Thursday, July 29, 2010

Travelling North May-July 2010 Mitchell/ Neil Turner Dam

 From St George we continued north and west  to Mitchell where we stayed at the Neil Turner  Dam which had a huge free camp area about 2 klms out of town.
 Dam Wall Neil Turner Dam

  This unusual dam was again  functional rather than a great feat of engineering . However in the water there were a few yabbies or red claw as several of the men put their pots in wiht mixed results.
 Our time here was memorable for the people we met and the great time we had with them.
 As it was quite cold we had a fire going all the time and there was usually someone sitting around it at any time of the day, so you could chat and keep warm. Naturally at the end of the day everyone gathered around the fire for a sundowner.  These sessions became quite entertaining with Glen playing the guitar and others telling jokes and poetry.
 We were here for the first State of Origin rugby match between NSW and QLD  and the local school had organised a pizza night so that if you placed an order the day before that evening they were delivered to the camping area. Quite a number of us took advantage of a way to support the locals.
For those that had no TV Steve set his up  outside as he had a bracket and like us could get reception as he had a sattellite dish.
 It was also here that I learned to play a dice game called Zilch which I'm sure others have heard of. It is certainly a way of whiling away a few hours especially when there is more than 2 players.

 Steve, Dave and Jan

 Some nights the group was much bigger than this

  While we were at Mitchell we were told of an interesting mural display that had been done on the bridge supports by the local people. One day when we were in town we stopped offand had a look at this fascinating work. It has even survived a flood although some of the murals are showing signs of wear and vandalism. Mitchell river Bridge

Major Mitchell Mural

 another of the murals

 The Kenniffs were notoriuos bushrangers in the area

 Service man's mural

 Flood mural  note the stick hanging from the bridge

 Mitchell river looking from the road bridge to the railway bridge

 transport mural

 Although the weather wasn't very kind to us here  being cold overcast and wet, we still had a good time with our new friends and were sad to leave and continue heading north.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Travelling North May-July 2010 Part 2

At Lightning Ridge we found a nice free camp at a rest area about 10klms from town. After setting up camp we drove in to town for a look see and found the publicbaths. I was able to have a swim in the very hot water but Lynn still had ulcers on his leg that weren't quite healed so he had to just watch everyone having a nice warm swim.
 it was too hot to stay on for long

 The surrounding area was full of mine shafts and diggings but there was also a lot of vegetation unlike around  Coober Pedy.  One of the last things we did before leaving town was visit the Lookout.

The Lookout

We passed  2 of these set ups, one going north and one going south . These belong to contractors who have been working in the district  on the cotton..
On the drive north from Lightning Ridge we started to pass what looked like cotton that had blown of a truck where it had been used for packing. However we later realised that it had blown of the cotton trucks that were taking it to be sent by rail to the mills. We didn't realise this for a while as we were passing lots of freshly tilled paddocks with no crops of course and we didn't know we were in cotton country till we got to St George where on a visit to the local information centre there was a display and lots of information on cotton.
 We just couldn't understand why there was cotton on the sides of the road for kilometer after kilometer.We first noticed it on the way to Hebel and then it kept cropping up.
 At St George we had lunch by the Balonne river  before heading out to the Beardmore Dam and finding a nice quiet camping spot on the river bank. Our only interuption was the local farmer came down to turn his pump on to get some water.

Beardmore Dam wall.

 We went for a drive down to the dam itself just prior to heading  further north. We felt that this particular dam wasn't very spectatcular just functional. the surrounding picninc areas were alright wiht lots of tables etc but no toilets were functioning .

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Northern travels May -July 2010 Part 1

 As we continued north we stopped at some wonderful places and met lots of wonderful people. Some places we only stopped for the night but many places we stayed for a least a few days. The following photos  are a selection of the places we've been and the people we have met. some people we have met several times as we are often going in the same direction. 

 Carathool Bridge

This wooden bridge over the Murrumbidgee was found on a short side trip on our way from Hay. We were glad to take a short break as we had been driving through clouds of locusts which were in plague proportions and on warmer days particularly about the middle of the day they swarmed and we had to slow down as they make a real mess of the car and van if they hit when you are doing over 80 kph.

 Silos at Mirool

 Mirool pub

Across the road from this lovely old pub is a freee camp area alongside a lovely park with picnic facilities. Here we met a couple who were staying in the camp spot as their son was one of the owners of the pub.

  While we were in Forbes Lynn visited the Motor Car Museum owned by the Mc Feesters while I walked up into town to visit a quilting shop.  The following photos are some of the cars that Lynn saw.

Parkes Radio Telescope May 2010

 After leaving the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers we continued north towards the warmer weather , although that took longer than we thought as even we reached the tropics the weather was cool and raining.

 On our way we stopped near  Parkes to visit  " the dish" which is a large telescopic dish for sending signals to outerspce. Inside there is lots of space type information and there are lovely gardens outside which include  whispering dishes so people on either side of the gardens can talk to each other. It is a similar setup to the Whispering Wall in South Australia. 

 Our first view of the dish

 one of the whispering dishes

 the other dish in use