It’s a long way to the top, Day 77 – An unforgettable experience

Day 77 Thursday Aug 21st2014 Charleville

There’s a short walk through the mulga scrub. The soil is red, even redder where it clings to the roots of fallen trees. The sky is a steel grey as the rain clouds move into the distance. The mulga is grey green with spindly black trunks. A breeze whispers through the mulga.

Evening Star, Charleville

We have a lazy day crawling under the vans looking for problems. Double or Nuthin’ is having concerns about his water tank levels and we’ve snapped off both our van mud flaps.

Checking the tanks

We have an unexpected surprise at happy hour when two blokes tear into the camp in an old rusty ute with a couple of dogs in the back. Craig and David are locals and they enthral the boys with their stories of life around Quilpie and Charleville. David’s ancestors bought a mob of cattle in Melbourne and drove them northward following the rivers until they reached Quilpie. These days David has 255,000 acres at Quilpie and his son runs a helicopter mustering business. Craig is an anthropologist working for the government researching indigenous culture. His personal hobby is collecting aboriginal artefacts especially from overseas to bring them home. He shows us ancient coolamons, shields, boomerangs, nulla nullas, axes and sharpening stones and we get to hold them. There is even a ceremonial headdress. Amongst us campers there is an indigenous lady and she too shares her family story with us.

How lucky we are to meet these fascinating people.

Towing Kms: 0

2021 Note: Reckon those mud flaps are out by the Barcoo.

Meeting Craig has been one of the highlights of our travels. I had only seen those ceremonial headdresses in photos, to hold one was frightening as I was afraid that I’d break it.

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