Emerald to Longreach (still running, but it's still following)
Feb 1, 2014
|Friday January 31st
Due to the rain today we stayed around the caravan park in the morning. I did a few maintenance items on the caravan (not as many as I hoped ).
We did take a drive around the town of Emerald and was surprised at the size of it. Found out that it had very big floods in January 2013 but only after 10 days of torrential rain. Luckily this is only day 2 of drizzle mixed with downpours. So only thing we could really check out without getting saturated was the shopping centres and this was just the same as most towns with the Coles/ Woolworths Shopping Centres. It was absolutely pouring when we were ready to leave so we headed back to the park, to make sure van was still ok. Winds are so unpredictable. We were also having trouble getting TV, so it was DVD's tonight. We haven't had blue sky for days now.
Saturday Febuary 1st
We have decided to leave Emerald today and head towards Longreach (406kms) and again try and run away from this rain depression (X Cyclone Dylan). On the road at 9am with the rain following. We headed off through the Gemfields, detoured to Sapphire but everything was closed that we stopped to look at, so we decided not to travel on to Rubyvale as we did not wish to be disappointed there as well.
Alpha, is a very small town with not a lot going for it, we have heard that there has just been approval given for a new coal mine in the area, and apparently it is going to be a big one. Gina Reinhardt has this one and it will be a huge boost the area. It would appear that on a wet Saturday the locals sit out the front of the shops and watch the world pass by !! We bought lunch from the one of the shops that was still open, lucky it was a bakery :).Dave rang and spoke to the Breaky Boys while Steph chatted to a couple of the locals while having a coffee. Apparently they have had 40mm of rain here and they are happy about that. Everyone seems very friendly.
Jericho was a blink and miss it very flat village, but they do have a Police Station amazingly. We cannot believe the difference in the landscapes along this journey, sometimes green, small creeks flowing, other spots not a drop of moisture for months. The dead kangaroos on the side of the road, too many to count.
Barcaldine, was quite a bit bigger, but we only did a quick stop here as everything except the 5 pubs on the main street was closed. There is this Tree of Knowledge which is an old gum tree that has been preserved/restored/ immortalised and it an amazing structure that commemorates the commencement of the Australian Labour Party at the Railway Station. There is a pub which is the Original 1887 pub, and Steph popped into the pub and spoke to the owner who was very happy with the rain.thank you..no free beer though.
It was pouring again and Dave was on a mission to get to our night stop and hoping we could outrun the rain...We spotted a wee bit of blue on the horizon..we think..we hoped we may be able to set up in the dry but
Heading off towards Longreach with the drizzle still with us. Dave said to Steph "I think we must of hooked a BIG black cloud to the back of the car because it was with us all the way." We also have just heard that there is ANOTHER Cyclone (EDNA) that is forming in the Coral Sea (GREAT) Another one for us to watch. And the kangaroos on the road were even more that previous..so we were keeping a real eye on this as well.
We arrived at Longreach and as it was just after 4pm, we had a look at both of the caravan parks, but decided that we would go to The Tourist Park which looked better. Checked in, and the Manager thanked us for bringing the rain with us as it has not rained here for 8 months and it was drizzling as we arrived .. it gets a bit heavier of course while we set up YEP, DAVE & STEPH HAVE DONE IT AGAIN. We want towns that need rain to ring us and pay us to visit them...it is only fair..
As we are almost finished setting up and the rain slows down eventually stopping about 40 minutes later, I started chatting to the guy next to us, he has a Lotus Caravan, (which we really like)He tells me he has had a few problems with his with dust leaks and a few other minor things.
Steph, meanwhile has started to talk to a young couple (Kelly, Paul and son Logan) on the other side. They are on Break from Mackay in their new Jayco Campervan. They have recommended both the Quantas and Stockman's Hall of Fame Museums. So looks a couple of good things to see here.
Our neighbour from Emerald arrived while we were chatting as well. Small world.