Thursday, 1 February 2018

We’re Off Again

I’ve said it before, but we aren’t very good at staying home. Mick picked me up from work at lunch time yesterday and we headed north. 

Our plan, such as it was, was to get as far north as we could, which ended up being Narrabri. It was interesting travelling through the Pilliga Scrup and seeing where the huge bushfire had been. It hadn’t impacted the highway very much but apparently about 60,000 hectares has been burnt.  It is now under control but is not fully out. 

We campled at the Narrabri Showgrounds and arrived just on sunset, which was rather stunning. 

The evening was being built up to be interesting with a “Super Blood Blue Moon”.  “Super” as it was at about its closest orbit to earth, “Blood” because it was going to be a total lunar eclipse and “Blue” as it was the second full ominous in a calendar month. However, the pedants were announcing that daylight saving meant that it was not a Blue Moon in NSW.  Unfortunately, most of the country was under cloud, except the central parts of NSW. Early evening provided is with a wispy Moon.  Rather atmospheric. 

The eclipse happened around midnight with a partial eclipse either side of that time. I hopped up at about 11.30 and saw this much. It’s a poor photo as I had no tripod or stable place to put my camera, but you get the idea. 

We got a nice early start this morning and were greeted by this lovely sight of Mt Kaputar as we continued north. Once again our plan was to get as far as we could. 

There are some fabulous old farm sheds along the way. 

We don’t normally go north at this time of year, so saw some different crops. We are guessing this is milo. 

And the cotton was growing nicely. 

It was nice seeing the area with cloudy skies and the weather was rather pleasant, not nearly as hot as we had anticipated. 

Before we knew it we were in Queensland and made up an extra hour in the day as they don’t have daylight savings. We will have get used to the nights getting dark earlier. We had a nice break in Goondiwindi. 

Over the last several years there has been a huge build up of prickly pear in the north of NSW and well into Queensland. There is even getting to be quite a bit near home. It was a real problem in the early half of last century and seems to be getting that way again. To our surprise, this time when we came through, most of the plants are looking decidedly sick. I don’t know if it is due to biological control, which was used successfully in the past, or sprays. I’m guessing it is some sort of bug, as it is so widespread. 

As we were travelling along, there are long distances between towns and lots of trees beside the road, which are different from  those at home. I know the Myall, Wilga, Cypress Pine and She Oak, but most others are just “Gum Trees”.  I noticed a couple of road signs referring to Brigalow, which of course I had heard of but couldn’t identify, so out came Mr Google on my phone, in the middle of nowhere, and I learnt that we were entering the Brigalow Belt and found several pictures of them. They are the tall trees above with greyish leaves and rough bark and are a member of the acacia family. I’ll have to gradually learn some more, but many look very similar. 

It’s a bit hard to see here but the roads we were on today were in rather poor condition. The surface wasn’t broken, but the roads were very up and down, which was really noticeable when towing the van.  A lot of the way we were only travelling at about 70 kmh. You can see why some vans get out of control. It seems to be the black soil plains where it was at its worst. 

We had a quick lunch in Miles, which we had initially thought would be today’s destination, but we were travelling so well we kept going. 

I love it when we see bottle trees. It makes it feel like we really are in Queensland. 

We went past Wondoan with it huge windmill, we had to take yet another photo of it.

We went past Taroom with its windmill sculpture. This had been our second expected destination but we kept on going again. 

Eventually we even saw some hills and ragged rocks. 

We are now camped on the show ground at the little town of Theodore. We were through here in July and this site was chockerblock full of caravans. Tonight there is one old bus that has been here for some time, going on the grass growing around it, and us! It’s a beaut spot with great amenities. 

This is a great little town. It is well presented and very RV friendly. It is amazing how many cars driving past gave us a wave as we sat out beside the van. 

We decided to have dinner at the pub, which is community owned, and it started to spit rain as we left our campsite to walk to the other end of town (about 2kms). Well,  by the time we got there it was a tropical downpour. I had my brolly, but Mick got wet. At least it wasn’t cold. We had a tasty meal and the rain stopped....until we started to walk back. This time there was thunder and lightning but just steady rain, not a downpour......and as you can guess, it stopped when we got back to the van. I think we were the only two idiots wandering the streets of Theodore in a thunderstorm. 

Tomorrow we will head further north to our final destination. 


Gail said...

Looks like a lovely trip! I strongly dislike-may I say hate-pulling my camper on roads with "Ripples"! You feel every one three times and if they're deep the camper causes you to bounce around! UGH!
Have a terrific time!

Fiona said...

Welcome to Queensland.... I'm enjoying your journey - you observe far more than I do on trips...

Chookyblue...... said...

I have not gone for a drive in the scrub since the fire is huge though......
The crop is sorghum. That short one is a grain crop...... I notice the cactus are sicker them my last trip. Seriously they are huge.....

Susan said...

Wow - what a wonderful travelogue you write....I'm a city girl - trees are trees - some are shorter than others..crops are green or not and short or tall - seems I could learn a bit....

Maria said...

Thanks for taking us along your trip....Love your post.

Jenny said...

Its funny when people take photos of things we take for granted. Hope you had a great trip.

Martine B said...

Have a nice trip. Enjoy !
Thanks for sharing with us.
You have a beautiful country 💚