This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2006 Travels April 15


A phoned from Adels. She reported to us that L got through yesterday and that he said the O’Shaughnessy was alright to get through. I told her we would probably try to come up tomorrow.

We were just filling in time here, and the park was costing us money, so the sooner we could go, the better. Plus, it was rather boring.

We went to a sale that was on at K Mart. 15% off everything. I bought some undies and a new electric frypan. For a while, I had thought that the thermostat on the old one was not working properly. There were big queues in K Mart.

Bought the Saturday Australian paper.

Posted a birthday card to daughter.

From most parts of the town, the mine infrastructure is visible. Mining lead, zinc, copper and silver here dates from the 1920’s and was the reason the town began. The mining has left an unfortunate legacy in the form of lead pollution, and elevated lead levels in the blood of some children that is of concern.

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The mine dominates the Mt Isa outlook (Google)

I gave the old frypan to the caravan park, thinking they might be able to use it in the campers’ kitchen.

We did some packing up preparation for leaving.

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2006 Travels April 14


It was Good Friday.

Again, we did little of note.

I did wander about the perimeter of the park and a bit beyond, taking quite a few photos, because I liked the contrast of the bright, lush green grass with the dark grey skies of today.

Resize of 04-13-2006 05 Mt Isa in wet5

Occasionally, there would be a shaft of sunlight through a break in the cloud, which created interesting effects.

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It was rare for us to see this country when it was wet and green.

I used the prawns to create a prawn salad – very nice it was, too.

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2006 Travels April 13


Again, we spent a quiet day around camp.

It was so humid out, and the skies looked quite stormy, but it did not rain.

Resize of 04-13-2006 07 Mt Isa in wet7

We did take a short drive, though, to go around to the seafood supply shop. There, bought ourselves some prawns to be a Good Friday treat.

Refuelled Truck – $1.23cpl. Had only done 184kms since last time, but at least it was now full and ready to go – somewhere?

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2006 Travels April 12


Did little today. I mostly read and John spent his time on the computer.

Phoned Adels. The news was no better, though the rain there had stopped, after days on end of it. M said the O’Shaughnessy River was on the rise. Bad news that, because it was one of the streams to be forded if we went the most direct way from here. She reckoned that, when we could get in, it would be via Burke and Wills Roadhouse. That would mean we would have to back track from here to Cloncurry.

We clearly were not going to be at Adels in time for Easter. But then, neither were any guests!

Resize of 04-13-2006 09 Mt Isa in wet9

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2006 Travels April 11


Yesterday, M at Adels, had asked if I could collect some curtains they had ordered. So we went to the curtain shop and collected these.

While in the main part of town, went to Harvey World Travel and had a chat with the other co-owners of Adels, who we knew from past trips. Picked up two boxes of books from them, for Adels. We were given a microphone for the computer there, to deliver.

L was scheduled to take a tour group to Adels on Friday and still hoped to get through. He would only have the Troopy, not a bigger vehicle.

I joined the Mt Isa Library and took out some novels to read. The humidity here was too high to really consider doing much else except hole up in the van, with the air con on. In any case, on previous trips we had seem what we wanted to of the town.

I had a haircut – cost $20.

Foot still painful to walk on.

Resize of 04-13-2006 01 Mt Isa in wet

Wet Season in Mt Isa


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2006 Travels April 10


Today was a bad day!

My heel was much more sore today. It clearly had not liked the bowls yesterday. So I limped around the place.

I had the first chance, since we left home, to do our washing. Unfortunately, some workmen broke a water pipe – while our clothes were in the machine. Some clothes got stained by gunk coming through the pipes, and then the machine malfunctioned, so I had to thoroughly rinse everything by hand.

To say I was annoyed was an understatement! In the intense humidity, slaving away in a confined laundry was not pleasant.

John went off to the dentist. Filling completed. It cost just over $200. But it had not deterred him from  still using dental floss!

After he came back, we went to the supermarket and stocked up on food – and cash money. We did not know when the roads would be declared open, so now that the tooth was fixed, we could leave here as soon as that happened. So we needed to keep up supplies, ready for a quick departure.

Resize of 10-04-2006 outback at isa

The Outback at Isa Centre, which makes a major feature of the Riversleigh fossil finds. (from Google)

 I managed to catch up with the Woolworths lady who had filled my Pungalina orders last year. Thanked her for the great job done.

John repaired the mechanism of the glass stove top cover, that attached  it to the bench. It was loose and had been affected by the corrugations of recent years.

Today was very humid. There was a big cloud build up in the afternoon, but no actual rain.

I phoned Adels. The roads were still closed – outlook uncertain.

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2006 Travels April 9


Although the skies were grey and threatening, there was no rain today. But it was hot and humid.

Resize of 04-13-2006 03 Mt Isa in wet3

On the outskirts of Mt Isa

We had a quiet morning. There were no shops open, of course.

John went out to suss out the bowls scene, and came back having booked us in to play social bowls in the afternoon, so an early lunch was needed.

The bowls were on grass rinks, which were really water logged and heavy. It was not fun. Just hot and sweaty and hard work.

I really had not wanted to play, because my sore heel was getting better and I did not want to stir it up again, but John was insistent.

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2006 Travels April 8


The radio news at 8.30am said that the highway was open, so we decided to go for Mt Isa.

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The caravan park in the morning

Around McKinley, we could see where water had been over the road. There were some sections where the road surface was damaged, too.

We were in light rain for most of the day.

Refuelled in Cloncurry, on the way through, after 365kms. $1.29cpl. It seemed anomalous that, the further we were away from the populated areas, the cheaper the fuel was. Usually, it is the other way round.

At Isa, booked into the Argylla Caravan Park. $22.50 after discount. Told them we were not sure how long we would need to be here. We had stayed there last year, too.

The park was on the eastern edge of town, so it was a bit rural in feel and outlook, and was away from some of the noise that could occur right in town. The permanent dwellers here were tucked away in their own separate area.

Phoned Adels. The roads to there were still closed. They had two guests who were stuck there until the roads opened.

At this rate, we might not be getting there to start work before Easter. But neither would any guests, so it would not matter. But, having exerted ourselves to get here quickly, it would be boring to have to wait around for too long in Mt Isa, not to mention costing us money, instead of earning any.

Such are the vagaries of travel while the Wet Season is still on. We remarked that it had been fortunate that such a rain event had not happened this time last year. It could be ages before the roads to Pungalina are open, this year.

Resize of 06-04-2006 route

We had travelled this route in just six days!

We enjoyed a bought fish and chip tea.

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2005 Travels September 16


We didn’t hurry to get going in the morning.

Hitched up, said our goodbyes – yet again! Told the boss we would be open to working at least part of the tourist season here, next year, if they wanted us. She said they do! We did not make a firm commitment yet, but I quite liked the idea, of course. John discussed with them the possibility of doing the Riversleigh tours. He would need to get his driving licence upgraded to Light Rigid, to drive the Coaster, though. Food for thought…..

Resize of 09-15-2005 26 By track to Lawn Hill NP

South of Adels Gtove

We took the route south, past Riversleigh. Had no problems fording the Gregory – first time we had done it with the van, as we usually came and went via Burke and Wills. The fords were very shallow, at this time of year. But still, I recited to John the mantra that I’d stated hundreds of times, when working on Reception at Adels: “Keep to the middle or even slightly the downstream side of the fords. Do not drive close to the upstream edge, even though that is what you are tempted to do, because that it where it is most slippery!”

Resize of 06-16-2002 13 Gregory River second ford Riversleigh

Gregory River ford, south of Riversleigh

Turned south, down past Thorntonia, to the highway, and then east into Mt Isa.

It was a hot day of driving.

Went into the Argylla Caravan Park in Mt Isa. $19.80 a night, after discount.

The park was pretty empty. We would stay here for two nights, in order to get some supplies for the run home.

After setting up, we ventured to the shops. There were far too many people around and it was too busy for comfort.

At Woolworths, I was hoping to see the lady who was the Country Orders person, to thank her in person for the great work she did with my Pungalina orders, but she was away. Pity.

We bought fish and chips for tea. It had been so long! But the anticipation was far better than the reality.

Phoned the family to let them know we were out of the wilds.

The night seemed really noisy, with town sounds. It was hard to sleep. We were no longer used to this.

Resize of 09-16-2005 to mt i

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2002 Travels June 6


The day started warm and sunny, but some cloud came up for a while, then went away again.

We took a picnic lunch and drove out to Lake Moondarra, nearly 20 kms from town. Refuelled Truck on the way – 86cpl.

On the way, called in at the seafood and ice  supply shop we knew of from last time. All their stock was frozen, but there was plenty that came from the Gulf fisheries. We thought we’d get some tomorrow.

Lake Moondarra was made by building a dam across the Leichardt River, which originates in the hills south of Mt Isa, and flows roughly northwards to the Gulf of Carpentaria, near Burketown. The dam, built about forty years ago, was intended to supply water to the Mt Isa Mines, but has also become the main source of the town’s water.

The lake was large, and quite scenic. It was unusual, to me, in that it supplied water for Mt Isa, but activities like fishing, swimming and boating were still allowed on it. I am used to Melbourne’s water storages, which are fenced off so people cannot even put a toe in them! It made me determined not to drink the tap water!

After lunch, John fished, got some bites, but did not catch anything.

I watched the variety of water birds that were on and around the lake: stints, pelicans, dotterels, herons, grebes, egrets, ducks. I did some knitting.

When John was sick of fishing, we went back to the van.

I noticed there was a travellers’ van with a sign outside, offering haircuts, so I approached the lady, and had my hair cut by her. She did a good job too, for $15.

Then we drove back to the shops, so I could collect my photos. John bought some more fishing gear. I was reasonably pleased with my photos.

John went off to bowls, for 7pm. The $8 fee to play included a BBQ tea, he said.

I made myself a very nice salad tea – my sort of food!

John got back about 10.30pm. The bowls had been alright. The BBQ was after the bowls, so he’d just had it! More supper than tea. He wasn’t best pleased with the lateness of his meal.