Snagged interview with Macca this morning, his sort of stuff I think, and anyhow Paul Watson had been “on” the show last Sunday, so Ian McNamara was already interested and knew we were around… Anyhow - all good PR for the event - hope this is maintained and actually builds up before we get back to Sydney in 3 weeks….
QANTAS Museum is next best aviation museum/cathedral to aviation after the Boeing Future of Flight Museum out of Chicago…. Outstanding and with no Government grants and only a little help from QANTAS who donated it to the Museum rather than on-selling to another airline like Aeroflot or something like that…. Some fantastic old machines, engines, turbo jets and turbo fans and a Boeing 707 and a Catalina and a beautiful old Avro and and…. I could spend al day there and then some… But this (in part) travelling road show has to move on, we have to report in and we need to stay in front of the “sweeper” Josh in the parts truck.
Brothers Boyd had solidarity and bonding session replacing busted diff in Keith’s 203 Van (real task for real men - II reckon), Lucy Robson-Boyd really proud of the 2 brothers….
Quick cruisey drive to Winton - only 180 km and now we are north of the Tropic of Capricorn… I.E. I reckon we are getting into the REAL Rerun rally…. Cruisey but lots of rad kill and bloody squabbling wheeling kites wheeling and “shouldering each other out” on the ground, and although they have outstanding aerobatic skills… Seems like they are desperate to get themselves smashed all over the front of charging Pugs and everywhere other vehicle… We crossed the real road train threshold sign this (western) side of Longreach… Now we are in the land of road trains… Truly impressive gargantuans of the road….
Not a difficult day 470 km from Winton to Mount Isa with stops at Kynuna, McKinlay, Cloncurry, a diversion to look at the remnants of Mary Kathleen township and on to the Isa….
Went for an early walk around Winton with Peter - good in the early morning freshness and the town coming to life… The galahs that we saw wheeling the night before with the last light lighting their underwings which evoked the John Williamson line “Galleries of pink galahs” are up and beginning to swirl into a day squadron, and these were somehow reprised by faded pink awnings on an old house.
Then all the Pugs lined up for a promotional photo shoot - primarily for the Matilda Country Tourist Park… This is a great place - practical, not expensive and charming… Then waved off by the fantastic Bush Poets from the night before… Out onto the road and stops at the above places…. think I liked the pub at Kynuna best - which effortlessly combines bar, accommodation, dining and coffee/tea. It seems that every town and establishment tries to claim a piece of the Waltzing Matilda story, I should do my own research….
The roads are mostly and fundamentally straight - so no challenge in the boy racing of last week, not drivers settled car into steady 100 km/hour gait which is effortless for the old thing.
Most interesting was diversion to the north to the abandoned and historic township - Mary Kathleen…. Can sense the town and the busy busy life that once went on from the streets, and concrete pads where the houses and the larger buildings once were and in the partial clearing of the trees, but there are plenty of them… I expect this was a pleasant town with shade in amongst the trees.
Navigator and driver both stuffed up leaving town and drove off down and old road heading west - sort of in parallel to the current highway…. Partly broken up bitumen and rock bits show that Maggie Bleu suspension definitely NOT up to the gravel sections planned for later in this run…. Priority work (after some home projects) will be (I think), rear suspension upgrade based on P403 coils and telescopic shock absorbers, then the front suspension - need to stiffen up the front shockers (which are shockers….)
Then approaching Mount Isa - how to describe thee bones rugged hills and such a range of colours - chocolate, blue (in the distance), faded purple… I thought of ancient dinosaur skeletons (which are also a local feature)