Ilfracombe to Winton Outback Queensland

I drove 278 km’s today. I drove through such flat country yet changing every 10km. Really spectacular country. I arrived in Winton and went to the Information Centre. I saw Banjo Patterson’s statue and the words of Waltzing Matilda. This is a song that many Australian’s of my generation and older equate as the real national anthem. Sadly the rights to this song were sold the the US.

On my way in (23km out) I noticed a dinosaur place. I also heard back in Charleville there were dinosaur remains around. I felt quite interested. So tomorrow I am going to look into that. In to the history. I may have a search on google tonight and may post more on it. When I was in argentina the landscape looked so much like Australia, thought that again today. They also mentioned dinosaurs there. Interesting how the land masses broke up, who is to say how accurate our perception is of the original Pangea.

Anyway I went to find a caravan park. I was told there was free camping 3km out. I ended up driving to the national park 15km out, it was very beautiful country yet felt very isolated. I am still getting used to this life. My feeling was to go to a caravan park, not to worry about the money but to go for the experience. I set up my tent and then started dinner. The weather is not so cold, actually the night is so beautiful with clear air, clear stars and nearly a full moon.

I met a nice guy who told me he loves to go once a year for a week with his fishing buddies. They are all retired and he explained to me they talk about everything, even erections. I didn’t flinch when he said that, as it doesn’t embarrass me, and he wasn’t embarrassed sharing. I liked that. I said it sounds like a mens group, I think its great that you talk about everything. He commented that he felt men don’t speak enough. I also indicated the emotional suppressoin, he agreed with that ‘boys don’t cry’. He was a wise older guy and obviously he has reflected. He said he questions everything. We talked aobu the news where they said gold was $1,800 an ounce and likely to go up to $2,500 an ounce by christmas. We discussed people moving out of cash and into gold. I told him it won’t matter, at the end of the day people need to become self sufficient. He agreed. He also could see changes coming. He and his party were from Brisbane and they travelled every year out exploring different parts of Australia. He said they were focussing on Queensland this time and visiting a gorge amongst other places. Two ladies in his group had lost their husbands so they were starting new lives. They had all previously gone together as couples.

Then another group turned up a lovely Papua New Guinean lady with her two children and Australian husband. Really cute kids. the grandmother told me they lived there for 18 years. They met a guy at the Opal shop who also lived that length of time and wanted them to come back. She said it was a great life, they lived in Port Morseby. I asked if she could speak pidgeon, and indeed she gave me a demo.

I then decided to go and have a shower in the Artesian water. So relaxing. Like mineral salts, great for the body and straight from mother earth. I had a shower and on leaving this British lady started chatting to me. She lived here 25 years. She had solar panels on her house for 40 years, she said why didn’t they do this 40 years ago, they speak of alternative like it is new. She answered her own question and said it is greed. We talked about the land and she explained there was much flooding in this place. The land is very flat but closer to Mount Isa it is quite green and hilly. She said the toilet/showers had been water damaged. I hope it didn’t rise that high as the shower block was 5-6feet off the ground. We talked about the economy and state of the world. I don’t even need to go into this, people are raising it. She was concerned for her grandchildren. We both agreed democracy doesn’t exist. However, I think it will as people start to speak up. It seems common knowledge that the elite few are the ones keeping the world in a state of play that doesn’t change. We then had another man join us, firstly he stirred us for talking, I told him – we all need to talk. He smiled and joined in. He told me he was a pastorialist (before retirement), he was appalled at how little commodities returned, he felt it was being sold cheap. He couldn’t understand why aborigines had been stone aged for 50,000 years and not developed further. He said he was an engineer and he is always looking for better ways to do things. I surmised maybe the aboriginal people didn’t have many external shocks, like other parts of the world, perhaps they were happy. They would have been isolated is my guess. He also bought up Mungo man, a stone age man found in lake Mungo. Here is a little about him…

In 1974, the discovery of Mungo Man turned the conventional theory of human evolution upside-down. Mungo Man was a hominin who is estimated to have died 62,000 years ago, and was ritually buried with his hands covering his penis. Anatomically, Mungo Man’s bones were distinct from other human skeletons being unearthed in Australia. Unlike the younger skeletons that had big-brows and thick-skulls, Mungo Man’s skeleton was finer, and more like modern humans.

The older gentleman I spoke to believed aboriginals were dissimilar to Mungo man but I just did some research and apparently their bone structure was simlar. Very interesting.

Had a great talk. I am now in my tent readying myself for sleep. Can hear the pub in the background, I hope I get a good sleep tonight.

Sweet dreams.

Mohandas Gandhi

“God has no religion”