NOW: BEDOURIE AND MT ISA
We made it to Bedourie before dark after travelling with a long procession of campers leaving The Big Red Bash. We’d heard about the Bedourie Camel and Pig Races so as we headed north we stopped off to go to the races and get out of the traffic. A lot of others stopped off as well so there were lots of interested spectators in town.
Pig racing is a very specialist area where no one knows which way the pigs will go and which one will win. It started off quickly and ended with a chaotic scramble. Good fun and entertaining.
The camels raced next but the course wasn’t as restrictive and some camels ran the wrong way, some turned back half way down the straight and others raced to the finish.
The wood chop and Bedourie oven cooking competitions were keenly contested. We’d been warned about the hardness of the local timber so were happy to watch from the sidelines. The axes were sharp but the timber was so hard it took a lot of effort to cut those blocks.
After a very full day in Bedourie we headed up to Boulia where the Min Min Lights have been sighted for over 100 years and still remain unexplained. The theatre at the Boulia Visitor Centre tells a few explanations but no one really knows.
We didn’t see the lights ourselves but another strange phenomenon occurred. It rained in the desert and all the dirt roads closed. The single lane of tar on the Diamantina Development Road was the only way out of Boulia and luckily that’s the way we were heading up to Mt Isa. To pass the on-coming traffic we had to slow right down on the tar, engage 4wheel drive and then edge one side of the car and Tvan onto the dirt shoulder or we’d have been there for a long time waiting for the ground to dry out!
When we got to Mt Isa the rain eased and the town was full of campers drying out and reorganising their travel plans due to the road closures. Mining dominates Mt Isa and is the reason for this large service centre so far from anywhere else.
Mt Isa is all about silver, lead, zinc and copper but we were there for all the important things – haircuts, washing, shopping and car servicing! So, mission accomplished we hit the Barkly Highway next – very civilized. Two lanes of tar and run off edges BUT packed with nomads and their caravans.
NEXT: NHULUNBUY IN ARNHEM LAND
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David