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MT ISA ONWARDS TO NORMANTON

September 2, 2015

30TH AUGUST
Got into Mt Isa by 9am to see Barb & Len & have a cuppa with them before Barb had to go out.

Just a couple reaching the Isa.
We left a lot of $s here with fuel ($200) groceries nearly as much, a new shaver & I needed a new external drive. At least we had a good 2 hours with my ex nursing friend from Bundaberg in the 1960s. Last time I saw her was in 2012 at a reunion. As she will be in Brisbane early Dec we are going to try to organise a few who live around Brisbane area to get together-somewhere.
Our stop for this night was Corella Dam/Clem Walton park, last here in 2011.
Like all waterholes, the level is rather low.
Some bird life but not as much as Longreach. I think I have them named correctly.

The first night was very cloudy so could not see the moon very well.

The wind was horrible the first 2 days &continually changing direction. No good trying to get reflection photos like I got in 2011 A few photos from then..

Met this wonderful couple here. This redclaw had Bruce hooked. We had no sooner pulled up & this man came over & asked us if we had red claw pots. He could see that we had no boat so told Bruce to get them out & he would take Bruce out in his boat to set them- that is what I call Australian hospitality at its best!. We had an entree of red claw for about 5 nights I think it was. Still keep in contact with Sue & Alan. Just noticed the date on above photo- what a coincidence- exactly 4 years since we were here.

Back to 2015.

This went on for about 5 mins & I was very close to them.
Went for very early morning walks & had to put long pants & jacket as well as find a beanie again as it came down to 13 degrees.
We had the red claw pots in as well as the fishing line but nothing, but the bait kept vanishing. Used all the shrimp we got at Longreach Waterholes.

I had been trying to get some photos of this lone parrot since we got here & finally he stopped still long enough for me- he was busy having breakfast on the seeds of this tree. He is red winged parrot.
Could this be the female as it came the same day, but could not get close enough through the trees.

Yesterday afternoon, Mel & Rocky, caught up to us. They are the friends we were with in Kununurra & now on their way home to Bundaberg. First day I have been able to get any reflection photos as been too windy.

.

Left here on Tuesday 1st September & into Cloncurry for some birthday cards & get them in the mail. Woolies do not sell them, the newsagency was totally out, eventually got them at Foodworks. The pies at the bakery looked really nice so got a couple for lunch with salad- they were yummy. Naturally you know who got a cream bus as well!
It was only a short trip up north to the Terry Smith Lookout for last night . This had spotless toilets, many large bins. There were about 14 there & only room for about 2 more. Had a good happy hour with 4 other couples.
Most lights seemed to be out reasonably early but a vehicle drove in about 9pm I think, music, loud talking etc then about 12md started to pack things up!!!
Found out it was 3 overseas backpackers who thought it was funny when I said we did not appreciate the noise right outside our window, which they were. Comment was “Ah well, wild guys we are!” Ugh.
This morning it was obvious that folk were throwing their rubbish, bottles & cans into the huge bins very noisily- wonder why? Maybe to try to wake them up.
It is just so dry & seems to be getting worse. Called into the Burke & Wills road house for a cuppa & the dust was blowing in all directions. This is the turnoff to the Gregory mine & there are many mine trucks carting zinc south. Spoke to them via UHF. They never stopped going past the rest area all night.No where to pull off the side of the road to take photos here so they were done on the move- as many are.

There would be literally thousands of anthills along this road, as well as lots of road kill.
Bang Bang rest area was the destination for to-day.

3rd September
Well this is a huge dusty area with tables, toilets & dump (totally overflowing) Yuk! When we arrived there was a van by itself, looking abandoned as no vehicle, but there are windows open on one side Y looks like shoes outside the door? Not game to go closer, but might have a look before we leave. Only 2 others for the night, which was rather quiet as there were no mine trucks up this far & only a few cattle road trains. One stopped overnight & the cattle could be heard moving in the trucks.
Trying to make Gilbert River to-day to leave us with only a short drive to the Cumberland Billabong on Friday for a few days. Need to stop in Normanton for water & the dump point. As we have been here twice before just passing through.
Hopefully enough fuel to get to Croydon where only $1.28 , so we were told yesterday. Put 40 lts into car from drums yesterday afternoon & with a tail wind should be OK. Since we left Kununurra we have had a head wind most of the way & it has played havoc with the fuel consumption.

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