This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2005 Travels March 15

TUESDAY 15 MARCH   CHARLEVILLE TO LONGREACH   520kms

Another hot day of driving. The road remained good – wide and smooth.

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Lots of large truck traffic on the highways

Ate lunch at the well set up roadside stop at Tambo. Refuelled in that town too – $1.11cpl.

Set up for the night at the Gunnadoo Caravan Park in Longreach – $22. The parks up this way were still very empty.

We walked up to the Stockmans Hall of Fame. There, persuaded the lady in charge to display some of the Pungalina brochures. They are rather selective about what they display, clearly.

The brief time in the air conditioned building was blissful!

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2003 Travels April 24

THURSDAY 24 APRIL   NORTH BOURKE TO BLACKALL   750kms

Another early start. These sorts of days were not our ideal of travel!

We left Kidmans Camp at 7.30am, and turned north again. About an hour and a half later, crossed the border into Qld. No fanfare or fuss there – just a cattle grid over a small ditch and a low fence stretching away on both sides of the road. A sign lets the traveller know they are entering Queensland – just in case they didn’t yet know. And the flat road stretched on into the distance.

Refuelled at the servo on the southern side of Cunnamulla, where the highway we were following turned away from that town. 94cpl.

Stopped beside the road on the outskirts of Charleville to eat the sandwiches I’d packed this morning.

On these long driving days, I took some turns driving the rig, while John napped in the passenger seat.

Refuelled and had a coffee break at Tambo. I’d thought we might overnight here – had stayed before – but John felt able to keep going. Fuel was 94cpl.

We got into Blackall just on dusk – 5.45pm.

At the Blackall Caravan Park we were able to stay hitched up – $16 for the night.

Quick and basic set up again, then tea. It was too late to go for a walk at all.

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2000 Travels 2 May

TUESDAY 2 MAY   CHARLEVILLE TO TAMBO   200kms

It began to rain about 7am. When we got up, the sky was a really dark and threatening grey.

Packing up was relatively easy, without the awning to worry about. The space we needed to back Truck onto the van, and move out, was clear by the time we were ready to go.

Refuelled in Charleville – 83cpl – much better!

It was raining as we left Charleville and for much of the way north to Tambo.

Today’s was only going to be a short leg, because John wanted to stop and have a good look around Tambo. His brother C had spent some time based there, in the 1950’s, with the old PMG (forerunner to Telstra), responsible for line maintenance. John remembered his descriptions of the place and the area as being really outback and primitive, hot, dry and dusty, so he wanted to see it now and tell C about it.

We reached Tambo at lunchtime and got a spot at the Tambo Caravan Park, where we could stay hitched up for the night. It cost $12. The place was actually more like a paddock than a caravan park, but it would do for the night. The lady owner was very friendly and talkative.

After lunch, we went for a walk around the township, in occasional light spits of rain and with heavy grey skies.

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Cattle grid at entry to town of Tambo

The place must have been rather different in the 50’s, because we found Tambo a pleasant little town. I think John felt rather dudded that it bore no resemblance to the picture he had in mind.

Walked the length of the main street, and visited the Tambo Teddies shop – the town’s attempt to tap into this niche market. Tambo Teddies are well known.

I had long wanted to see the Barcoo River, of bush poet fame, so we walked to the outskirts and I took a photo of it. Little and tame it was too but this was close to its origins, so maybe it becomes a bigger stream, further down, before it flows into Cooper Creek.

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We attempted to walk the publicized Coolibah Walk, along the river – basically just a small track through a paddock. However, it was exercise.

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Barcoo River water hole

Back at camp, John phoned C and told him that Tambo was looking quite attractive, these days! We’d bought a cloth badge and a postcard and wrote him a little letter from there. John said to sew the badge on his pyjamas!

I phoned Rubyvale Caravan Park and booked us in there. John really wants to have another go at sapphire fossicking, so the rough plan is to deviate to the east for that, then backtrack to head west.

John phoned Landrover in Rockhampton and booked Truck in for the 100,000kms service, next Monday. He had been hoping to wait until we reach Mt Isa, but it won’t wait that distance. I phoned the Big 4 caravan park there and booked us a unit for Sunday night. We planned to leave the van at Rubyvale and just take Truck to the coast.

Rain set in later in the afternoon. There were several other overnighters in the park by then and they did not seem at all impressed with the weather.

Talked with the park lady about routes from here. I’d been eyeing the direct, unsealed route from here to Alpha, but she advised us to stick to the highway, through Barcaldine. There had been travellers bogged on the black soil country to the NE, last week.

Tea was fried rice.

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Our travel today – and tomorrow