TUESDAY 16 JULY CUNNAMULLA TO CHARLEVILLE 226kms
Although there was some blue sky this morning and the weather looked to be clearing, it was definitely departure day today! After the night’s steady rain, there was so much water lying around – and red, red mud.
We were better off than some because at least we had a dry area around part of the Bus. Some rigs were totally marooned in huge puddles. We were able to negotiate a fairly non-muddy route to walk dog out for her morning business, and to reach the amenities.
I felt really sorry for whoever had to clean that building today. Even though campers were mostly trying to be careful, there was so much red mud tracked into the building.
We had to move Bus forward before hitching up the car, as the back area was over a large puddle.
Although we only stayed the one night at Riverside, this time, would certainly stay here again – in fine weather.
Left the camp at 9am. Drove back through Cunnamulla and on to the highway north. The road was quite bumpy in sections, the effect of which was to really bounce Bus up and down. We discussed whether this was accentuated by the distance between the front and back wheels of Bus, and its leaf springs. I hoped we weren’t on the way to needing to replace those. The ride was quite uncomfortable.
Refuelled in Charleville, at a servo conveniently on the way into town. $1.569cpl.
Drove through town, then out the Adavale road to the Evening Star Caravan Park, about 9kms NW of town. I had phoned ahead, this morning, to book us in for three nights. Good thing I did because the park was full by late afternoon.
We have previously stayed several times in Charleville, in the town, and at those times had seen most of what the town had to offer. In 2009 we stayed at the then-new Evening Star and I thought it would be a pleasant place, this time, for a few days’ break from driving.
The place looked more established now – four years later – and was very nice. The plantings between sites and around the grounds, had grown up.
Sadly, the founding owners had split up and the property had been sold earlier this year. Its upkeep seemed to be very reliant on the managers, as the new owner lived at another property he had in the district. The managers seemed to be keeping it well, but I wondered if there would be much more of the developmental work done, like the unusual and quirky stuff that gave the place atmosphere. Things like the windmill pumping water into a tank, the old machinery dotted around and the like. Summer would be a test, with the watering. The adjacent original homestead, where the owners had lived, appeared to be empty. I so hoped the place would continue to be such a great place to stay.
Our site cost $29 a night. It had plenty of space, and shade. Dog could be on a long rope and had grass to lie on.
This was a very dog friendly park and we could play ball with Couey on the grassed area at the back.
There was, however, a major drawback, only discovered after we were settled in. Telstra 3G reception was very poor out here. Thus, no internet for us. No World of Warcraft for John for three days! I was firmly instructed that, in future, I must check the 3G status before booking us in anywhere! Travel priorities had certainly changed since we started out in 1998, without even a mobile phone……despite the convenience of the current technology, I think I liked it better when TV and internet reception didn’t govern where we stayed.
After setting up camp, drove the car into town. I wanted to collect the mail that had been sent here. John requested chow mein (made with a packet of chicken noodle soup – very sophisticated cuisine), so I bought mince from the butcher.
We were able to give Couey an off lead walk at the gardens by the Vortex Gun display. There was a small lake area in that park. Couey spotted a mob of geese by the water, but – very wisely – decided to ignore them.
The Vortex Gun displayed in that park was one of several used, in 1902, in an attempt to cause rain and break a long drought in the area. The theory was that firing into clouds would cause them to drop rain. Scare them maybe? It didn’t rain, some of the guns blew up and the experiment was abandoned. There’s lots of interesting historical trivia to be found when travelling……
Relaxed back at camp. There was little of note in the mail bag, mostly end of financial year paperwork.
At least John was able to get TV coverage and after our chow mein and rice dinner, we watched Kitchen Cabinet again.
During the night, Couey did some occasional growling at the kangaroos grazing around Bus. She couldn’t see out of the front, so must have been able to hear them.