Another "double" entry. 185km to Kynuna. Half way to Winton and in the middle of nowhere. 2 possible camping sites, so we pick the one with most shade and hunker down to wait for the afternoon to pass. No mobile coverage - hence the double blog entry. Again easy riding on good roads with little traffic, most heading in the opposite direction. Tree/scrub cover soon disappears after Cloncurry giving way to plains of mitchell grass with the occasional lone tree.
Kynuna comprises a Roadhouse/Fuel stop with attached small caravan park (where we camped), a police station, the CWA hall, and the Blue Heeler Pub (also with attached - but shadeless - caravan park).
We've discovered that on the whole, remote rural Queensland caravan parks are not set up for tent camping. They are geared to caravans and RV's with hard compacted drive thru parking areas. Very little in the way of shady/grass covered level areas suitable for folks like us. Still we always seem to find somewhere to pitch a tent. Having a stretcher makes it easier.
So we wait out the heat of the afternoon, amusing ourselves watching the antics of the local Apostlebird clan. Clearly their success depends on conning the tourists into feeding them.
As the sun starts to loose its intensity we move to the Blue Heeler Pub for drinks and dinner and idle conversation with fellow travellers, including a couple of farmers from Shepparton in Victoria.
Some things all drinkers in all pubs can agree on - the world is going to hell in a basket and all politicians are dogs.
Beer battered barramundi has become our standard option when eating out. Fortunately not too often. Still the beer is cold and the sunset glorious and the night promises to be much cooler.
Kynuna to Winton. A mere 156km thru continuing endless plains of mitchell grass. As we near Winton we start to see signs of the "jump up" country that lies ahead. Having agreed beforehand we would spend a day in the Winton area doing one of the dinosaur tours we headed straight for the tourist information centre. Easy choice assisted by very helpfull staff and we have booked the day tour to see the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. Morning tea and lunch included. Next item on the agenda - which of the 3 possible caravan parks has the best shady camping area? The information centre lady is amused at our need for shade.... but in any case suggests the Matilda Tourist Park and even rings ahead to make sure they can accomodate us. Even tho its Monday, it was cup final weekend and judging by the crowd of inebriated young men at the pub, some team won.... So town is busy. No problem we are informed.
So I pull into the entrance of The Matilda Tourist Park leaving the others in the street waiting in the shade, parking my bike behind a caravan that has just pulled in - well to the left to avoid any passing caravan rigs, but also to take advantage of some shade. Someone from the office is talking to the caravan owners in front of me, so I enter the office and immediately some tosser challenges me with the words "Move that fucking motorcycle - you're stopping the caravans from getting in!" As I'm still in the process of removing my earplugs I think I must have misheard. "Pardon?" I respond. He repeats the insult. "Move that fucking motorcycle, you're blocking the driveway!"
Ice fills my veins and with the utmost restraint I reply "I am not blocking the driveway, and in any case I'm next in line so it's obvious you don't want our business." and walked out, telling the others via our intercom that "we won't be staying here!" As I was getting my gear back on, a woman from the next caravan in line in the driveway asked why I was leaving. When I told her she responded by saying they had been warned back in Longreach about the "rude" people at this caravan park. News gets around. Unfortunately there are so many travellers and so few good places to stop over that even aresholes stay in business.
Back to the otherside of town and the "Pelican Caravan Park" where we find one of the few remaining campsites "no shade I'm afraid." says the polite and helpful receptionist. No problem, we'll make our own.
I return to the tourist information centre to let them know about the arsehole at the Matilda Tourist Park and that our tour guide should now pick us up at the Pelican instead. She was sympathetic and asked if I wanted to lodge an official complaint. No need I said, social media and Google Maps review will have more impact.
Lunch at the local pub. A stroll around town. A drink at the famous North Gregory Hotel and back to our campsite.
Tomorrow a day in a (hopefully) air conditioned bus while we play tourists.......