We have had a wonderful relaxing three days at Charters Towers staying at a Big 4 RV Resort with pool, free wifi, gold coin evening entertainment and absolutely nothing else to do. Daytime temperatures are around 30 deg C dropping to 20 deg C at night. Tomorrow morning we take off for the first leg of our journey to Mt. Isa. The distance from Charters Towers to the Isa is approximately 800km but we have no intention of doing it in one drive. Dearne has planned the journey and I have been informed that our first stop is 98km away at a little free camping spot beside the Campaspe River – yabby opportunity!
Dearne is driving the 800km and me thinks she is a little nervous. This will be her first drive of the van with the jeep behind since arriving in Australia. I am sure she will do fine.
A number of people have emailed or phoned us asking why we are taking the Flinders Highway route to Isa instead of turning right at Mt Garnet and follow the Savannah Highway to Normanton then down to Isa. You are all quite right – we have taken the longer route but for a very good reason. We have talked to a number of travellers in Cooktown and around Atherton who had recently made the journey along the Savannah. Almost all said parts of the road were atrocious and most had suffered some sort of vehicle damage. Believe it or not, the difference in distance between the two ways is only 152km – our way being the longest. We are lucky that we have no time constraints.
In terms of cost, our reasoning for going the longer route was that we are currently doing 20.4 litres of diesel per 100km and the average cost of our diesel is A$1.50 per litre. That makes the cost of the additional kilometres approx. A$45.00. From the stories we have heard, we would have probably done more that A$45.00 in damages to either the van or the jeep by going via the Savannah. Simple decision really.
The freezer, refrigerator and pantry has been restocked, the washing done, and we have ample wine, beer, Coke (Zero of course) and Coruba for the journey. Prior to heading away in the morning we will fill up with fresh water and diesel. We are not sure if we will be able to update the blog on Flinders – this will depend on our 3G-reception capability. If you do not hear from us, it means we have no reception. We plan to get to Mt Isa by next Monday.