Life on the road is so interesting. We are amazed at how happy and friendly everyone is. The people living out here are happy to see us as well as the travelers. We are helping towns on the decline by camping in their parks for a donation to the CWA and a meal at the local pub. We are helping farmers by camping on their often gorgeous properties. The people out here tell us how they have not had rain for 2 and in some places 3 years. It is a hard life out here. We have seen huge trucks loaded with hay on it’s way to Cunnamulla where there was a depot for drought relief. The depot was a massive pile of bales and they were covered with galas eating their free meal before this went out to the farmers in need. We arrived at the QLD border sign and the dead kangaroos on the road seemed to increase from what we were seeing in NSW. We were told it was the drought that was killing them. Amazing that a native animal cannot cope. No wonder the farmers can’t. M
A ROAD TRAIN FULL OF CATTLE
The nomads we are meeting are also pretty interesting. The couple who are running Adels Grove at the moment are from Wheeler Heights. The had been doing a year of travel around Australia and came here at the 9 month mark last June. They have been here ever since and will stay through the next winter.
We met a couple in the caravan park in Cloncurry. They had a really rough looking purple and yellow bus. They were in their 70’s and had sold their home and gone out on the road 14 yrs ago and said they never planned to settle again. They loved the life. We met another couple who were managing a road house. She said she had no idea what they were doing running the place but were giving is a go. They loved life on the road and had just done 2 months in Derby. Everyone is so encouraging and maybe can see we are newbie’s.
Winton is the dinosaur capital of Australia and a lovely town we will be returning to. It did have some odd stuff around town. The rubbish bins were like that below. The water in the tap in the public toilet comes out hot as it is being pumped from the Artesian basin. We were only there about 20 minutes and 2 local people stopped to talk to me. So nice in the country. M
WINTON IS A SWEET TOWN WITH FRIENDLY PEOPLE AND A SENSE OF HUMOR
We are passing mostly road trains and locals in utes or mine or other workers on the roads. The roads are open and empty which makes for VERY pleasant driving. The skies are filled will big gorgeous fluffy clouds that don’t rain. We are trying not to hit any roos and drive around the many dead one’s. We are pulling over for the road trains to pass us and still sometimes getting our towing mirrors blown askew by their wind as they pass us. M
THIS IS STEVE AT UPPER GORGE LOOKOUT
Well we have been in Lawn Hill Boodjamulla National Park for 2 days and this place is HEAVEN. It is an oasis in the outback. It is like being camped in a botanic garden/aviary. We are camped next to a water lily covered creek with our own private jump in spot that we can see out our windows. It is hot! 38 today. It is out of season as a result. Most people don’t want to be in outback QLD after Oct, so there are VERY few people around. We are staying at Adel’s Grove. This place can take 500 people but there were 6 yesterday and a few more than that today. We decided against the Nat Park camp as you have to listen to the generator from the ranger the whole time. All you hear is birds here. I am traveling with the bird man. Steve started a bird list as soon as we hit the road and he is up to 45 today on day 7. We get up very early to walk here as it is 34deg by 9am. Yesterday we did the upper gorge walk and then walked back via Indarri falls. We both had a waterfall back massage in the falls. We saw only one other couple in the park yesterday. The best way to deal with the heat when out walking is to get in the water fully clothed and walk out wet. It doesnt take long for your clothes to dry and help to avoid heat stroke. M
THIS IS A BONE FROM A LONG EXTINCT HUGE BIRD 2.5 METERS IN SIZE
Today we drove the hour from Adel’s Grove to the Riversleigh world heritage fossil site where you can see animal fossils from the past 25 million years. The land around here is wild and stunning to look with huge views. We find any place that has this sort of look with interesting rock formations and huge vistas is also good for mining. The Century Zinc mine is also not far away among others. After seeing fossils of ancient giant birds etc we drove a bit further down the road to the Gregory River and found a wild pool to play in and cool off. We had to climb under a cow fence and bush bash up the river a while first. Rivers here don’t want you to get in them and it is often hard to find an easy spot to get in. We found one where you launched yourself off the bank to get in and then had to drag yourself out by pulling yourself out by grabbing hold of a tree. The river was fringed with tropical looking palms and pandanus as well as huge paperbark trees. It was full of water lilys and we soaked long necked turtles swam by and fish nibbled us if we stayed too still. The paperbark were full of black cockatoos screaching the whole time. Steve goes nowhere without his mask and snorkel and he looked below the surface and all the fish life but we never found any crocs. There are only freshwater crocs here as it’s too far from the sea for the bitey variety. M
STEVE IS FILLING A BOTTLE FROM THE CAR WATER SET UP AND PUMPING WATER FROM THE RIVER INTO THE CARAVAN FOR OUR SHOWERS AND WASHING UP
The 2 things we have to worry about most out here on the road is power and water. if you are not at a caravan park. All the sites in the best part of this camping park have no power or water to connect to. The great thing about camping so close to a creek is that we are able to pump water directly from the creek (this is where all the water comes from at this place including drinking water which they filter. We connect a hose to a pump and then to the caravan and we have unlimited water for showers etc. Power is another story. The grove is gorgeous but there is less sun for our solar set up so we have been using a portable solar mat to make more power to add to what we already have on the roof of the van. This will probably give us 4 days here without having to move or plug in somewhere. There are no energy problems when the van is attached to the car as the driving charges our battery as well as all the solar panels. M
THIS IS OUR PRIVATE SWIMMING HOLE ON THE CREEK JUST NEXT TO THE CARAVAN.
DRIVING THROUGH OUR FIRST RIVER ON THE WAY TO RIVERSLEIGH HERITAGE SITE
STEVE DOING STAND UP PADDLE IN THE “GUPPY” FOLDING BOAT ON THE GORGE
Oh we forgot to show you. We had to get a NSW plate for the new caravan. Here is what they gave us! Easy to remember huh? M