Cape Crawford to Mount Isa

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January 17th 2014
Published: February 24th 2014
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It had rained fairly heavily for a while during the night it was impossible to miss with the rain pounding on the tin roof of the donger. I lay there hoping it would not last too long as on the way in the roadside was very sodden in parts and if too much rain fell flooding may be an issue. We were able to settle our account from the previous night as the Telstra issue had been resolved and so we were on the move at 0725 along the Tablelands Highway which headed towards the Barkly Highway.

The countryside when we left was quite different from the journey in and early on it was very undulating which is a little out of the norm as you get used to things being relatively flat. Due to the rain during the night a lot of water lay across the lower sections of the road but it did not cause any hassles for us in fact it was rather pleasurable (well for me anyway).

Kangaroos in fact huge numbers of roos were everywhere for the first couple of hours constantly bounding across the road in front of us and cattle, shite loads of cattle not bounding but standing/walking/running and crapping all over the road. Bustards what an interesting bird they are, it appears they like nothing better than standing on the road and are not usually in a hurry to get out of the way of something that could leave them looking like a beer coaster if things went wrong. Then they have the audacity to walk off with their beak raised towards the sky as if to say “baha you missed me”. Perhaps that’s how they got their name.

Dingo’s are not welcome in cattle country and we drove past one hanging from a road sign as a deterrent or warning to its mate’s. It was a very beautiful and fit looking beast though its days of killing were now behind it.

Again eagles and other bird life were plentiful along the way including a large variety of ducks in the many large pools of water beside the road. A particular type of small bird (I’m not sure what they were) had me flinching as they rose from the road and escaped death sometimes by not more than a metre. Unfortunately one was just a little too slow and bang into the windscreen it went never to enjoy flight again.

After 378 km of what was an extremely enjoyable and lonely drive (we had only 2 vehicles pass in the opposite direction) where the landscape changed many times we chucked a lefty at the Barkly Highway and headed towards the Queensland border. I would strongly recommend the Tablelands Highway as an alternative route to the Barkly – Stuart route but I would not be willing to tow my caravan along this section.

Gee it was a pretty boring drive from then on and to rub salt into the wound just as the roads started to get rougher and bouncier signifying QLD was approaching about 20 km before the border a road train cruised passed in the opposite direction and “tink” a small stone hit the windscreen cracking it – Bugger! It was getting noticeably drier also maybe 200 km before the border the creeks no longer had any water in them and the land was starting to look fairly parched.

What a disappointment it was when upon reaching the border the first thing to catch your eye is the fact the Welcome to Queensland and other signs have been spoiled with graffiti by ……..well I don’t know exactly. I wish these people would leave the signs alone and it is lucky for all concerned that those clowns who shoot up road signs don’t choose the same ones simultaneously as the aforementioned nitwits. Oops sorry I’ll just get down from my soapbox now.

We stopped at the Isa around 1600 why we punished ourselves I have no idea we stayed here when we last passed through 15 months ago. Look it is only my opinion but I just don’t get this place granted I have not looked hard but from what I’ve seen it has very little appeal. It is dirty, unattractive, the layout of the place is confusing, expensive (though not the fuel I was very pleased to be paying $1.60 per litre - yeehaa) I really find it a strange town. It must have some hidden gems mmmmmaybe? On the positive our host for the night was a gem. She was very friendly, helpful, informative and honest. Please if anyone cares to enlighten me on the joys of the Isa I am all ears.

Take care travel safe and remember it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.

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