5-6 July: Welcome to the outback!

Author: Mrs A

Thursday – location: Cobbold Gorge

It was a morning of frenzied phone calls, with Mark hiking up and down to the reception to get a bar of phone signal to call family and friends in the UK as well as chase up the replacement parts for the caravan.

By early afternoon we were in need of a break and went for a stroll around the property. It’s all very beautiful in that raw, dry outback way – the yellow dried grasses and the dusty creek beds, with only the green leaves on the melaleuca trees giving away any clues to the water deep beneath.As the day drew to a close we chatted to our neighbours, a lovely family from Broome. They very kindly gave us a strap to help tie up our suspension to counteract the impact of lack of shocks. Mick (the tour guide from yesterday’s gorge trip) came down and used his mechanic’s experience to ensure we were sufficiently strapped to the right spots to enable us to limp out tomorrow.

Friday – Location: Cobbold Gorge to Georgetown

It was only a 90km drive, but travelling at an average of 30km/hr and walking pace through any dry creek crossings it was very slow going. We arrived at Georgetown’s Ampol Roadhouse shortly after midday, established that no parts had been delivered, and then drove anxiously to Bushy’s mechanic shop. There we found (with some relief) the shocks had been delivered but disappointingly, no brackets.

Several phone calls later we discovered that although the package got delivered to Cairns in good time to get on board the truck to Georgetown, for some reason it failed to make it. The next truck doesn’t leave until Monday morning, arriving some time late that evening (we hope!).

We resigned ourselves to abandoning our plans and staying in town for the next four days, booked Bushy to do our repairs early on Tuesday morning, and checked into the Goldfields Van Park.

Georgetown is a small town (village?) originally settled in 1869 following the discovery of gold nearby. There are currently around 270 residents here, though at any one time we have only seen a maximum of about 10. The streets are wide and empty. Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was home to the Agwamin Aboriginal people.

After several important calls to the UK, Mark and I jumped on our bikes for an explore. We found the golf club, the cemetery (with graves dating back to 1877, deaths from influenza amongst others) and the large winding dry river. Back into the town centre we found the local butcher and purchased some bacon and sausages.From there we called into the local pub The ‘Wenaru’ Hotel…as in “‘When are you’ going to finish building it?” Apparently.

The beverage choice was fairly limited, with no cool climate reds or crisp refreshing whites that took my fancy, so we opted for as safe a choice as possible under the circumstances. Of course the barmaid was Irish.The 30 degree day cooled to a 13 degree night and we slept well.

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