Bourke to Broken Hill – Its good to see water …

The rain continued through the night and by morning 9mm had fallen with more on the way. The wind had dropped away so I hit the road. The original plan was to go through to Wilcannia.

The rain had brought out the wildlife with kangaroos, goats and horses lining the road grabbing the green shoots. Another unusual sight was the huge pools of water flowing away from the road.

There was some evidence of vehicles pulling off onto the shoulder only to sink on the mud. I guess there will be no pulling off to the side of the road today. Luckily I have no geocaches to find until I get the other side of Cobar.

The rain was widespread with it all the way to Broken Hill. Yes I had changed the plan as I got to Wilcannia just after lunch and decided to continue onto the Hill.

There were a few geocaches to grab but luckily they were all in the rest areas which were hard standing.

The wind had picked up again and was mostly a side wind which made it interesting to keep the car and van on the road. It also killed the fuel economy.

By the time I got to Broken Hill there were creeks flowing with the area receiving over 35mm rain overnight. I drove through rain storms on and off all day.The rain certainly isnt a drought breaker but it will go a long way to fill dams and tanks, as well as promote some grass growth.

Digs for the night is the Broken Hill Tourist Park.

Diesel @ Broken Hill $1.599, Wilcannia $1.649, Cobar $1.619

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Charleville to Bourke – Is that a real snake …

Well the Harley alarm clock was 722am. I didnt hear them pack up but certainly heard them leave. I guess I am having an early start for the 460km drive to Bourke.

It was a good travel day with warm weather and a slight tail wind.

About a 100km out from Bourke , the skies were getting darker to the west and south. There was a low pressure system heading towards Bourke.

I arrived at the Kidman’s Camp Tourist Park just before 3pm and the skies were still clear, so there was still some time to get in some caching.

The first cache was down behind the caravan park at the PV Jandra paddleboat on the Darling River. The cache was in a hole in a pepper tree but there was something else in there too. I saw what I thought was a rubber snake wrapped around the container but then the tongue flickered. I guess it is not rubber. It saw me then disappeared down into the tree. Looks like it might have been an Inland Taipan. I still got the cache but used a large stick to get it out.

I continued aroundBourke grabbing caches then the dark skies started turning red. There was a huge dust storm in front of the thunderstorms.I managed to just fill the fuel tank before the dust hit. It only lasted about 5-10 minutes before it started to rain. 

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Barcaldine to Charleville – Homeward bound …

With the Queensland Outback Geocaching Muster now over, it is the 2000 kilometre trek back to South Australia. The weather up here has been great with warm days and warm nights but apparently SA has had warm weather as well. I bet it doesn’t stay that way.

Oh well, time to enjoy the shorts and t-shirt weather while it lasts.

I had a bout of gout in my left ankle overnight so was in no hurry to get on the road.

Eventually left the Barcy area around 11am.

First stop was Blackall to grab a few geocaches that I missed last week. The lunch stop was Tambo.

There was a group of Harleys heading south and I was overtaken by them 3 times during the day. In fact they ended up camping next to me at Charleville.

Arriving intoCharleville just before 5pm, it was restock time at the IGA and refuel at the United. Digs tonight was the Bailey Bar Caravan Park for a change. We normally stay at the Cobb & Co Caravan Park. The Bailey Bar is very tight but there are nice grass sites.

I wonder what time the Harleys will fire up in the morning.

Diesel @ Charleville $1.579, Blackall $1.609, Barcaldine $1.559

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Caching Jericho – I am up for the Challenge …

The Queensland Outback Geocaching Muster had placed out a series of Challenge Geocaches involving finding caches within the Barcaldine Region to meet the following criteria:

There are around 350 caches hidden in the Barcaldine area and in order to meet the challenges, you need to to virtually find every one of those caches. This morning I had only found enough to qualify for 4 challenges. It was going to be a big day.

I headed to Jericho to finish off the power trail of 80 caches (all being different sizes). It took me just under 4 hours to complete this as it was starting to warm up.These finds gave me enough for all but the earthcache challenge.

It was then off to Alpha to grab the one earthcache I needed for that challenge. While in
Alpha I also grabbed a few other caches until it was time to head back toBarcaldine for the final Event for the week.With a 140km drive back and needing a shower before the 6pm Event, I figured leaving by 420pm would be around the right time.With no traffic, timings worked out perfectly, reaching the Final BBQ 5 minutes after it had started, even with throwing a load of washing in and having a shower.

It was a good night finishing off with a happy hour that lasted a few hours.Tomorrow I start the trek back to South Oz.

Diesel @ Barcaldine $1.559

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Coat of Arms time …

It was a Australian Coat of Arms type of day with plenty of kangaroos and emus along the way with the living out numbering the roadkill for a change.
 
An easy day travelling from Cunnamulla to Charleville. It only seems like I was only here 2 months ago.  Great weather again with clear skies and 30C, so it was definitely a shorts, t-shirt and thongs day.
 
With only a 200 kilometre journey, I made it to the Cobb & Co Caravan Park around lunchtime. This was planned as I had some work to do on plans for the Adelaide Rally as well as doing some provision shopping.
 
Diesel @ Charleville $1.579
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Back of Bourke …

A big 400 kilometre session of roadkill slalom. Todays travel took me from Cobar through Bourke in New South Wales finishing up at Cunnamulla in Queensland. The amount of roadkill was amazing with something every 100 metres or so.
 
The usual kangaroos and goats were there but they were joined by emus and even pigs. The stench was overpowering so it was air-conditioning on and windows up.
 
There was still plenty of live animals lining the road as well with horses, emus and camels joining the kangaroos and goats. I am still to see a cow or sheep along the way.
 
Once again the drought is evident with the only grass cover if you want to call it that along the edge of the roadway. This would account for the large amount of roadkill.
 
I almost made my own roadkill when a flock of goats decided they needed to be on the other side of the road in front of me. Luckily I managed to pull up from 90 kph to 60 kph.
 
A stop at the Queensland / New South Wales for the obligatory photos but didnt hang around long due to the stench of rotting roadkill.
 
Called it a day in the Cunnamulla Tourist Park.
 
Diesel @ Bourke $1.629, Cunnamulla $1.599
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Thar’s Gold in them Hills …

A day of exploring Cobar using geocaching as my guide. There is more to Cobar than a town out in the middle of nowhere. It has a history of copper and gold mining dating back to the 1800’s and in fact the mining still continues today.
 
The morning was spent doing a mini power trail on the Bourke Road (Kidman Way) then I spent the afternoon checking out the mines, old and new and doing some 4WDing as well.
 
A highlight would be the Fort Bourke Hill lookout that overlooks the New Cobar open cut hole. The mining is now underground with the entrance down in the bottom of the pit. This is the closest currently operating mine to the town.
 
Diesel @ Cobar $1.609 per litre
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Time for roadkill slalom …

Another travel day with 460 kilometres from Broken Hill to Cobar. This section particularly between Wilcannia to Cobar was some of the roughest bitumen roads so far.
 
Once again it showed that the drought was affecting the region with no ground cover or grasses even though the trees seem to be doing OK. The road was littered with dead wildlife, mainly kangaroos but the occasional emu and goat. Obviously the only grass was along side the road edge with goats and kangaroos lining the road and very used to traffic as they just looked up as I went passed and didn’t move. The birds that were making a meal of the road kill would fly off.
 
At one point I was using a road train to drag me along but there suddenly appeared a dead roo underneath it which meant a quick swerve to miss it. After getting the caravan back under control, I pulled over to see what the damage was. Luckily it was just one drawer out and some contents out of the fridge.
 
At one of road side rest stops, there were goats everywhere. There was one couple trying to eat their lunch at a picnic table and about 20 goats wanted to help them out.
 
With a few stops along the way, it took 7 hours for today’s journey. The temperature has also risen to 26C during the day so it is now time to break out the shorts.
 
Diesel @ Wilcannia $1.619 per litre
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Look out for the goats …

A travel day today heading from Mildura to Broken Hill, a trip of 300 kilometres. Not all that far but it still took 5 hours with stops for geocaches along the way.
 
The drought was very evident half way between Wentworth and Broken Hill with no grass, only sand with the occasional tree. There were plenty of wild goats on the roadside with plenty of kangaroo roadkill.
 
The was a major infrastructure project on the western side of the road. They are building a 270 kilometre water pipeline from the River Murray at Wentworth up to Broken Hill. This has been due to the current water supply for the city being unreliable. 
 
Getting into Broken Hill around 3pm, I spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the sights of the City using geocaches as my guide.
 
Diesel @ Broken Hill $1.569 per litre
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Some River caching …

By the time I had woken up, Garry was busy doing caravan park stuff and Deb was at work in town.
 
Today was a geocaching day around Mildura. The weather was very changeable, depending on where I was. On the western side it was warm and no wind while on the eastern side was windy and wet.
 
At the end of the day, I headed out with Garry and Deb for an Chinese meal at Andy’s Kitchen in town. I had the seafood special and boy did it clear the sinuses and bring on a sweat. We finished off the night with some night geocaching with a couple of moments dodging kangaroos.
 
Diesel @ Mildura $1.529 per litre
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