MONDAY 22 MAY LONGREACH TO WINTON 187kms
As we were starting to pack up, got talking to the people on the site behind us. He was another retired Victorian primary school principal, so he and John got to comparing experiences and thoughts about the system. So we were quite late getting away, but we did not have too far to go.
It was an uneventful run through to Winton, mostly over the same flat, grassy plains as a couple of days ago. There was occasional flood damage to the road, from earlier in the year, but it was not too bad.
As we approached Winton could see some distant ranges, which promised more interesting country.
We arrived at Winton about lunchtime, and booked into the Matilda Country Caravan Park, on its northern edge, for three nights. Cost was $13.50 a night, after discount.
It was a small park, but adequate. After all, Winton is a small town. The sites were gravel. There were some very nice shade trees for just about every site.
It was a warm day, but pleasant, so after lunch we decided to go walking and explore the town. Given the location of the caravan park, this turned into a substantial walk.
Winton grew up in the later 1800’s, as a centre for the surrounding pastoral stations. It promotes itself as the place where QANTAS began (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services), in 1920, and also claims that the song Waltzing Matilda was written by Banjo Paterson when staying on nearby Dagworth Station.
We found a shop with an extensive gemstone display. I had seen a reference to a place called Opalton, south of here, in a book, and I’d found some information about it in the caravan park office. It was not on the map in our Road Atlas, though. John talked with the man in the shop about it. So he then decided we would drive there tomorrow and have a fossick for opals. That will be different! We will see some more of the country, at any rate.
I hadn’t known until now that opals were found in these parts, at all.
There was a really pretty sunset.
Tea was leek and onion soup, pasta with a rosemary zucchini sauce.
I went to shower in the lesser used block of the two available – an older one. The toilet cistern had pulled away from the wall, and there were seven little brown frog faces peering up at me from the gap!