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PopPop & Grandma's Travels

RIP Beau the Wonder Dog


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We plan to travel to outback Qld again for our 'extended holiday' this year, virtually covering the same places that we went to last year but maybe going a slightly different way.

We will be travelling with our good friends, Ed & Ros from Toowoomba, Herb & Dors from Yandina Creek, Bill & Ros from Camden and Phil & Ann from Newcastle. Both Bill & Ros & Phil & Ann were unable to make the trip last year, however they can make it this time so we are doing it all again.

Instead of going from Noccundra thru to
Eromanga and then onto Quilpie, we are now looking at heading North from Eromanga to Windorah then to Jundah and Longreach, and head back via Blackall, Charleville etc.

Herb & Dors used to work out on properties in the Eromanga area years ago and have arranged for us to stop off there and have a look at a private museum of dinosaur bones found in the area and also Australia's & the world's largest dinosaurs found so far 'Cooper' & 'George'. Hopefully we maybe going to the properties Cooma and Plevna Downs to look at the dinosaur bones as well as opals.

So hopefully we will have a great trip, great weather, great company and not have any problems etc.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

This is our proposed trip, however, as usual, things may change at the last minute.

Day 1 - Home to Bingara - 16 May, 2014

Left home 10.45am after a few dramas with my Engel fridge power. When I had the alternator replaced the other week the power wire for my Engel Fridge was accidentally disconnected and I didn’t realise until I plugged the fridge in this morning and tried to turn it on. After lot of searching and tracing wires I found the problem and fixed it all up.

We finally headed off and had a nice leisurely drive to Bingara where we are camped in our usual spot right up the end on the river bank.

We are here for 2 nights and are awaiting Bill & Ros & Phil & Ann who will be here tomorrow.

The wind has come up late this evening and it is quite cool outside so I will be just sitting back relaxing tonight inside and will watch the footy and then go to bed.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 2 -Saturday 17th May, 2014

Just had a nice relaxing day beside the river awaiting the arrival of our friends Bill & Ros and Phil & Ann.

They arrived around 2.30pm and we just sat around chatting etc and had a nice campfire that evening before heading to bed early as we are heading off tomorrow.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 3 -Sunday 18th May, 2014


Up nice and early had breakfast, packed up and we were on the road to Moree and Nindigully at 8am.

Stopped at Moree refuelled the cars, went ot the dump point and emptied out loos etc and then made our way towards Nindigully.

About 11.20am stopped for morning tea at a roadside rest area about 10 k's before Mungindi when Bill said he had no power ot his gauges etc. Checked battery voltage and it was way down on both batteries. Looks like his alternator has had its day and died.

He turned everything electrical off and was able to drive the car to Nindigully where he started his generator and put our battery charger onto the batteries and charged them back up.

Bill is heading into St. George in the morning to see if he can get a new alternator.

Had a nice camp oven dinner and Ed was awarded with a crown for being the Camp Oven King.

We had a nice sociable night around the small campfire and finally headed off for bed around 9pm.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 4 -Monday 19th May, 2014

Up early as Bill had to head off into St George to get his car looked at.

Rang about 8.30am and said that they were able to get an alternator and it is being fitted now.

Phil & Ann & Bill & Ros arrived back around 10.45am and we all decided to pack up and head for Eulo.

We finally left at 11am, went to St George where we refuelled and did a final bit of shopping at the local Foodworks store, has lunch whilst in town and then headed for Eulo, stopping at Cunnamulla to refuel and we then finally arrived at the Paroo River free camp just west of Eulo CAW7 #721 at 4.30pm.

We quickly set up our camps and then settled back for a nice relaxing, pleasant evening around the campfire chatting etc. We also met another couple, Chris and Linton from Buff Point on the Central Coast who came over and joined in for a chat for an hour or so before we all headed off for bed..

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 5 -Tuesday 20th May, 2014

Up bright and early and had brekky, packed up and were on the road at 7.50am heading for Noccundra.

We stopped at Thargomindah for refuel, water, dump point and morning tea. Whilst we were stopped on the side of the road having our morning tea all the postie bikes from Singleton which were doing the charity ride to Cameron's Corner came into town. It was a real sight to behold. Actually Marie spoke to a couple in Thargomindah after we had refuelled and she mentioned Brad Lambkin to them and they all said that they knew him.

Also met a fellow vanner who grew up in the Barnsley/Holmesville/West Wallsend area.

Warren Ellis and was known by the nickname of “Squirrel”. He said he knew the Durkots very well.

Then headed off for Noccundra Waterhole on the Wilson River CAW7 #732 arriving just after lunch around 12.30pm. The bush flies again were really bad and as bad as they were last year however we were prepared this time with our fly veils which helped a lot.

We all sat around relaxing with some of us having SCANS during the afternoon and just taking it easy. Marie did some washing as did a few others.

Having another nice campfire tonight and we head for Eromanga tomorrow.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 6 -Wednesday 21st May, 2014

Up nice and early again, had our breakfast packed up and headed off for Eromanga at 8.30am after a great night's sleep.

Along the way Herb & Dors who used to work out in this neck of the woods some years back, showed us many interesting sites. We stopped at the original old Bellalie Homestead which was built in the 1800's and built entirely from stone etc. They used to know the person who lived in the place a person named Bomber Johnson.. It is all abandoned and run down now though.

We then travelled on to Eromanga where we stopped and fuelled at the refinery and Herb Dors received bad news in that a good friend from our Fraser days had passed away and they had to head back home so as to attend the funeral on Friday afternoon. This then put paid to our plans to for us to go out to see the dinosaur bones, opals etc. so we decided to push on to Windorah for the evening.

The road is a single lane bitumen road and quite bumpy as well. Most vehicles when they approach do so with caution and pull off to each side to let one another past, excepting for the large road trains. I had one instance where a car coming towards us would not pull over at all and caused me to go well down into the really rough rocks on the side of the road which split one of my caravan's tyres and it went flat immediately. Thanks heavens for the Tyreguard TPMS as it warned me loud and clearly that there was a problem with the tyre. Stopped in time before it done any other damage and replaced it with the spare.

We then headed on our merry way to Windorah and arrived at the free camp CAW7 #374 on the Cooper Creek and setup camp for then night.

The flies were pretty bad here as well and we had to resort to our fly veils again. As we had a really big day travelling today we all ended up in bed reasonably early.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 7 -Thursday 22nd May, 2014

Up early again, packed up and head off into Windorah where we re-fuelled, watered and also used the dump point and then took some pics of the solar farm they have out here, huge big solar dish arrays for powering the community.

We then headed towards Jundah which compared to all the other roads around here is a nice wide dual width bitumen sealed roadway.

Arrived in Jundah around 9.30am where we had morning tea and stretched our legs before heading off for Longreach.

Along the way the window alongside my bed kept coming open. Ed & Ros ended up having the same problems. The vibration on the roads causes the windows to shake and the small locking catches disengage allowing the window to come open. Had to stop about 5 times to fix ours along the way.

Finally made it into Longreach just after 1.30pm and made our way out to the free camp on the Thomson River at Apex Riverside Park CAW7 #347. There are a heap of vans and motorhomes out here. One person told us he counted 78 the night before and by the looks of it there are more than that here again today. Had some lunch, made a few phone calls for a new tyre and am able to get one from Tyrepower for the princely sum of $189.00 !!!!! S'pose that is the price you need to pay out in the outback.

Took the wheel and tyre into town and we also did some shopping whilst in there and stocked up on a few things. Plus I bought some flyscreen turnbutton window catches from the local hardware store to hold the window closed whilst we are travelling. Ed did the same for their van and it seems to have done the trick. Will get it seen to when we get home.

We just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. Phil & Ann, Bill & Ros and Ed & Ros have booked and are going on the river cruise and dinner tomorrow night. There were no vacancies for tonight's trip. We are unable to go because of Beau but then again this too is the price you need to pay when travelling with your furry companion, but we wouldn’t have it any other way, and after all we have spent a small fortune in the town already. LOL.

Come evening all the generators started up and it sounded like a swarm of bees buzzing – talk about noisy but they all went quiet reasonably early thank heavens. Some sounded like they were trying to rev the pants off them, must be running microwaves etc with them.

Am also having issues with my laptop, got a message the other day saying the HDD is about to fail and needs replacing. So far it is OK but very very slow and takes forever to do things. I'm hoping it will make it till we get back home when I will fix it up then. I have my tablet as a backup plus I have a portable HDD I am putting all my pics and docs on and I only did a full back up of my whole system just before we left, so if it does finally fail I hopefully won't have lost everything, excepting maybe a few emails etc.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 8 -Friday 23rd May, 2014

Ed just did a quick count on all the vans etc here and he reckons there would be at least 100 it is really that crowded that's for sure.

Just had an easy day, did some washing etc picked the tyre up and did some shopping in town, bought some nice tiger king prawns (albeit frozen) from the local prawn/seafood truck, also did a few small maintenance things, and generally took had a nice and easy day. Got quite HOT through the day with our thermometer showing 33°C inside and it felt like it was even hotter than this.

Bill & Ros, Phil & Ann did the sightseeing thing today, went to the School of the Air and also had a helicopter flight over the town like we did last year. They also went on the twilight river cruise and dinner last night whilst we stayed at home with Beau and I listened to the football on the radio as I couldn't be bothered setting the TV up to watch the game.

There were a few new vans that came in yesterday and had to run their generators loudly and one ran well into the night, turned it off after 10pm. I don't mind them having to run them so much but when they have them revving to the limit they are quite annoying.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 9 -Saturday 24th May, 2014

After quite a “noisy night” with generators running all hours and hoons screaming past on non muffled motorcycles at 2am we awoke to another glorious morning with the expected temp to be above 30°C today again.

There was a fellow walking past with a sulphur crested cocky on his arm so Grandma went out and spoke with him as did some of the others. Ros Paix got a photo of the cocky giving Grandma a kiss and pulling at her hair etc. He was very timid, says “G'day how are you going?” “See you later” and waves his wing at you and he also laughs at you although we couldn't get him to laugh when I video’d him. He is only very young but a beautiful bird.

Having a relaxing day today, went into town and fuelled up, bought a few more groceries, and went to the dump point in the showgrounds and then back to the van for a relaxing afternoon.

As we still have some time up our sleeve we have decided to head further north with Ed & Ros and Bill & Ros from Winton to Hughenden, then across to Charters Towers and over the coast to Ayr and possibly head up to Cairns. We will play it by ear when we reach the coast and again dependant on the amount of time we have left up our sleeve to get back home as to how far up north we go, but as both of us have never been this far North we want to have a bit of a look whilst we are here.

We are heading off tomorrow for Winton and parts beyond.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 10 -Sunday 25th May, 2014

We decided last night to head off to Winton and Phil & Ann would head for home.

So we were up reasonably early and left at 8.10am back into the showgrounds at Longreach where we went to the dump point and also filled up with town water.

Said our goodbyes to Phil & Ann and then headed to Winton on a beautiful clear bright Autumn day. There is not a cloud in the sky today and the sun is quite severe as the weather climbed up into the 30's.

Had a nice uneventful drive, followed another 2 vans and when we stopped at Chorregon Rest Area CAW7 #350 rest area for morning tea got talking to them and they said they were from Penrith heading over to Broome. One of them was one of those real “know it all smart alec types” that knows everything and has been everywhere so we didn't talk to him much at all and were glad to get under way again.

Finally made it to Winton around 11.30am and decided to stay at the rear of the North Gregory Hotel. $10.00 per night, hot showers, toilets, laundromat etc but no power. Pretty good value and there was free entertainment in the beer garden at 4.30pm by a lady called 'Just Helen' who sings various renditions of Waltzing Matilda and explains the full origins and history etc of the song. She also sings other different songs as well and is a real wag. Comes from Murray Bridge and drives her Toyota Coaster motorhome up here and stays here for 3 months behind the pub and is the 'unofficial caretaker' of the 'caravan park' and also the pub's entertainer. Quite a character to boot.

They also put on a BBQ dinner at 6.30pm for $19.50 per head. We thought it maybe a bit pricey but we decided to partake anyway, and boy what a meal, they loaded your plate up with everything they cooked, steak, bacon, chops, sausages, salad corn on the cob, potato bake and broccoli bake. We couldn't get thru all of our meal and was very tasty as well.

Came back to the vans and just sat back in the cool, went and showered and then headed off for bed quite early as Bill & Ros are heading out to Lark Quarry Dinosaur Stampede in the morning and then we are going to the Waltzing Matilda Centre in the afternoon.

We will head for Hughenden Tuesday morning

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & of course Beau the Wonder Dog

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