Getting away from Longreach on Monday took us a bit longer than expected. By the time we had finished had our stagecoach experience, grabbed a coffee, got back to the motorhome, topped up with diesel and did all the preps for departure, it was after 2pm. We were conscious of the fact that we needed to be settled at Barcaldine prior to dusk. We do not like being on the road after about 4pm as kangaroos, wallabies and the like all come out and feed at around that time and unfortunately they struggle to foresee the dangers of wandering around the main highways. The consequences, should you collide with one, can be quite expensive as well as being mildly upsetting.
We arrived at Barcaldine around 4.30pm and ended up settling for the night at a free rest area about 2km east of the township and beside the local cemetery. By sunset there were about five other travellers at the site so it was quite social. The standout for us was that the local Council made sure the cemetery grounds were well watered so the grass was lush and green. This in turn attracted the local wildlife – kangaroo, wallaby and many variety of birdlife. It surprised us that we were able to get so close to them – sometimes within a metre. The novelty of the ‘different’ wildlife over here still amazes us.
On Tuesday morning had a delayed start as we had a small technical difficulty with our onboard battery charger. The problem was that when on mains we could not get power to the charger to top up the house batteries. I mentioned my problem to the guy in the next door motorhome and as luck would have it he was an electrician. Between Traillite and our ‘new friend’, it was all sorted in a couple of hours and we were on our way. Many thanks Tony.
Repairs complete, our Tuesday drive was a total of 85 km. We settled at Redbank Park close the town of Jericho. Redbank Park is a free camp area on the banks of the Jordan River. It is a very popular free spot for travellers so we were a wee bit concerned we may have left our run too late to get a place. However when we arrived we slotted into a space right beside the river. We ended up by staying at the site for two nights and as usual met some great people who we will no doubt run across again in our travels.
Tomorrow morning (Thursday) morning we are making our way to Emerald for two nights at a pay site to get the domestics done. We are down to a quarter of a tank of fresh water, washing needs doing, the motorhome and the jeep need a good hose down and because we have been parked under trees, our house batteries need a good charge. We could turn the generator on but that may upset the neighbours who park at ‘free camp areas’ for the piece and quiet. Far be it for a couple of Kiwi nomads to upset the natives.
Our plan is to leave Emerald on Saturday morning and head back to the Sapphire and Rubyvale areas to do a few days of gemstone ‘fossicking’. From Sapphire it is our intention to jump onto the Dawson Highway and head down to Roma for the “Food and Fire Festival” on the weekend of the 14 and 15 September. So decadent when your life is guided by social occasions.
Just heard on the news that there are extreme fire warnings in our area for tomorrow. While we always listen to local advice, it cannot be any more nerve wracking than the tornado we experienced the other morning. It passed us by about 800 metres and was ripping up everything in its path. Concentrated driving and complete silence was the key to the moment.
We are loving the challenges over here.