Day 15 Sunday 19/6/2022 Narrabri to Yelarbon, sunny 6 – 22
It’s a warmer morning. It’s hard to comprehend that 6 degrees here is fresh and a little nippy whereas in Melbourne it would be miserably cold, seep into your bones cold.
We bid farewell to D & R and go in search of a lick of fuel to keep the Prado running. As we leave town, a new railway is being constructed. In the distance to our right is the Mt Kaputar Range. Beyond the new railway line cotton stretches far to the horizon, rows of chocolate brown with white tufts like a dot painting. It’s impossible not to sing “Cottonfields” in your head.
There’s so little roadkill this year, the least we’ve noticed. Just south of Moree the prickly pear cactus start appearing, a sure sign we’re getting close to the Queensland border. We stop for a quick break in Moree and hopping into the van I quickly discover that there’s been a party going on. Although the kitchen cupboard is firmly closed the utensils bucket is on the floor, its contents knives, forks, chopsticks and spoons spread all over the place. I peek inside the cupboard to find that the interior light that hasn’t worked in ages is now on.
Since our auto transmission problems, we’ve been trying to use our gears more when towing and to keep an eye on the tachometer especially as Woody is hard of hearing. As we leave town and our revs climb I notice that Woody is still in 3rd, “How are your gears? I ask. “The left one is about to go.” He replies. Bloody hearing aids!
We cross the Queensland border at Goondiwindi (pronounced Gunda Windy by the way) and pull into Redman Park for a bite of lunch. It’s a pretty park with plenty of green grass and a dump point (which might sound silly but it is of the utmost importance to us caravanners). I cannot believe the transformation in Goondiwindi. Whenever we’ve stopped here it’s been dry or like last time, dry and dusty. But now, it’s a green and shady oasis. We need bread and when debating on which supermarket to go to a voice comes over the radio “Coles is closed”. Of course, it’s Sunday and only the Foodworks is open, we keep forgetting that businesses in the bush close on weekends. We visit a very good and reasonably priced Foodworks and later learn that the Coles supermarket is only open Tuesday to Saturday.
Heading east now on the Cunningham Highway we spot a lone emu and a crop-dusting plane in operation.
The tiny town of Yelarbon has a community-run RV camp which Elle thankfully booked as we left Moree. We pull into the cheery camp and are greeted by the relieving managers. Skirting the rim of the old pony club arena there are colourful gardens, a BBQ, and a convivial fire pit. An old railway station building has been cleverly converted into bathrooms. There’s even a laundry. For nature lovers, there’s a lake and wetland across the road.
Excited at being able to sit outside again we have happy hour under the awning. The manager and his two little dogs wander over for a chat. Now it’s here that I must explain that our old mate Toothless calls Woody and El Prado Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum because of their lack of handyman skills. The manager launches into how he solved the problem when the wrong-sized bathroom hand towels were delivered. Because the paper rolls were too wide for the holders he:
- made new rollers from PVC tubing that he picked up at the local rubbish tip
- Found an old wardrobe and cut the timber which he made into 2 boxes
- When he finished cutting the PVC tubing lengths he snapped the hacksaw blade in half and fitted each one into a box as the paper cutter
- The tube was held in place with lynch pins
- Then the boxes were varnished
This diatribe took about 15 minutes to deliver and as you can imagine our eyes were glazing over. He was paying special attention to the lynchpins and how to change paper rolls. When another van arrived, and he hurried off to greet them we broke into gales of laughter and wondered why he didn’t just ring the supplier for replacement stock. But hey, when you’re 300kms from the city you need to be handy, really handy.
Molly the Mutt, the manager’s dog is a little Fox Terrier / Jack Russell type dog. A wriggly little barrel with a spotty belly. We soon learn that when she jumps on your lap and puts her paws on your chest and gazes adoringly into your eyes, you must check her eyes, ears, teeth and paws for burrs and ticks and other nasties. What we weren’t told was that she’d do this often.
This place is so good and the managers so friendly that we decide to spend 2 nights. Woody cooks a Thai prawn curry for dinner.
Accom: $20.00 (power, water, toilets, showers, laundry, dump point) an absolute gem
Fuel: $71.04 (231.9c/l) and $70.19 (219.9c/l)
Towing Kms: 278kms