This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2000 Travels June 11

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SUNDAY 11 JUNE     MT ISA

The weather was clearer today.

K phoned. He’d talked with the vet on the phone. He and P have decided to keep the dog going while she is no worse, and to give her a really good last period, with lots of fuss and special food. Sounds like it will not be long, though. I felt awful all day.

We went to the Riversleigh Interpretative Centre. Riversleigh is a really important area for finding fossils, north of Mt Isa, at the southern edge of Lawn Hill National Park. Paleontologists have been exploring for fossils there since the 1970’s. The area was significant enough to have been made a World Heritage site, in 1994.

It cost us $5 each to get into the Centre, but it was well worth it, being informative and interesting. I hadn’t previously realized the extent and significance of the Riversleigh Fossil Area. It gives a fairly complete record of the species living in that region, over about 20 million years, and shows how the environment changed, from lush rainforest to grasslands. It is one of only two or three places in the world that preserve such a complete record. The evolutionary ancestors of many modern species are preserved in the limestone at Riversleigh. Apparently, the rivers and lakes of those times were really high in calcium carbonate, which speeded up the fossilizing and preservation processes.

We decided it would be really interesting to visit the Riversleigh site, if we ever get to visit Lawn Hill.

I bought a tea towel – a practical souvenir, and magnet, and got some general tourist information there.

We drove up to the city lookout – that really showed the scale of the mining infrastructure and its closeness to the town.

06-12-2000 mt isa.jpg

Mt Isa from the Town Lookout

Tea was roast pork and vegies. While that was cooking I made up a batch of two potato soup for later days. This contains ordinary and sweet potatoes.

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