Thursday, July 7, 2011
It pays to use the GPS as a back up!
As we drove through one of the few outback towns, Narromine, we were stopped by a road closure with the police and other vehicles parked up. We were soon to see why. A very large power generator or transformer was being transported from Brisbane via Gooniwindi and was heading to South Australia. We knew we would see road trains, but to see something as big as this, with two trucks in the front behind each other towing it, connected to the trailer with it's own driver, and a further two trucks connected at the rear to help push it along. We then had to follow this contingent before it was directed to pull on to the opposite side of the road to allow us and other traffic to pass. I am sure our little grandsons would have loved to have seen this as the "boy" in our car certainly did.
We continued on and stopped at Nyngan, another outback town and enjoyed wandering the streets absorbing the atmosphere. A further fuel stop gave us the first stop at a real outback general store, and yes a heritage protected building - apparently the old general Post Office, heavens knows why they have not at least put windows back in it!
The road was very straight and quite boring to travel. We arrived into Bourke around 4 pm and Peter decided that it was too early in the day to stop so we decided to head on a further one hundred kms or so to the Queensland border - heading to Barringun. We were not using the GPS as the roads are very straight, but that was our failing today. We had followed another caravan for some 140 kms and they turned off into the camping ground and we headed out of town. We drove for just over 100 kms and arrived in an Aboriginal town called Brewarrina and it was then that I realised we were on the wrong road. There had been no towns between Bourke and Brewarrina and the sign posts say B85 (etc) did not tell me we were wrong. We had gone east rather than north and there was no alternative but to turn around and drive back. So we are now back in Bourke, and believe it staying at the same caravan park as the van we had followed for so long today, but we had driven an additional 200 kms to get there!
We hopefully will not make that mistake again and my map reading skills will have been honed.
So it has been a long day of driving and we have had our first experience of the outback and red dirt. We have seen plenty of kangaroos, emus and ostriches and fortunately haven't "connected" with any of them which is more than I can say for the caravan we were following which ran over a ostrich this afternoon.