licences, jocks, stickers, hats and caps of every description and from every corner of the globe festoon every surface available. Two "We love the Gong" stickers soon told us that we were not the first from that fair town. There was beer and vodka, good food and live music from a comedian couple from Nimbin.
Setting off early but considerably later than the majority of grey nomads camped about, we saw the vegation change from red dirt with mulga and scrub to thick lancewood scrub populated by bright red termite mounds. As we proceeded north they grew in both size and number. Sometimes gaggles of them were at the side of the road as if waiting to cross safely. Others stood tall dressed in singlets and hats like jackaroos taking a break.
Mataranka had what I initially thought to be a termite museum but on a second look it was a sign to the termite mound one way and museum the other.
At Katherine we turned west at last and have set up camp in a rest area by limestone creek. It is hot, dusty and surrounded by thick bush - beautiful.
A lone kestrel circled and tried to chat up the drone but soon got bored