Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 19th to 24th Lake Elphinstone to Ravenswood

Bowen river on the way to
   Tuesday 19th
    We got away from lake Elphinstone fairly early, making our way to Collinsville.
     The land seems to be even dryer around this area than ever, although there was a nice glimpse of blue water in the Bowen river as we drove over it.

     Arrived in Collinsville mid morning after restocking the drinks department we found the free R.V. camp at the show grounds opposite the Miners Workers Club. A visit from the clubs vice president to inform us that the club offered free showers to campers, along with the knowledge that the club had a fine restaurant and nice cool beer, all at reasonable prices. How nice.

          Wednesday 20th
     Early morning visitors today. first an old local gentleman by the name of Bill Aspinall, (celebrated his 91st birthday just before Xmas last year) who likes a good chat and offered some of his wood turned pieces for sale. I grabbed a stubby holder and hand casting fishing reel. Both beautiful articles of fine woodwork, as is the craftsman. (hope I'm as good as he is when I get to that age.)
Fruit park at Collinsville
(help yourself to fruit in season)
     Second, was a bloke from the heritage centre, making us very welcome.
    I got a lift with him to the display centre and walked back. This park I found on the way, offering me any fruit which might be there, to help myself. I couldn't find any though. A lovely day, the folk around here a exceptionally friendly and helpful. WE a few more visitors during the day, all offering friendly advice and/or welcome to their country town. Another great town in the west of Queensland and the outback.

          Thursday 21

inside the "coalface experience"
     The weather is great.
    Acting like a tourist I visited "The Coalface Experience". An informative display at the miners club with video and photo's with full size mannequins portraying the life of the miner back when coal mining first started here and on to the present. This photo is of the banner they used to inform all about the union. A delightful way to spend an hour or two.

Friday 22nd

Bowen harbour
     To Bowen this morning to restock the larder before heading to groper creek(a camping area on the creek edge-good fishing?) After the shopping is over we found the fishing co-op to buy a feed of fish and some bait. Having done that we feasted on hot chips for lunch at a park overlooking the boat harbour.

     On to Home Hill to the turnoff to Groper Creek. We rested up for a while at the comfort stop in the middle of town, then made our way to the camp at Groper creek.

Home Hill rail station
Sadly, they are booked out until Monday next week! It's very crowded too!, decided not to bother coming back later and spent the night in Home Hill at the sports grounds.
     Very tough for Yip! there are chickens running around free and both the pups would like to have a good old game of chassy, not to be though.

     Generally a quiet evening.

Saturday 23rd
           Now to find our way to Ravenswood via the back road!

Burdekin river bridge
north of Home Hill toward to Ayr
     Crossing the magnificent bridge over the Burdekin river toward Ayr, we turned off when the gps said to, eventually getting to Clare.
     Further along  we passed a road sign reading "not suitable for trucks-buses-caravans or trailers", well, we had 2 of these! I looked at Jim! "yeah we'll be right" he said "built tough"

Dry country-side on the back road
Home Hill to Ravenswood
So off we went. passing some very dry scenery and once again none of the creeks had any water.

You may snub your nose Jim! Yes it was a steep

     We reached a station called Hillsborough after finding the gravel road not too unpleasant at all.
      The beginning of the steep climb (which the signs had been warning us about along the way) we came across this mammoth sign only 2 or 3 km before reaching Ravenswood, yeah!, it was very steep, sealed though and our rig handled it no problem. Wouldn't like to be under-powered at all if towing a trailer or van, probably wouldn't make it to the top.

Entering Ravenswood via
the back road from Ayr
    All was good as we came across the welcome sign to Ravenswood. Made our way to the hotel for a quick beer before parking up at the show ground camping area at $15.00 per night for a powered site.
     We were in this area about a year ago when we spent some time at the Burdekin Falls Dam.
     We plan to have a couple of nights here. The town was built during the gold mining era and there are ruins to seek out all over the town, will have a look while here this time.

         Sunday 24th

Burdekin river below the dam. very different
to 12 months ago
      Drove out to the Burdekin Dam to remind myself of the area. Last time the dam was flowing 2 feet over the dam wall, what a difference a year later, 2 metres below the wall and so dry all around. The river flowing into this huge hole in the river bed was roaring last time I filmed it.
      Enjoyed the 160km drive out and back catching some new sights on the way back. An Emu in the middle of the road, I slowed, but the ute coming toward me did NOT, -result- a stone chip and crack in the Jimny windscreen, not dangerous, just annoying!

Wedge Tailed Eagle
road kill dinner at Ravenswood

      Nearing Ravenswood again I spied 2 wedge tailed eagles feasting on a small wallaby road kill. One flew away as I approached but I managed to get this picture of the remaining one. Spectacular creatures!

Old Arch bridge at Ravenswood
                      Later in the day while walking the dogs I found an old arch bridge, beneath the arch when I approached where 3 white peacocks and 2 normal ones. Unusual to my way of thinking but missed a picture of them, too quick for me, so I took one of the bridge any way.
     The rest of the day passed uneventfully, I had a ball.
Tomorrow we head toward Charters Towers.


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