20th October: From Trangie, NSW to Cunnamulla,Qld
We spent a pleasant night in a surprisingly good caravan park in Trangie – it’s the first time I’ve stayed there since a school excursion to a cattle feedlot up that way back in 1973. The caravan park owner’s two happy labradors tussling in the morning and occasionally flopping against the van woke us. Our only neighbours had left even before I got up around 5am to go to the amenities block!! They were having to go around the floods to get south so they left extra early to make a run all the way through to Victoria, so for us it was a very peaceful morning with no neighbours. The shower this morning was better than the one I used last night so I should really test the water flow before I decide on one as I’ve noticed this in a few caravan parks now (hint to travellers).
We stopped in Nyngan , home of the big bogan statue to see if we could find a battery operated drill, a towel rail and a belt so my cargo pants would stop falling off (I didn’t realise I’d lost ‘that’ much weight!!). We found the towel rail (but not the drill) and bought a caramel slice and piece of carrot cake to have with our morning cuppa on the road.
Onwards towards Bourke, our last shopping stop with reasonable prices before the wilds of southwest Queensland. We needed to find more pear cider too. Weather is just glorious – if you can’t have storms, this is a pretty good substitute.
We stopped a little way southeast of Byrock for coffee and I got shots of a couple of the different varieties of wildflowers about this season courtesy of the winter and early spring rains. That nice caramel slice from Nyngan was consumed as well……and…… <sigh> the Telstra hotspot died!! (the second one I have managed to kill in 12 months courtesy of a 2A charging plug)
A new hotspot was procured from Betta Electrical in Bourke (stormchasers take note if you are in the area). Filled up the spare container and with 20 extra litres of diesel on board we now have a range of 1,000km!!!! The Darling River has overflowed into the swamp just outside town and we encountered our first dust devil in North Bourke!! Two more since then that we have driven through and we haven’t reached the Queensland border yet.
It is no longer winter out the back ‘o’ Bourke – my suntan (resting on the window of the motorhome) has begun!! Up here on the Mitchell Hway you drive through paddocks owned by various properties, the road noise broken only by the ‘brrp’ of cattle grids separating one paddock from another and the occasional roadworks traffic light.
21st October: Cunnamulla…to….Cunnamulla..via a storm or five
This morning we woke to a completely different airmass with a brisk, warm and very humid northeasterly and a sky full of the stormchasers’ delight Altocumulus castellanus. I knew it was humid when I went to put makeup on after getting out of the shower and getting dressed and had to dry my face all over again! The showers at the caravan park are so good that we gave it a 4.5/5 – only the 2nd one awarded so far in our travels. Good, hot showers, even water pressure and big dressing areas!!!
We headed south out of town for a bit of a look at the sky and got our first weak storm of the season. Back into Cunnamulla we searched for a drill and then had a very nice cappuccino while sitting in the Main Street watching convective showers wandering around the area. Later, heading southwards on the road to Bourke we got another storm….lightning, thunder, a flang or two and flooding rains!! As the main line of storms headed southeast we turned north again. Drove through another solid storm with torrential rain half an inch in some places judging by the water in the paddocks and runoff down the road. Did some grocery shopping and sailed down the road past the van park down to watch another storm near a property called “Kickatinalong”!!!! (FYI: there is an Australian Cattle Dog breeder with this as her prefix)
We booked back into the same caravan park with the fabulous showers and kangaroos and I went hunting wildlife down by the river for wildlife and found this Monitor hunting for scraps near the barbeque….
Just before Clyve started cooking tea he looked out the window and there was a storm hiding right over our heads – we grabbed the cameras and Clyve chased it on foot down the other end of the van park and over a fence while I took photos from the van site. So we had storms all day really!! Lemon pepper Hoki with rice and tomato for tea.