I guess it’s obvious we had no internet coverage over the last few days but we’re back online for at least a while.
I was rewarded for getting up early with the best hot shower since leaving home, it was totally unexpected because there were so many people in the Park. Maybe they were all in recovery mode after the Birdsville Big Red Bash where so many had spent the past week. Apparently there were 11,000 people in the tiny place.
It wasn’t chaotic when we drove out of the Boulia Caravan Park just after 8:00.
The road was bitumen but mostly only single lane with broader bits at the numerous floodways, it was a bonus to meet a vehicle at a floodway because that meant no one had to straddle the gravel shoulder. I can’t understand my chauffeur’s reluctance to pull onto the gravel shoulder when we see an eagle, they’re stunning birds!
We stopped at Dujarra for a break and we both remembered the town once we were there. Some people coming from Birdsville had camped there overnight and I think they had a far better spot than we did. It’s an interesting little community with power available at the camping spot paid for by a donation, I think to the RFDS. The facilities were nice and clean.
The countryside varied from gibbers to swathes of Spinifex, a type of forest and from perfectly flat to rugged, rocky hills. There were also Magnetic Termite Mounds. When we saw a plume of smoke we knew we were getting close to Mt Isa. The entrance to town isn’t aesthetically pleasing but we’re staying for 3 nights and plan to investigate the area.
The members of the Tobermorey Dawn Chorus need to work on their harmony!
I drank my lovely hot chocolate over in the Bar area so that I could plug in the laptop, hoping to give it enough life to show our border passes if needed. The Thirsty Camel came over to say hello.
We weren’t in a rush packing up because we only intended going as far as Boulia and I thought it was 250 kms on mostly bitumen, it wasn’t. There were sections of roadworks and long stretches of dirt but so much better than the road before Tobermorey. At the border I expected to hear Madam GPS say, “Bor-der Cross-sing ahead” but she was silent.
At the Boulia Caravan Park we joined the line to get a site and there was so much going on that when I was offered an unpowered site under trees and not in a chaotic section I took it. On reflection that was the quiet time of the day! Campers have flooded in all day and an overflow paddock down the road a bit from the Park now has at least 100 campers in it, $20 a night the same as here but they have no facilities. I think there are only 6 ladies and 6 mens toilets here!
Although there were no police around when we booked in later in the day they were at the Caravan Park seemingly randomly checking people booking in. If needed we had our green Queensland Border Pass but they didn’t come to check on us, I’m sure there were far too many travellers forthem to manage. We are booked into a Mt Isa Caravan Park for the next three nights, a chance to relax.
We were up at sunrise but the station workers had been active for a while. Two cattle trucks came in last night and I think they were moving the stock on this morning. We were very surprised to see a Shetland Pony checking out the campsite, it quickly discovered which campers had tasty snacks.
At 8:20 we were on our way, it was 220 kms to Tobermorey Station where we planned to spend the night. The Plenty Tyreway” certainly deserves its reputation, a truck collecting them would fill in no time. Along the way we passed a sign to Marqua Station 47kms off the Plenty, now to us that makes for a very isolated spot! Alex remembers the road surface being rocky but the most vivid thing in my mind was the deep red bulldust, both are still part of the “highway” and the corrugations, of course.
I think we arrived here at about 2:00, a tiring day. We were puzzled that nothing seemed to be as we remembered it from 20 years ago then we chatted with the “Handyman/Barman” from Wodonga who told us that the original place was wiped out by floods in 2019. I love the way they have constructed things not simply for function but to delight as well. In the evening we went over to the Bar where we chatted with other travellers and enjoyed the ambience of the place.