We left Longreach after the performance at the Stockman's Hall of Fame and headed east, bouncing all the way. Through Ilfracombe and into Barcaldine.
It's entertaining driving through QLD, trying to work out how to pronounce all the place names. I'm usually wrong. I reckon all the letters of several alphabets were tipped into a hat and picked out randomly. (All in fun, I know WA is well endowed with weird names too.)
Take Barcaldine, our coffee stop this morning. I was happily pronouncing it barkle-dyne, when I learned that it is actually pronounced bar-CALL-d'n.
The best thing about Barcaldine is that the main street has FIVE pubs, one after another. Now that's a great town!!
We turned south east and headed into Lloyd Jones Weir to stay overnight (QLD Camp 346 in CAW 6).
Saturday 13th August
Continuing our bouncing way down the Landsborough Highway we had a look at Blackall and then stopped at Tambo for lunch. Here we bought a couple of Tambo Teddy Bears. http://www.tamboteddies.com.au/
One for Robyn and one for little Izaak back home. Our other 2 grandsons are a little past the teddy bear stage and we will have to rack our brains for something for them before we get home.
Continuing on the Charleville we booked into the Bailey Bar Caravan Park http://www.charlevillebaileybar.com.au/ for 2 nights. Tonight we went to the Cosmos Centre http://www.cosmoscentre.com/ which was pretty good. We looked at Saturn through a telescope. The rings were clearly visible and even a couple of its moons were too.
Sunday night we enjoyed a camp oven group meal at the caravan park which was just superb. Irish stew, mashed potato, apple crumble and custard. Yummo.
It was here, during the day, that I got an email from Wayne & Lesley Gardiner. I knew they were somewhere in QLD. Wayne said that they were going to be in Charleville on Tuesday. Tomorrow was Monday and we were heading east. That left Monday night.
So I rang Wayne and said that we intended to spend Monday night at Wallumbilla showgrounds (QLD Camp 646 in CAW 6). He said that they had planned the same place. Amazing!!
Wayne and I worked in ATC at Perth airport for 25 years or so and both left in 1994. He went to instruct at the ATC college in Melbourne and I went to the short-lived one in Brisbane. He applied for, and got, the Dick Smith shop in Albany and, with his encouragement, we applied for and got the DSE shop in Mandurah. We both sold out at similar times and they now live in Busselton.
And here we are in country QLD enjoying their company. Just incredible.
On Tuesday morning we said our goodbyes and continued eastward. Wayne & Lesley were heading west on their way home.
At Dalby we turned north east to Cooyar and camped at the Swinging Bridge Park behind the Cooyar Pub (QLD Camp 480 in CAW 6). What a nice spot.
Wednesday 17th August
We drove through Yarraman and Blackbutt to Kilcoy. The drive through the hills near Blackbutt was interesting. Apparently half the mountain had fallen away during the floods and there were huge roadworks happening. There was only a single lane and everyone either went up, or down, but not both at the same time.
Lunch was spent at Kilcoy. Robyn and I had stayed at Memorial Park a couple of times in the past but this time we continued down the hill into Caboolture. We had intended to stay at the Caboolture Showgrounds but there weren't any sites, at this stage, that had both power and water. We went over to the Caboolture Caravan park and drove in, and drove out, as quickly as we could. A ghetto, I'm sorry to say.
Ken & Lyn went back to the Showgrounds and by this time a vacancy with power and water existed so they stayed there. It's close to Spinifex where they need to get a couple of things looked at this coming week.
I rang Maroochy Palms caravan park where we have a cabin booked next week while our van is at Bushtracker. They allocated us a grass site down near the lake, almost apologising. But what a great site. Just beautiful.
Next Monday we take our van to BT and come back here to a cabin while a few repairs and modifications are made to the van.
Last night, Friday, we caught up with our friends Gordon and Narelle Hayes up at Peregian Beach and enjoyed a meal with them.
A comfortable 10 days or so in Maroochydore. Life is good.