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Steve & Helen's Great Escape

Twenty to nine

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 7 August 2011 | Views [542]

A lesson in life has been dealt to me, never think you can get anyting cheaper, especially off ebay. I purchased a cheapish watch to go travelling in, something that if I did lose or damage I would not be that bothered about, however what would bother me is if the blooming thing stopped working, probably the battery going.  So 8.40 a few days ago the life of my watch ended, bit of a pain as I have now not got a clue what time it is which goes along with not knowing what day it is, month or year.

Anyway to what we have been up to.  After my last entry we headed inland again, staying in Barcaldine, where I got called a "cheeky possum" by the campsite owner (I think she fancied me) and as you can imagine Helen has been calling me that all the time.  We also saw the tree of knowledge, sadly someone decided to poison it in 2006 so we did not see it in it full glory.  The other interesting fact about Balcardine is that this was where the Australian Labour Party was started (or the idea maybe) after the sheep shearers decided to strike.

After spending the night we headed up to Longreach, which Helen kind of admitted she was not really bothered about, and was even less bothered about when she spilled half her coffe over her on the way up.  I was obviously blamed for the road quality being poor and that I deliberately aimed for those bumps when she was taking a sip.  Anyway after having a look around Longreach we headed over to the Qantas founder museum, something which we did not have high expectations for given the fact that half the towns we have been through in the outback have some sort of claim to Qantas being started.  However we need not have been concerned as we spent half a day on what we both agreed to be one of the best tours of the trip.  We got taken around a Boeing 747 and an old 707, which was the first jet plane flown by Qantas and apparently ended up in Southend airport.  The tour was excellent, guide was actually funny, the grey nomads seemed to be under control (although in the Townsville ladies campsite there was a sign up that someone was doing number 2's in the show so I reckon there was not much control being exercised there!) and there were tons of facts about the aircraft which we were both pretty astonished by, such as the engine being held on by 4 nuts and bolts etc. 

 Sadly with the time we spent in the Qantas museum we missed out on the Stockmans hall of fame, which to be honest looked pretty pants.  We headed from Longreach to Charlesville for the evening, where we saw the Black Stump, a marker to which indicates whether you are in the outback, a statue of Jackie Howe, who apparently bare handed shaered 331 sheep which was unheared of in the sheep shearing world and passed through Tampo which has the a bear shop - sadly no further bears have been purchased.

We spent the next couple of nights in Charlesville.  The first night we went star gazing and honestly saw about 10 shooting stars, it was awesome as there was no light pollution and again the grey nomads were tucked up in bed as we had booked into the late 9pm session.  The next day was spent just chilling, however we man aged to pop by the Bilby sanctury which funnily enough we had seen a documentary about before we left.  Spent about an hour talking to the lady in the shop passing on tips on how to make sales (like we knew anything!) but apparently the feeding the bilby idea that we came up with (and stole from taronga zoo) got her excited.  We stopped by the Royal Flying Doctors museum which again was pretty interesting, saw the vortex gun, which apparently was used to blast gas in the air to make it rain (never worked) and finally we took part in a spot of Yabby racing, although the Yabby that we had came in around 6th so no prize money for us.

We spent the next couple of nights trucking down to Hervey bay, not because we wanted to e part of the whale festival, which by coincidence was in town when we arrived, although we have seen no evidence of this, but because we wanted to go to Fraser Island, which is the last tour and real thing of interest we are going to see on our trip.

The journey down was not wasted, taking in the big easel (with a Van Gough painting) in Emerald, passing through Rockhampton where there are tons of cows and the Tropic of Capricorn line (now the 4th time we have seen this  for the record, Alice Springs, Western Aus, somewhere along the capricorn highway and Rocky) and stpping off for the Bundeberg tour (Rum for those who have never seen it).

Finally today has been spent on fraser Island.  Long old day, but a good one, seeing a baby whale washed up on the beach (sadly dead) couple of dingo's and numerous crystal clear lakes.

Anyway going to sign off now.  Less than a week to go until we are out of the campervan.  Going to miss it in a way but it will be nice to get on dry land (you know what I mean).

Steve & Helen (not her opinions)

PS - up the Gills!  Shame Rotherham won also

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