The day dawned fine yet again, making this for us a full month of no rain unless a few drops evaporating within minutes should be counted. We were soon packed up and farewelled our dear friends who were taking somewhat longer than us to break camp. They carry so much more than us; boats, iron pigs, satellite dishes, and so on, all items which enhance their lives but we have chosen to do without.
We were on the road heading back the sixty or so kilometres to Capella where we parked near the Gregory Highway intersection and set off along the street to see what it had to offer. Capella does boast a news agency, which is part of the General Store which in turn is part of a fascinating hardware store. The national daily newspapers had yet to arrive, should be in between 9.30 and 10 am, depending on the road works, but the carrier was running late. We asked that they put one aside when they arrived, walked the length of the town in the burning hot sun, returned to the caravan for coffee and a Sudoku challenge. As we were about to set off once more to chase the newspaper, Neil and Pauline pulled up beside us to report that the dump station in Capella was blocked up and too disgusting to use. We advised there was an excellent one at Emerald, where they were initially heading, and after more hugs and kisses, farewelled them once more. The courier van drove past as we waved them off and sure enough, the paper had arrived and it was only 11 am. Not too much of a holdup and I suspect these rural townships suffer this much of the time.
We set off south west on an alternative route through to the Capricorn Highway on a narrow sealed road, one forbidden to road trains hence the traffic was scarce. We passed through cattle country, over rolling open eucalypt landscape, fording one small creek and then after nearly eighty kilometres we arrived at Rubyvale, one of the Sapphire Gemfield settlements. We drove on through this higgledy piggledy collection of old and temporary housing, great piles of rusting machinery, and soon arrived at Sapphire, a little more inspiring than Rubyvale. Here we stopped at a rest area and had lunch before pressing on soon arriving at Anakie on the intersection with the Capricorn Highway.
|Bird feeding time at the Caravan Park|
This caravan park is advertised in Camps 6 and as such fits with our preferred price range. It is small, quiet and only $25 a night which is quite reasonable in this popular area. I did a couple of loads of washing and then at about 4 pm the camp owner came and told us that bird feeding was about to take place. I had been aware of gathering flocks of birds; lorikeets, cockatoos, crested pigeons, apostle birds, magpies, to name a few and then when the owner arrived with his two loaves of bread and asked Chris to carry a tray of water out into the yard, the birds came down from the roofs and trees in their masses and sat all over us while they fed. It was absolutely wonderful although Chris was not too excited about the fact his shirt required changing.
The evening was finished off nicely making contact with Olly and Kit, albeit briefly. We have now only to catch up with Larissa and my parents over the weekend to satisfy ourselves that all is well in the world, or at least in the narrow world of our immediate family.