22 December 2011

The Big Haste (to the East Coast)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The locals had been warning us for days that only 10mm of rain could turn the Channel Country into a big boggy mess in a matter of only a few hours.
The wind had picked up considerably over night, a few drops of rain plopping on the tarp every now and then. When daylight came we didn't hang around, a big black storm front was creeping up on us from the west, we had to pack up swiftly, say our goodbyes to the Dig Tree and make a move.

Under different conditions we would have continued to Innamincka to check out along the way the sites where Burke and Wills had perished and the place where King had been found alive.

But we seriously had no time to lose, we had to get over the many channels of the Cooper Creek before they started to flood.
Past the Jackson Oil Plant and onto the Cooper Developmental Road. Tensions eased once we'd made it onto the sealed road – although it was only a single lane for quite some time and we had to roll onto the shoulder if we wanted to avoid the spray of gravel and rocks by oncoming road trains potentially resulting in a cracked windscreen. The further we travelled the wider and more defined the road became. Once we got to Quilpie we felt like we'd returned to the civilised world.

No dawdling, we fuelled up in Charleville and drove on, along the Warrego Highway all the way to Mitchell. Particularly the teenager on board rejoiced when we pulled into a motel complex and checked into a room for the night. Dinner was enjoyed by the expedition at the Court House Hotel in Mitchell. Great place to eat, they serve whole cows there (that's what Steve thought anyway when he ordered a rump steak)!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The last day of this leg of the journey. 
Today we would cross the Western Downs. Roma felt like an old friend since one of our local TV channel (Imparja serves large areas of central and remote Australia) keeps us up to date on cattle prices with the Roma stock report.
The Great Dividing Range we traversed as well. It felt slightly sacrilegious to rush up and down and around the hills and ridges without stopping but we were very close to our destination now and would make time to check out the secrets of the Great Dividing Range on our return trip to the Top End.

We safely arrived at Steve's parents place in a small township between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg in the early afternoon. Here the Toms family will celebrate Christmas in private before hooking up the camper trailer once more. Turtles and sandy beaches will be the focus of our attention next, stay tuned!

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas!

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