Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ravenswood - Fletchers Creek - Chillagoe - Dimbulah

Decided to go to Mareeba MH rally via the Gregory Dev Hwy rather than the coast like everyone else.

Easy drive to Ravenswood. Nice spot, nice showgrounds, booked for two nights. Laundry day, doing it by hand, this is new. It all smells better than when a machine does it!  Went for a ride around town, cemetery of course, pubs and other old buildings including the gold mine, very interesting place.

On to Fletchers Creek, nice. Got a spot right by the river, lucky! Lots here! Easy drive to Greenvale booked into the Caravan park $18/n and had a few beers at the Three Rivers Hotel, nice. 75 houses in town, no cell phone service, no free to air TV and just one small shop, pub and servo.

Archer Creek (Ravenshoe) for lunch and the night. Drizzled and wind blew all afternoon, cold! Next day stocked up with veggies before driving to Almaden in time to see the Savannahlander train arrive at lunch time. Met the stationmaster Dennis who told me all about the town and rail in its heyday. Set up camp out front of the pub for the night. Had a few beers with the local station owner and roustabouts. A friendly bunch, working on getting pissed ASAP, usual thing for Saturday night I suppose. Wayne ex jockey, Brad cattle station owner, his missus and about 10 others, good time had by all.

Arrived Chillagoe about 9am dumped and payed $6/n for the next 7 nights and set up at the showgrounds, basic but good enough. Met Ken and Carroll. Turns out Ken and Carroll are from Meandarra, go figure. Rode around town, the water hole, the weir, the cemetery, a really good town for tourist as all the streets are named for where they go. Weir St, Hospital St, Hill st, etc. Not showing much imagination but... Stopped off to check out the general store, veggies come in Wednesday, nice. Went for a beer at 4pm to the other pub, I was the only customer for nearly an hour. It is Monday.

Went out to the Balance Rock and the Chillagoe Caves and got some good photos. Then rode over to the smelter, very interesting! Got some good shots here too. State of Origin tonight. Queensland victorious again!

Left early Sunday stopped at a campsite at Eureka Creek for lunch, nice, but no internet or phone. Headed off at about 4 pm just in time to get the last powered site at Dimbulah CP. Met Ferrell Erroll a Highway Wanderer staying at the CP, came over for happy hour, gunna have to hide from him from now on.  Don't think he is likely to read my blog.
click on an image to enlarge
 The Savannahlander at Almaden 
 Balance Rock - (camera may not have been  level)
The smelter

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Townsville Dam Fine Rally

Home Hill - Townsville DFR
Left Home Hill just after 8am provisioned in Ayr and booked into the DFR in the early arvo and was allocated a shady site, not good. Chook and Deb are here, must catch up. Went for a 10km ride and felt better for it. My neighbour for the next week is Chris and his dog Diesel.

Over the next 7 days I rode the bike tracks into town along the Ross River.  The first 9km are ordinary but further downstream its very picturesque the path weaving across the river and along the banks with some very nice views. Some rides were as much as 33km. Caught up with Chook and Deb, nice.  Other days I caught the bus into town and walked around. Fantastic weather, clear still days.

I also checked out the entertainment here at the rally. Some daytime seminar type sessions were interesting and the trade day and public open day with market stalls was good. Checked out the night time entertainment but it did not appeal, might when I'm ten years older, but I hope not!

Spent some time with Chook and Deb. Moved into the sun and parked next to Vianna and Robert who I previously met in Home Hill. Had some interesting discussions with John and Cheryl and 3 others around the fire at night. Then the talk turns to CMCA and the caravan park overlords, I got sucked in, may have alienated people, oops. The argument put is always the same all caravan park owners are evil and are lobbying government to stamp out free camping. I don't believe you can or should use the broad brush with that argument as in things are different from the coast to the outback or country towns.

Went for a ride with Chook and Deb along the river, 30+ km, nice day out.

Not sure that I'm a rally type but it was interesting at times.
Click an image to enlarge
 The Rally site
Love to see a biplane in action