Day 23 Wednesday, 1/6/2016, Surat to Roma, light rain 18 degrees
The road to Roma is flanked with golden Mitchell grass and grazing land. Roma of course is all about oil and gas and the streets are filled with Toyota Utes with little orange flags flying high on them. This is the largest town we’ve seen since Bendigo back on day 2.
We camp at the Roma Clay Target Shooting Club which is as good as you’d want. All bitumen with power and water excellent amenities and the bar opens every night at 4pm for shooters and campers alike.
Being in a large town we hit the shops and stock up the pantry. Woody had been wanting to upgrade his phone but the model he wanted was out of stock in Melbourne so he manages to get one here. However, we spend most of the afternoon in the Telstra shop with much heated discussion about data usage. We are told by said staff that we should make our communications using the free WIFI at McDonald’s. Well doh! We’ve been on the road 3 weeks and the only icons we’ve seen on the horizon are grain silos not golden arches …..I guess they just don’t understand the life of grey nomads.
Thankfully, we make it back to our new club for happy hour and meet a great bunch of travellers who also spend very little time in large towns.
Roma is the home of the bottle tree. Bottle trees live to a very old age and it is said that trees recorded by the explorer Major Mitchell in 1846 are still alive hundreds of years later. The townsfolk of Roma have planted a bottle tree in honour of each of its World War One soldiers lost in the war. There are 138 trees in the avenue of honour. “Their lives would live on. As long as Roma existed they would never be forgotten”.
Towing Kms: 81kms
2021 Note: On a previous visit to Roma we had been sandwiched into a forgettable caravan park that left us feeling let down. This time the ‘gun club’ was so much more enjoyable and we were made to feel welcome. As a stopover for exploring Roma I can’t recommend it highly enough.