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carmel’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Jun 2006

Location: Croydon, Qld, Australia

Map15/6/06

I forgot to mention Mt Isa Mines are having a maintenance shutdown and they have 600 Guest Workers here to help with the work. I think there are quite a few here at the caravan park. The couple next to us are here for the shutdown. He works 7 nights a week from 7.00pm to 7.00am, while she looks after their three littlies – 4, 2 and 6 months. I wouldn’t swap places with either of them. Another thing I forgot to mention – petrol prices were quite reasonable (relatively) at Mt Isa, 131.9c compared with up to 178.9c we have paid elsewhere.

We left at 8.00am this morning, on our way to Normanton. It was still pretty country, but it was quite a trip. There were roadworks off and on for the full 400kms. Admittedly it was essential. The original (and still most of) the road is one lane so the vehicles have to get off the road to pass. We even met up with a roadtrain, however he stopped off the road to let us pass.

We saw a herd of wild camels, probably about 20, and 2 dead pigs on the way. The first pig looked like the one in ‘Lord of the Flies’ and the second one was white, but as large as a good sized cow. As they were both in the middle of nowhere, I’m guessing they were feral. Also, the eagles seem to be larger here, and they seem to take much more time to get airbound – we’ve had a few close calls, quite scary actually. Of course, they are much too big to benefit from the car’s updraft. We also had a bull want to stare Barrie down before moving off the road. Barrie won! Although 2 others must also have tried this – and lost, we saw their bodies on the side of the road.

I can’t get over the roadhouses, they pop up every 200kms or so, with absolutely nothing else around. We filled up at the Burke and Wills roadhouse and would have been charged $1 if we’d used our credit card, needless to say we didn’t.

Not far out of Normanton, we could see these things in the distance. Initially we thought they were cattle but, as we got closer, we realised they were termite mounds. It was a paddock with hundreds of mounds, they looked like gravestones
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