Sunday, July 24, 2011
From Boulia we headed north to Mt Isa and the scenery changed from sand hills to rocks.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
As we drove toward Boulia the radio assured us the races were going ahead, but there was a lot more rain overnight than they expected and the track and camping area were rather soggy. Mum had even brought out her best hat for the occasion, but the races were still cancelled. They did manage to find a dry corner of the arena for the camel tagging though. Competitors have to put a piece of tape on a camel, run back to the fence, then retrieve the tape. Sounds easy - fastest one wins... oh, camels can apparently kick in any direction, and it certainly seemed that way to us.
Just as we arrived in Birdsville it started to sprinkle with rain. Everyone said there wasn't much in it and that it probably wouldn't affect the roads. We were going to leave Big Red until the following day, but the sky was looking a bit lighter out to the west, so we decided to go that afternoon. On the way out the rain stopped, and on the way back it started drizzling again. Turns out it was good we went that day as the road out there was closed the next day. The road north was also closed in the morning, so we had a leisurely few hours to sort out a slow draining fuel filter, wander around the town and sample the pies at the bakery. Once on the road we were treated to some blue sky and classic outback scenery.
Although the road was open it was 4WD only and there were some slippery patches of sandy mud where there had been water over the road. At one point we stopped to talk to a vehicle coming the other direction to check on the road ahead and he noticed Dad's van had a flat tyre. A great opportunity for Dazz to use his new 6 tonne jack!
We went out to Big Red in Dad's car. It was our first time driving in sand, and even though it was damp we decided against driving up the dune itself. Some of the smaller ones getting in were enough of a challenge, and we didn't want the Simpson Desert recovery vehicle to have to come and get us. The climb to the top wasn't too long, and we were able to see why the normal road was closed!