Sunday, August 24, 2014

Camooweal Drovers Festival 22nd to 25th

Have had a great weekend, the weather has been fantastic, if a bit windy sometimes, but nice warm days and some fun things to keep us busy.
                     Friday 22nd

Camooweal Hotel/Motel
     The festivities started late afternoon with a street parade. A tribute to a small town with such a great variety of floats to see, starting with the mounted policeman and pack horses to the racq battery on wheels and the local school and more. The hotel is in the middle of the main street so was the viewing point for most people, the rest on the roadside. There was an Aussie Mail Race after the parade, wasn't that fun to see. The 4 person teams had to push a cart with passenger in from one end of the street, picking up mail at one shop, having a drink at the pub, collecting the name of a drover at the other end of the street and racing back to the pub to deliver the mail to the correct bloke in the pub. A great laugh it was, the photo's tell the story!
End of the Aussie Mail race

waiting for the start of the
parade in main street
The team who came in first, actually came in at second place as the passenger forgot to deliver the mail and the next team in beat him to it. The prize money was donated to a charity of the winner and second place getter's choice, I think the flying doctors and Blind society won on the day.
     That was the start of the weekend.

                                Saturday 23rd

     This morning I spent at the Drovers Camp. There was entertainment all morning, Songs, yarns and poetry, all good stuff. I took a long tome having a gander in the museum, this Mural in one corner of the building was pretty neat.

 I got some-one to take my photo in front of this cart. 
     There were a few stalls with things for sale, I couldn't resist the handmade leather goods and bought a couple of items.
     Also a book of bush ballads and real stories by John Lloyd who I heard yesterday at the camp ground, I was fascinated with a couple of the verses he recited and bought the book so I could read some more.
     In the afternoon the horse races were on and Jim attended this. There were 5 races, he had a ball, a typical bush race day and fun had by all who attended by the sound of it.  The evening presented with a country music spectacular which we never went to but could hear some of the music from the camp ground.

                            Sunday 24th 
     Jim went out to the Drovers Camp to have look-see this morning. He tells of the bush poetry and song competition that went well, the Whip cracking competition with competitors aged about 6-7 to 80 odd years and they all could crack a mean whip! There will be more music entertainment this afternoon then another Camooweal Drovers Festival will be over for another year. I reckon it was a great weekend. We have enjoyed a lovely 9 days in Camooweal relaxing and getting to know some of the locals.

                            Monday 25th
     Moving on today, no hurry, only going about half way to Mount Isa to a rest area we stayed at on the way out. Will continue next day and restock the larder etc on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cape Crawford to Camoowael (Back in Qld)12th to 17th

Tuesday 12th
     Only travelled 10 km today, to Cape Crawford, where we stayed for the night, $28.00 for a powered sight.
Cape Crawford roadhouse N.T.
     Not much here, it's the junction of Tablelands highway which goes to the Barkly highway, or carry on to Borroloola. We have decided we will make the turn and head for the Barkly highway and on to Queensland (Mainland Australia, Jim reckons), making for Camooweal where we'll stay for a while and have a gander at the Drovers festival on the weekend of 23rd and 24th. After that on to Mount Isa (eventually)

                    Wednesday 13th

    Heading down the Tablelands highway today, hoping to make the second rest area noted on the sign as we pulled out of Cape Crawford.
     We made the 229 km trek and ended up at Brunette Downs rest area by lunch time, still 150km from the Barkly highway and homestead.

The area is very desert like, bare of anything much, I took this panorama of the landscape.
We had a quiet afternoon. The sunset was something special again and I took a different style of photo with this one of Dilligaf in the early evening sunset.
Thursday 14th
     On toward Queensland, down the Tableland highway to the Barkly Homestead on the Barkly highway, 220km west of the Queensland border. I remember staying at the Homestead when we came through in May, earlier this year, thought I would take a picture though, for old times sake.
     We had a spell here for 20 minutes or so then on  to Wonarah Bore rest area by mid morning, we are 43km east of the Barkly Homestead. Met a couple of motor bike riders here, travelling east as well. We shouted them both a cup of coffee and they were off, seemingly contented with the hot drink.
Friday 15th
Very windy this morning and cold with it. Time to move on.
     On to Camooweal today, with the headwind making driving a bit difficult we eventually arrived in Camooweal late afternoon after striking a small problem 80 km short. Due to circumstances not entirely of our making, we ran out of fuel. So - we unloaded the Jimny and I drove into Camooweal to get a jerry can of diesel. Poured it into Dilligaf  but had to bleed the fuel lines before we could get her going again.
    I have crossed the Qld-N.T. border 4 times now, once when we entered N.T. in May and 3 times today, Oh how exciting!! NOT!.
     We are staying in Camooweal to experience the drovers festival which is on next weekend, spending a bit longer here to enjoy the outback style entertainment, should be fun, will let you know in the next blog entry.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Daly Waters & easterly 10th & 11th

Sunday 10th
     Refuelled Dilligaf at Daly waters as the photo shows - underneath the watchful eye of the helicopter, which is out of service at present due to maintenance and refurbishment, paying $1.87 per litre for diesel and also filled 3 jerry cans so we can make it all the way to Mount Isa where fuel should be cheaper than Camooweal or anywhere in between. Heading east to Camooweal eventually.

     On the way we came across these huge Termite mounds, this one had to be at least 7 feet tall and maybe 5 feet around. We had a rest at Bullwaddy rest area, 90km out then continued on to October rest area, travelling 170 km for the day.

     This picture shows our Rig as I took photos of the termite mounds and the length of some of the straights here on the Carpentaria highway, they seem to go on for ever and some of them  approach a rise in the road and it looks like we will fall off the edge of the world, but - no - only another long straight after all, and so it went most of the way to October Creek rest area where we spent the night.
      On arrival at the rest area Jim filled up a couple of containers by the water tank to let the wildlife have a drink and the birds came from all directions. This photo shows only a very few of the many that came from nowhere to get to the water.
     We shared the area with a few fellow travellers and had a fun afternoon and evening. As the moon came up over the horizon I had a fun time with the camera as Jim caught the moon in his fingers, nice catch Jim!!

                                  Monday 11th
     Took Dot and Yip for their early morning walk and found this neat tree
with the early sun shining on it, pretty isn't it? just some of the typical outback stuff we see on a regular basis out here on our travels.

     Travelling on up the Carpentaria highway we found this neat place called Little River, (funnily enough) only 10km short of Cape Crawford ( which is where we were headed) but it looked so nice we decided to stay the night here. The photos show how beautiful it is.
Dilligaf at the Little River
Huge Braham bull we saw
while walking the edge
of the billabong

Little River Billabong
As you can see, very pretty. Dot and Yip enjoyed their time here, very happy and had a ball.

     I had a try at fishing, could see plenty of small ones in the clear waters of the billabong and where there are little fish,-- Big fish  also -- Maybe. Well I had fun catching a few tiddlers when I got a surprise, as I was pulling one in, a splash at my feet, WHAT!! crocodile came to mind first, but it was only a water goanna trying to get my fish for his dinner, so I took it off the line and threw it to him, he took it up the bank a little distance from us and consumed it happily enough.

     This is him, He was sunning himself on this tree in the water next morning. (I can only presume it was the same one as I fed the day before)

   It was a lovely place to spend the day and night, especially when the sun was going down and I had the opportunity to take this picture of the billabong as we saw it from our camp chairs. Boy! life is tough alright.
     Tomorrow we make our way to Cape Crawford where we spend a night.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Daly Waters 8th & 9th

Friday 8th
     Arrived here about lunchtime, booked in at the Pub to stay 2 nights at the Van park. Not a lot here but seems to have some character.
This isn't the actual hotel, it's opposite here, over the road.
     It is absolutely full of stuff! Undies and knickers, money, shirts and clothing that travellers from all over the world have left as reminders of themselves. Outside is a thong tree, a wall of vehicle number plates, amongst some of the oddities,- too many to mention.
      Here is me enjoying a Pot of beer while looking at some of the stuff, and the service area of the bar as you enter from the road, showing some of the goodies on display, so much of it!


      Out side there are some fun things, like a sign that says-  ANGLE PARKING - any angle mate!! and parking metre's and the Traffic lights.

     All in all, a very delightful place. The van park has filled up over the afternoon, very busy place. We have had a lovely day, see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday 9th
     Another great day has dawned, warm and sunny. Took a walk to see the tree that the pioneer explorer John McDouall Stuart left his initial 'S' in, when he discovered Daly Waters on May 28, 1862, on his successful journey to cross Australia from north to south coast. Unfortunately the tree has been burnt down in a bush fire and only the trunk remains and the S is not very distinguishable. It was a nice morning walk with the puppies.
      Had to do some menial housework during the day but another beautiful day. The van park is only dirt and a few trees, so makes for a very dusty area, no matter, except when the wind blows, just had a wily wily fill the bus with dust and set off the smoke alarm, Ha Ha!! what a place!!
     Another thrilling adventure coming up tomorrow when we head east through the wilderness. That's all for now, probably a while before we get a signal again.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Heading North to Daly Waters 5th to 8th

Tuesday 5th
On our way north looking for warmer weather have travelled back some way and stopped off here at Bonney well again, a delightful place to rest for the night.
On the way to here we rested at Barrow Creek Hotel for a time before we continued on to the rest area for the night.
Wednesday 6th
Onward we go. Stopped at Tennant Creek to have an oil change done on the bus. Had to wait a while before they were able to do it but where on our way again at 2pm travelling as far north to Attack Creek rest area only about 50km north of Tennant Creek. This is the morning view on departure.
Thursday 7th
Onward and upward, the weather is nice now, warm and cosy, much more to our liking. The roads up the Stuart Highway are so long and the surrounding countryside is mostly unchanging.
Stopped to take a photo of our rig on the long road north. Gidday to all!
Drove to a little Oasis on the way called Renner Springs, just a roadhouse and camping area, but very pretty, This windmill is on the place, nice!. The Bar at the roadhouse is full of hats!! pinned to the walls and ceiling. very unusual to see. We had an ice cream and continued.
We travelled about 200 km today to make Elliott, nothing here much, booked into the caravan park for the night to have a rest etc. There is a hotel on the main street, but it looked like it was closed for good, but discovered it did open later in the day, Jim went to have a beer, but only had one, not much going for it!
That's all for now , catch you when we are in Internet country again, it's pretty patchy up in these parts, Oh Well! life on the road has it's hassles and if that is all there is to worry about, we have no worries!
                      Chow for now 

Monday, August 4, 2014

COLD !! turning back again. 3rd+4th August

3rd August
     Well, the cold weather has finally got the better of us. Minus 2+3 degree temps' are a bit too much to handle, then the days don't warm up much with a cutting bitter, ice tinged wind for most of the day, NOT good. So we left Ross River Resort today, only went as far as Alice Springs where we spent the night at a van park (so we could have power and the heater on) and stocked up on any provisions we needed.

4th August
     Woke to a very chilly/cold, 1 degree morning. Waited a while for it to warm up a bit then loaded all our gear, ( the Jimny etc) and headed off by 10am. Had to fuel the bus and call into Bunnings (a hardware warehouse) and departed Alice Springs by 10.45am. Heading north for warmer climate. Stopped at Aileron for a breather and lunch and a rest. Decided carry on to Ti Tree, about 200km north of Alice. I drove this leg and enjoyed the drive. booked into the Ti Tree roadhouse Van Park for the night.
     No real plan at the moment, just to find warmth, possibly head back to Qld down the middle and south, when it warms up more.
     Catch you when I know what's going on!!    Dilligaf,   read the name on the bus. Life really is a moment in time, take all you can get out of it. chow!