Day 91 Wednesday 25/8/21 Mulambin to Moura, blue skies
It’s sad to be leaving after so long as we’d gotten into an easy rhythm, every day being warm and just pulling on another pair of shorts and a T shirt. We’ve certainly found the warm weather that we’d been chasing.
In Rockhampton we stop off at Doblo’s fruit barn to stock up on fruit and vegies and of course we are obliged to have a quick run around Aldi and Dan Murphy’s for grey nomad essentials, bargains and booze. We meet the Prado’s out at the Gracemere turn off and head to Westwood. It’s dry scrubby country and typical of the Rockhampton region. Beside us there are coal trains and a large power station. I doubt that folks in the cities have any idea how much coal there is in Central Qld but it’s no wonder that it’s an environmental and political ‘hot potato’.
We turn south to Dululu then follow the Leichhardt Way to Banana where there’s a small park that’s perfect for lunch. Banana? Why on earth would anyone call a town in a dry and arid area Banana? Well, we soon learn that the town was named after a yellow bullock who worked in the area and because of his colouring was named Banana. When you think of it, it’s no sillier than naming a town after a politican, or even a Lord from another country. Melbourne comes to mind. Yep, Banana does have a certain whimsical ring to it.
Lunch and bananas devoured, it’s a short 15 minute drive west to Moura on the Dawson Highway. We pass the enormous open cut coal mine and we do have a giggle as we pass the sign for QNP. Back in 2014 we passed by here heading east and asked Double or Nuthin’ on the CB what QNP was. The voice of a truckie came on the air and said “Qld Nitro Plant”. “Nitro?” we said. “Fxxxin’ fertilizer mate!” said the voice and we laughed all the way to the coast. Lesson learned.
Back to the present, we pull into the Moura Rotary Park in the heart of town. The toilets are clean and there are plenty of shady spots. The park is decorated with old mining equipment and we’re beside an enormous scoop thingie that’s almost as big as the van. It’s a dragline bucket and the thing that dragged it must have been enormous.
We walk the few metres into the heart of town past the painted water tower and try to ignore the water supply shed in front of it. Let’s pretend it’s not there, eh? There’s a stirring memorial to the dozens of miners who have been killed in accidents here. We have a drink at the Coal & Cattle pub before returning to a sunny spot behind the vans for Happy Hour. Drinks in hand we’re facing the mining camp across the road. It has a huge modern canteen and rows and rows of dongas (container style accommodation). El Prado waves to every car that passes. “Gee they’re friendly” he says. We’re laughing our heads off because those young blokes are probably themselves laughing at the old grannies drinking and waving in the park.
We throw together snags and a rice salad as we try to get something out of the TV, to no avail. But, there is a gorgeous red sunset that silhouettes the town and there’s not much on tele other than Covid. Of course, Woody can’t hear much anyway.
We, no I, fall asleep to traffic noise for the first time in 6 weeks, I’m missing the curlews already. Woody has his hearing aids out.
Accom: 10.00 toilets and water at the tap
Towing Kms: 246kms