Thursday, 21 August 2014

Day 55 - Corfield to Winton

After our third one night stop we were getting more efficient with pack up and on the road by 9am.  Most of the other van campers hadn't surfaced by the time we pulled out at 9am.  Yes we broke the 9:30 barrier for only the second time since leaving home!

It was only a short 85 km to the town of Winton from our overnight stop.  We had heard that the town water was artesian, that's not usual but the strong sulfur smell that comes with is.  We were a little hestiant about staying there, a good shower was in order as we hadn't had a warm shower for 7 days and only swimming at Paluma for cleanliness.  There were quite a few thing to see in Winton, pronounced by the locals without the "n".  There is a waltzing Matilda centre and the town is the dinosaur capital of Australia. Plenty to entertain us for a day or so.

We rocked into a park around 10ish and were greeted by the new managers.  Just a week in the job and nothing was too small an issue.  Really tried to make you feel at home.  It was a fairly basic park, had a petrol station attached and you got a park discount if you topped up with their fuel.  Anyway it gave us a powered site for $25. (Unpowered was $25 too!) We met another family just leaving the  park, and they practically swooned over Ernie! They have been looking at Trackabouts for about 2 years.  We shared some of the likes and challenges but enjoyed the chat.  Nice to share someone else's passion about Trackabouts.

 Camp at Winton
 Camp kitchen on the left of our spot

After setup we headed towards the waltzing Matilda centre, a whole building dedicated to a song.  There was also other displays of farm machinery, health and medicine and whole heap of stuff that you could go through.  Didn't think that there would be so much to see but we spent over an hour and half in there, the boys happy to look at the things from the olden days.  Interesting fact that the first Qantas board meeting was held at Winton in 1912.

We got back to camp around 2:30pm with the boys starving, Mum sorted that out with wraps. We noticed that the town pool was closed so we thought we would try and find the quarry that the family we met on arrival had mentioned.  We spotted a few free camps on the way but no luck on the swimming front.  Not sure how much water would have been in there anyway.

 Someone in a free camp called long waterhole with some friends around them for company.  The smell from the poop alone would have driven us nuts but there were lot of caravaners around this mud puddle for some reason.

We got back to camp and the boys went off to play with the family that had moved in next door.  They were on a four month holiday, and went all over the west of Australia including Darwin, the savanna way and were making their back home slowly like us.  They had Melina, a five year old and she loved the company of the boys.  Dad had a puncture to repair in Andi's bike that he had picked up in Corfield, it took longer than expected with no tire leavers and only one patch left in the kit, but he was back on the road soon enough.  There was a magpie that was early in the swooping season that paid particular attention to the cyclists scooting by.  Griff wasn't that fussed, Andi not so, he had a short ride till the bird went to sleep!

We had our second night out on the town. After checking out the menu's at the three pubs we settled on a meal at Tattersall's. The publican showed the boys a stash of toys in the "games" room and as long as they didn't go on the mat they were good to play. Turns out the mat hosted the three pokie machines! Should of seen the boys faces when they walked into the room! They thought they had hit the jackpot! After a stern warning about following the rule from mum and the patrons using the machines kindly turning the sound off, they were forgotten. Everyone enjoyed their meals and drinks before walking back to the park.

The camp kitchen had all these new fandangled things such as TV, toasters and kettles.  Once the boy went to bed Dad and Mum got caught up watching repeats of big bang theory and then a silly rom com movie which meant we didn't get into bed into 11:30pm, the latest night yet!  Amazing what TV does to your body clock!

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