Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cloncurry to Richmond. 9th to 21st August

Saturday 10th.

     Gidday, we are still at Wals camp in Cloncurry, just taking is easy. Today I visited the local information centre and museum which was a lot of fun, looking at all the old machinery and stuff they have here along with this neat steam tractor on the lawn. I had a nice morning with Dot and Dash.
     Jim spent the morning out with the owner of Wals Camp on his 4000 acre farm on the other side of town helping him feed out to the stock. He was pretty shocked to see the country so dry although the stock, so far, are still in pretty reasonable condition. He wants to take me out next time to take a few photo's which will probably be on Monday.  He went out again in the afternoon to help cut Gidgee branches down for the stock to eat as well, that is how rough it is out here, there is nothing for the stock to eat except what the farmer can give to them. I will find what its like when I go out on Monday.


     When we got to the camp area and set up yesterday we had a visit from this beautiful horse, gave him a carrot,
I hope he will be a regular visitor while we are here. Also had a visit from Wals dog, 'Gidgee" a lovable old chap which Dot and Dash wanted to eliminate at first, but I think they really like him.

We went out to the farm on Monday as planned, Jim to help out with the feed and I followed them in Jimny with the pups to get some photos. Man, it is really sad, I almost cried to see how dry it is, there is actually NOTHING TO EAT!!! for the stock

 This photo I took out of the car window, it shows nothing, really, like it is, at all, but it gives some impression of how dessicated the ground is, only dry dirt and a few scrubby looking half dead shrubs without any leaves at all.

 So, after a shocking look at the way people,(farmers especially) have to live out in the west, with so many years of drought, I guess it will rain someday and transform the land into a thing of beauty, but until then, I hope they survive this year and finally get some rain or they will be in deep sh---t. We are only visiting the area and quiet frankly I am glad I don't live here.

    Any way we went back to camp for a nice lunch and a restful afternoon on into the evening when this happened to the sky. Another great sunset to be seen.
      Nature is grand!!

On Tuesday I took the pups in the afternoon out to the Chinaman Creek Dam again to have a swim and called up to the lookout on the way back to take this photo of the Camp and the surrounding rugged countryside. Our bus is there somewhere! can you see it? 

Wednesday 14th.

     We had to get someone to have a look at the fridge and the only place is Mount Isa, so today we have an appointment at 10 am. Have left the trailer and Jimny at Wals camp and headed off in the bus, intend to be back in Cloncurry today.

     On the way, we saw some sights, the road was pretty good but passing the road trains is an experience, then we had to pull over completely and come to a stop  when this large load came toward us, it took up most of the road. No drama though, all was good and we carried on.

Some of the scenery was pretty spectacular as we travelled, it seemed to change all the time, rocky, flat, scrubby, few hilly mounds, no green at all and just plain rugged, as the photo shows.

     We stopped for a smoko break at Fountain Springs  rest area which is half way between Cloncurry and Mount Isa, then continued on our way, finally seeing in the distance, the smoke stacks of the mine site, they were easy to see some kilometres from the city and made a neat photo through the windscreen, you can just them in the distance.

Finally we got to the fridgie place, after some good navigating by me (Ha Ha).  They took a couple of hours to do what they had to do and we were finished. Having had enough for the day the only thing we wanted to do before getting on the road to Cloncurry was to have a look at the Black Rock Open Cut mine, just so I could say I had been there and done that.

It was something I never imagined I was very glad Jim took me to have a look. It is a huge hole in the middle of the mine workings which is accessible to the public, used for getting Copper ore out of the ground. The photo hardly gives  justice as to how huge it is.

So that was our trip to Mount Isa, we left about 1pm having not really wanting to be in a City at all, we did well and never got lost once. A couple of hours later we were back at camp in Cloncurry and took the rest of the day off.

                       Thursday 15th
We decided it was time to move on, heading for Julia Creek. We only got as far as Oorindi Rest area, 68 km from Cloncurry but settled down for the rest of the day and carried on to Julia Creek the next morning. Not much of anything at the rest area but a little oasis in the midst of all the brown.

On arriving at Julia Creek, fairly early in the morning, we found a Laundromat and did the wash, stocked up with a few provisions and coldies and went to the free park. It is on the banks of Julia creek which actually has water in it, it's brown and not very deep but the dogs enjoyed swimming in it. Julia Creek is on the Artesian basin and has no water shortages. The water comes from under ground and is hot, a novel experience for me to have hot water bubbling up from the ground in the middle of all this dry area.

This photo was what we saw while sitting in our camp chairs at sunset, very pretty.

    We spent 4 days here. I saw some more Emus on the skyline, man, they are funny, but majestic looking creatures, I tried to get closer, but by the time I got up to where they were, they had disappeared.

Very exciting all the same.

   Also there were a few Kangaroos and the pup's wanted go after them but I said No! too big for you!!.

So a lovely respite for a few days.

Couldn't resist this sunrise on our last morning here, taken over the water next to where we camped.

Tuesday 20th
     We continued our journey and set forth for Richmond about 150 km east. While provisioning again, we met up with folk that we had met in Mareeba, in July, the whip cracking and fire twirling crew. Funny how you run into people from places that we have been too.

     Then it was time to take off and I gave Jim a break from Driving for a change which gave me some much needed practise, it all went well. We took a side trip into a place called Nelia, 50km down the road. It is very tiny, only  3 or 4 houses and a little gallery of a photo display, they served Cappuccino, ice cream and other stuff (Thier words on the sign, not mine) and the old Post Office building which is no longer used, but it is a neat little place.

This Brolga statue is on the corner opposite the post office building, made of metal and machine parts.

We spent an hour or so there having breakfast.

 Jim took over the driving and we were once more on our way.

    We travelled as far as Maxwelton, there we stopped at a roadside rest stop for the night and experienced another great sunset.

Wednesday 21st
    We continued  to Richmond this morning and are camped in the local RV free park. It is very empty of anything but will spend a couple nights here and see the sights of Richmond.
'Till next blog, take care.
Chow for now. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1st to 8th August Karumba to Cloncurry


The photo of the entrance sign into Karumba is pretty impressive, a nice way to be greeted into a town.
      We have been here since Monday 29th July, have had a great time although there isn't much in Karumba. It is known for it's great fishing but we never got a line wet. It is a town in 2 parts, the township which has the day to day needs of life, shops etc and Karumba point which is famous for the sunsets that can be seen from the shore. We stayed in Karumba township.

     I went on a sunset cruise on Thursday evening which was neat, prawns, wine, cheese and fruit platter all inclusive in the moderate fare of $45.00.

This is me on the way out to see the sunset, in the background is Karumba point and endless sea beyond there all the way to who knows where, it seemed to go forever.


While out on the Norman river sunset cruise we spotted this huge Salty crocodile, on the bank, just minding his own business, never gave a continental that I was there with about 30 other people on the boat taking photo's of it.

This is the sunset that I went to see, it was pretty neat.

     We had a ball at Karumba, spent one morning at the point, the tide was out that day, the pups had a play in the sea for only a short time,(didn't want them to become  

This pic shows us at the beach on Karumba point.

     On Friday 2nd we headed out of Karumba to Walkers creek, which is half way between Karumba and Normanton, where we stayed for 3 nights just hanging out and relaxing completely. On the way out from Karumba I took this photo of Brolga at a waterhole on the side of the road. Apparently these large birds are here along this stretch of road all the time and can number in their hundreds, I didn't see that many but there were surely a lot of them.

     On Sunday morning we discovered that the fridge wasn't working properly and decided we had better head to somewhere where we could get it looked at, therefore we headed for Normanton on Monday morning, but not before I took the pups for a walk down the creek for a look and a hunt for them, which turned out successful on their behalf and I took this photo of the creek, even though it is very dry, this section of it was pretty in the morning sun and the pups managed to have a quick swim.
In Normanton we found no fridgie to have a look at the fridge so we re provisioned the larder, filled the water tanks etc and took this great photo of 'Krys' the Savannah King.


    It is a replica of a Crocodile shot by a woman and is the largest estuarine Croc to have been shot in the world, measuring 8.63 m long. Pretty impressive to say the least.
 Dot reckoned that it was a bit of a mouthful!!

  We left Normanton about 1pm with the intention of spending a couple of nights at a rest stop called Bang Bang, in the middle of nowhere on the way to Cloncurry.
We found Bang Bang rest stop by 3pm and set up camp.

This sign was at the entrance to the rest area and I reckoned it was telling it like it was. there is definitely nothing out here but more dry dust and light scrubby bush. Way out Woop Woop alright!!

As you can see by our camp site, this is all there is here, but it is not a bad place to rest up on the way to Cloncurry. It's about halfway to Burke and Wills roadhouse from Normanton, which we will head for on Wednesday, and then carry on to Cloncurry as planned.

Wednesday 7th august we left Bang Bang rest area fairly early at 8am on our way to find a fridgie to have a look at our fridge. On the way  I was amazed to see all the Termite mounds that abound each side of the road,(not much else to see either) took this pic. through the bus window, they reminded me a never ending line of gravestones, which I thought was pretty fitting seeing as how dry and dead everything looks out here.

We stopped for breakfast at the Burke and Wills roadhouse, not much here either but had to prove I have been there by taking another photo. Ha Ha!!

     On the road again, the lo-o-ong straight road to Cloncurry, I had been on the lookout for an Emu or two and finally spied a couple roadside, passed them by without stopping, but great, I finally saw wild Emu Yay! Stopped at another rest area called Quamby, 46 km out of Cloncurry to make a few phone calls to book into a Van park and to have a smoko break. As we neared Cloncurry Jim pointed out these pyramid looking features on the horizon, (we're not in Egypt) as it turns out these rock formations are pretty common around here.

     Arrived at the Discovery caravan Park midday and settled in for a couple of nights, washing day tomorrow and all the chores to be done.

Thursday 8th.  We took a drive in Jimny out to the Chinamens Creek Dam this morning, the water is pretty low, but still looking good, plenty of Pelicans,  a couple blokes fishing, don't think they caught anything though and Dash went for a swim, Dot decided against it, didn't want to get her feet muddy, unlike me, I managed to get mucky.

     This is where we are at, at present, camped at Wals Camp. a bit out the back of town,  nice and quiet. Will be here for a few days I think.

     Catch Ya soon.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The story up to now. November 2012 to August 2013

     November 2012 we decided that we needed to change our lives. What to do? O.K, we bought our Mobile Home, the Mercedes Benz bus, a trailer and a 4x4 Suzuki Jimny to sight see in, to tow behind the bus.
     It took us until May 2013 to get everything sorted, sell everything that we had in Cardwell, make sure we were prepared for travel and finally headed off on the journey of our lives on 21st May 2013.
     May into June we travelled to Cooktown, Laura in the Gulf back to Mareeba on the Atherton tablelands up until about 9th July. From there we headed west to Mount Surprise for a week or so, then further west through Georgetown, Croydon to Normanton and Karumba, where July ended and we have caught up with us now in Cloncurry.
 This is our Rig when we were at Balgal beach.
and this is the entrance to the Endeavour river in Cooktown