Tuesday – Today we set off north with an easy drive to Cobar (380km). The day did not get off to a good start with our fridge/freezer of 10 yrs. old malfunctioning – wanting to keep freezing and I guess the thermostat has gone. I am now using a dual battery system and the gauge was indicating using all the 2nd battery power over 4 hrs rather than about 20hrs. After much soul searching we decided on a new one – not a good start. Eventually we left Griffith about 11.30am, lunch in Hillston and got to Cobar around 4.30pm. Along the way quite a few goats – most seem to be pretty road savvy.

goats on the road

Most of the driving was through showers and cold fronts coming up from the south. Around Cobar the season is off to a late start (but good ) with about 100mm rain over 2 rain events/weeks. Still the best I have seen Cobar look for many years. Tomorrow we head for Cunnamulla via Bourke, just over the QLD border – 420km.

mining

Mining at Cobar

Wednesday – Today we left Cobar for Cunnamulla – as we headed north the rain and greenery dropped off. After crossing the QLD border it became much drier – could this be political – another failed promise from a labour Govt???? or could it be that dreadful thing, Climate Change that will ruin us all!! Cunnamulla only got about 15mm rain – still very dry although further west towards Birdsville/Innamincka – good rains. Also the weather is considerably warmer – low to mid 20’s. Being very dry there is lots of road kill – many kangaroos.

Kangaroos

Thursday – After a bit more of a look around Cunnamulla, we headed N/West to Quilpie. Interesting towns on the way included Eulo (on the Warrego river) and Yowah – an opal mining settlement. Rainfall was patchy although when we got to Quilpie, they had had about 30mm rain a few days ago.

Quilpie

Enid below talking opals and rocks at Eulo.

Friday – Today a short look around Quilpie.

Catholic Church

Emerald Altar at Catholic church – Quilpie

sheep

Sheep Sculpture

From Quilpie, we headed 240km west to Windorah – a small town (80 people?) and about 2/5 the way to Birdsville. Got talking to a couple off road bikers – had been stuck in Innamincka for about 3 days due to road closures. Most roads are now open but some of lesser roads are still closed.

road

Which way do we go?

 

road

The road is closed

Got to Windorah about 1.30pm – went past a solar farm just before Windorah – also some locals.

solar

local

The local Brolgas

As many will know I have some very large misgivings about alternative energy – it is just that I want people to realise that most of the current alternative energy projects are largely subsidised by Govt., and no one has yet come up with an economic method of storing this energy when either the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing – at present I remain a sceptic!!!! (Hopefully there may be a breakthrough in technology and I can change my view – or mellow with age???- is that possible???)

Went out to a remnant sand dunes west of Windorah – I am afraid they are not a patch on the Canning Stock Route (or Namibia). Tomorrow we head for Jundah and then Yaraka.

Saturday – left Windorah around 9.00am and headed for Jundah – 90km up the road. Jundah is a small village of about 50 people. Had a cup of coffee at the local shop – owned and supported by the local council. From there headed for Yaraka another 150km away through station country where NP. Rainfall has been very variable but less than earlier – 10/20 mm – patchy and very dry. Most stations seem to be very lightly stocked due to the continuing drought.

shantyOn the way we visited the site of “Michael Magee shanty” of Banjo Patterson fame. It was a bleak location, stuck out in the middle of a very dry plain and near a creek that would appear to flow pretty infrequently. Also nearby is the lonely grave of Richard McGoffin who died of thirst in early Dec while prospecting.

lonely grave

Reached Yaraka around 1.30pm and had a beer and toasted sandwich at the hotel. Got our rooms – old, basic but comfortable. Went on a sunset tour of a local hill – Mt Slowcombe which gives panoramic views of the surrounding country side – like an African sundowner.

changing

Enid changing the points on the last train out of Yaraka

view from

A view from Mt Slocombe with Yaraka in the middle of the picture.

Well, we are now in Blackall and have caught up with washing etc. Quite warm here – around low 30’s.

David & Enid