MONDAY, 13 JUNE 2016
|What else in the middle of nowhere?|
|Mick's original truck|
|Red termite mounts|
Shortly after 3.00 pm yesterday in Winton, the weather deteriorated rapidly, with thunderstorms, rain and wind. It was a wild and woolly night and wasn’t much better as we packed up this morning in a light drizzle. A very strong tail wind also helped with our fuel consumption again today as we headed north west to Cloncurry. We discovered that we had been fortunate in leaving Longreach on Sunday as the highway, both east and west, was closed today due to heavy overnight rain and flooding.
The Mitchell grass plains were quite stunning this morning, especially with such dark storm clouds threatening for most of the morning. The weather didn’t seem to worry the two bustards we spotted this morning – the only wildlife today apart from the birds. We did strike a very heavy shower at one stage, but seemed to be on the edge of a much larger downpour. We stopped for an early lunch break at McKinlay, and the Walkabout Creek Hotel from the Crocodile Dundee movie (unfortunately, Mick had a previous engagement today!). The grass plains were broken at times by sandstone hills, with very red hills visible in the distance. After this, the scenery changed to be more savannah type tropical vegetation, complete with red dirt, termite mounds and brahman type cattle.
We are staying for three nights at the Cloncurry Caravan Park Oasis – definitely only a three star establishment. It is nice not to have small stones tracked into the caravan, however the stones have been replaced by red dirt. Our drive-thru site, which was advertised as “grass,” has suffered in the drought and only has a small patch of grass. The amenities are average and once again, a sigh of relief that we use our own shower.