From Surat we travelled to Mitchell which was to be our first Bore bath experience.
On the way Roma was the lunch stop even though it was a bit early. This is one really great town, it has absolutely everything.
We all could not believe the haberdashery shop in Roma. Their was everything imaginable sold here from kitchen wear to fabrics and it was piled to the ceiling and spilled out to the front of the shop. Nothing had a price marked but the owner could come up with a reasonable price when you finally found the front door and the cash register.
The Camping shop was raided for the purchase of the inevitable last minute forgotten or newly required items.
The cake shop was also raided to fill up on the luxury items such as pies, sausage rolls,creamy cakes and yummy coffee’s that we so crave while roughing it in the wild untamed outback then off we went to the next adventure.
A short photo stop to capture a beautiful Prickly Pear cactus,This one would have to be THE most photographed noxious weed in the west
We arrived at Mitchell and camp was set up at Neil Turner Weir after a riotous trip from Surat. The conversation over the CB on this trip had to be heard to be appreciated. Mavis was in tears for most of the way thanks to Greg and Glen.
Neil Turner Weir was pretty sad. The water level was almost non existent. Their was a few small bodies of water that held some bird life and the weir wall was fully exposed concrete.
The camp site was good but on dirt with toilets and water available. A nice green grassy area was available for picnics or just to walk on green grass. We ringed up into a circle comprising the 5 vans and had a ball for two nights. Great food and even greater company.
Colin and Gayleen and their two poodles Cherie and Moet turned up for an overnight with a brand new Kedron van. They were on their third day out of Brisbane on the way back to Cairns. What a coincidence to bump into our intrepid little group.
Had we explored a little further and had a look at the other free camp at “Fishermans Rest “ we could have been on water and used the Kayaks, but this was not discovered until later.
The spar in Mitchell was in the swimming pool area. It was a pay experience but we all thought that it was worth the expenditure.
The water was at about 39.0 degrees and regulated by the pool staff. The second day we were told that the bore had heated up to 52 degrees so they were recycling the water to bring the temp down to the required 39 ish degrees. Absolutely wonderful. Their was a cold pool beside the hot bore pool for those brave souls that could leave the warm pool and venture into the cold and a full size Olympic pool next door.
Our only gripe here was with the showers (on the second day) the cold tap was from the bore and it was so hot that it was not refreshing. But hey it was a shower.
After two great days in Mitchell we packed up to head off to the Rosehill Aviaries about 56 km west of St George. This part of the trip was on the first dirt road that we had experienced on this run. About 120 kms of dirt mostly well maintained dirt but with the last 20 kms were fairly corrugated.
This gave a great proving ground for Linda and Nev (first trip in their new van on dirt )and Judy and Greg first time on dusty conditions to see how the new Kedron’s held up to their reputations. Linda and Nev had traded an older Kedron for this new baby and had done a lot of happy off road travelling in the old one.
Both new vans had some dust ingestion but not a great amount.
Unfortunately as is usual our Kedron manage to become completely filled with dust.
It would seem that no matter how we tape windows and vents we always manage to become filled with dust. Have to do some serious homework on this problem.
Rosehill Aviaries is a great property run by John and Elaine Beardmore.
The Aviaries (still) have the greatest display of Australian native birds in Australia although they closed the doors on the aviaries after the September school holidays 2009 for a well earned retirement.
I had called at the start of September and spoken to Elaine and asked if we could still camp on the beautiful bore drain on the property and was told that we could.
Arriving at the property we found Elaine entertaining family that had come from all points around the Brisbane area to celebrate a 21st and 18th birthdays.
John came out and we were charged the grand sum of $6.50 each to view the great bird collection. For this princely sum we could also camp at the bore for as long as we liked. Money very well spent.
The bore drain is one great place, with plenty of firewood available on the ground to collect.
The bore water is hot and fresh with no smell (unless you disturb the mud on the bottom as we found out on a previous trip) and so soft that to shower in it is a real treat.
Glen had completed the design and assembly of his portable 12volt pump before leaving Brisbane and this was the place for the proving run.
It was a huge success with him hooking it onto their van and supplying pressurised water for the shower etc. A hose was later run to Judy and Greg’s van so they also had pressure. (Life is pretty hard and rough out here in the bush :-).
Two glorious days were spent here just relaxing and cooking great food with some walking thrown in.
Unfortunately for John, Elaine and the areas tourism, no one has stepped up to take on the birds to maintain this wonderful attraction.
More to follow soon.