Friday, October 23, 2009

Mt Isa to Barkly Homestead

October 20

Perhaps the most challenging day so far. It was very hot. On either side of the road was bleached yellow grassland stretching to the horizon. There was nowhere to pull off, should we want to: the roadbed was raised and the shoulders were narrow.
There was nothing to do but drive, hoping for occasional diversions, such as an unusual landform,

or even a bend in the road!

Occasionally there was a rest stop, indicated by a sign depicting a picnic table and a tree. This is false advertising: there's never a tree. There is usually, however, a windmill and a water tank

The water was good for splashing the face, but not drinkable, At least, not for humans. Almost always under the tap on the side of each tank were a couple of plastic containers with a few rocks in them. On one tank neat felt-pen lettering asked passers-by to top up the water for the birds. At our approach flocks of zebra finches and a few crested pigeons flew off to a safe distance, returning once we had replenished their water source and moved away. They were so swift and wary that it was hard to capture them on film.

There was only one place to stop for the night on the Queensland side of the border. This was Barkly Homestead, a roadhouse/pub providing fuel for vehicle and occupant, as well as poker machines if you wanted a little diversion. Round the back was their caravan park where we parked under a beautiful flame tree.

We cooled off in their small swimming pool, but were soon hot again. There was no breeze at all and the heat remained in the air all night. Our open door and the light inside attracted assorted flying insects, most of which we despatched. This moth was an exception. I wish it had co-operated by staying still for more than a second.

No comments:

Post a Comment