Sunday, 20 January 2013

Charging on to Charters

Julia Creek to Charters Towers

Saturday 12th January

We were up and packed and readying ourselves to leave by 8.00am. When Ron picked up the step we use to get in and out of Indie, he found it had embedded itself in the melted bitumen so we have a permanent souvenir of Julia Creek.


We stopped for coffee and breakfast at the ‘Friendly Grocer’ and he was on for a chat, telling us all about the things to see in the towns along the way so we finally got away at our usual 9.30 am. It is still incredibly hot and dry but it is not too bad when you are driving along with the wind in your face (sometimes I think it might be nice to have air conditioning that works when you are driving along as well rather than only on 240 volts when you are parked.)
But, dauntless we charged ever onwards. We passed a huge freight train and gave the driver a wave. He blew the train horn and Ron replied with Indie’s. The train was like a sonic boom compered to Indie’s little bip!!!!
 But in his defence, the train was also much bigger; in fact it was so long, I could not get it all in one photo.

We drove on to Richmond (all this area is part of ‘Australia’s Dinosaur Trail’). The area abounds in dinosaur fossils but the only evidence of it is in the tourist traps like Kronosaurus Korner that charge $20 a pop to view their bones!!!!

Richmond is a bigger town that Julia Creek but we preferred Julia Creek. Richmond  was quite pretty and had a man-made lake in the middle of town but it seemed to lack the character of Julia Creek. Unfortunately the lake did not lack algae.
They have an  RV site (self-contained vehicles only) in town but it was just a big paddock, absolutely treeless, dusty and contained huge skip bins. And they charge money to stay there!
The people of Richmond obviously have a sense of humour with their ‘Uthinktheysaurus’ signs on the way in to town, not to mention their bin holders.


We went to Kronosaurus Korner and had morning tea

And in light of his impending Grandfather status, I could not resist this photo opportunity of Ron outside the Gents loo.


  We drove on to Hughenden with the intention of lunching at the FJ Holden Café (as recommended by the ‘The Friendly Grocer’ in Julia Creek). Of course it was Saturday, so everything was closed!!
Fortunately he had told us about a nice little park just over the bridge and we found the only General Store in town that was opened and shouted ourselves a pie and a frozen Fanta and went and sat in the park

We then drove on the Charters Towers and ended up at the same Caravan Park that we stayed at on the way up. It now costs $29.00 a night (up a dollar since we were here in August and the woman who owns it is still as unfriendly!!!). It is a lovely park though with shady sites, fabulous amenities and a covered pool.
We met the neighbours Cheryl and John. They have been on the road now for 12 years but Cheryl has decided to give it up and they are going to buy some land and settle down.

Sunday 13th January

Today was a total rest and recover from our long drive yesterday, day. Sadly, we were woken at 6.30 am to the gentle roar of earth moving machinery. The caravan park owners had neglected to mention that they were having more cabins built.

Unperturbed, I settled into a day at the pool and reading and writing blogs…..fabbo!
Monday 14th January
Ronnie and I left the park early (about 8.00 am) and walked into town (about three kilometres). We undid all that good work by stopping at Maccas for breakfast.
We bought groceries and a noodle each for the swimming pool. We became addicted to bobbing about on them at Julia Creek so now I have a purple one and Ronnie has a blue one. They are such fun and it is soooooooo relaxing.
I went straight away to try out my noodle and could not believe that the workmen, who are unable to do anything without their car doors open and radios blaring, had some ridiculous garbage blaring out all over the place, so I did my cranky bit and complained and they turned it off. I mean, if I wanted to listen to that ‘music’ I would buy the CD myself!!!!
After that, I had a very pleasant and relaxing afternoon. Ronnie came and joined me in the pool and we got talking to a couple of other folk who were taking advantage of the cool waters.
Later on, I rang Anita to wish her well for tomorrow… answer… I rang Ben… answer……So I figured that the grandbaby had decided to do the right thing especially since I got a message back from Ben saying ‘call you in 45min ish’.
Imagine how we felt when a few minutes later we got a picture of the fish Ben had caught while he and Anita had been out fishing!!!!!!!
Mind you it is a 43cm flathead which he is putting in the freezer till we get there so I might forgive him!!!

After dinner, John asked Ron to go over and show him how to use Facebook. He has also had a request to help with setting up a blog. I’m thinking I might start renting him out as an IT consultant!!!!

Tuesday 15th January

I went for a walk up the road to the local servo to get some jam and self-raising flour and Ronnie baked his fabulous scones for afternoon tea. Maybe I could rent him out to sell Devonshire teas….they were sooooo yummo!!!!
I rang Anita to wish her well and told her that all our friends are thinking of her as well as several strangers between here and Darwin who have all also heard the saga of the long overdue grand baby!!! Fingers crossed all goes well (and quickly and as painlessly as possible!)

Wednesday 16th January

The weather is much cooler today, overcast and a threat of rain.  

Poor Anita is still waiting, waiting, waiting! They sent her home yesterday and told her to come back today. They got to the hospital about 0900, broke her water about 1415, and put the drip in to induce her. She had an epidural about 2130 and Xander arrived at 0047 on Thursday no water birth or anything as planned just your stock standard in the hospital. Welcome to the real world of parenting – don’t expect them to do anything the way you plan it!!!!!!

Thursday 17th January

Ben had kept us updated with text messages all the way through and then he rang in the wee small hours to tell us all about it personally!!!! It is all very exciting.
He sent photos which I dutifully included in my email to everyone.


This new-fangled technology really does come into its own at times like this!!!!!

Anita has to remain in hospital for 24 hours because she had the anaesthetic. Ben is going home to feed Dollar (if he hasn’t eaten everything in the house already that is and to avert the prospect of him eating Xander when he arrives home!)

Ron and I have spoken to Ben and we will stay here in Charters Towers until Sunday night and then drive across to Townsville on Monday to let them all get used to each other before we descend on them.

I went up to the office here to face the dragon lady and pay for our extra nights accommodation and apologised for not getting there before 10.00 am but that our long overdue grandson had finally deigned to arrive. Well…she could not have been nicer, sweeter or more obliging. She even shared stories about her own babies and grandchildren!!!!

The weather is still cool and overcast but we have not had any rain to speak of. I know now where the phrase ‘all piss and wind’ comes from. We get gusts of wind and about 10 or 15 drops of rain and that’s it!!!!  

Indie’s plumbing has gone berserk…..when we empty the sink, the water bubbles up through the shower plug hole but if we pour water down the sink, it’s fine…..Ron will put his plumber’s hat on when we get to Townsville and try to sort it out then.  Fingers crossed it will be an easy fix!

Friday 18th January

Ron and I walked to town again today with the intention of buying lunch. We got in there about 10.00 and the temptation was too much so we had bacon and egg breaky rolls at Subway. We tried walking them off but ended up just doing some groceries, buying a BBQ chook in Woollies and coming home.

I did buy a couple of books at the 2nd hand book shop (I don’t have a flash new                    e-reader like Ronnie).
I finished knitting the rattle for Xander. It has a cat toy in the middle (the open plastic ball with a bell in the middle and it works really well!)



But because I didn’t have the correct size needles (it is knitted on a set of 4 double pointed needles and I already had a set I had never used) or wool, it has ended up as big as his head…..oh well never mind…..


I’ve never knitted with a set of needles before and it was interesting if not a little awkward.

After lunch, I went for a swim and did some more reading (just the usual!!!)

We got more photos of Xander of course.

For dinner, we reheated our BBQ chook and had roast potato, roast pumpkin, peas and gravy……a regular roast dinner!!! Yummo!!!!

Indie’s plumbing has settled down…..thinking maybe it was an air block or something like that…….here’s hoping!

Saturday 19th January

I was sitting outside doing the cryptic crossword (as is my want) his morning and you’ll never guess…..the clue for 8 down was ‘Ben worn out by young baby’…..spooky eh?

Oh the answer, by the way was ‘newborn’ not ‘Xander’ as one would expect.

I texted this fascinating piece of news to Ben whose reply was ‘that would only be true if his crying woke me up in the night. He only wakes Anita. Lol’ 
I got up and went inside to get something and left the computer sitting on the step outside. There was a huge crash and a branch had fallen from the nearby tree, bounced off our awning and landed within 2 centimetres of the computer. Lucky!!!!!!!

Sunday 20th January

 I finished reading my book. It was quite good – all about the parish council in a small English village and the interaction between the inhabitants-a bit like the Vicar of Dibly but without the humour and quirky characters.

I spent the day just sitting around getting excited about finally meeting the little fella tomorrow. We have only received 16 photos in the last three days.

These are three of my favourites!!!

Ben with a protective hand and Dollar with a protective paw!!!!



I finished the Bananas in Pyjamas for Xander and they look cute too!


1 comment:

  1. I still think he looks more like a Johnsen.

    Don't forget the behaviour management strategy while you are visiting ... Chocies for good, spray with water for bad!!

    Love you guys.