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Published: August 6th 2012
Scenic train ride up to Kurunda, north of Cairns
Headed up to Cairns for a few days, much further than we originally thought we would get to but I was keen to get some sun and have a look around. Stayed in a scary caravan park, that looked OK from the outside, of course looks can be deceiving. Deeper inspection found toilet block deprived of cleaners and a hood like appearance of permeant residence. While siting relaxed on our ‘BigBoy’ camp chairs a man came past and informed us to lock up all our valuables as theft happens regularly. The Internet trip adviser website had around 40 bad reviews on the place which helped with the drama. Unfortunately to cut the story short it turned out fine, nothing to report back on but we didn’t stay on a weekend and believe it might get a bit rowdy then. Hey, it was only $20 per night and you guessed it Colin picked it.
We did have a great day travelling up to the quaint town of Kurunda. We caught the train ride up thru the hills in an old steam train converted to diesel, spent the day in Kurunda wondered around the markets, eating and returned back on the amazing
Mali checking out the scenery high above the trees
journey down thru the forest on the sky rail.
We then found ourselves in Mt Garnet, a friendly and quite town known for its green garnets. However our experience came from a particular man by the name of Sam. You see he scared the crap out of a fellow camper that we were neighbor too. The camper came over with his girlfriend with fear in his eyes warning us not to go into the toilets as there was a freaky scarecrow man, dressed in floppy straw scarecrow hat, black witches cloak with long grey hair making strange noises, with which he then acted out to us both with movement and sounds exactly as he had witnessed. The next morning he had spoken to the manager who had set him straight, his name was ‘Sam’ he was a local who was harmless that lived under the bridge and occasionally ventured out to the park. We all had a laugh, and I think he was much relieved. Colin and I crack up often reliving the fear in his eyes.
Next on the agenda was the Undara Volcanic Lava Tubes along the ‘Savannah way’. Went on an amazing half day tour
Amazing look into the tubes, bats and cane toads were the locals
and walked along the underground tubes that were 190,000 years in the making, some parts a massive 20m wide x 15m high and walked around the rim of another old volcano. They claim there are around 35 volcano’s in the area.
Travelled 150km off the track to place called Agate Creek and stayed a few nights. Famous for the agate gem stones lying around everywhere and a beautiful peaceful spot. Did some fossicking with our QLD license, found some stuff and did a walk to the top of a mountain with spectacular views. Colin met some oldies that were hard-core gem lovers who took him under their wings and passed on their knowledge to a willing student.
From Agate Creek we travelled to Camooweal QLD. Did a Drovers Hall of Fame tour where we met some people who knew some of Dads family, their old weathered faces lit up and shock my hand with respect when the connection was made, with one commenting that I am like royalty. Apparently my great uncle was a stockman from that region, a larrikin and legend, never been thrown off a horse so the story goes.
Stayed a night in Renner
WHAT A VIEW
Walking the volcano crater rim, Undara, QLD
Springs NT in a real life motel room, with real toilet and shower, oh and a TV on the Stuart Highway only a stone’s throw away from Tennant Creek, dad’s home town. 20minutes north back on the highway we were abruptly stopped along with 100 other cars as a diesel truck blow a tyre caught fire and burnt down. Among the people was ex-footballer Warrick Capper. And yes Colin didn’t have a clue who he was, and chatted away merrily. I informed him later on to his shock. That was also the day Colin tricked me into getting up earlier as I hadn’t calculated the time difference. He thought it was a huge joke and I laughed a little bit.
Finally hit our home state border with 13,500kms under our belt and another 1800kms to go. Stopped off in Halls Gap at picturesque Sandpit gorge and here today I sit at Fitzroy Crossing as Colin makes pancakes for lunch. Ah, what a life!
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