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Steve & Helen's Great Escape

Long time no blog

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 26 July 2011 | Views [548]

struggled a bit to get on the net for a while, been a fair bit of driving and turning up at campsites where they have no sites due to the grey nomad invasion (these are the old people who head for the sun each year).

Ended up having a great night in Daly Waters.  Was thinking that it could have been a potential shocker as I thought from the pictures that I had seen it would have been a typical backpacking place, however I was pleasantly surprised.  The entertainment was good, the beer better and by the end of if we was getting our photo's taken with the residnet stand up, Chilli, who cracked a fair few funy jokes.  I am at this moment i time not too sure whether they were funny, however they are a tad better than some of the things we  have been listening one the radio, although country hour is rapidly becoming my fav, especially the daily meat price update.

After waking up a bit dusty we headed down to tennant creek, aother lovely place (not), headed down to the devils marbles, gigantic boulders in the middle of nowhere and went to Wycliffe to investigate Australia's most UFO active area.  We were about 10km from Barrow Creek - I will tell you more about that when I get home (10 years ago it was apparently).

Tennant Creek actually ended up being okay, pretty relaxed campsite and we went on a good mining tour the next morning (good because we were the only people on it and the tour guide was an ex-miner).  He actually switched on all the machines for us, operated them a bit, teased us a bit more and then promtely told us that we can't touch them as the machines were dangerous, informing us the death toll of each machine.  I must admit we both could not believe the conditions or what the  minors had to do in those days.  I said the guide that I feel a bit of a wimp in my office job!  I will never moan about work again (yeah right!).

After giving the car a wash, seeing it go from an orange colour back to white again (it has not lasted long), we headed down to Mount Isa for a little bit more mining, just incase I even thought about moaning about work again.  For some reason, even though Mount Isa has what seems 100 campsites, the grey nomads had taken up all spots on their annual migration to the warmer climates.  So I regret to say we had no choice but to end up in a motel room.  We were for about 10 secs a bit disappointed, but then we thought oh well, a nice bed, TV etc what a shame.  Anyway we ended up staying up all night watching Le Tour, which was an awesome last mountain stage.  Well done Cadel, shame an Aussie had to win it really!

We did not really do much in Mount Isa, other than have a look at some fossils and the mining museum.  We had a bit more fun when we headed down to Winton.  Firstly we stopped by the Walkabout Creek hotel aka the Croc. Dundee pub.  This was pretty funny, lots of film footage but not too many funny locals like in the movie.  We then shot down to a place called Winton.  Now this was Saturday night in Winton so we knew it was going to be a ripper, however what a day we had as it was the annual Winton Camel races.  This was not only funny, watching the camels go at it, but even funnier looking at everyone, who in turn were looking at us because we were the only ones looking like we had just come from a city and not off the cattle station.  It was all good though, however we finally decided to head back when the motorbike racing (well seeing who can do a figure of eight in the dirt the quickest) got a bit too boring.  The quote that got me was the MC shouting "it does not get better than this" - I immediately thought of a lot of things, however we got in the spirit.

We ended up in the local pub, after having a beer in the North Gregory hotel, where the first public display of Waltzing Matilda was performed.  When we finally settled down in a bar it was pretty packed, and we ended up chatting to a couple of guys from the local (well 300km's away) cattle station.  They were pretty sterotypical, strong men, big hats etc, but they were a right laugh.  They were just interested to hear about our trip, talk about life on the station and help us out - I could write a book about it but some interesting facts are:

- 60km's from mobile reception

- have to use helicopters to round up the cattle

- station area is 1million hectares

- have not been to town for 8 weeks

- 7 people on the station

Anyway a few photo's have been added - sadly only one with his hat on!

Finally the last couple of days have been spent trucking a bit, looking at a fair few gorges (getting a bit boring now), lava tubes (pretty awesome - Su there are plenty of more geologist porn material for you now), an extinct volcano, some waterfalls, the awesome curtain fig tree, where the clue is in the name (have a look at the pics) and Cape Tribulation, with some amazing beaches and sadly no Cassorwaries (yet!)

Right, I am going to shoot off now, currently in cooktown after spending the night in Port Douglas (never again as we got lectured by the Big 4 campsite owner for driving 30mins in the dark - kind of did not mention to here that we were in the town centre for that).

Thanks for reading,

Steve & Helen

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