Monday, 1 June 2009

Catching up, Emerald, Sapphire, Alpha, then on to Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton and today, Kynuna Roadhouse

Quite right , I have been a bit lazy, but what the heck, life-on-the-road is not meant to be stressful. I say that, because I know you will agree...

Coming west from Roma the countryside is mostly Savannah grasslands, cattle country and because of recent rains there is lots of grass instead of the usual dirt that you would see at the end of the dry season. What I find very appealing is the vastness of the country, either side of the highway, thousands of square kilometres, with hardly anything that would restrict your view.

Wide open skies as far as you can see...

Yes, its also much warmer here than it was in the South of Queensland and it looks like I have for now outrun the rain that had been following me from the coast, from Brisbane. So now, I am about 190km south-east of Cloncurry, or as its called by locals "..the 'curry". It is the next largest town with about 4500 residents, so there should be a variety of stores to choose from for my shopping. I have also noticed that the door to my "house" is not sealing properly, with dust entering there when I travel on dirt roads. I will need to go to the hardware store at Cloncurry to buy some sealing tape to help me fix the problem, naturally my food supplies are running a bit low as well...

The names of the town of "Emerald" and the town of "Sapphire " really express what these townships are about, its Minerals, Sapphires, Diamonds and may other precious stones that are found in the area. I spent 2 days at Sapphire, walking along the riverbed fossicking for that huge Sapphire... Needless to say, this big find is still elusive. It was fun anyway for the two days I spent there.

A bit of nostalgia - a grave yard by the highway

Barcaldine is the town where the Australian Labor Party was founded, its interesting and therefore historic because of the Shearers' strike, but I did not spend a lot of time there, instead carried on to Longreach, a town firmly included in Australia's history as in the past the economy of the country was largely based on its export of wool and the production of beef. There are various places to see, one of which is the "Stockman's Hall of Fame" with a museum attached and live shows with a mob of sheep, and some pretty amazing Collie dogs that the stockmen work with, herding sheep or cattle.

The funny side of a Stockman's lot...

I also checked out the "School of the Air" where hundreds of children on cattle stations in the outback receive their education via radio, today via the internet, all of which run from five studios at Longreach. From there I drive to Winton where I spend two days relaxing in the campground behind the local Pub, meeting people and exploring places to go to in the future. Amazing how much information is available from fellow travelers that have been "there" where I may want to go.

A sign in the driveway of the local Pub.

Today I have driven to Kynuna, a roadhouse, about half way to Cloncurry, where I intend to stay tomorrow.

On the road to Kynuna

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