But first a word about our campground in Richmond. We had no more than set up when
these guys appeared. We got out half of a crust of bread and they started in on
it. It didn’t take them long to devour it.
They are Lorikeets.
Then the word went out and a total of 18 of them showed up and cleaned up the crumbs
dropped by the first two. We noticed that whenever a new camper pulled in they headed
straight for it. And they usually got fed!
We were up and underway before the museum opened the next morning so we went out
to the public dig area about 12 k out of town. It was an old gravel pit that had
a shale bottom. Someone had used a ripper blade to turn up the shale in long rows
(like plowing a field). Kathy and I looked around but we only found some clam like
shells. No fish skeletons or leaves.
The center of Australia was a large inland sea about 100 million years ago. And
things like this lived there. This museum is self-guided and has many complete and
partial fossil remains on display.
It is famous for this guy, a Kronosauras.
This is what they found. All but a few tiny bones that would be fingertips in a
human are there. And he has big teeth!
As we left town headed to Hughenden these birds flew around overhead. They are cockatoos.
It has been an interesting town.
On the way to Hughenden we had to get out of these guys way. Not a road train but
The last of the dinosaurs on our four-stop tickets is “Muttaburas”. (I do not pick
these names!) He is another complete skeleton that was found locally. And he is
another meat eater. This was another self-guided museum and the smallest of the
four. It even had local handicrafts (crochets etc) on sale down one side.
Now we are headed north on a dirt road 265 km (150 mi) long. It has patches of pavement
for 10 km or so then more dirt then another patch and so on. We are headed to gold
and gem country. We had planned to spend the night in a small, tiny town but the
campground was closed. So we go on 70 more km to the next town, the same size. We
get there and stop at the hotel for a beer. (Australian outback “hotels” are more
bar and restaurant than hotels as we know them in the US.) While we are drinking
our beers a person comes in and tells us (we’re the only tourists so its obvious
that the camper is ours) that we have a flat on our camper. We find a screw in the
tire. A nearly new screw that we had to have picked up in the last ½ km. This is
a learning experience for us as we have not changed a tire on our van yet. A hot
sweaty 45 minutes later it is done. Next time will be easier. We go to the campground,
next door, and set up. We’re the only ones in it. And I NEED a shower.
This is the start of the wet season in the north and we are finding things closed
or reduced in services.
The dirt/gravel roads we have been on for the last 300 km have been very rough. The
washboarding shook us to the core. I’m very happy at how well the van held up.
In the morning we head to the main highway 40 km north with 20 as dirt and more washboards.
We make it and stop at a gem shop where the guy and his wife collect locally and
polish most all of the stones they sell in the store. Kathy likes Blue Topaz so
we get her a very nice teardrop one for her upcoming birthday.
Now it is on to the east. We are getting close to the edge of the Outback and will
be entering the tropical rain forest around Cairns. But first we stop to see some
waterfalls and Platypus. We will spend two nights there.