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Report: #15
Date: February 15, 2000
Subject: Bike Geek in Tennant Creek
Location: Tennant Creek, Australia

Dear Friends,

I'm now in Tennant Creek, an old gold mining town in the middle or the OutBack of Northern Territory, Australia. I'm well on my way to Alice Springs and the Red Heart of Australia. Already the land is red in colour. It's largely flat with small scrubby bushes, with a few mesa type (I think) hills and rocky outcrops.

I'm catching up on e, sleep, cheese, and laundry etc.

Weather here alternates between blitzkrieg rain and blistering sun, usually at very short notice. And then there's the winged termite deluge when the street lights come on.

It is the Wet season. Roads not so far south of here have been reportedly blocked by flash floods which have stopped trucks. And that's the way I'm going. Now where did I put that dinghy at the bottom of my packs somewhere...?

In Tennant Creek there's a large Aboriginal population. And my impressions so far are those of a front-line town in a kind of war. The Aboriginals hanging out everywhere and nowhere have the aspect of refugees. They seem to be perpetually having rowdy little wars with someone or other, or themselves. And the smell of alcohol is often present. Especially when the ladies proposition me, I don't know whether for money or out of sympathy for me. What did my ancestors do to this race?

I did see a tank and some troops, but I don't think they had anything to do with the "blackfellers". Usually the patrol guys manage to get the really drunk Aboriginal men or women into their caged removal wagon quite peacefully. I hear they get taken somewhere outside town* so that by the time they get back, they're sober, or something like that.

Enough for now. Keep You posted.


Just past 22,000miles or 35,000Km on my point-to-point round the world way.


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