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Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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27 May 2008 – Charleville to Barcaldine

We woke just before the alarm which was set at 6.00am when “She” felt the urge to “make a visit”.

Sunrise was magnificent with all the signs present for a good day weather wise. It was a bit chilly.

Last night was fairly warm and the only reason that it was comfortable was us leaving a window open. We have agreed that the further north we go, the more windows will need to be left open.

We both agree that the Bailey Bar Caravan Park rates up there with some of the better ones we have stayed in. The owners, Julian and Wendy are very friendly and certainly make you feel very welcome. Only criticism about the park (and later commented on by others) was the number of vans that were packed in.

“She” called into the office and collected some information about Queensland roads and other important information. We are not sure if the other states do the same thing as we have not seen this type of information before.

Charleville to our next destination of Barcaldine is just over 400 kilometers and the GPS mapping software indicated the drive would take 4 hours 19 minutes. With the amount of road kill we have seen and the conditions of the road, we would certainly not like to attempt the trip within that time frame. Including a couple of breaks, we covered the distance in 6 hours 15 minutes (breaks probably counted for just over 1 hour).

Once again, we encountered a high volume of road kill together with several sightings of “live” animals (kangaroos and emus). Highlight of the trip for “Him” was passing a 53.5 metre road train and setting a new maximum speed for the motorhome of 117 kilometers per hour. It is a hard call to decide if to pass or not as we were travelling at 100, the road train at 90. Weighing up the distance to the next town plus the distance you have to travel versus the passing manoeuvre does require considerable thought as the roads are not all that wide. It must be recorded that whilst we passed one, we were in fact passed by several and communicating with them over the 2 way makes it a lot safer.

Some minor drama, upon arriving at a town called Tambo, we parked for morning tea. “He” noticed some fluid dripping from the mud guard behind the front wheels. It did look like brake fluid. Further inspection of the area revealed a sprinkler in the nature strip in the middle of the road that we had just driven past and the combination of water picked up by the wheels and the accumulated collection of items picked up from the road resulted in a fluid that did look like oil. This did cause panic for a couple of minutes. However, at the same time we noticed that the grill in the bull bar was loose at both ends. We suspect this was the result of a bird strike yesterday. Application of tape to both ends failed to hold the grill in place and a more permanent fix using cable ties was applied at Blackall.

Blackall is famous for being the home of the “Black Stump”. Unfortunately the original was destroyed but a suitable replacement has been put in the spot. We also found a large area to the north west of the town that appears to be a haven for free camping provided you obtain a permit.

Barcaldine is an “RV Friendly Town” but there is not really much here. We had a quick look around the town and refuelled the vehicle before checking into Barcaldine tourist Park. With a discount, tonight cost $20 and included free internet via a wireless connection. There was also tea and damper at 4.00pm with bush poetry and entertainment later. It must be recorded that had we checked into the van park first, we would have received discount vouchers for fuel. MUST remember this for the future.

Tea and damper was great and included a talk by a local tour operator who specialises in day tours along the route used by early explorers. I was a pity that we were not spending more time here as the tour sounds fascinating. We then listened to Graham Rodger perform for an hour. He sounds a lot like Slim Dusty and is a multi award winning song writer. He wrote several of Slim’s hit songs.

There was an incident at the park with a resident throwing a projectile into the windscreen of a road train that decided to park in front of the caravan park. The vehicle had a refrigerated van and the noise was really very loud. We can understand why the projectile was thrown but we don’t think the local police had the same understanding. Peace and quiet returned about 9.45pm when the road train departed.

We had a very late tea and finished the dishes at 9.00pm.

Barcaldine Tourist Park operated under the Top Tourist Park brand. The park is relatively new (circa 2004). From our perspective, the park lacks severely in amenities with only 2 male and 2 female toilets plus 4 combined unisex toilet / shower rooms. They are housed in what appear to be demountable buildings. This appears to be totally inadequate for the number of sites and detracts from a lovely rural setting. The only positive note is that the facilities are clean, the staff is friendly and the evening entertainment was excellent. This is also an example of a park that seems to over populate as the site allocated to us was not even wide enough to open the awning.

There is also limited use of the laundry facilities as a notice states that management has priority with the washing machines for the linen in the cabins with starting time and the duration controlled by the number of cabins used and the time they were vacated. Unless we were aware that the facilities had been improved, it is unlikely we would stay here again and in hindsight, we could have driven with ease the additional 100 kilometres to Longreach or simply stayed in the local showground or the free camping area near the town entry point.

 

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