Lots of people were moving this morning, our newest neighbours were moving to the unpowered sites area because they could only get a powered site for one night. They had a caravan so didn’t have heaps to pack up but it’s still quite a palaver, disconnecting power, water, towing connections, winding up the stabilising legs etc. We had a couple of things to buy in town before we set off up the Stuart Highway. One thing was a “gadget”, I suppose, it’s a power bank we can charge up then use to recharge the laptop when we need to. There are so many things that need charging- phones, cameras, a light and torches as well as the laptop.
After our shopping we had the “Special of the Day” again at the cafe then drove out of town and up the highway towards Ti Tree until we left the main road and took the one towards Queensland. (Last night we completed our Qld, border pass application) We saw our first Termite Mounds but they were only about 30 csm high. Sections of the road switched between 2 lane bitumen to a single strip of bitumen with dirt shoulders and some was only dirt but the road was fine.
Parts of Gemtree look just the way they did when we were last here about 20 years ago but there is now a modern hot water system backed up by the wood fired “donkey”, electricity to some sites as well as a new cafe. We went on the 3.5km loop walk on the property, there was an excellent guide booklet made by one of the owners but the images were taken after good rains and at the moment many of the plants look dead. The Golf Course also had met its demise. Fergus had to wear his boots for the first time, we don’t want anymore expensive surgery to remove grass seeds.
Back at camp there were little birds looking for water. We also needed refreshments and we chatted with a man who has been coming to Gemtree for 17 years staying for weeks and fossicking for Zircons from 10:00 until 4:00 every day. When he goes home he cuts and polishes the gems. He’s invited us to join him fossicking tomorrow and encouraged us to stay until Wednesday at least. Why? Because the cafe makes ROAST DINNER on Wednesdays and Saturdays.