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September 1, 2015

How sad to have left the Longreach Waterholes- sure wish they were in QLD. Ah well, getting closer to heading east & sunny QLD, family & friends. It was 13th April when we left Brisbane.
Anyway our first stop was at Elliott for some bread & butter. There were many Peacocks wandering around so naturally had to take a couple of photos.

Driving down the Stuart highway there is not a lot to see. Dry country, burn offs, vans heading both ways & many road trains full of cattle, probably heading to Darwin for live export.
Attack Creek was our stop for to-night- no change since 2006. Once again bins all full. I guess Mr Google would be able to tell you this story.

We were sitting finishing our evening meal when a very agitated girl was let out of another vehicle. She was trying to find phone reception as she & 2 other girls were broken down a few ks back up the highway. They were in an Apollo motorhome which they were returning to Melbourne & one of the girls had to fly out on the 27th. She had her rego & hire details with her so for a few dollars we offered to use our satellite phone- they are not cheap to use. Got Apollo for her & she was trying to explain the problem but they hung up on her. I got the answering machine after that & left details of our sat phone #, where they were broken down etc etc & please return my call. In the mean time another man next to us unhitched his cruiser (he was a mechanic) & he & Bruce took the girl back to the others. As the Motorhome was not a long way off the highway, with Bruce in the Apollo, they towed the vehicle to a truck stop just north of Attack Creek. We promised them that we would both try Apollo as soon as we got to the 3 ways just down the road. I rang with our normal phone & finally got a person at Apollo. The other couple had rang 000 & told them the situation- 3 girls stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken down vehicle. The man I spoke to said that yes, the police had just given them all the details & they were in the process of organising help. The problem with the vehicle – a Merc with only 120,000ks, the last person had not replaced a cap on something & gradually it ran out of fuel. The girls said that they could smell fuel under the passenger side.
Bruce was apprehensive about driving because of the insurance situation as they had to tow about 20ks in the dark.

This is another memorial to John Flynn & it is at the 3 Ways roadhouse- junction of the Barkley & Stuart highways.

This Lake is just before tenant Creek- beautiful spot for a lunch break & a cold shower if you wish. In 2006 the hot water to the showers was still connected so we had a hot one then but not this year.

22nd August down to Tenant Creek to get fuel, water & dump point as well as a few groceries then up to the Pebbles for the night. Glad we got there just after lunch as it soon got crowded.
After we left here this morning as it was only 18k back to Tenant Creek we went & topped the fuel & water again before heading across the Barkley to the Camooweal billabongs.
Had a break & wandered around the Tenant Creek Telegraph station. Mr Google will probably be able to tell you all about this place if signs too difficult to read.

This rough stone/cement work is the the corners of the wall of the butcher shop!

The stop for to-night is at the 41 mile bore, 70 ks east of the 3 ways. Once again full bins with rubbish blowing around everywhere. The bins have wire covers on the top but this does not stop the crows pulling rubbish through the wire- have seen them doing this many time. Alas, we can probably blame back packers for most of the rubbish- lots of toilet paper, paper plates,empty food tins etc. I started picking rubbish up but gave up in disgust as there was just too much & certainly was not carting it with us as bins were full, as usual. Had a wander around the very eastern parking spot this morning & this is much cleaner. Maybe not as evident as the turns in at the broken down windmill to where the water tank & shaded table & seats are situated.

These little fellows were having a swim & drink from the leaking tap . Drum is full of water with bricks to stop it from blowing away.They were on the move continually. Left 40 Mile Bore heading for the Soudan bore for to-night.
The Barkley highway is not an interesting drive as far a scenery is concerned, especially being so dry.
Pulled up at Soudan bore with dozens of these birds which I eventually found in my bird book- Zebra Finches.

No hurry to move this morning as just over a 100 ks to the border.

Parts of the highway are like the treeless plain across the Nullabor- nothing to see but there are some cattle & horses in the distance.

Soon into our home state of Queensland and the town of Camooweal with a population of under 500. Found a spot at the billabong to set up for a couple of days.

We had to wait for a pair of Brolgas to walk in front of us- there was only ever one back at the Longreach Waterholes.
Does not look terribly inviting as water level rather low, very windy & dusty- maybe one night! spoke to a couple with “huge” cameras around their necks. Pro birdwatchers. Anyway a local had just been out here, noticed their cameras & said that they were welcome to go out to the billabong on his property, 8k west of Camooweal. Anyone with cameras welcome as better than where we were. We both decided to wait until late afternoon & go for a drive. Found our way out & had to treak up the waters edge via cattle tracks & hitting lots of good garden fertilizer along the way-only some ducks & the usual pelicans.

There were many cattle, mostly steer with a variety of bulls. Beautiful animals even though they were not in the best of condition.

My first selfie & this was at least better than the meal.

We had called at the pub to check out the evening menu then back to the van for a shower as we were covered in dust by this time, then back in for dinner that night.
What a mistake that was! Second worst pub meal we have ever had. All guests not happy. WE reckoned that the roast pork meal had all been cooked very early then reheated in the microwave. The edge of the pork were rock hard-not burnt but how meat goes when reheated. It was not worth $10 let alone $20. Should have gone to the BP servo across the road where the truckies eat- always good food for those guys.

There were a few birds around.

Work up to totally overcast with showers forecast & as we needed sun for solar & I needed to do a big wash it was into the van park for the night. Thought that I would have to set the ensuite up as a drying room but the sun was out by 11.30 so all good. Glad I have my little twin tub as the washing machines here are filthy. I did do all my floor mats etc as they could not be made any dirtier & they were full of dust.

A few birds in the park.

28th August.
What an awful night. Woke 12.30, got up at 1.30 then sat at this thing until after 3am . Beautiful day & now heading to a top just west of Mt Isa as want to get in early for fuel & food then passing through as my friend not answering her phone. Really wanted to see her as he has just had bowel cancer surgery.
Spent the night at the Memorial # 304 ccamps 7, about 65ks west of the Isa. A large area, both bins & toilets better that most. About 4am a semi pulled into the park (a truck one further on) Reversed with his beep beep beep going. It did not worry me as was reading & Bruce, with aids out, does not hear anything. i bet he work the others up who were rather close to him. He left baout 5.15 & I guess it is better for him to wake a few fold than maybe fall asleep & cause fatalities.
Had a another try at ringing Barb & she answered fortunately. We were going to do our shopping then go around to their home. She would not have been home so glad I rang again, so went there first as soon as we got into the Isa.


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