Day 190 | on the road towards Litchfield NP: well ferry actually, at least to start

55 km | Heading west total: 8,329 km

I jumped on the Mandorah ferry to get to the other side of Darwin Harbour. It goes every hour, takes about 20 minutes and set me back $12.

I was warned that there were a few stairs on the other side due to the enormous tides they have up here, 7 m is common. Lucky it was mid-tide so there were only 21 steps to get up with my gear: bike, panniers, trailer etc.

I’ve started reading Nicholas Rothwell’s book of short stories about the Territory, Another Country, and thought I spotted his unique figure getting off the ferry. He’s the northern correspondent for The Australian newspaper and one of the stories in his book is about the Foreign Correspondents Association in Darwin. The explanation for the name is that the journalists filing to the southern newspapers worked out that they should report as if the Top End is a foreign country.

One major rule for their club is that members are harshly punished for mentioning the word crocodile or any other euphemism or circumlocution for them in print: no saurians, marine lizards or totemic animals allowed. The penalty is, of course, some large volume of alcohol supplied to the other members.

One TV reporter avoids mentioning them at all and uses the pictures do the talking whenever the latest German model is taken by a croc.

A correspondent reporting a ‘suspected alligator’ to southern readers snuck through.

There are no alligators in Australia.