Opinion seems to be divided about the current state of affairs in The Curry. Some business owners want more to attract tourists to stay longer, and visit more often to more vibrant attractions and events, while some locals are praising the efforts of the current Mayor and Council. You can never please all of the people all of the time I guess……and perhaps we can form our own impressions with a long overdue visit.
The 30 kms from Wynberg to Cloncurry are on good highway, with a couple of new road accesses being constructed in to mining exploaration sites. Then we entered the township, which is not very green or inspiring to be honest.
However, the chance to catch up with lovely local Mitakoodi woman, NF, was the highlight. The Bakery certainly knows how to provide great soft bread, pies and coffees, so we nattered there with Nic before LSM went off to explore the cemetery and fuel up for the long drive back home.
Nic was a strong local advocate for the town and I loved the water tower with its 360 degree views and Nic standing under her nephew Barack’s painting by The Zookeeper was very beautiful. The Coppermine Creek area holds lots of history of the Chinese community and the Aboriginal community, and we paid our respects at the graves still there.
Leaving Nic, where she works hard supporting employment opportunites for locals in the mines and construction sites, was a wrench. She is a dedicated young woman with lots of culture to share and will always be a very, very special friend.
Back at Wynberg, we watched the patience of cousin Robert teach E how to ride the aging but obliging horse, Lindsay. E was over the moon, that in one short session, she was riding him around the yard, and loving it! Home made sausages were on the dinner menu.
Farewells in the early morning light were sad, but inevitable…….and we headed over the grid and bid farewell to our tough, kind-hearted family.
Lark Quarry and the only Dinosaur Stampede on the planet was the first stop a mere 4 hours plus down the highway. The 110 km road from Winton did not really prepare us for the gravel and the dust in our sturdy sedan. We were wishing for our Hilux ute that had served us well on other offroad trips. But the trip out and back was worth it. Again E was gobsmacked!
Then it seemed like a doddle to reach Longreach, the swimming pool and time to prepare for the Stockman’s Dinner Show……yeeeha and steak to die for! Again E was happy! We treated ourselves to a motel Abajaz brekky, then packed the boot and were on our way again. Luckily E downloaded a few comedies to while away the endless miles of road and clouds and silence.
Luckily we had chosen to leave a visit to Blackall for the way back, and it was a great little town – vibrant and very visitor friendly! Its photos of the local identities on each of the letters leading in to town is SPECTACULAR! The Black Stump; Behind the Black Stump and Beyond the Black Stump also were a hit.
Then we pulled in to Augathella and discovered a surprisingly large, comfortable and cool family room at the motel. Patchy wifi meant reading……..perfect! We managed to forage the one remaining cooked chicken in town and found a few great locally made salads to round out a tasty dinner. Meals have been diverse and just the trick.
Final leg of the long haul……Augathella (Well done Amby on the Scar Tree historic site – looks great) to Toowoomba……and home to find the deep colours of the clivias. Gardening repair beckoned, but the wave of exhaustion and exhilaration won the day and we all dozed off dreaming of the days in The Outback. E was glad to be out of the car with only an hour to drive back to her home on the morrow.
Congratulations to LSM for the fantastic job of the driving, and to E for fitting in with our quirks and we with hers. The adventure is over…..for now.