Sunday, 2 June 2013

Escapades at Elphinstone and Hightailing it to Home Hill via Blowin’ Bowen

Sunday 26th May

We decided to head off towards Lake Elphinstone today and went and did the rounds of goodbyes. When Ron was talking with Allan he gave Ronnie four fruit bon-bons and told him to give them to me when we were out on the road. What a sweetie (pardon the pun).

As we drove through Emerald, Clermont and beyond the country side changed several times.

 There were coal mines in the middle of farming land.
Very grand volcanic plugs towered over the surrounding land.


And farmer Brown’s cows meandered around mountains in a line (Why do cows walk in single file?)

One of the most amazing sights was wall to wall cranes as we crested the rise near Moranbah. The amount of construction of infrastructure around the mines is unbelievable.


We stopped for fuel and a very, very late lunch at Nebo and arrived at Lake Elphinstone at about 4:00pm.

It is still as beautiful as it was in February when we were here. This is the view from our front patio.

There are heaps more people here this time though.
As we pulled up, a fellow yelled out that the showers were hot. There is a little wood heater (a donkey) outside the toilets and it needs to be lit to heat the water.

Then Helen and Gordon (who are parked in front of us) said ‘The party’s this way’ as they headed (drinks and chairs in hand) towards a nearby group sitting in a circle round a fire.

I opted for the shower first and when I got there, there was a lady already in one cubicle so I asked if there was anything special to be done because of the donkey but she assured me that it was just the same as a normal shower. We had a lovely chat through the shower wall and did not lay eyes on each other at all.

We figured if we ran into each to each other later we would recognise the voices.

I walked back to Indie and was telling Ron about my adventures when a lady walking past stopped and yelled ‘You’re the lady in the shower’. Turns out, she was headed for the same party and invited us as well.

Ronnie had a bad headache so I decided to go by myself.

They were the loveliest group of people, so friendly. As Sandra tried introducing me to Dianne, I said ‘Oh no, we already know each other, we just had a shower together’. Then as she tried introducing me to the next person, Cedric said ‘Hang on, I want to hear more about this shower’. So ensued much laughter and merriment. They were asking the trivia questions off the beer bottle tops and they had a fabulous fire (the smoke from which poured straight onto Dianne and I.) Dianne joked that she was really 95 years old but was so well preserved because she had been smoked by so many fires over the years.

I only stayed for about an hour and a half but when I went to walk back to Indie it was quite dark so Jeff lent me his torch so I could get my headlamp and come back and collect my chair and glass in relative safety.

After dinner, Ron and I watched ‘Mental’ with Toni Collette. I bought that, ‘The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and ‘The Help’ for myself for Mother’s Day yesterday when we stopped at Emerald. (I’m thinking of sending the bill to Ben).

Monday 27th May

I woke up at about four o’clock this morning with my horrible pains again, took some pain killers and woke up just after one o’clock in the afternoon.

Ronnie and I went for a bit of a walk around the place, chatted to a few more people and wandered over to Bill and Sandra’s again for Sundowners.


Just to prove I wasn’t drunk, the people seated are: Ron (in the beanie I knitted), Gary, Dianne, Sandra, Jeff, (did not meet the next couple), Helen, Gordon, Bill (Cassius, the dog), Marlene, Cedric (Dodge the dog –she was an RSPCA rescue dog and therefore dodged the needle) Sandra (Bill’s wife – they own the Toaster and the fire!), Carol and Geoff who is getting some more wood for the fire).   Do note, that even when I am not there, the smoke is blowing towards my chair!!!!

We stayed till about quarter to seven then went home, had dinner and settled in to watch ‘Haven’. We saw one episode and it was so good we went to watch the next one but it had not downloaded properly and was completely unwatchable!!!!

Tuesday 28th May

I woke this morning at about seven. With the promise of bacon and pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast, who wouldn’t? And they were yummo!!!

The weather has turned very overcast and windy. The water is quite choppy and instead of using the saying ‘windy enough to blow dogs off chains’, it is windy enough here ‘to blow ducks off lakes!!!!’  We know because we saw them.


The wind is quite cold, but it is lovely inside Indie.

We are having a quiet, indoors kind of day today.

Tonight we have gone back over to Sandra and Bill’s but there are not as many of us and we have no fire because it was so windy. In spite of this we did have a lovely night and Cedric had a cask of Merlot that he was happy to share. Sadly, I overindulged.

Wednesday 29th May

Today, I am paying the price for my overindulgence and am feeling quite fragile.

We got an email from Paul. He has arrived and is settling in OK. He is still sounding up beat so fingers crossed it all stays good. He said the food at the Mess is great but to check back with him on that in a few months’ time.

The weather is lousy here and it is raining. We have decided to head off to Bowen and get some of those lovely oysters that we had there in February.

We said goodbye to everyone we could find and headed off and had lunch at Collinsville. It was a little cafĂ© that was beautifully decorated and the lady who ran it also made the ‘home made’ pies. She gets up at five in the morning to do the baking.

As we drove towards Bowen, Ronnie did a 16km round trip to the Big Mango just to buy me a mango sorbet (and get directions to the Harbour Lights Caravan Park, the same one we stayed at last time.)


 We arrived about 2.30 pm and went straight over to the seafood co-op only to find out that they had no oysters but would be getting them in the morning so we settled on a kilo of prawns.

We met the neighbours, Graham and Lee who were playing Kings Cribbage which is like a cross between Crib and Scrabble – very interesting! They were nice folk and we chatted for a fair while.

Then we walked into town and got a Caesar Salad and bread rolls for our dinner.

 Ron then decided that I should make dinner. Yummo – can cook a Caesar Salad with Prawns!!!


Thursday 30th May
It had rained overnight and the weather was not looking good. We decided to leave. We went to empty our toilet at the dump point in the caravan park and Ron accidently dropped the cap into the pit. We got directions to the nearest camping supplies shop and luckily they had one. $17.90 mind you (the whole toilet can be purchased for around $150.00)!!!
Then we went back to the seafood co-op only to find out that the oysters had not arrived so we bought another kilo of prawns and left in a huff (or a minute and a huff) and headed off to Home Hill and the free camp by the railway line.

We arrived around lunchtime and settled in. They were doing major works on the facilities and the ladies loo had become unisex. I worked like a Trojan on my diary and blog to get them up to date and I sent emails after being in the Interweb void for the last few days. I finally got everything done as I wanted and Ron went out and met the neighbours.


Well, weren’t they a hoot and a half! Neville and Lea were travelling up to Tully and had stopped here for an overnighter. Like so many other folk we have met, they were travelling with a little dog, Rusty and a potted plant.
The main difference here was that their potted plant (a bromeliad) also doubled as a clothes line. She had put her’s and Neville’s underpants on it to dry!!!!
We had a great couple of hours together before retiring for dinner. These last few days have been fabulous and we have met so many fun people.
Tomorrow we head to Townsville.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you two are still having a ball! I haven't heard all those town names for many years, since I left Dysart in 1980.

    I hope the weather clears up for the drive.