Saturday, June 15, 2013

We arrive in Townsville

We were keen to arrive in Townsville by around midday so we were up bright and early to get packed up and on our way.  We were delighted when two groups of campers came up to us and said how impressed they were with the boys and what a wonderful adventure we must have all had.  I think that they thought the boys would be disturbing the peace when we pulled up!  Not our boys – they entertained themselves with no screaming or yelling just normal chatter.

Each day Connor has helped by climbing up on to the roof rack to place the items and then Peter has tied the load down.  The grey tape has come in handy before the rope and today Connor must have thought he would use the rest of the roll as he kept adding more and more.   Jake and Tim took it in turns to be able to also go on the roof rack but today as it was our last major pack up both boys were up on the roof.

On our way we had to pull over to allow a couple of trucks with large loads to pass – they were escorted by four forward vehicles including two police cars and a follow up vehicle.  Wide loads are quite common on these roads with the transport of equipment to the various mines. 

Campaspe River rest area has quite good facilities including flushing toilets, BBQ’s, a shelter area, and tank water.  Peter must have been too busy to finish his morning ablutions as part way along the road out came the shaver – much to the amusement of the boys but not me.

Tim became “five hatted” as we continued travelling towards Charters Towers where we stopped at one of the truck stops for diesel.  Parked in the parking area were mining vehicles obviously en route towards Mt Isa or similar.  It certainly gave the boys an idea of the size of the mining trucks.
With less than 140 kilometres to go we soon arrived in Townsville and how good it was to know that we were at the end of our travels.  With only about thirty kilometres to go Peter suggested that we do a round robin of compliments for the person sitting round from us and then randomly.  It was really interesting to listen to what we each had to say.  We were still friends! 

We stayed overnight at the Big 4 Walkabout Caravan Park (we had stayed here last year as well) and the boys were soon in the pool or playing on the bouncing pillow – it was great for them all to have these fun things to do.  It was 27 degrees and just so lovely warm.  The tents were put up for the last time!  Our site was adjacent to the camp kitchen which was very handy with boiling water on tap, table and seating, BBQ and fridge and stove.  Shopping included ice cream – a real treat. 

The next morning before heading off to the house where we are now house sitting in Townsville the Patrol got the first clean to get the worst of the dirt off – Connor and Peter enjoyed as much water fighting as cleaning I think.

We have now completed our epic journey from Kensington in Victoria to Townsville in Queensland via the Simpson Desert.  We had travelled some 4000 plus kilometres through some very difficult terrain and outback areas.  With five in the Patrol and all our gear and food and water, plus an extra sixty litres of diesel carried for parts, we had a very full vehicle.  We had no major problems – we now had a chip in the front window screen thanks to a truck on the Winton to Hughenden road, some wiring (belonging to the caravan plug) had been broken, the backing light had been dislodged and the left hand tool drawer in the back of the Patrol had a break in the door front.  In all, nothing at all worth worrying about.  We had played quizzes each day to cement our learning of the areas we had travelled through, we had enjoyed card games each night, we certainly knew how to erect and take down camp, and we were all still friends.  It had been amazing experience for us all and we were all so pleased to have enjoyed it together.   

Tim swimming at the Big4

Connor having a swim

Connor and Tim

Jake sure looks like he is organizing something

Down the slide

No show without punch Tims turn

Jake on the jumping pillow

Jake and Tim

Must be story time

Tim thought that if Peter needed a shave then so did he!!

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