Monday 25th July
We left Kununurra this morning heading east into the Northern territory. The first thing we noticed on the NT side was the speed limit: 130kph. It used to be unlimited but sanity prevailed and it was set at 130. By the time we finished our visit through the NT I came to the conclusion that if any other road rules got in the way of NT drivers getting to 130kph, then it was their duty to ignore them.
We stopped at the Vince Connoly Crossing rest area (NT Camp 192 in CAW 6). Like most published rest areas it was pretty full and anyone turning up late had to squeeze in.
Tuesday 26th July
Pushing on we refueled in Katherine and headed north on the Stuart Highway. My aim was to get to Mt Bundy station (just outside Adelaide River) tonight to meet, for the first time, a man I had communicated with through ExplorOz. Doug Tilley, despite his humble background is a profound thinker and astute observer. We arrived at Mt Bundy about midday and set up camp down near the river.
Before today I had come to the conclusion that Doug was a compassionate man. Now I'm not a dog lover, but just look at Doug's website and read his tribute to Dusty. http://doug-and-dusty.com/dusty.htm If you have a dry eye after reading it you're just not human.
Doug's passion is researching sites around Mt Bundy that were used in World War 2. Just over the entrance road is a series of concrete slabs that used to be buildings used by the US Navy to eavesdrop on Japanese radio traffic to try to get an advantage.
Doug used the internet to get in touch with veterans' organisations in America and also spent his own limited resources to download information from archive websites.
He then used these to identify what each building was used for. And using skills that forensic detectives would be proud of he even identified the trees that were in the photographs and even a rock that was in one.
Here's a photo of some Australian soldiers playing cricket at the base.
Here's the cricket pitch now.
Doug at work, investigating.
Here's one of the original photos Doug got. Doug's research revealed that the soldier is watching a football game.
But here's Doug up the same tree.
Doug has mounted the laminated photos in front of the building remnants so visitors can get an idea of what activities were carried out there all those years ago.
He has brought a great deal of pleasure to the families of some of the US Navy personnel who served there. They are absolutely amazed at Doug's reseach and care. So am I. There is so much to see and appreciate that I urge readers to visit Mt Bundy and talk to Doug. He loves to talk about his research and show people over the site. If you do go there may I suggest you supplement Doug's reseach funds, which are limited.
A few months ago Mt Bundy went through a scare about arsenic in the water. It was a grossly inept bureacratic bungle and media hype that had damaged Mt Bundy's reputation as a tourist destination. It was all utter rubbish. Please go there, talk to Doug and learn about our history.