Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oct 13

On leaving Longreach this morning we headed southwest towards Quilpie and Toombine.  So what did we see on our way, flat land, fences, tarmac, hardly any trees, a few emus and that was about it.
No exaggeration, flat land so far.
 Longreach is in the Shire of Longreach and I have a query about why the signs to stations are all the same, do all the stations belong to one owner? Are the stations all part of a co-operation and got a good deal on having their signs made with one design? Or is it, the authorities that be had little better to do than to tidy up the shire and ensure organization, uniformity and neatness amongst their rural residents was a priority?
We must have seen about 20 station signs identical to this one except for different names, and all looking clean and new too.
 Alas, this standardization only added to the boredom of the drive, the flat treeless land with short grass was bad enough but even now our enjoyment of seeing how station owners provided comical signs, like washing machines or post boxes painted like cows at the end of their roads was gone.  We were rather glad when we left the Shire of Longreach, sorry residents we don't mean to offend, just a personal opinion.  220km down the Thompson Developmental Road was a place we had to visit, Stonehenge.

Yes, you read right, Stonehenge <g>, with a grand population of 40, hotel come pub and a rather posh looking Community Center, alas no henge here so I take it Druids did not make it to OZ :)  We had a lovely cup of tea and to our surprise a piece of cake each included in the price, thank you Stonehenge. 

The hotel
The Community Center
Back on the road to Quilpie and putting the foot down to get there before the visitors center closed, we needed maps for boulder opal fossicking.  That's right, we are still searching for our millions in the outback.  We got there with time to spare, found the visitors center immediately without the use of the satnav which for some strange reason did not know it existed.  What a difference a happy, smiling face makes to welcome you, take note Winton!!!  The rain had started so once we had maps in hand to guide us to the fossicking fields we asked about accommodation, great, we have all the information we need.  First stop, Quilpie Motor Inn, oh dear, no vacancies, next Channel Country Caravan Park - did we book? no sorry no vacancies, try the Brick Hotel, the pub with no beer.  Sounds, intestine, lots of people waiting outside and a for sale sign.  Oh, the door is locked.  I was asked if I would like to buy the hotel by one of the folks outside, ummmmm no don't think so, no beer no way.  Wow, this is a popular place, next try, the Imperial Hotel, a bit up-market for us but what the heck, we are on holiday <g>.  We were told to try The Brick, I explained it was locked and nobody answered the door and was told I needed to phone them to get them to open the door and was provided with the phone number.  Back to the car, fire up the mobile and give it a go, call failed.  OK so I forgot to put the code in first, try again, no ring tone and again the call failed.  Can't be bothered with this, no room a the inn for us in Quilpie so time to leave and try Toompine.

Now, if you want the quirky, Toompine is a must on your places to visit, it has a population of 2, and is know as  'the pub with no town".  As we pulled up we noticed it called itself a hotel so could they have a room for two people who did not fancy putting up their tent for the night and it was raining.  In luck, there was a room available, in face several.  We were shown round the property by a lovely German girl on a one year work visa who had just started working there a few days before, ducks, goats, a camel, a couple of pacus, birds, dogs and the puppies all to be seen.  The landlady was a corker too, great conversationalist and kept us going for a few hours over a couple of beers and a stir fry.  One other visitor stopped by, a truckie for tucker and a coke, he had a few interesting stories under his belt too. Time for bed and it was a long day, tomorrow and early start on our journey to become millionaires <g>,  No sunset tonight, only rain so I will end with a few photos of Toompine, a great place where we were made very very welcome.
Brilliant signs all over the place which put many smiles on the faces.
The bar, no doubt a place for many a conversation, we loved it.
The shower, too cold to try it out but I am sure there would be plenty hot water.
Our room, #6.  May not look much from the outside but inside, all wood, comfy bed, A/C and power, everything we needed for a great nights sleep.
A view of the tennis court and basketball court after a night of rain!!!  Yep all very soggy outside.

1 comment:

  1. Can Australian dogs read then? Yes, you have seen some brilliant signs along your route - I can see that they have added plenty to your travels. Pub with no beer ....... yes, that's quirky!!! I'll be following your links soon. Pleased you eventually found a bed fot the night ..... just need to ask .... what seqason are you in - spring or rainy season? You do know that Opals are considered unlucky - now I've said that you'll prove me wrong and make your millions love you loads xxx


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