03 August, 2012

A short hop to Winton

Only a two-hour driving day (Tuesday 17th July)

We drove from A to B on this day. "C" is Uluru, our
destination on Friday, 2,000km away from B.
It was a bit chilly this morning in Longreach, but not as bad as Springsure on Monday morning. After having a somewhat leisurely breakfast of pancakes, we moseyed on back to Longreach and the famous Stockman’s Hall of Fame.  We’ve heard such rave reports of this particular attraction that we didn’t want to miss it, and perhaps our expectations were a bit high.

The river near our camping spot in Longreach.
We adults enjoyed it, though there was a lot of reading and not too much interactive stuff, so the boys were pretty bored. There was a lot of Australian history, especially rural history. Things that we’d absorbed during our school years and since. The boys, however, haven’t got such a background and, as yet, have little curiosity about the history of their passport country.

We easily made it through in a couple of hours and amidst ungrateful groans regarding how we’d spent the morning, we went back to our kitchen-on-wheels and made lunch.

For our non-Aussie friends who don't know much of
Australia's history. This is how we came to be
During the morning David’s hay fever flared, so then we went downtown to find a pharmacist as well as a few essential food items for the next day. I think I expected to find Longreach a to be larger town, but it really is pretty small. I must find out the size of some of these towns (one day when I have internet access again). (Ed's note: Longreach is a little under 3,000 people. And Winton is under 1,000!)

Then we took off for the short 187km hop to Winton, another famous outback town. Our original intention had be to see some things there too, but after today’s reaction to the museum-type tourist attraction, we’re not too disappointed that we’re not going to have time to do that after all.

The boys are focused on getting to Uluru, and the “desert” and the “Red Centre”. So, we’ll just batten down the hatches and get us there. I think, though, that in later years after the kids are living their own lives, we’d love to come back and visit these places again, taking more than just a “taster”.

Inside shot of the Stockman's Hall of Fame.

An impressive statue created out of old machine parts by
a man who was paralysed in an accident.

It's flat out here.
The good thing about the “short hop” was that we arrived at the caravan park at about 4pm, with heaps of time to get settled. The temperature was still about 25 degrees, so I encouraged the boys to get rid of some pent-up energy in the pool. That worked, but the water was a bit cold, too cold for them to enjoy their time in the water.

We enjoyed a very healthy and enjoyable dinner cooked largely on the barbie. Steakettes (meat patties), potatoes, corn cobs, carrot, beans, and peas. There’s something enjoyable about eating outside. It is very rare for us in Tokyo, where it seems to be too cold or too hot most of the year. And when it’s too hot, the mosquitoes are rampant. Not to mention that we don’t really have anywhere at our house to eat outside.

Though the air temperature was mid-20s C, the water was cold!
Thinking of mosquitoes, reminds me that we really aren’t used to flies anymore, there aren’t many in Tokyo (mosquitoes are a much bigger problem). Even though it is winter here, there are still flies. Our 7 y.o. panicked when a fly was flying around inside when we were in Longreach. I laughed at him, but I don’t think he saw the joke.

We are gradually getting the hang of the motor home, though mysterious things still keep happening, like the water heater not working last night. Tonight we’re concerned about the water tank not seeming to fill. Because we’re planning to free-camp again tomorrow, we need a full tank of water before we leave here.

Tomorrow will be another hard-driving day. We’re aiming for Camoweal, but if things go well, we might drive a bit further and make it over the border between Queensland and the Northern Territory.

My hubby’s just made me a cuppa, so I’m going to go and enjoy some peace with him before retiring to my Very Comfortable inner-spring mattress bed. Who knew that “camping” could be so comfortable!


Hippomanic Jen said...

I'm waiting for some poor, hapless non-Aussie to ask you why you don't just head straight across to Uluru! the concept of no roads for a distance bigger than many European countries must seem incredible.

Wendy said...

Yea, well it would be a good question. As you know Jen, there is no sealed road directly across from Brisbane to Uluru. That area of Australia is desert. Interestingly I put Brisbane and Uluru into Google maps yesterday and it suggested the best (or shortest?) route was via NSW and SA!

Hippomanic Jen said...

It possibly would be shorter, but it doesn't seem that crossing another two states could possibly be so!