Saturday, 17 April 2010

65 - Moura to Charters Towers

We woke the next morning reasonably early and hit the road again. We met a few people at the camp site on the Dawson River, who were heading for Clermont as their next destination heading north. Sounds like a good idea to me.

So we set sail to destination Clermont. Now Clermont is a town that never changes. I used to sell into the area back in my days of living in Mackay. Even back then it was always dusty and dry. Nothing happens in Clermont. The only thing that kept it going was the, then new German Creek mine. Now that was in the '80's.

Our drive to Clermont was long and hard, and was glad to see the kilometer signs to Clermont, rapidly diminishing. Arrived in Clermont and guess what.....nothing has changed. In 20 years....nothing.

We drove up to the caravan park, which was about 2pm on the Saturday afternoon. After ringing the door bell at the reception we were greeted with avoice from the up stairs balcony......"We are shut and what do you want". "Welcome to Clermont" I said to the bride. Even the dog was aggressive, mongrel looking thing. I also advised happy Jack that at least three other vans we not that far behind us. Not a mumble.........mmmm, I thought.

Most of the signage around the place was aggressive, and $25 for a deposit for a gate key was a bit over the top.

We got into the park and found a spot, and met some nice people. However were cramped in like sardines. Most of the folk were just traveling around, and
most had an interest in gold fossicking. Clermont is the place to do that apparantly.

I won't go into the drama about getting our $25 back for the gate key on our departute....but it was like going through WW3.

This is where you get the permit to go gold prospecting.

The local birds at Clermont

Stay tooooooooooned for the next leg

64 - Goondiwindi To Moura

Have been off the air for a little while, as we are at Undara Lava Tubes, about 4 hours south west of Cairns, on the Savannah Way. We are very isolated. No TV, no radio, no Internet.......good God, how will we survive.

At the time of writing this blog, we are in Cairns on our RDO's. This is giving us the chance to get stocked up, and get those little things we need, so we can access the Internet, maybe the radio. However TV is out of the question. Our far neighbours, have a dish, and still cannot get TV.

O'h well the bride has loaded herself up with DVD's. More on Undara later.

We left Goondiwindi on the 1st April, a little later than expected, as we had four new tyres fitted to the van on the day of departure. All in all we spent over $2500 in Gundy. A grease and oil change on the Val cost $1200....won't go there......uniforms for both of us for the new job at Undara, over $700, new tyres for the van $600, and heavens knows how much in Lotto, and incidentals. No wonder theses country towns love us Geriatric Gypsies!

Gundy to Possum Park
Been to Possum Park about 5 years ago, and a great place. We were only there 5 minutes and was offered a job.

Possum Park is just north of Miles. The park was once an ammunition storage area during WW2, hence there are a lot of bunkers, that have been turned into under ground cabins. The caravan part of the park is just magic. We decided to splurge out and get an onsuite site. Only there one night.

The ensuite site at Possum Park

The RetroLiner with the new sign writing

The bride outside one of the general accommodation areas. The CW on the railway carriage stands for Camp Wagon

The bride having a pose

Possum Park to Mourya

We left Possum Park at a reasonable hour, and headed straight to Mourya. The plan was to go to Emerald, but we soon realized that we were not going to get that far. So we went to the free camp just outside Mourya on the Dawson River.

Got there mid arvo....I was over driving. It all is so much harder when pulling a two ton van. This was also our first attempt at independent camping. The place was quite nice, near the river, with a few other players, parked up.

I could tell by the body language from the bride, that she is not going to cope to well without the umbilical cord of 240v. However we did it!!!!! Sure no TV, and had the genny on for a while, much to the annoyance of some campers. We had it on for a couple of hours in the arvo, then again from about 7 to 8.30pm. Just wanted to re charge the battery, and keep the power to the freezer. Our Genny is a Honda jobbie, very quiet...but regardless still annoyed a few people. I think I will have to look at Solar and a 3000w pure sine wave inverter. But those thoughts are now in the too hard basket, at least till years end.

The amenities were pretty grotty, and the money coin shower didn't work, even though it took our coins with out any problem. I should have set up our own external shower, however I am sure the other campers there, would not be to thrilled in seeing the bride and the writer, showering out the back of the van. One thing we have learnt is in future, park the van in these camp sites so the back of the van is not in full view of everybody. Personally because of our lifestyle, we couldn't care less who sees us, however not every body shares our au natural life style.

Our camp spot on the Dawson River

Our camp site from another angle