Day 130: Katherine to King's Creek
Today, heading south and west of Alice in search of camels, we stop for lunch at a remote roadhouse called Jim's Place. It's a comfortable, friendly, no-frills establishment whose visitor's book typifies the outback Australian. It's full of entries from those who'd fought fires and been hauled from rivers and helped build roads across the desert, including one man who gratefully records that he got 'drop-dead drunk' and had his first 'naughty' at Jim's ranch. Jim is the son of Jack Cotterill, an English emigrant who became a legend round here. (There seem to be only two fates out in this hard, hot place - to become a legend or to be totally forgotten). On his father's death in 1976 Jim inherited a thriving tourist business and built up a successful ranch. A few years later his young daughter died and his ranch was found to be on Aboriginal land and ordered to be handed back to them. Jim was so devastated that he took a bulldozer and flattened every building, saying at the time that if the Aboriginals wanted the land they could have it the way it was when his father found it.
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