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carmel’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 13 May 2006

Location: Mt Isa (still), Australia


We still haven’t done much here as Barrie’s back has gone on him. Fortunately we are here for a week, so I hope we will still get to see all there is to see. The caravan park here is quite close to the mine, and last night we heard these explosions, which, after the Beaconsfield disaster, were quite frightening until we remembered that the mine sounds a siren when there is a problem. I guess they have to blast their way through.

This morning, I wanted to do some internetting, but using my own computer. We had been told we could use the PCYC computer but couldn’t spot the building, so I asked a boy using the skate ramp where it was, and he replied ‘Just over there, lovey’. (He would have been all of 13.) So I answered ‘thanks, handsome’. By then his mate had come over, and they couldn’t have been more helpful, telling us where to park etc. They were beaut kids. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use their computer after all that as it had a virus, so finished up going to the newsagency – no problems.

This afternoon, we went to K-Mart. While we were in the queue, one of the staff came up to Barrie and said ‘you go out the front, darling, and I’ll serve you there’. The lady at the caravan park calls everyone ‘love’ too. Mt Isa really is a friendly place.


Today, we decided to do the town tour – not that there was much to see. We went to see the tent house (the mine built over 200 of these houses (part tent, part fibro) in the 1920s and 30s to improve the workers living conditions) and the underground hospital (built underground in case of an attack during WW11). They weren’t very interesting. We also saw the open cut mine and went to the town lookout – both of which were good. But the highlight of the day was the Irish Club, not only was it interesting, but the meal was something else. We both had (enormous) t-bone steaks with chips and salad and there was a large variety of desserts. We both had some, although we shouldn’t have. And all of this for the princely sum of $6 each. Barrie also had a Guinness – of course. He also bought some wine from the bottle shop. It is members only, however, when we asked about the Bribie RSL, it wasn’t one of the reciprocal clubs, ‘but of course, you can buy some wine, darling’. We’ll be going back.

We came back to the caravan and had a sleep, we had eaten so much. Needless to say, all of the talk here is of the miners rescue. It was so good to see them walking unaided out of the mine, after 14 nights trapped.

We had 2 couples come over about 5.00pm for a chat. The couple opposite have been here for 5 weeks (and look like they will be here for another week at least). They are having car problems, the poor things. They initially intended taking 3 months to get from Sydney to Broome, but it looks like this is as far as they are going to get. The other couple had an ostrich farm at Woodgate, they were very interesting. At these get-togethers, everyone brings over their own chairs and drinks. The problem with them is we don’t have dinner till about 8.30 – if we are lucky.


We didn’t do much yesterday, I had to buy some sandals and ¾ pants as my old ones had really had it. I also did grocery shopping – really exciting. We then spent most of the afternoon getting info on CDMA mobile phones as our digital is out of range more often than in, however we are still up in the air.

Rita and Ron, the ostrich farmers, came over again. Unfortunately they left this morning.

We did a bit more phone checking this morning, and then went to Lake Moondarra this afternoon. It is the only trip we have been able to do here at Mt. Isa as every other trip requires a 4WD.

Tomorrow our big outing is going to be lunch at the Irish Club again.
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